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Brah
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Music Books

Postby Brah » Thu, 14 Aug 2014 8:00 pm

So there is a 93+ page thread on music, been meaning to start on on books related to music.

Specifically but not limited to auto/biographies.

Some are crap, some are excellent.

For example, of the 3-4 books on Led Zeppelin I've read, one was so awful I never finished it, the others were reasonably good.

I've read I don't know how many ones on Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix.

Among the notable ones is Keith Richards' Life, which was quite well written.

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Postby Brah » Fri, 15 Aug 2014 7:29 am

OK, I'll bite...


There are a number of books on Black Sabbath, but I haven't read those yet, wondering which is the one to start with.

There was a pretty good book about the Talking Heads, I think it was "This must be the Place".

I think I've read more of these things than I can remember. But not all people who write about Rock are particularly good writers.

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 15 Aug 2014 10:06 am

I read one about the Doors, but it got a bit silly and half of it might have simply been imagined (no one could have been that close to JM, to almost sit perched on his shoulder 24/7 for years).

Another one I have, and have been veeeeery slowly reading for a couple of years is 'Song by song' by Hugh Cornwall of the Stranglers. It describes the history of the band, and chronologically within it the meaning/background to each song they recorded/released.

So, you've simply enjoyed occasionally listening to 'Something better change', 'Peaches', or 'Good-bye Toulouse' for decades... then bam you find out what they really mean, where the band were living at the time, how they were doing internally and financially, etc. Then you listen to your old familiar song again, and you see it totally anew. Sort of interesting, but also a bit like seeing a good friend naked for the first time... you're not really sure if you want to, and there's no going back.

Perhaps why it's taking me so long to read! :)

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Postby Mi Amigo » Fri, 15 Aug 2014 5:47 pm

I enjoyed Keef's autobiography, mainly because he is brutally honest, even when it paints him in a, er... less than favourable light. I also enjoyed Pete Townshend's 'Who I Am' for similar reasons.

A slight digression, but I enjoyed reading this music-related book recently. It's a 'novel' but based on real events:

The Last Great Adventure For Boys (Amazon)
Be careful what you wish for

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Postby Brah » Fri, 15 Aug 2014 9:38 pm

I also read a book on either The Doors or Morrison, and it was pretty good. Never saw The Stranglers one. I should read Townsend's, seeing how I grew up on them and Tommy being my first album.

By now just about every major artist has a couple of books by them or about them.

And I'm looking for more to read.

Some of the most entertaining music-related books I read were Rick Wakeman's "Grumpy Old Rockstar and Other Wondrous Stories" and "More ..." - had me laughing out loud many times, and he's quite the storyteller - highly recommended. Quick and easy reads both.

Another excellent writer, musician though his books are not about music, is Jimmy Buffett, who is a consummate spinner of well-crafted yarns, also highly recommended. These are longer, more involved novels.

There was a book on The Eagles that was really good, will have to dig up the name. I have more but not listing them all in one post.

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Postby JR8 » Sat, 16 Aug 2014 1:26 pm

'The Stranglers: Song by Song
by Hugh Cornwell (Author), Jim Drury (Author)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stranglers-Song ... h+cornwell



If you click the 'Read the first page' link you'll see what I mean about it changing your perspective. That period of music, in retrospect seemed to be a brief interlude when a lot of songs, actually had meanings behind them! You can often read it from the lyrics, but to hear the inspiration is a level higher.

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Postby Brah » Sat, 16 Aug 2014 10:18 pm

JR8 wrote:'The Stranglers: Song by Song
by Hugh Cornwell (Author), Jim Drury (Author)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stranglers-Song ... h+cornwell



If you click the 'Read the first page' link you'll see what I mean about it changing your perspective. That period of music, in retrospect seemed to be a brief interlude when a lot of songs, actually had meanings behind them! You can often read it from the lyrics, but to hear the inspiration is a level higher.

That's pretty cool, I wish more artists would do that, there a lot of songs I have questions about and would be great to hear from the people who wrote them rather than pundits speculating.

Unfortunately my Stranglers knowledge is limited to Golden Brown, not sure how much else made it across the pond at the time.

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Postby JR8 » Sat, 16 Aug 2014 11:25 pm

Yeah isn't it. It's like being handed the keys, and yet you very very rarely get that.

Golden Brown. Well you know what that's about right. An 'easy-listening' drive-time enigma of a song about, oh, heroine addiction ...

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Postby Brah » Tue, 19 Aug 2014 7:49 pm

Is anyone else reading these books?

I've read quite a few but not as much as others I know.

I mentioned a book, called Hotel California, about the the Laural Canyons area in California where a lot of music started.

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Re: Music Books

Postby Brah » Thu, 01 Jan 2015 1:23 pm

Forgot to pack books for the holiday trip so had to buy some in a rush at the local bookshop with the taxi running.

Came across "Black Sabbath - Symptom Of the Universe" and "Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace".

The Sabbath book, while no work of literary art, is good and pretty close to the action, and the Young autobio is witty and unconventional.
Ape Shall Not Kill Ape.

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Re: Music Books

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 03 Jan 2015 10:01 am

Not really into this but came across this site a little while ago. Might be of some interest.

http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2 ... moirs.html

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Re: Music Books

Postby JR8 » Sat, 03 Jan 2015 3:07 pm

That was a useful link SMS. I'm making mental note when next at an airport, to keep an eye out for the Miles Davis and Buddy Guy books. If only as I enjoy their music, but know next to nothing about them as people.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Music Books

Postby Brah » Sat, 03 Jan 2015 8:24 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Not really into this but came across this site a little while ago. Might be of some interest.

http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2 ... moirs.html

Yes thought it odd you posting here, I second the thanks, a few good ones in there I will add to my to-buy list.
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