Book picks similar to
Dylan: Visions, Portraits, and Back Pages by Mark Blake
Poisoned Heart: I Married Dee Dee Ramone (the Ramones Years): A Punk Love Story
Vera Ramone King - 2009
Waking up the neighbors and setting the U.S. music scene on fire in the 1970s and through the '80s, The Ramones' story is tragic and raw, sentiments that could also describe the band's songwriter, bass player, and unsung genius, Dee Dee. A wild ride into the heart and soul of New York City, Poisoned Heart is Vera Ramones King's last testament to her former husband, who shocked the world when he died in 2002 of a drug overdose despite having been clean for years. Dee Dee defined the punk-rock lifestyle. He was a rash, often violent, heroin addict, and no one better understood his twisted mentality, or insanity, than faithful wife Vera. But Vera, herself a less destructive Nancy to Dee Dee's Sid, also came to know the Dee Dee that music fans worldwide held near and dear: a generous, loving man who had a soft-spot for bums, who grew up in the tough streets of Queens, who never stopped working, writing, and performing, who often treated his wife like a Punk Rock Princess, and whose greatest joy was the look on his fans' faces as he played them a song. For true fans of The Ramones, those who remember the 1970s as a time of music innovation and inspired creativity, groupies, wannabes, and true music-lovers everywhere, Poisoned Heart is destined to become a literary--and rock--classic.
Moon: The Life and Death of a Rock Legend
Tony Fletcher - 1998
He was also a musical genius who inspired whole generations of artists, a generous friend to nearly everyone who crossed his path, a guileless man of immense personal charm to whom the sweetest sound on earth was surf music.A generation after his death, Moon is still revered as the greatest drummer in rock history and the single wildest personality in an age of pop excess. Here is the truth behind the legend, the result of more than three years of research in which music journalist Tony Fletcher interviewed dozens of Moon's friends, colleagues, and associates. The result is an instant classic that brilliantly illuminates both the tender and self-destructive sides of this singular personality. This is the story of one of the most outrageous rock stars ever born -- and Moon is one of the greatest rock biographies ever written.
Don't You Leave Me Here: My Life
Wilko Johnson - 2016
With ten months to live, he decided to accept his imminent death and went on the road. His calm, philosophical response made him even more beloved and admired. And then the strangest thing happened: he didn't die. Don't You Leave Me Here is the story of his life in music, his life with cancer, and his life now - in the future he never thought he would see.
Paul Weller: The Changing Man
Paolo Hewitt - 2007
Hewitt has even been the inspiration for some of Weller's songs - and he has extraordinary in-depth knowledge of the inspiration behind the rest.Once, when Hewitt interviewed Weller for a music magazine, he complained - 'I don't know why people ask me all these questions. All the answers are in my songs.' Largely unnoticed, Weller has used thirty-years of lyrics to explore his personal history and beliefs. Taking as his starting point these lyrics, alongside a lifetime's friendship, Paolo Hewitt shows us the real Paul Weller, the man inside the music.
Johnny Thunders: In Cold Blood
Nina Antonia - 2000
The cult bible of all things Thunders, it is the definitive portrait of the condemned man of rock 'n' roll, from the baptism of fire and tragedy that was the New York Dolls, through the junkie punk years of the Heartbreakers and beyond. It is an unflinching account of a unique guitarist whose drug problems often overshadowed his considerable style and talent, and whose influence on such bands as The Sex Pistols and Guns N' Roses is still resonant.
Matt Thorne - 2012
Now a firm fixture in the pop canon, where such classics as "Purple Rain", "Sign o' the Times" and "Parade" regularly feature in Best Ever Album polls, Prince is still, as he ever was, an enigma. His live performances are legendary (21 Nights at the O2 in 2007) and while recent releases have been modestly successful at best, his influence on urban music, and R'n'B in particular, has never been more evident. The Minneapolis Sound can now be heard everywhere. Matt Thorne's "Prince", through years of research and interviews with ex-Revolution members such as Wendy and Lisa, is an account of a pop maverick whose experiments with rock, funk, techno and jazz revolutionized pop. With reference to every song, released and unreleased, over 35 years of recording, Prince will stand for years to come as the go-to book on the Great Man.
Dirty Blvd.: The Life and Music of Lou Reed
Aidan Levy - 2015
On a personal level, too, he seemed to take pleasure in insulting everyone who crossed his path. How did this Jewish boy from Long Island, an adolescent doo-wop singer, rise to the status of Godfather of Punk? And how did he maintain that status for decades?Dirty Blvd.—the first new biography of Reed since his death in 2013—digs deep to answer those questions. And along the way it shows us the tender side of his prickly personality.Born in Brooklyn, Reed was the son of an accountant and a former beauty queen, but he took the road less traveled, trading literary promise for an entry-level job as a budget-label songwriter and founding the Velvet Underground under the aegis of Andy Warhol. The cult of personality surrounding his transformation from downtown agent provocateur to Phantom of Rock and finally to patron saint of the avant-garde was legendary, but there was more to his artistic evolution than his abrasive public persona. The lives of many American rock stars have had no second act, but Reed’s did.Dirty Blvd. not only covers the highlights of Reed’s career but also explores lesser-known facets of his work, such as his first recordings with doo-wop group the Jades, his key literary influences and the impact of Judaism upon his work, and his engagement with the LGBT movement. Drawing from new interviews with many of his artistic collaborators, friends, and romantic partners, as well as from archival material, concert footage, and unreleased bootlegs of live performances, author Aidan Levy paints an intimate portrait of the notoriously uncompromising rock poet who wrote “Heroin,” “Sweet Jane,” “Walk on the Wild Side,” and “Street Hassle”—songs that transcended their genre and established Lou Reed as one of the most influential and enigmatic American artists of the past half-century.
Jerry Leiber - 2009
They set records--in four hours they wrote four songs that became #1 hits. Their story is also the story of rock 'n' roll--and a trend-setting era they helped to create. - Their own story: Both were born in 1933--Leiber in Baltimore, Stoller on Long Island. They met in Los Angeles in 1950 and went on to write more hits than any other song writing team with the exception of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. With the help of veteran music writer David Ritz, they tell their incredible story in their own words.- Great stories about a great era: Jerry Leiber's parents ran a grocery store in a black neighborhood in Baltimore; he learned about R&B from their customers. Mike Stoller's parents sent him to integrated summer camps, where he received an education in boogie-woogie. When the duo met Elvis (they wrote "Jailhouse rock" for him), they were surprised to discover a kindred spirit in the King, who had an encyclopedic knowledge of the blues. They wrote songs for the Coasters, the Drifters, and Ben e. King. Working in the famous Brill Building in New York City, they mentored Carole King and Burt Bacharach and also helped out a pushy kid named Phil Spector.- The birth of rock 'n' roll: Leiber and Stoller were a vital component of rock 'n' roll's early sound. As songwriters, they teamed catchy hooks with the rhythms of R&B and swing, crafting hundreds of classic hits; as producers, they revolutionized the recording industry. Their memoir will be a must-read for music fans.
Starting Over: The Making of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Double Fantasy
Ken Sharp - 2010
The most acclaimed singer/songwriter of his generation, first a Beatle and then a boundary-pushing solo artist, was senselessly silenced forever at age forty; immediately, his final musical statement, an intimate, pop-infused collection called Double Fantasy, released only weeks before his death, skyrocketed to #1 worldwide, as did its poignantly titled single, "(Just Like) Starting Over." His first studio recording since 1975’s Rock ’n’ Roll—and his first musical endeavor of any kind since taking a much-needed hiatus to raise Sean, his son with Yoko Ono—Double Fantasy represents more than a comeback album to Lennon fans and music critics alike. It captures a cultural icon at the pinnacle of his creative success and personal fulfillment; thirty years later it remains a musical touchstone and an affecting reminder of what could have been.Starting Over is an oral history of the making of Double Fantasy and the definitive account of John Lennon’s last days. From early demos to sessions at New York City’s The Hit Factory, from the electrifying chemistry of the studio band to keeping the project under wraps to the album’s release and critical reception, here is fascinating, insightful commentary from all of the key players involved in its extraordinary creation: Yoko Ono, David Geffen, producer Jack Douglas, engineers, arrangers, session musicians, music journalists, and even Lennon himself via archival interviews.Featuring never-before-seen photos of John and Yoko in the studio, candid images taken by David M. Spindel and Roger Farrington, Starting Over is the essential portrait for anyone who hears both a beginning and ending in the tracks of Double Fantasy.
Diana Ross: A Biography
J. Randy Taraborrelli - 1985
And this is her story. Drawn from hundreds of interviews conducted over four decades and featuring rare, never-before-published photos, Diana Ross paints an unforgettable picture of an extraordinary and often controversial legend, a woman who has distinguished herself as a Civil Rights trailblazer, a temperamental celebrity (yes, you should call her "Miss Ross"), a loving and very present mother, and a consummate entertainer. Beautiful and fascinating, she is her own invention--the definition of a superstar. Illuminated by unparalleled access, J. Randy Taraborrelli's insightful portrait surpasses previous biographies of Miss Ross. First-time revelations abound, from the tough decisions Diana made while having Barry Gordy's baby to her run-in with the police at Heathrow Airport to her triumphant recovery after a surprising drunk driving arrest. Taraborrelli also explains in vivid detail the real reasons behind the break up of the Supremes and relates the exclusive facts behind her complex romance with the founder of Motown. Delving deep into her personal history, Taraborrelli boldly explores Diana's troubled relationship with her family and the heartbreak she feels compelled to hide, bringing into focus a celebrated personality too often obscured by the bright lights of fame. Despite years in the limelight, Diana Ross remains an enigmatic figure--a compelling paradox of vulnerability and iron will, fragility and strength. J. Randy Taraborrelli examines her private world to reveal a complex, inspiring, triumphant survivor in unprecedented clarity. Ladies and gentlemen, the incomparable, the one and only Diana Ross.
Journey to the Centre of the Cramps
Dick Porter - 2015
In addition to unseen interview material from Ivy, Lux and other former band members, Journey To The Centre Of The Cramps also sees the Cramps' story through to its conclusion, recounting Lux's unexpected death in 2009, the subsequent dissolution of the group and their enduring legacy. The Cramps' history, influences and the cast of characters in and around the group are likewise explored in far greater depth. Features unseen first-hand interview material from Lux Interior and Poison Ivy. A wealth of new interview material with former band members and other key players in the band's history and never before seen/rare photographs and ephemera to help illustrate the book.
A Multitude of Sins: Golden Brown, The Stranglers and Strange Little Girls: The Autobiography
Hugh Cornwell - 2004
The book also covers the heady days of early punk in London, described by someone who was at its epicenter, right there with the Sex Pistols, the Clash, and the Damned. The life and times of one of the most notorious and gifted rock groups of the 1970s and 1980s, are described in detail, including the drug busts, fights, prison terms and—in one case—the tying up of journalists. Throughout this time Hugh encountered a host of other extraordinary people—Malcolm McClaren, Joe Strummer, Kate Bush, and Debbie Harry, to name a few, and he recounts the outrageous times he lived through with them, as well as providing an inside take on the other members of The Stranglers.
Fifty Sides of the Beach Boys: The Songs That Tell Their Story
Mark Dillon - 2012
It is filled with new interviews with music legends such as Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Alan Jardine, Bruce Johnston, David Marks, Blondie Chaplin, Randy Bachman, Roger McGuinn, John Sebastian, Lyle Lovett, Alice Cooper, and Al Kooper, and commentary from a younger generation such as Matthew Sweet, Carnie Wilson, Daniel Lanois, Cameron Crowe, and Zooey Deschanel. Even hardcore fans will be delighted by the breadth of this musical-history volume. Plans for celebrating the golden anniversary of "America's band" include the long-awaited release of 1967's Smile--the most famous aborted album in rock history--and concerts reuniting the group's five main surviving members. The band's music is as influential as it was 50 years ago, and this retelling of how the iconic rock group found itself in the annals of pop culture couldn't come at a better time.