Music has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. Now if you’re wondering how far back that actually is…I was dancing in the aisles at a Simply Red concert in 1996.
Here’s a shortlist of books from my shelved collection, these ones in particular fit into the music genre and hold a special place in my heart. Not a bookworm? Have no fear! These literary lovelies are either coffee table worthy and/or purely comical.
This Is Spinal Tap (The Official Companion)
– Pre Epilogue by Michael McKean A.K.A David St Hubbins
Inside this gem is the transcript from the 1984 Rockumentary complete with outtakes, film credits, discography, lyrics, and an image filled A-Z guide of the band compiled by film and TV critic Karl French. From the first garden, interview discussing deceased drummers, to the moment in Texas when ideas for epic stage scenery completely fall apart prior to the band’s performance of ‘Stonehenge,’ within this is everything fanatics of this fictional ensemble need to relive the glory days.
After all “…these go to eleven.”
The Rolling Stone Interviews
– Edited by Jann S. Wenner & Joe Levy
If you haven’t read a single Rolling Stone interview in your life, then you’re doing something wrong. Whether you’re curious about the life of the interviewee or are looking for inspiration to aid you in your own inquisitive career, the questions asked by the likes of RS Founder/Editor/Publisher Jann S. Wenner, are thought-provoking and well informed. After all, what’s the point in asking questions if you haven’t done some research first? Asking the same questions as everyone else gets you nowhere.
Not all about the music, interviews have been conducted with everyone from George Lucas to The Dalai Lama, and none of them disappoints.
Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll (The Ultimate Guide to the Music, the Myths and the Madness)
– John Harris
You LOVE Rock ‘n’ Roll…but how much do you really know about the hairdos (and don’ts?) Have you ever wondered how the line-up and price for Glastonbury have changed over the years? Are you still not enlightened as to how Dark Side of the Moon works with the Wizard of Oz? Well then, this may just be your saving grace.
From Lemmy’s opinions on the sex and drugs side of life to info about the iconic specs of virtuosos such as John Lennon and Buddy Holly, you won’t run short on brilliant “Did you know…?” facts for rainy days.
How Music Works
– David Byrne
David Byrne. Yes…as in Talking Heads.
This bestseller covers a bit of everything, including the way technology (both analogue and digital) has shaped music throughout the years. This does mean that on a whole this book is more technical than the other’s in this list, but it deserves to be here for that reason. As well as being informative, it also serves up some sound advice from a seasoned musician.
There’s an entire chapter about collaborations, how much communication and compromise is actually involved. “The online music magazine Pitchfork once wrote that I would ‘collaborate with anyone for a bag of Doritos.’ This wasn’t intended as a compliment – though, to be honest, it’s not that far from the truth.”
Quite a bit gets covered in these pages, there’s even a pie chart breakdown of royalty payments!
Rock On (How I Tried to Stop Caring About Music and Learned to Love Corporate Rock)
– Dan Kennedy
No matter your choice in the favourite genre, you’ll have an opinion on the control corporations have over the music industry. Rock On is a comedic inside scoop on why the big bucks aren’t for everyone, and why having a sense of humour is paramount to success.
Thrown in are giggle-worthy lists, clearly used as a coping mechanism (including but not limited to:)
- Ineffective Names for a Hardcore Death Metal Band
- Inappropriate Greetings and Salutations for Middle-Aged White Record Executives to Exchange
- Uncool Merch Ideas For Bands
Even if you’re not big on the idea of actually reading a book, this one should definitely be given a chance. Also, who doesn’t like a bit of Iggy Pop profanity?