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Your favourite music biography?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by punkjazzben, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. punkjazzben


    Jun 26, 2008
    The two music biographies/histories I have enjoyed the most are 'Dream Brother' by David Browne and 'The Cello Suites' by Eric Siblin. Dream Brother is the story of both Tim and Jeff Buckley, and The Cello Suites is a combination of the biographies of J S Bach and Pablo Casals.

    What are your favourite musician biographies? Any must-reads?
  2. dlargent

    dlargent Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2003
    Carrboro, NC
    The autobiography of Miles Davis is really great!
  3. HeavyJazz

    HeavyJazz Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2013
    +1 !!

    The Bill Bruford book is also fantastic.
  4. ack

    ack Why Can't We All Get Along?

    Nov 19, 2006
    Somewhere near Raleigh
    The biography of Jim Morrison, "No One Here Gets Out Alive" was an interesting read.
  5. thejumpcat

    thejumpcat thejumpcat

    Sep 30, 2007
    "Straight Life" Art Pepper
  6. DannyBob


    Aug 28, 2013
    Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis

    Red Hot Chili Peppers are my favourite band, and even though this isn't by Flea, it's still a brilliant read
  7. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
  8. Big John66

    Big John66

    Feb 12, 2008
    I've gone through several books lately. The Sammy Hagar one was really entertaining. I just finished the Townshend book. If you're into the Who at all, it's a really good read.
  9. kylejamesbaker


    Jul 7, 2011
    +1 for the Miles Davis autobio. I really wanna read Lemmy's. I bet that one is gnarly.
  10. synaesthesia


    Apr 13, 2004
    Read that, didn't like it - Read a few - made decision to stop, kills the taste of the music. Art Pepper lost some shine for me, and Paul Simon - what an arsehole he is to me now.

    Best bio - To be or not to be , Dizzy Gillespie
  11. ghostfather


    Oct 26, 2013
    Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love, the two part Peter Guralnick biography of Elvis Presley is a really good read. Guralnick is a very strong writer - it would work well as a work of fiction. Amazing that it is based on an actual events and a real human.

    Dylan's Chronicles was good.

    My favorite music autobiography is How Bluegrass Destroyed My Life and Vampire Vultures by John Fahey. Hard to parse out the real from the unreal but such is life.
  12. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    +1 to the Miles and Bruford books.

    Don't miss Mingus' "Beneath The Underdog", an autobiography told in novel form.

    "The Real Frank Zappa Book" is wildly entertaining and a quick read.
  13. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    I used to read a lot of music biographies, but not so much these days. A few standouts that I recall:

    Miles Davis autobiography

    Hammer of the Gods (Led Zep)

    Grateful Dead biography (I forget the name of it)

    All the above will make you lose respect for the artists, especially Miles, but they are interesting reads.
  14. Searching For The Sound: My Life With The Grateful Dead by Phil Lesh
    Saucerful of Secrets: A Pink Floyd Odyssey by Nicholas Schaffner
  15. mpace


    Nov 6, 2010
    J Garcia - Darkstar, and An American Life are good reads and I often go back to them for reference with shows, time periods, etc.
  16. George Jones autobigraphy - I Lived to Tell It All. No mater what page you flip it open to it's a hilarious drinking story. "Well, there was this one time I git to drinkin'..."

    At one point he lived in in his Cadillac with a life size cutout of Hank Williams. He drank so much that he developed multiple personalities with different voices. One was Old Man that talked like Gabby Hayes and another was a duck named Dee-Doodle the Duck that quacked/talked like Donald Duck. He would get so drunk the two would argue with each other and the Hank Williams cutout. He once did a gig so plastered he sang the entire night as Dee-Doodle the Duck.

    He claims later in life that the mafia took out a giant life insurance policy on him and then would kidnap him and force him to do massive amounts of cocaine for days on end so he would OD. But George had such a high tolerance that he couldn't die.
  17. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    +1's for "Miles" autobiography and "Beneath the Underdog". Both great reads with cool information and wonderfully controlled BS.
    Schindler's biography of Beethoven is quite good, they were personal friends.
    Stafford's bio of Charles Ives is informative, if you're a fan of Ives' music.
    And "Pops" the bio of Louis Armstrong is very good too.
  18. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Read all those (well, except Bruford's ...which has been on my radar since it's release).
    Recently read the Zappa book you mentioned-
    On a tangent, ex-Mother, ex-Turtle Howard Kaylan's recent bio is even better, IMO. Wildly entertaining.
  19. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...been looking for a good Ives' bio. Thanks!

    EDIT: Is the author Jan Swafford?
  20. punkjazzben


    Jun 26, 2008
    Sounds like I need to check out the Miles Davis autobiography.