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Must read Rock & Roll Books

Darcy H

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Of course I've read "No One Here Gets Out Alive", the Jim Morrison story. I just finished Bob Dylan's "Chronicles" and was blown away. I recently picked up Anthony Keidis's "Scar Tissue", and I've read Scorsese's Blue's book, as well as "on The Road With Dutch Mason", a Canadian Blues icon. But there's scores of music books on the shelves, and I'm wondering if there's any "must read"s among them???? Your suggestions are welcome!
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The Real Frank Zappa Book. Absolutely a must-read.


Another interesting one is Bachman Turner Overdrive - Rock Is My Life, This Is My Song. It's just a good story of the history, rise and fall of a basic rock 'n' roll band. The best parts are about the ride down and how they were treated when opening for bands that had previously opened for them.

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I've always been curious about the book(s) by Phelge, which deal with the very early Stones (ever wonder why some early songs are credited to "Nanker Phelge"?)


I also like a book called 31 Songs by Nick Hornby which is simply about 31 songs that he really likes or were important at some point in his life. It's a book about how growing up and we listen to music. Or something. But it's a pretty cool read.

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Hammer Of The Gods, about (who else) Zeppellin. Gives a total explanation as to what Zappa was talking about in "Mudshark".


Hellfire, about Jerry Lee Lewis. Paints him as a nutjob from an over-religious family, but a good read nonetheless.


Unforgetable Fire, about U2. Excellent and apparently accurate account of their early days as a band, and before.


Caught in the Crossfire, about Stevie Ray Vaughn. Excellent, period.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.




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Two that leap to mind are both by Peter Guralnick:


"Feel Like Going Home: Portraits in Blues and Rock 'n' Roll"


"Lost Highway: Journeys and Arrivals of American Musicians"


These two books are outstanding tributes to tribute to pioneers and practioners of American roots music (rockabilly, blues, and country). Mr. Guralnick got heaps o' praise for his two-volume biography of Elvis but, for my money, these two books are better. I can't wait to read his biography of Sam Cooke, "Dream Boogie".


Another bio I recently read that I wholeheartedly enjoyed was on a giant who wasn't a rock and roller, but an influence on many rockers: "Moanin at Midnight - The Life and Times of Howlin' Wolf", by James Segrest and Mark Hoffman.

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Must reads:


- Hammer of the Gods

- The Dirt (Motley Crue bio. Even if you hate the band)

- Please Kill Me: An Uncensored Oral History of Punk

- The Daily Adventures of Mixerman (www.mixerman.net)


Might find interesting:

- "Rebel Heart" by Bebe Buell (groupie)

- "So You Wanna Be a Rock Star" by the drummer of Semisonic

- "Our Band Could Be Your Life" (Tales of 80s indie rock by the author of the Nirvana bio, Come As You Are. Author is a complete fanboy and not that good of a writer, but sections of the book are mindblowing)

- "Heavier Than Heaven" (Kurt Cobain bio)

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