Coal Black Mornings
By Brett Anderson
Evening Standard Book of the Year. Observer Book of the Year. Guardian Book of the Year. Sunday Times Book of the Year. Telegraph Book of the Year. New Statesman Book of the Year. Herald Book of the Year. Mojo Book of the Year.Brett Anderson came from a world impossibly distant from rock star success, and in Coal Black Mornings he traces the journey that took him from a childhood as 'a snotty, sniffy, slightly maudlin sort of boy raised on Salad Cream and milky tea and cheap meat' to becoming founder and lead singer of Suede.Anderson grew up in Hayward's Heath on the grubby fringes of the Home Counties. As a teenager he clashed with his eccentric taxi-driving father (who would parade around their council house dressed as Lawrence of Arabia, air-conducting his favourite composers) and adored his beautiful, artistic mother. He brilliantly evokes the seventies, the suffocating discomfort of a very English kind of poverty and the burning need for escape that it breeds. Anderson charts the shabby romance of creativity as he travelled the tube in search of inspiration, fuelled by Marmite and nicotine, and Suede's rise from rehearsals in bedrooms, squats and pubs. And he catalogues the intense relationships that make and break bands as well as the devastating loss of his mother.Coal Black Mornings is profoundly moving, funny and intense - a book which stands alongside the most emotionally truthful of personal stories.
A Simple Brazilian Song
By James Woodall
In 1992, James Woodall was asked to write an article about a Brazilian musician he'd never heard of, called Chico Buarque. He discovered that Buarque was a national hero in his native country and that interviewing him was a bit like a Latin American interviewing Paul McCartney. Woodall fell under Buarque's spell and began an affair with Brazilian pop music which has lasted to this day. His new passion took him to Brazil and in particular to Rio de Janeiro, world capital of Carnival and samba. Over several visits, he met with Chico Buarque, discovered the city's immodest beach culture and took part in Carnival. He met Chico Buarque's great contemporary, Caetano Veloso and other stars. Picking up Portuguese on the hop, he learnt a great deal about Chico Buarque's life and about the strange and dangerous city where he lives. This book is as much a hymn to Rio de Janeiro as it is to the music that beats at its heart.
By Ian Johnston
A widely acclaimed biography of one of rock's most compelling, uncompromising and influential singer-songwriters, Ian Johnston's BAD SEED offers a superb overview of Nick Cave's career to date. Through Cave's fronting of the incendiary bands The Birthday Party and The Bad Seeds, producing music of unfettered expression and explosive intensity, to his creative collaborations outside of the rock industry in film and literature, BAD SEED illustrates a life lived in barely controlled chaos: and unravels the motivation and unique appeal of a reluctant icon whose songs, according to the Rolling Stones, possess "the authority of the most primal kind of myth."
By Danny Sugerman
At the age of thirteen, Danny Sugerman- the already wayward product of Beverley Hills wealth and privilege- went to his first Doors concert. He never looked back. He became Jim Morrison's protégé and- still in his teens- manager of the Doors and then Iggy Pop. He also plunged gleefully into the glamorous underworld of the rock 'n' roll scene, diving headfirst into booze, sex and drugs: every conceivable kind of drug, ever day, in every possible permutation. By the age of twenty-one he had an idyllic home, a beautiful girlfriend, the best car in the world, two kinds of hepatitis, a diseased heart, a $500 a day heroin habit and only a week to live. He lived.This is his tale. Excessive, scandalous, comic, cautionary and horrifying, it chronicles the 60s dream gone to rot and the early life of a Hollywood Wild Child who was just brilliant at being bad.