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Reviews of Musician Autobiographies

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by t77mackie, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    There seems to be a preponderance of musicians writing autobiographies these days. Probably because they're making less money on CD sales and need to branch out.

    Regardless, please submit reviews. I'm thinking about renting Glen Hughes book from the library.

    I read Sammy Hagar's book. I'm not a Sammy fan but I saw him on TMS and wanted to know how he became so successful. Plus all the Eddie dirt is like watching a NASCAR crash - you know you shouldn't like it but you just do.

    Anywho, it was worth the read. Pretty open and honest and interesting.

    Reading Craig Ferguson's book now... kind of a wanna be failed musician.
  2. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    Zakk Wylde's "Bringing Metal to the Children" is a fantastic read. Hilarious from cover to cover.

    Then there's obviously "the Heroin Diaries" and "This is Gonna Hurt" by Nikki Sixx. Both pretty interesting.

    David Lee Roth's "Crazy From The Heat" is probably the best autobiography I've read.
  3. bigswifty1


    Dec 8, 2011
    Bill Bruford "The Autobiography" - really interesting comments about art versus craft and generally an interesting read. Doesn't include tons of stuff about Yes, but what's there is good. Really interesting insights into the self doubts that plague many of us, who knew someone as good as Bill had them too?

    Rick Wakeman "Grumpy Old Rock Star" - mostly humorous anecdotes. Includes farting jokes and how to eat curry on stage.

    Bobby DeVito "Burned" - how to not make it, and also a tale of triumph (bless you Bobby). Bobby's struggle with substance abuse, and bad reasons to sell a vintage strat.

    Keith Richards "Life"- fascinating from start to end.

    Great idea for a topic!
  4. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Digital Brand Development and Product Development at GHS Strings
    Charles Mingus "Beneath the Underdog" is a goo read, but one that needs to be taken with a grain of salt. I've heard that Mingus made half of it up, but as to what half...

    Willie Dixon "I Am the Blues" is a tremendously interesting read, especially when he talks about the dealings with Chess Records and how they would cheat people out of royalties and ownership of their music.

    Johnny Cash "Cash" was a very candid look into everything the man went through. Very down to earth, funny at times, sad at others, he pulls no punches.
  5. EasyMurder


    Jul 31, 2011
    I found Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers) quite enthralling.
    But, I am BIG RHCP fan.
  6. Ozzy Osbourne's "I Am Ozzy" is great. He talks an awful lot about his childhood, which is nice. While it is very humourous, there are are some painfully sad moments too. A good read.
  7. Slash's is excellent, very funny in parts and completely mental. Heroin Diaries is good. Paints a good picture and is very dark as you would expect.

    Enjoyed Ozzys although alot of the time when the stories were about to get interesting he blacks out from being so drunk! ha
  8. Bisounourse


    Jun 21, 2012
    Gent, Belgium
    Miles Davis: The Autobiography was very entertaining, and he holds little back.

    An older classic: Frank Zappa: The Real Frank Zappa Book. Very entertaining, lots of information and at times made me cry with laughter...

    Nick Mason: Inside Out - A Personal History of Pink Floyd - tongue in cheeck and nicely written.
  9. Klonk


    Apr 28, 2011
    I've read The Dirt (Motley Crue), I am Ozzy, Beneath the Underdog (Charlie Mingus), Jaco (Pastorius) which I all enjoyed. Currently reading Life (Keith Richards) which looks very promising.

    Gonna test out some of the others mentioned here as well.. nice thread!
  10. RandalPinkFloyd


    Jun 3, 2012
    Autobiographies and Biographies are pretty much all I read. I'll have to revisit this thread when I get home as since I've read so many, I'm sure I'm going to forget some, good or bad. I care more about hearing about the musicians life and upbringing, who they are and what they've been through much more so than how they come up with the lyrics to a particular song. I bring this up as a lot of Amazon reviews show people giving books that are great bad reviews simply because their idol or the author didn't talk about some extraordinary event or process to create ____ album or song.

    My top 5 Favorites and others I liked:

    1. Nikki Sixx - The Heroin Diaries. I absolutely love this book for a plethora of reasons. I've read it 6 times and I'm sure the last time won't be the last time. If you like Musician autobio's, to me this one is a must have. I couldn't put it down the first time I read it.

    2. Scar Tissue (RHCP-Anthony Kiedes) - Even if you do not like RHCP, I think this is a must read for the genre. I found it extremely entertaining and it's been read more than once like the Heroin Diaries.

    3. Brother Ray - I'm a Ray Charles fan and the movie left out so many interesting stories and facts. A great story and a good read.

    4. Motley Crue - The Dirt - This one I thought was really good but tapered off a bit towards the end. Still worth a read. The first half was "I can't put it down" good in my opinion.

    5. I am Ozzy - this book was much better than I expected. I'm not an Ozzy fan and never cared for Black Sabbath but I really enjoyed this book, very entertaining.

    Slash - I only read this one once, but enjoyed it.

    Somebody to Love (Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane) - I enjoyed this book but was a little disappointed. Still liked it though. I just wanted a little more.

    California Dreamin' (Michelle Phillips of the Mama's and the Papa's) - Honestly don't remember much about this one. I still have it so it couldn't have been too bad, lol.

    Ones that I didn't care for or just flat out hated:

    It's So Easy (and other lies) - (Duff of GNR) - I didn't think this book was that good. There was something about it I couldn't quite place my finger on. I think the jumping in time so frequently could have been the biggest issue. It's not a terrible book, I just didn't get that "I can't put this down" feeling.

    Hammer of the Gods (Led Zeppelin unauthorized) - I knew I was taking a chance since this one was unauthorized. I only made it half way through. It was a painful read which is shocking. How can a book about LZ be tough to read? It was very much "This happened and then this happened" and you can tell the author was limited on sources. It's almost as if he did no interviews and relied strictly on other's research.

    This is Gonna Hurt (Nikki Sixx) - this book was more about Nikki's photography. With my glorifying thoughts on the Heroin Diaries, this one honestly never stood a chance. I didn't care for it all that much but I think expectations played a part. I may revisit down the road since I held on to my copy.

    I'm currently reading "Come as you are" the Nirvana story. So far it's pretty good.
  11. colcifer

    colcifer Esteemed Nitpicker Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    A Galaxy Far, Far Away
    This Wheel's On Fire by Levon Helm is a good read and an interesting look at the industry.

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