What is the (last) book(s) about music that really left an impression on you and excited you ?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Maxime1980, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. What is the (last) book about music ( (auto)biography, fiction, photo books, history, tabs, memoirs, tour stories, etc.) that really left an impression on you and excited you ?
    Have you read a lot of books (on music in general ? certain genres of music ? your favorite artist?) or not so much ? Does it take a lot for a book on music to 'wow' you over & to make that connection even stronger ?


    Off the top of my head, i would say that these books really left an impression on me :

    - Peter Hook books on Joy Division ('Unknown Pleasures') and New Order ('Substance') were quite detailled with tour anecdotes, photos, details about band disagreements, recording and song writing processes, etc. Highly entertaining and an interesting read and IMHO hard to put down ! :bassist:

    - Eric Fillion 'Jazz Libre et la révolution québécoise - Musique-action, 1967-1975'
    This is a PhD. History student's book that is focused on Le Quatuor du Jazz Libre du Québec, a free jazz band that was active from 1967-1975 that challenged the political, social and musical landscape of Québec in the late 60's-mid 70's with their free jazz music. i am currently reading this one, so i cannot say a whole lot other than what i wrote above and the fact that i do like the fact that while the approach is academic in nature (lots of bottom of the page notes, very researched and loaded with interviews and archive documents), the rigourous nature of the work & the enthousiasm is contagious and that makes it is easy to read and enjoyable.

    - It's has been a while, but i remember reading one book on Nirvana (by a fellow named Cross ? Or was it Michael Azzerald (sp?) ?) that was very well done, compared to another one big book on Nirvana that focused too much on the author's relationship with Nirvana (Everett True, if i'm not mistaken..) that read a lot more like someone's own anecdotes on Nirvana than 'the story of Nirvana' with the author's touch...

    What about your favorite (or worse?!?) books about music ? :laugh:
  2. wish i was

    wish i was

    Oct 24, 2014
    Eagle, MI
    I really enjoyed "I Am Ozzy"
  3. alack


    Nov 20, 2000
    Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles by Geoff

    Beatles Gear by Andy Babiuk
    Jmilitsc, Bullitt5135 and JimK like this.
  4. forrestlaw


    Jun 25, 2018
    The most recent one I really enjoyed were Bob Mould's autobiography called See a Little Light and a book about Kraftwerk called Publikation.
  5. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
  6. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Columbia SC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Maxime1980 likes this.
  7. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000

    More BS has been written about Charlie Parker than any other musician, I think. Here's the story from someone who probably knew him better than he knew himself---without covering all the rumors and urban myths.
  8. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    I would quote passages at length, but you don't have to take my word for it. Search his name and you'll find out that he was not a great jazz critic, he was a great writer, period. If you are really into free jazz, you will probably not like his tastes at all. But to read his description of a Ben Webster solo is to hear the music in your head:

    "He would start a medium-slow blues solo very softly with a weaving five-note phrase, pause, play a high, barely audible blue note, and duck back to his opening phrase, still as soft as first sunlight. He would harden his tone slightly at the start of his next chorus, issue an annunciatory phrase, repeat it, insert a defiant tremolo. . . . His tone would grow hard, he would growl and crowd his notes, he would shake his phrases as if he had them clamped in his teeth. . . . As the years went by . . . he would close certain phrase endings by allowing his vibrato to melt into pure undulating breath—dramatically offering, before the breath expired, the ghost of his sound."

    If you're interested in what contemporary jazz musicians were like between 1968 and 1972, I highly recommend drummer Art Taylor's "Notes and Tones," a bunch of interviews from notable players who were on the scene at that time. If nothing else, it will make you understand that black American jazz musicians all have their own versions of reality and visions of the world. The interviews with Johnny Griffin and Art Blakey I found particularly affecting, each in very different ways.
  9. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
  10. farace


    Jul 9, 2016
    Connecticut USA
    I'm in the middle of a good biography titled (if I remember right; I'm too lazy right now to get up and check) Bill Evans: How My Heart Sings, by Peter Pettinger, Yale University Press. I found it recommended in another book about the making of Miles Davis's album Kind of Blue (also good, but I'm still too lazy to get the details).

    My favorite book on music though, is Psychotic Reactions & Carburetor Dung, a collection of writing by rock critic Lester Bangs, who I feel was really a Beat and whose writing, to me, is as much rock as his subject matter. Once was a time I used to find and purchase copies in used bookstores and hand them out to deserving people like they were Gideon bibles.
  11. Jmilitsc

    Jmilitsc Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2013
    Fairfield County, CT
    Read a bunch in the past year that left a mark, def some of my new favorites:

    Thelonious Monk: the life and times... by Robin Kelley

    Sky dog - Duane Allman by randy Poe

    The same Geoff Emerick book mentioned above, plus Ken Scott’s, abbey road to ziggy stardust. Great books for engineers and some interesting contrasting opinions on all the Beatle personalities. Which reminded me I have to reread George Martin’s All You Need is Ears.
  12. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    SITSOM :cool:
  13. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    The last music book that really excited me was The Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine (Sher Music Co., 1989). After years of searching, it's the first instructional book that lays everything out in a way that I can actually comprehend. And it's spiral-bound – a huge plus.

    The last music book that really left an impression on me was Not Dead Yet by Phil Collins (Crown Archetype, 2016). Like many successful people in the music business, his life has been a series of incredibly high peaks and deep, dark abysses, but this memoir presents it all in wonderful candor.
  14. Jmilitsc

    Jmilitsc Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2013
    Fairfield County, CT
    Oh forgot another recent one I really liked - Dexter Gordon, Sophisticated Giant, by his wife Maxine.
  15. Staredge


    Aug 7, 2010
    Damascus, MD
    FANTASTIC book. I’ve read it about 6 times.


    I quite like this one as well. Interesting look into the behind the scenes part of touring. Particularly interesting as the psycho wife was on board at the time. :roflmao: