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The Top Five... Music Books

Mention of Nick Cohn on the Cometh the Haddock thread lead me to this.


1. Rock Dreams - Nik Cohn and Guy Pearlheart

2. This Wheels on Fire; The story of the band - Levon Helm

3. Sound of the City - Charlie Gillet

4. What's Welsh for Zen - John Cale

5. The boy looked at Johnny - Tony Parsons and Julie Burchill

Comments

  • Very tough but will go for:

    Diary of a rock and roll star – Ian Hunter

    No Irish, no blacks, no dogs – John Lydon

    England’s Dreaming – Jon Savage

    A drink with Shane McGowan – Victoria May Clarke

    Redemption Song – Chris Salewicz


    The boy looked at Johnny should be included but will keep to above 5. Just missing out, 'Perfecting Sound Forever, the Story of Recorded Music by Greg Milner.

    Probably change my mind tomorrow ;-)
  • Just finished reading Ska'd for Life and Morrissey/Marr the Severed Alliance ... also both excellent
  • Glen Matlock's I was a teenage Sex Pistol was good.

    Also enjoyed Hotel California by Barney Hoskins about West Coast bands in the 60s and 70s.

    The Hawk - The life and music of Ronnie Hawkins is written by Charlton fan Ian Wallis.
  • 1. The Dirt - Motley Crue
    2. Not required.
    3. Not required.
    4. Not required.
    5. Not required.
  • Without any shadow of doubt, Rhinos winos and Lunatics by Deke Leonard is the funniest book about a band that almost made it. Maybe I shouldve staid in Bed by the same man is also up there in my top 5.
    But dont take my word for it....

    Deke Leonard is a cracking storyteller... Buy it now or never call yourself a true lover of rock'n'roll again.
    - GUITAR Magazine

    A genuinely hilarious feast. Forget Spinal Tap. This is the real deal.
    - CLASSIC ROCK

    A real gem... be prepared to laugh out loud.
    - RECORD BUYER

    Leonard writes up a storm. You will find this irresistable
    - MOJO

    The man writes like an angel. If there are funnier or truer rock'n'roll memoirs than these, I haven't read them. These books are a continuous joy - funny, insightful and just fascinating.
    - MAKING MUSIC

    I couldn't put it down. What a brilliant book. What a wonderful storyteller. Deke Leonard, what a guy!
    - PETE FRAME (creator of BBC1's 'Rock Family Trees')
  • Coming through slaughter - Mchael Ondaatje
    A great gritty book based on the life of cornet player Buddy Bolden
  • Revolution in the Head - Ian MacDonald
    Catch a Wave - The Rise, Fall and Redemption of Brian Wilson -Peter Ames Carlin
    The Dark Stuff - Nick Kent
    Chronicles - Bob Dylan
    X Ray - Ray Davies

    Also loved: -
    Hotel California - Barney Hoskins
    Lou Reed - Victor Bockris
    Can't Buy Me Love - The Beatles, Britain & America - Jonathan Gould
    Shakey - Jimmy McDonagh
    Revolution in the Air - Clinton Heylin
    The Lives of John Lennon - Albert Goldman

    I've no excuse for not reading Englands Dreaming.
    Rock Dreams I loved, but that was 30 years ago!
    Can't remember much text, only the Paelart illustrations, but do remeber thinking it was the boll*cks at the time.
    Time for an update to cover the last 30 years of trends, movements and innovations (shit?)?
    Maybe not! ;-)
  • paelhart is dead so unlikely to get an update but that would have been good.

    Still got my '74 edition and I love it.

    Some others on that list I've heard on but never read. Shakey was good.

    Cider with ROadies is OK
  • Black vinyl, white powder is well worth a read. History of the british music industry from 50's till late 90's
  • No one has mentioned White Bicycles by Joe Boyd, which covers the 60's peace 'n love folk groups.
    No Direction home about Bob Dyan is a worthy tome.
    Wrong Movements a personal favourite about Robert Wyatt and the Softs.
    One Train Later by Andy Summers
    Can't remember the Van Morrison book I liked so...

    Miles Davis by Ian Carr
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  • Would go with Stonemuse on Ian Hunter (absolutely No. 1) and John Lydon. Would add Needs Must by Kris Needs...anyone else read this?
  • edited July 2010
    Good shout on White Bicycles, wolfboy.

    Does the No Direction Home book tie in with the DVD/CD?
    Edit - Strike that, I see it's something else entirely
  • [cite]Posted By: C.Walsh'sLoveChild[/cite]Black vinyl, white powder is well worth a read. History of the british music industry from 50's till late 90's

    Sound interesting.
    Will check it ot on Amazon
  • [cite]Posted By: Henry Irving[/cite]paelhart is dead so unlikely to get an update but that would have been good.

    Still got my '74 edition and I love it.

    Didn't know Paelhart was dead, Henry.
    Time waits for no-one I guess.

    I still have my copy of Rock Dreams in the loft somewhere; perhaps I'll get it down and reappraise.
    If I remember though some of the pages had lost touch with the spine!

    You'll recall that Paelhart became the "must have" album cover artist - The Stones "Only Rock'n'Roll" and the excellent cover of Bowie's "Diamond Dogs".
    (I believe the CD reissue includes the Dog's genitals, unlike the original album where they were airbrushed out!!)

    If you're up for trying one from my list, check out The Dark Stuff.
    Not top of my list but a fascinating collection of pieces by the brilliant and original Nick Kent.
    Something in my water tells me you'll like it!
  • used to read nick kent in the NME so you may well be right.

    My rock dreams is coming away from the spine too. Cohn and Paerhart did a 20th century dreams book. Some good bits but not a match for Rock dreams IMHO.

    Never read Hunters book and now very expensive.

    Anyone read the Paatti smith biog?
  • Mystery Train - Greil Marcus
    England's Dreaming - Jon savage
    Psychotic Reactions and Carburetta Dung - Lester Bangs, includes the best ever Elvis obituary.
    Revolution In The Head - Ian Macdonald
    All the Robert Christgau Consumer Guides. The world's finest music critic. Just retired this month I'm sad to say.
  • Rude Boy - Chris Salewicz
    No Irish - John Lydon
    Shibboleth, My Revolting Life - Penny Rimbaud
    Drink With S Mcgowan - V Clarke
    Bass Culture - Lloyd Bradley

    also Peter Hooks' The Hacienda - How Not To Run A Club is worth a read
  • [cite]Posted By: kafka[/cite]Would go with Stonemuse on Ian Hunter (absolutely No. 1) and John Lydon. Would add Needs Must by Kris Needs...anyone else read this?

    Needs Must is quite a book, worth reading
  • Altered State: The Story of Ecstasy Culture and Acid House by Matthew Collin is also a good read
  • Just remembered another great one - In Search of the Craic by Colin Irwin
  • Sponsored links:


  • Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991

    Black flag, Minute men, Mission of Burma, Minor threat, Husker Du, Replacements, Sonic Youth, Butthole surfers, Big black, Dinosaur Jr, Fugazi, Mudhoney and Beat Happening. All about these bands and the underground scene.
  • The Guinness Book of hit records 2010
  • Another shameless plug for Upper North Season Ticket holder Jim Melly's book 'Last Orders Please: Rod Stewart, the "Faces" and the Britain We Forgot'

    And you can't go wrong with the Lester Bangs books or the Nick Kent collection or recent auto biography.

    Wonderland Avenue by Danny Sugerman is very good as well
  • [cite]Posted By: RalphMilnesgut[/cite]Wonderland Avenue by Danny Sugerman is very good as well

    Good book
  • [cite]Posted By: RalphMilnesgut[/cite]Another shameless plug for Upper North Season Ticket holder Jim Melly's book 'Last Orders Please: Rod Stewart, the "Faces" and the Britain We Forgot'

    On the pile of holiday reads. Looking forward to it.

    Nigel W(illiamson) of this parish wrote some of the Rough guide to books on the Stones, Dylan and L*d Z*pp.

    Don't know about them but the Rough guide to the Velvet Underground is excellent.

    I remember reading Revolt into Style by George Melly a long time ago and enjoying that.


    Thanks for all the new (to me) books. Amazon here I come.
  • 1. Lemmy - White Line Fever

    2. Ozzy Osbourne - I am Ozzy

    3. Deep Purple - Smoke on the Water: The Deep Purple Story

    4. Paul Dianno - The Beast

    5. Anvil - The Story of Anvil
  • [cite]Posted By: Floyd Montana[/cite]Without any shadow of doubt, Rhinos winos and Lunatics by Deke Leonard is the funniest book about a band that almost made it. Maybe I shouldve staid in Bed by the same man is also up there in my top 5.
    But dont take my word for it....

    "a band that almost made it"? I didn't realise they didn't make it! For a time one of my favorite LPs was the rare "live at the Padget Rooms Penarth".

    My favorite music book though is Hammer of the Gods by Stephen Davis (unauthorised Led Zep biog).
  • No One Here Gets Out Alive: The Biography of Jim Morrison by Jerry Hopkins & Daniel Sugerman
  • edited July 2010
    Yes Saga lout, great book on Zep the exploits are those of rock mythology......
    Better not talk about Zep though Henry Irving gets a bit 'emotional' about it, I think it was something that happened in his youth.......
    The Hendrix book by Charles Shar murray is a good read, but my favourite is the book Elvis written by Albert Goldman, strange as it explodes the myth of the king and was hated by his fans at the time, but
    if you read about the man, despite all the nonsense, drugs, and crap films..... he was the first, and original rock star.
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