Friday, December 20, 2013

Music Books You Don't Want to Miss

My red bookshelf is filled with music books: autobiographies of Joan Baez, Pattie Boyd, Cynthia Lennon, Patti Smith, Quincy Jones, Chris O'Dell, Ben Fong-Torres, and more. There are also biographies of Marianne Faithfull, Cass Elliot, Janis Joplin, Linda McCartney, Yoko Ono, a Rolling Stone, and a Beatle.
Johnny Cash: The Life by Robert Hilburn.
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For me, it's exciting to get the inside scoop on what really happened backstage, in the back of the private plane, and behind closed hotel-room doors. Currently, the memoir of Cyndi Lauper, co-written with former Rolling Stone journalist Jancee Dunn, is on my bedside table.

However, because I'm in library school, most of my reading as of late has not been music-oriented. And I'm sure I missed some notable music book releases in 2013 as a result. Luckily, music blog BrooklynVegan has put out a list of notable music books that were published within the past year. Of course, plenty of people knew about Morrissey's Autobiography going on sale. But how many of us were aware that another book on the Man in Black had come out, Johnny Cash: The Life by Robert Hilburn? Also released was a book on one of the underrated bands of the late 1980s/early '90s Pacific Northwest rock scene, Mudhoney: The Sound and the Fury from Seattle by Keith Cameron.

An "unconventional memoir" from Questlove.
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Much has been written about Paul McCartney, especially during his years as a Beatle. But what about the man during his time with Wings? A book about that was published this year, Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s by Tom Doyle, and I want to read it. It'll look nice next to my copy of the photography book Wingspan: Paul McCartney's Band on the Run. I also want to pick up Mo' Meta Blues, which BrooklynVegan calls an "unconventional memoir" from Questlove, drummer for The Roots and bandleader on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. (Also worth mentioning is Questlove's Soul Train: The Music, Dance, and Style of a Generation, which Harper Design published in October.)

For more notable music book releases of 2013, including Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop by Bob Stanley and Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew Up and Tried to Be a Pop Star by Tracey Thorn, see BrooklynVegan's list at THIS LINK.

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