Read any good music books lately? Or some all-time favorites?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Tim Wilson, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. Oliver

    Oliver Forum Resident

    Yeah that is a great book. Pretty much covers all the bases and seems relatively neutral but still interesting. While Nicholas Schaffner book was really good too Blakes book is the most complete.
  2. windfall

    windfall Forum Resident

    All time favourite is still Greil Marcus's Mystery Train. Other favourites include Conversations with Tom Petty and the second volume of the Elvis bio, Careless Love. Currently reading Last Train to Memphis, which I am finding a bit of a chore (immense but hardly riveting detail of every person Elvis ever met in the Tennessee and Texas music industry, and their second cousins and household pets. Or that's how it seems).

    One to avoid, by the way - Dylan Jones, The Eighties: One Day, One Decade - poorly conceived and planned, a badly written rush job. Either the copy editor was half asleep or there wasn't one. Repetitions, errors, poor style all over the place. I started to bookmark them so I could write a review on amazon citing the offending pages, but gave up in the end. The book was not worth the effort. I see he's now written one about Elvis. He's certainly churning them out. Quantity over quality.
  3. Baba Oh Really

    Baba Oh Really Certified "Forum Favorite"

    mid west, USA
    Thank you for posting this. I started reading The Stand in 1980. Then, about 20 years later, I aimed to finish it (never did). Then, recently, I tried finishing it again about a year ago, and I got so sick with a cold that it actually felt like I had Captain Tripps, so that kind of put me off to reading it anymore. I should probably try again.
  4. Grunge Master

    Grunge Master Put Captain Solo in the cargo hold.

    One that is pretty good is Nirvana: The Biography by Everett True. I'm a huge Nirvana guy, and I knew most of the 'important' things in it; still, there are some interviews with some key people that are pretty interesting. However, the bad part about the book is that True takes every opportunity to insert himself in the story; sometimes you feel as if you're reading the biography of Everett True and Nirvana. It grates on you after awhile.
    Gavinyl likes this.
  5. maxnix

    maxnix Forum Resident

    Totally agree . . just started this and it's a great read. Also wading through Greil Marcus' Old Weird America. He's a great writer, but man does he swerve all over the road. Have to stop and look at the cover sometimes to remember what I started reading!
    Tim Wilson likes this.
  6. vamborules

    vamborules Forum Resident

    Recently read and enjoyed A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton.

    All time favorite is Please Kill Me.
    CrombyMouse, inaptitude and serge like this.
  7. LavidDange

    LavidDange Forum Resident

    Mo' Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove.
    inaptitude and Lilainjil like this.
  8. mojo525

    mojo525 Accumulator (I buy music, not plastic sleeves)

    Columbus, OH
    An oldie but goodie: I always loved "Billion Dollar Baby" by Bob Greene
  9. Daryl M

    Daryl M Forum Resident

    London, Ontario
    I see that there is a new paperback edition of `Barefoot In Babylon' out.
    This is Robert Spitz' masterpiece about the creation of the 1969 Woodstock
    festival......reads like a novel.
  10. scotto

    scotto Forum Resident

    Two novels that capture the joys, hopes, and obsessive-compulsiveness of being a music lover are The Guts, by Roddy Doyle (with a bit of The Commitments revisited some 30 years on) and Juliet, Naked, by Nick Hornby, which absolutely nails the music fangeek that is each and every one of us on this forum. Both great reads.
    Gavinyl likes this.
  11. Scopitone

    Scopitone I wanna be Archtop when I grow up

    Denver, CO
    Works perfectly for geek collectors of all types, but obviously for music since that's what we are here about. A very good book that makes one think about one's own obsessions and how they affect one's life. Like almost everything Hornby has written, it's an excellent read.
    serge likes this.
  12. Brother Maynard

    Brother Maynard Forum Resident

    Dallas, TX
    I just read Joshua Greene's "Here Comes the Sun" for the second time. It focuses on Harrison's spiritual path.
  13. Gasman1003

    Gasman1003 "The Thinking Man's Drinking Man"

    Liverpool UK
    "Some People Are Crazy: The John Martyn Story"

    "Margrave of the Marshes" - John Peel's Autobiography.
  14. Gary910

    Gary910 Well-Known Member

    Still working my through Mark Lewisohn's 'All These Years' (author's cut). Probably will take a long while to finish. I have a lot of required reading I have to do, so this is 'pleasure' reading.

    I will probably be still working on this many months from now.
    CrombyMouse likes this.
  15. Aftermath

    Aftermath Forum Resident

    Recently read the "Come as You Are" Nirvana bio. A blunt and very honest book, but god is it depressing. Talk about seeing the writing on the wall--the first edition I have was published in 1993 before Kurt did himself in, and it literally seems like a foregone conclusion by the time you finish it.
  16. sons of nothing

    sons of nothing Forum Resident

    Jerry Hopkins' "No One Here Gets Out Alive," is the best book ever. I of course and kidding.

    The last two Books i read were Pigs Might Fly, The Pink Floyd Story and Keef's autobiography.

    Two old favorites would be "Lords of Chaos," a book on the Black Metal Scene and "Choosing Death," a book about Death Metal and Grindcore, but it tends to cover a bit more of Napalm Death.
  17. patrickd

    patrickd Forum Resident

    Austin TX USA
    For some reason I’ve been hooked on music bios over the last year - something about them being easy to read I guess. Here’s some reactions:

    Keith Richard’s book, which was easy to read (though apparently ghost-written) but I have no real interest in the Stones so I probably missed much of what fans might like. I enjoyed it for its coverage of the 1960s.

    Glenn Hughes Autobiography -- breezy, honest, a bit too light on the music while heavy on the drugs and sex but who knew Dallas was such a hotbed?

    Coltrane by Lewis Porter -- excellent bio, lots of musical analysis, one of the best I’ve read.

    Frank-The Voice, by Kaplan -- large but easily fast to read, sadly only going up to the mod 50s, second installment to come.

    Rod -- the Rod Steward bio, quick, lots of ‘who I shagged’ but told in a self-depracating manner that has a few good laughs within.

    Gerry McAvoy - Riding Shotgun -- life on the road with Rory Gallagher by his long-term bassist -- best of the rock bios I’ve read -- hilarious in places, great stories.

    Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace -- just finished, unusual style in that it moves back and forth through time with sporadic memories, good insight to the man.

    Over the years, I’d add in Guralnick’s two-volume bio of Elvis, simply great writing and analysis, a work of scholarship and probably the bio against which I judge others.
    CrombyMouse likes this.
  18. markp

    markp I am always thinking about Jazz.

    I have read many, many books about music. The ones below, in particular, gave a deeper appreciation of the artists music.

    Temples of Sound: Inside the Great Recording Studios, by William Clark
    Straight Life - by Art Pepper and Laurie Pepper
    Art - Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazz Man, by Laurie Pepper
    High Times, Hard Times - Anita O'Day
    Please Be with Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman by Galadrielle Allman
    Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock and Roll by Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson
    CrombyMouse likes this.
  19. DJ LX

    DJ LX Forum Resident

    Madison WI
    I read the recent John Fahey bio Dance of Death not too long ago. I can sum up Fahey in two words: Tortured Genius.
    SHU likes this.
  20. Uncle Meat

    Uncle Meat Forum Resident

    Houston, Tx, US
    I want to read (haven't yet) the new Greil Marcus book "The History of Rock and Roll in Ten Songs" , but in the middle of this book right now !!
    Has anyone else read the Marcus Book ?? What did you think ??
    "Waging Heavy Peace" looks interesting as well .

  21. hangwire13

    hangwire13 Forum Resident

    Recently read and really enjoyed Nikki Sixx The Heroin Diaries, and I.m not particularly a Motley Crue fan.

    I AM a big Stones fan and I thought "Up and Down with the Rolling Stones" written by their dope gopher Tony Sanchez really sucked.

    Finally, for any child of the 80s, I Want My MTV is a must-read!
    CrombyMouse likes this.
  22. CusBlues

    CusBlues Fort Wayne’s Favorite Son

    One I finished a couple months ago was fellow forum member Al Kooper's Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards. This is a great book and I think most forum members would enjoy it.
  23. DrBeatle

    DrBeatle The Rock and Roll Chemist

    Midwest via Boston
    I'm not trying to shamelessly promote my blog, but I've reviewed a ton of music books and add more all the time...if you're interested in reading which books are good and aren't, here's the link: reviews

    Most recently read Ray Manzarek's autobiogrpahy (review coming in a few days)...pretty good book!
    Tim Wilson likes this.
  24. hangwire13

    hangwire13 Forum Resident

    Oh yeah...all time favorites are Stanley Booth's "The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones"--chronicle of their 69 US Tour, with a good band history up to that time, not to mention its a great primer Blues music in general...

    STP: A Journey Through America with The Rolling Stones by Robert Greenfield is a great chronicle of their 72 US Tour, also written by someone who travelled with them.
    Dave Hoos and Gavinyl like this.
  25. Yayastone

    Yayastone Forum Resident

    Monterey, CA.
    Recently finished "Miles" and highly recommend it!
    Probably one of the most enjoyable books i've read that had me laughing out loud at times.

    CrombyMouse, johnaltman and RelayerNJ like this.

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