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Favourite books about bands/music

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What's everyone's favourite books about music/musicians?

A few of mine would be:

Last Train To Memphis/Careless Love - by Peter Guaralnick. 2 Volume book on Elvis

Shout - by Philip Norman and Revolution in the Head by Ian McDonald. Both about the Fab Four

The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones - by Stanley Booth. In which Mr Booth hangs around with the Stones circa Exile on Main Street, gets fucked up with Keith Richards and Gram Parsons and cops a skag habit for his trouble!

England's Dreaming - by John Savage. Probably the most comprehensive look at the original punk movement. I don't buy into all of his Situationist theories but its a cracking read all the same.

Riders on the Storm - John Densmore. Excellent personal account of life with The Doors.

Shakey - Jimmy McDonough. Neil Young biography. Starts off with complete cooperation from Young but then he gets increasingly cantankerous as the book progresses and tries to stop it being published.

Behind The Shades (Take 2) by Clinton Heylin. Good study of Bob Dylan. Not loved by all his fans.


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'The Complete David Bowie' - Nicholas Pegg. It's more a definitive history of Bowie's career rather than perhaps the kind of narrative your discussing.

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I've got too many to list, but ones I've enjoyed muchly have been...

Nik Cohn 'Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom'

The Legendary Joe Meek

Ginger Geezer (about Viv Stanshall)

King of the Delta Blues (about Charlie Patton)

Invisible Republic (about Dylan's Basement Tapes)

Dream Brother (about Jeff & Tim Buckley)

Crazy Diamond (about Syd Barrett)

Nico-Life & Lies of an Icon

The Lives of John Lennon

the Nick Drake one by Patrick Humphries

I'm in the middle of reading "America over the Water" by Shirley Collins, about her travels across America collecting folksongs with Alan Lomax, and have 'John Peel-a life in music 'still to read, along with 'On the road to Nirvana', about the rise of grunge, kindly given to me by Ragu Dave.

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'The Complete David Bowie' - Nicholas Pegg. It's more a definitive history of Bowie's career rather than perhaps the kind of narrative your discussing.

Well, I don't know. "Revolution in the head" is hardly a narrative (although it does treat the Beatles' recordings chronologically) but it still makes for a very satisfying read. I don't know how many times I must've read it since picking it up to read on the bus home from Uni a good 10 years ago.

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I've got too many to list' date=' but ones I've enjoyed muchly have been...

Nik Cohn 'Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom'

The Legendary Joe Meek

Ginger Geezer (about Viv Stanshall)

King of the Delta Blues (about Charlie Patton)

Invisible Republic (about Dylan's Basement Tapes)

Dream Brother (about Jeff & Tim Buckley)

Crazy Diamond (about Syd Barrett)

Nico-Life & Lies of an Icon

The Lives of John Lennon

the Nick Drake one by Patrick Humphries

I'm in the middle of reading "America over the Water" by Shirley Collins, about her travels across America collecting folksongs with Alan Lomax, and have 'John Peel-a life in music 'still to read, along with 'On the road to Nirvana', about the rise of grunge, kindly given to me by Ragu Dave.[/quote']

Cool choices. Nick Cohn's stuff is very good. Did you ever see the illustrated book he did - "Rock Dreams" totally cool rock n' roll fantasy stuff

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The Complete Rock Family Trees - Pete Frame

Revolution in the Head- Ian MacDonald

In the Court of King Crimson - Sid Smith

Stone Alone - Bill Wyman/Ray Coleman

Are You Experienced - Noel Redding/Car Appleby

The Hendrix Experience - Mitch Mitchell/John Pratt

Kind of stopped buying such books (rock biographies etc) now though.

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Everything (A Book About Manic Street Preachers) by Simon Price is good although i wished he'd update it. Also Touching From a Distance by Deborah Curtis.

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I agree with Touching from a Distance, The Dirt (Motley Crue) is an entertaining read, Scars of Paradise (Janis Joplin) and Scar Tissue is worth reading.

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Head on/Re-possessed - Julian Cope

Turlough - Brian Keenan (about 16th Century blind Irish harper O'Carolan) - by one of the Beirut Hostages)

Who's Crazee now - Noddy Holder (just finished it - good read)

Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung : The Work of a Legendary Critic: Rock'N'Roll as Literature and Literature as Rock'N'Roll - Lester Bangs

Regards

Flossie

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'I was a robot' by ex-Kraftwerk member, Wolgang Flur, an excellent bit of insight into the band, and how he was screwed by Schneider-Esleben and Hutter.

the bastards, still love 'em though.

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Revolution in the Head is an all-time classic. I must have read that a couple of hundred times.

Invisible Republic by Greil Marcus is great too.

Other than that...Shots From The Hip by Charles Shaar Murray, Give The Anarchist A Cigarette by Mick Farren and The Dark Stuff by Nick Kent are all great journo books. Night Beat by Mikal Gilmore is worth checking out, too.

Biography-wise; This Wheel's On Fire-Levon Helm

Chronicle-Bob Dylan

Bound For Glory-Woody Guthrie

Miscellaneous;The Story Of The Blues and Blues Fell This Morning-Paul Oliver

The Mansion on the Hill-Fred Goodman (a great history of the major record labels in the US and Britain, but perhaps a little heavy on the Springsteen)

Sweet Soul Music-Peter Guralnick

I try to read at least one book on music every week, keep the ol' noggin ticking over...

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it would surely be more rewarding if you read a book of varied subjects once a week' date=' the only thing i read weekly is the NME, for shame....[/quote']

I am also currently reading Paul Johnson's "AHistory of the Jews" and "Boothby-Recollections Of A Rebel", so I'm keeping it varied.

Don't read NME, it only rots your brain (says the man who recommended at least three books by ex-NME journos...)

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Cool choices. Nick Cohn's stuff is very good. Did you ever see the illustrated book he did - "Rock Dreams" totally cool rock n' roll fantasy stuff

Yep...I bought it when it first came out, and it eventually fell to bits, but I managed to replace it. The Guy Pellaert (sp?) pix were fab!

Flossie....I bought Head On, and liked it a lot, but then it came out as a 'twofer' with 'Repossessed'....I don't think the latter ever came out on its own, annoyingly!

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I am also currently reading Paul Johnson's "AHistory of the Jews" and "Boothby-Recollections Of A Rebel"' date=' so I'm keeping it varied.

Don't read NME, it only rots your brain (says the man who recommended at least three books by ex-NME journos...)[/quote']

Aye, but the NME was a good read when the likes of Kent, Shaar Murray et al were writing for it. These days its just shite. The stuff the writers turn out these days is vacuous drivel with few, if any redeeming features - even the letters (which used to be quite entertaining) is just wank now.

Always preferred Sounds anyway - at least until it went tits up!

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