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TB'ers Book Club!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Peter Squire, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. Hey folks.

    Just wondering if anyone has any good reviews for musicians biographys??? I am currently reading Eminems story, then got the Anthony Kiedis book to tackle.

    I enjoy reading stories about bands and muso's (although some of them take a stretch of believability). Jaco's book was good, but a bit flawed. Didn't really matter, I was able to see what was outright nonsense.

    Any suggestions?
  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Miles Davis autobio w/ Quincy Troupe
    John Coltrane by Lewis Porter
  3. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Sting's autobiography, Broken Dreams, was a good read - the man can write books as well as lyrics (or has a competent ghost-writer... unlike a good number of the 'star autobiographies' out there).

  4. Joe Jackson's A Cure For Gravity details his formative musical years, up to the eve of the debut of his first album Look Sharp. I literally couldn't put it down. (Jackson did not need a ghost writer either, and yes I fully believe that Sting wrote his own words-- his ego wouldn't permit him to use a ghost!)

    Neil Peart's memoir/travelogue Ghost Rider is fascinating stuff too-- seeing things we Americans sometimes take for granted through Canadian eyes. I'm looking forward to tucking into his latest, Travelling Music.

    There are a lot of Beatles bios out there, of which one of the better ones is The Love You Make. But you may prefer their own story in their own words, e.g., The Beatles Anthology. Not only a coffee table book, it's almost big enough to be a coffee table. But I couldn't put that one down either, resulting in my legs falling asleep more than once.
  5. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    A Cure for Gravity is the other one I was going to mention. I don't read that many musicians autobiographies as many seem pretty hackneyed but these are the two that stand out in my mind as ones to recommend.

  6. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    This may not be everybody's cup of tea, but I liked the book "Kiss and Sell". It is a book written by the business manager of Kiss, and provides helpful insight into the music business. Practical, as well as entertaining.

    Of course, you can't go wrong with "Bass Heroes" or "Brave New Bass" which are collections of interviews from BP or GP magazine.
  7. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    I'll second the Miles autobiography and Sting's Broken Music.

    Also, I read a Hendrix biography years ago that was really good. I can't remember the title now... :bawl:

    Right now I'm reading:

    Here's an idea. We can have a real TB Book Club for titles like these mentioned. Just forward the book to the member that requests it next. Shipping books is very cheap. Get a dozen or so members doing this - we could pass around quite a few books.
  8. McHaven


    Mar 1, 2005
    "Hammer of the Gods" was a great Led Zep bio and "Before I get old" was a real good one about the Who
  9. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I've read Kind of Blue as well. I didn't mention it, since we were focused more on biographies and autobiographies but, having listened to the album countless times, I found it fascinating - not least because it's a reminder that there's more to making a great album than spending loads of money on technology!

  10. daofktr

    daofktr irritating, yet surly

    Feb 15, 2005
    aurora, IN
    +1, cg...i'll second yer motion for a book club
  11. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    I haven't read many biographies, I have A drink with Shane MacGowan, Rotten and Cash by Johnny Cash lined up to be read sometime in the near future.

    Beneath the Underdog Charles Mingus' autobiography. Great great great great book. I cannot stress how great this book is! I've read it 3 times in rapid succession and it got better everytime. Funny, sad, insightful, frightening, great read!!

    I've read a couple of music histories:

    Yes, Yes Y'all is a great great book. Anyone with a slight interest in hip-hop should check it out. It's the history of hip-hop told by those who lived it, great presentation and pictures and cool stories.

    We've got the Neutron Bomb had some interesting parts, but it's a pretty underwhelming, it talks about the beginning of the LA punk scene. A lot of what it talked about just wasn't that interesting. LA was essentially a bunch of kids and juvenile-minded adults. Lots of sex, drugs and spectacle with little else worth mentioning. Also puts too much stock in Rodney from "Rodney on the Roq". If you're a Germ-o-phile, you'll probably get more out of it than I did, but it stopped short right at the point where I was most interested in; the era of Black Flag, Minutemen and Descendents. I guess that's the realm of "Get in the Van". But the movie "Decline of Western Civilization" is a more than adaequate substitute for it.

    England's Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock and Beyond. by Jon Savage is a great book on the beginnings of English punk, musically, socially, politically and creatively. A great over-arching look at how it began, how it evolved, and what each band symbolized. Also has a really nice appendix at the end. Very thorough book, I never liked the Sex Pistols that much, but this book actually made me feel sympathy for them, which is quite an achievement.
  12. "The Real Frank Zappa Book" by...well....Frank Zappa...


    ...excellent "stream-of-consciousness" narrative of the man's life and career from the best seat in the house...pulls no punches (Jeff Berlin wouldn't want you to read it), and hysterically funny at times.

    Highly recommended.
  13. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    Hey - we get enough people together we can do this. I figure at least 4 or 5 to start with.
  14. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    A related-read is the book to A Love Supreme.
  15. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    +1.. "Kiss and Sell" was very entertaining.

    I liked "Broken Music" a lot.

    Some others I really liked:
    "Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme" by Mary Wilson
    "Garcia: An American Life" by Blair Jackson
    "Five Against One: The Pearl Jam Story" by Kim Neely
    "The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band" as told to Neil Strauss by Motley Crue
    "Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith" as told to Stephen Davis by Aerosmith

    Merely "okay" but worth reading if you are interested in the artists:
    "Crossroads: The Life and Music of Eric Clapton" by Michael Schumacher
    "Marley and Me: The Real Bob Marley Story" by Don Taylor
    "King of Rock : Respect, Responsibility, and My Life with Run-DMC" by Darryl McDaniels (and too badly written to be ghostwritten)
  16. I actually got into musician biographies last year. I read ones on Monk, Mingus, and Strayhorn.

    I think the monk one was Straight No Chaser. A good straightforward story of him.

    For Mingus, I read Tonight at Noon, written by his ex-wife. Very interesting to see him from that persepctive, but I'd like to read his autobiography as well. This was on my grandmother's recommendation.

    And Lush Life for Strayhorn. Also from my grandmother. He was an unbelievable genius. The book spends a lot of time also on his flaming gayness, which I wasn't that interested in. It made me want to read an Ellington bio, but I haven't yet. My favorite musician's breakthrough story is in this book. He's a teenager and goes to see Ellington in his hometown. He gets backstage through connections, and while Ellington is having some kind of hot towel over his face type relaxing procedure done, Strayhorn sits down at the piano and plays exactly note for note some improv passages that Ellington had just played that night. Then he says, "That's what you did, but here's how I would approach that," OK, that's good. Keep a whole show in your head from hearing it once, and repeat back sections at will, plus analyze them. So Ellington peeks out from under the towel, and says "Kid, come see me in New York, there might be a job for you." So, Strayhorn wants to write a new song to show off when he meets Duke, so he looks at the directions, and writes A-Train. Jesus.
  17. Shakey - Neil Young Biography.....excellent.

    The new Bob Dylan memoirs....forgot what it's called. Kind of scattered and non linear but interesting.
  18. For a good laugh....... and sime flat out wide eyed amazement. Motley Crue's The Dirt :rolleyes: is worth reading.Also Duke Ellington's Music is my Mistress

  19. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I'd be in on that. Just have to finish Sting's autobio first.

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