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Books about music
Last Post 11 Oct 2007 02:25 AM by Peejay. 25 Replies.
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PeejayUser is Offline
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Peter Teehan

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04 Oct 2007 12:38 AM
    There's times I actually read about music more than listen to it, which sounds kind of stupid but I can get burned out on music sometimes (only temporarily, thank god) and it could be something like a great book or music doc on TV to pique my interest again.
    That Police thread reminded my of the Andy Summers autobiography I finished a little while ago - One Train Later. I'm not a Police fan (less so after reading this) but I thought it was a great story, very well written by the man himself. In particular the pre-Police formative years in blues bands and as a session musician around Britain. Also the way he describes his guitar in extravagant terms as a kind of cathartic life force for him, I can kind of relate to in a very small way.

    Another good one I read recently is the Iggy Pop biography by ex-Mojo scribe Paul Trynka. Its amazing that there hasn't been more biographies written on Pop - a very interesting, intelligent, contradictive guy. The chapter on Haiti is worth the price alone and Trynka focuses as much on the music as well as the man himself. Some authors tend to gloss over the music to make room for the drug binges and scandals, that annoys me.

    I like reading the compilation books aswell, usually from NME and Creem writers who compile retrospectives from their career. Ian MacDonalds 'The Peoples Music' is a great one and his book on the Beatles:'Revolution in the Head', is essential for every fan too.

    So, anymore recommendations ?
    starbelgradeUser is Offline
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    starbelgrade

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    04 Oct 2007 01:19 AM
    I read Siouxsie's biog recently.. very enjoyable read. If you PM me yr address, I'll post it into you if you like - then you can post it back or something else for me to read. (Cluas book club anyone?!?!)
    mixtapepublicityUser is Offline
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    mixtapepublicity

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    04 Oct 2007 02:02 AM
    One of my favourite books ever is Woody Guthrie's "Bound For Glory". I can't recommend it enough.

    To find out why the word debauchery was invented, read Motley Crue's "The Dirt: Confessions Of the Worlds Most Notorious Rock Band". You will not be able to put it down.
    starbelgradeUser is Offline
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    starbelgrade

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    04 Oct 2007 02:16 AM
    Anthony Keidis' book is pretty rivetting too.. not a big Chillies fan, but he's had an interesting life.
    AllyUser is Offline
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    Ally

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    04 Oct 2007 02:19 AM
    peejay, i am currently going off music in general... i hope this is temporary... my previous lull lasted 5 years...

    ...anyway, i read very little about music / bands...
    PeejayUser is Offline
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    Peter Teehan

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    04 Oct 2007 02:21 AM
    Posted By Ally on 04 Oct 2007 4:19 AM
    peejay, i am currently going off music in general... i hope this is temporary... my previous lull lasted 5 years...

    ...anyway, i read very little about music / bands...




    Ally, this probably deserves a thread of its own.
    Five years!?!? Was there any particular reason and what got you back into music again?

    AllyUser is Offline
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    Ally

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    04 Oct 2007 03:09 AM
    Posted By Peejay on 04 Oct 2007 4:21 AM
    Posted By Ally on 04 Oct 2007 4:19 AM
    peejay, i am currently going off music in general... i hope this is temporary... my previous lull lasted 5 years...

    ...anyway, i read very little about music / bands...




    Ally, this probably deserves a thread of its own.
    Five years!?!? Was there any particular reason and what got you back into music again?





    well it generally started with getting busy... so that you become consumed with something other than music... then because of this, the music you do listen to naturally becomes less alternative / good... so you are left listening to radio bands or the mainstream indie stuff... this was about '94 when britpop was kicking off... i didn't like britpop so i gradually just gave up altogether...

    ...reentered when i started earning better money in about '98 / '99...

    ...d'you know - the real reason was drink but it did kinda go hand in hand with the above...
    starbelgradeUser is Offline
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    starbelgrade

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    04 Oct 2007 04:20 AM
    Britpop was enough to turn anyone to drink!
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    Muzak

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    04 Oct 2007 04:21 AM
    Try "England's Dreaming' by Jon Savage - the best book ever written about punk. In-depth, well-researched and balanced - it has all the bit players, not just the Pistols/Clash/Damned. A great read.

    Also "Psychotic Reactions and Curburetor Dung" by Lester Bangs - brilliant compilation of his articles for Rolling Stone and others in the 60s and 70s, relly entertaining/funny/insightful.
    PeejayUser is Offline
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    Peter Teehan

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    04 Oct 2007 04:50 AM
    Englands Dreaming, I've heard about this one, definitely on my list now.
    mixtape - is Bound For Glory a novel, or is it his own story? Sounds interesting.

    That reminds me, Bob Dylan wrote a sort of fictional-autobiography a few years ago called Chronicles which was a fine read aswell, as long as you're not expecting a linear type storyline. It's all over the place actually.

    I like Lester Bangs, but in small doses. I'd pick up the book now and again and read one of his pieces. He's a bit overrated I think but some of his writing is brilliant.
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    mixtapepublicity

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    04 Oct 2007 05:03 AM
    Peejay - its his own story, a bit like your description of the Dylan one. All over the place, different stories from his childhood, riding the railroads, the various loves of his life, music, politics. He was such an amazing man, and had some unique ideas for that time.
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    Kevin Coleman

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    04 Oct 2007 06:36 AM
    Peter Brown : The Beatles..the best and most authentic account of the life of the Beatles.

    Lemmy: White Line Fever...very funny if a little short

    DaNNY Sugarman: No One Here gets out alive....jim M biog...v good

    Stuart Bailie: Ballad of a thin man.......phylo biog

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    Ian Wright

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    05 Oct 2007 03:52 AM
    Anyone read any of the 33 1/3 series of books?

    The neutral milk hotel one is great, the loveless one isn't bad, the OK Computer one is rubbish and I've just started the Daydream Nation one.
    Protein biscuitUser is Offline
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    Protein biscuit

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    05 Oct 2007 04:10 AM
    Nick Tosches biography of Jerry Lee Lewis called "Hellfire" is pretty goddam rivetting.
    PeejayUser is Offline
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    Peter Teehan

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    05 Oct 2007 04:26 AM
    Posted By Protein biscuit on 05 Oct 2007 6:10 AM
    Nick Tosches biography of Jerry Lee Lewis called "Hellfire" is pretty goddam rivetting.




    Yep, I read that one a little while ago too. Great read, even if the biblical style gets a little tiring.
    How is that guy still alive!?!

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    Peter Teehan

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    05 Oct 2007 05:00 AM
    Another one I just thought of. Shakey, by Jimmy MacDonagh. This was published about three years ago and oddly enough this turned out to be an unauthorised auto-biography. Apparently Neil Young agreed to Jimmy writing it but then as it was about to be published he u-turned and after a period in the court room, Macdonagh was finally able to release it. He trailed Young for about ten years in the 90's in preparation and interviewed the man himself many times. Seriously, this is one of the most engaging, best researched books I've ever read on music. I suppose Im biassed, I'm a big Young fan anyway but I thought it was a fantastic look at about three different generations of American music, which he was more often than not heavily involved with.

    Its about the size of a bible, but its worth the slog.
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    UnaRocks

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    05 Oct 2007 05:14 AM
    The Dirt is amazing.

    I'm reading Tony Visconti's autobiography at the moment and there's loads of cool stuff in it about Bowie, T-Rex etc. It's also a really good insight into the development of studio production and engineering.

    Read some of This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession recently. Bit tough going, but some interesting stuff about the neurological side of how music affects your brain.

    A great one I've read this year is White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s by Joe Boyd.

    Just picked up Redemption Song: The Definitive Biography of Joe Strummer by Chris Salewicz which I'm hoping to start at the weekend.

    Read a pretty fun novel about a year ago called 'Bling' by Erika Kennedy which is a thinly veiled account of Beyonce's rise to fame, but obviously fiction and drama-filled.

    The best music biography I've ever read is The Lives Of John Lennon by Albert Goldman. Fascinating, controversial and REALLY well-written.
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    John Doe

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    05 Oct 2007 05:31 AM
    Barry Miles biography of Paul McCartney, "Many Years From Now", is a first class read. Miles was part of the Beatle's entourage from the early days and had Macca's cooperation in writing the book but it's not a hagiography either. I reread it recently and enjoyed it even more than the first time I read it.
    John DoeUser is Offline
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    John Doe

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    05 Oct 2007 05:34 AM
    That Albert Goldman book on Lennon - what's the story with that ? I remember when it came out first it was pretty much universally condemned as muck raking sh*te but it seems to have gained some credibility over the years.
    PeejayUser is Offline
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    Peter Teehan

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    05 Oct 2007 06:09 AM
    John, did you not sort of feel that Many Years From Now was a thinly veiled attempt to kill the cult of Lennon? McCartney sort of comes off as a little desperate to stake his claim in that book. I didn't like that about it. Plus Miles plays up his role a little too much aswell. I remember at one point he described his own flat at the time, which McCartney used to visit. He was involved in the scene back then, but who gives a f**k about him?

    I've heard his Zappa book is pretty good though.

    White Bicycles - Loved that one. Boyd comes across as a lovely guy and his writing style is very direct and readable too. He really did a hell of alot in those years. I thought the Tony Visconti one was a little dry in comparison but he did plenty to justify a book aswell. It was hilarious when Bowie was giving out to him for slumming it with Thin Lizzy rather than giving birth to his latest masterpiece.

    The Dirt is very entertaining but I couldn't get past the car crash bit in the middle. Despite just getting a slap on the wrists for killing two people, Vince Neil (from what I can remember) discusses it like it was a chip on his shoulder and shows little or no remorse. He was cold. After that the fun stopped.
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