By Corey Taylor
The always-outspoken hard rock vocalist Corey Taylor begins America 51 with a reflection on what his itinerant youth and frequent worldwide travels with his multiplatinum bands Slipknot and Stone Sour have taught him about what it means to be an American in an increasingly unstable world. He examines the way America sees itself, specifically with regard to the propaganda surrounding America's origins (like a heavy-metal Howard Zinn), while also celebrating the quirks and behavior that make a true-blue American. Taylor likewise takes a look at how the world views us, and his findings should come as a surprise to no one. But behind Taylor's ranting and raving is a thoughtful and intelligent consideration, and even a sadness, of what America is compared to what it could and should be.Expertly balancing humor, outrage, and disbelief, Taylor examines the rotting core of America, evaluating everything from politics and race relations to modern family dynamics, millennials, and "man buns." No element of what constitutes America is safe from his adept and scathing eye. Continuing the wave of moral outrage begun in You're Making Me Hate You, Taylor flawlessly skewers contemporary America in his own signature style.
By K. K. Downing
Formed in Birmingham in 1968, Judas Priest, with its distinctive twin-guitar sound, studs and leather image, became the archetypal heavy metal band in the 1980s with international sales of over 50 million records. Iconic tracks like 'Breaking the Law', 'Living after Midnight' and 'You've Got Another Thing Coming' helped the band achieve extraordinary success in America but, as popular as they've been over the past five decades, no one from the band has stepped out of the stage lights to tell their or the band's story. Well, founding member K.K. Downing has had enough of that.As the band approaches its golden anniversary, fans will at last be able to delve backstage into the decades of shocking, hilarious, and haunting stories that surround the heavy metal institution. Downing discusses frontman Rob Halford's hidden sexuality, the personality conflicts (particularly with Glen Tipton), the business screw-ups, the acrimonious relationship with fellow heavy metal band Iron Maiden, and how Judas Priest was at ground zero for the parental outrage against heavy metal in the '80s, blaming it for the rampant drug abuse and suicides among teenagers. He reveals the life-changing moment when he looked at his bandmates on stage during a 2010 concert and thought, 'This is the last show'. Whatever the topic, whoever's involved, K.K. doesn't hold back.From the band at its beginning to his retirement in 2010 (and even still as a member of the band's board of directors), Downing has seen it all and is now finally at a place in his life where he can also let it all go. Even if you're a lifelong fan, if you think you know the full story of Judas Priest, well, you've got another thing coming.
The Gospel According to Luke
By Steve Lukather, Paul Rees
No one explodes one of the longest-held misconceptions of music history better than Steve Lukather and his band Toto. The dominant pop-culture sound of the late-1970s and '80s was not in fact the smash and sneer of punk, but a slick, polished amalgam of rock and R&B that was first staked out on Boz Scaggs' Silk Degrees. That album was shaped in large part by the founding members of Toto, who were emerging as the most in-demand elite session muso-crew in LA, and further developed on the band's self-titled three-million-selling debut smash of 1978. A string of hits followed for the band going into the '80s and beyond. Running parallel to this, as stellar session players, Lukather and band-mates David Paich, Jeff Porcaro and Steve Porcaro were also the creative linchpins on some of the most successful, influential and enduring records of the era. In The Gospel According to Luke, Lukather tells the Toto story: how a group of high school friends formed the band in 1977 and went on to sell more than 40 million records worldwide. He also lifts the lid on what really went on behind the closed studio doors and shows the unique creative processes of some of the most legendary names in music: from Quincy Jones, Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks and Elton John to Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, Don Henley, Roger Waters and Aretha Franklin. And yet, Lukather's extraordinary tale encompasses the dark side of the American Dream.Engaging, incisive and often hilarious, The Gospel According to Luke is no ordinary rock memoir. It is the real thing . . .
Closer You Are
By Matthew Cutter
The authorized biography of Robert Pollard, indie rock icon and founder of the music group Guided by VoicesRobert Pollard has been a staple of the indie rock scene since the early 1980s, along with his band Guided by Voices. Pollard was a longtime grade school teacher who toiled endlessly on his music, only finding success after adopting a do-it-yourself approach, relying on lo-fi home recordings for much of his and his band's career. A prolific artist, Pollard continues to churn out album after album, much to the acclaim of critics and his obsessive and devoted fans. But his story has never been faithfully told in its entirety. Until now.Closer You Are is the authorized biography of Robert Pollard and Guided by Voices. Author Matthew Cutter is a longtime friend of Pollard, and at Pollard's personal request Cutter has set out to tell the whole, true story of Guided by Voices. This will be the first book to take an in-depth look at the man behind it all, with interviews conducted by the author with Pollard's friends, family, and bandmates, along with unfettered access to Pollard himself and his extensive archives, ephemera, and artwork, which many fans will no doubt recognize from the band's numerous album covers. A series of appendices will further illuminate Pollard's solo career, side projects, and art shows.Robert Pollard has had an amazing and seemingly endless career in rock music, but he's also established himself as a consummate artist who works on his own terms. Now fans can at long last learn the full story behind one of America's greatest living songwriters.
By Barney Hoskyns
'An indispensable compendium for Steely Dan fans' The WireAt its core a creative marriage between Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, Steely Dan are one of the defining and bestselling American rock acts of the last half-century, recording several of the cleverest and best-produced albums of the '70s - from the breathlessly catchy Can't Buy a Thrill to the sleekly sinister Gaucho.In the '90s they returned to remind us of how sorely we had missed their elegance and erudition, subsequently recording Two Against Nature and Everything Must Go during the following decade. They have sold close to forty-five million albums.'A lot of people think of them as the epitome of boring '70s stuff,' novelist William Gibson said in 1993, when Becker and Fagen toured for the first time in nineteen years. 'They don't realize this is probably the most subversive material pop has ever thrown up.'Now fully embraced by the 'Yacht Rock' generation - semi-ironic devotees of '70s Southern-California slickness - Steely Dan no longer polarize lo-fi punks and studio geeks in the way they used to. In 2001 they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.Major Dudes collects some of the smartest and wittiest interviews Becker and Fagen have ever given, along with insightful reviews of - and commentary on - their extraordinary songs. Compiled by Rock's Backpages editor Barney Hoskyns, the book's contributors include Charles Shaar Murray, Robert Palmer, Ian MacDonald, Bud Scoppa, Penny Valentine, Fred Schruers, Sylvie Simmons and Michael Watts.
Fare Thee Well
By Joel Selvin
A tell-all biography of the epic in-fighting of the Grateful Dead in the years following band leader Jerry Garcia's death in 1995The Grateful Dead rose to greatness under the inspired leadership of guitarist Jerry Garcia, but the band very nearly died along with him. When Garcia passed away suddenly in August of 1995, the remaining band members experienced full crises of confidence and identity. So long defined by Garcia's vision for the group, the surviving "Core Four," as they came to be called, were reduced to conflicting agendas, strained relationships, and catastrophic business decisions that would leave the iconic band in shambles. Wrestling with how best to define their living legacy, the band made many attempts at restructuring, but it would take twenty years before relationships were mended enough for the Grateful Dead as fans remembered them to once again take the stage.Acclaimed music journalist and New York Timesbestselling author Joel Selvin was there for much of the turmoil following Garcia's death, and he'll offer a behind-the-scenes account of the ebbs and flows that occurred during the ensuing two decades. Plenty of books have been written about the rise of the Grateful Dead, but this final chapter of the band's history has never before been explored in detail. Culminating in the landmark tour bearing the same name, Fare Thee Wellcharts the arduous journey from Garcia's passing all the way up to the uneasy agreement between the Core Four that led to the series of shows celebrating the band's fiftieth anniversary and finally allowing for a proper, and joyous, sendoff of the group revered by so many.
By Marcia Barrett
Coming to London aged thirteen from desperate poverty in Jamaica; pregnant at fifteen; fifteen years later singing in Boney M, one of the biggest international groups of the late-1970s; a messy group split during the 1980s; a 1990s solo career interrupted by six bouts of cancer - ovarian, breast, lymph node (twice), spine and oesophagus - and having to learn to walk again. Yet throughout Marcia Barrett has remained totally cheerful, relentlessly optimistic and a shining inspiration, looking on every obstacle as a mere inconvenience rather than anything insurmountable. Now, she is ready to tell her fantastic story, which is much more than just a pop star autobiography. It is a charming, candid, laugh-out-loud story of survival, triumph, indomitable spirit and total upfullness, often driven by sheer force of will. It is a feelgood story which will resonate amongst all.
Elvis, Strait, to Jesus
By Tony Brown
The King of Nashville, Tony Brown, offers a rare photographic journey through his 40-year career--including historical pictures and contemporary portraits of rock, country, and gospel music legends--in which he produced hundreds of #1 country songs that are beloved by millions.From a child pianist banging out hymns in his family's gospel band, to playing keys for Elvis Presley, to producing a string of million-selling hits for artists like George Strait, Reba McEntire, and Trisha Yearwood, Tony Brown's storied career has left a singular impression on American music.Known as the King of Nashville, Tony is adored by the mega-artists whose sounds he was instrumental to crafting, the city he's proud to call home, the millions of fans of of his over 100 number 1 singles, and the aspiring musicians he continues to inspire.The President of MCA Records for nearly two decades and co-founder of Universal South Records, Tony is also referred to as the founder of Americana music, who shook the scene with his edgy signing choices of Steve Earle and Lyle Lovett, before producing a Golden Era of country music from the eighties to the two-thousands, achieving over 100 million in sales.His life, musical legacy, and friendships are celebrated in this keepsake coffee table book, including rare behind-the-scenes images. It also includes contemporary, artful shots of 40 musical greats beloved to Tony, all featured in a French Renaissance chair that has been traveled countrywide for them to pose in, bringing out each of these legends' unique personalities.Included are historical or contemporary photos of artists such as Elvis, Lisa Marie Presley, George Strait, Reba McEntire, Cyndi Lauper, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett, Trisha Yearwood, Lionel Richie, Jimmy Buffet, and many more.
Sonic Youth Slept On My Floor
By Dave Haslam
'Beautifully judged account of the Manchester scene . . . There is something of the fairy tale about Dave Haslam's sage joyful testament to the kind of life that nobody could ever plan, a happy aligning of a cultural moment and a young man who instinctively knew that it was his once upon a time' Victoria Segal, Sunday Times'Witty, sometimes dark, revealing, insightful, everything one could hope for from one of those folk without whom independent music simply wouldn't exist' Classic RockSonic Youth Slept on My Floor is writer and DJ Dave Haslam's wonderfully evocative memoir. It is a masterful insider account of the Hacienda, the rise of Madchester and birth of the rave era, and how music has sound-tracked a life and a generation.In the late 1970s Dave Haslam was a teenage John Peel listener and Joy Division fan, his face pressed against a 'window', looking in at a world of music, books and ideas. Four decades later, he finds himself in the middle of that world, collaborating with New Order on a series of five shows in Manchester. Into the story of those intervening decades, Haslam weaves a definitive portrait of Manchester as a music city and the impact of a number of life-changing events, such as the nightmare of the Yorkshire Ripper to the shock of the Manchester Arena terror attack.The cast of Haslam's life reads like a who's who of '70s, '80s and '90s popular culture: Tony Wilson, Nile Rodgers, Terry Hall, Neneh Cherry, Tracey Thorn, John Lydon, Johnny Marr, Ian Brown, Laurent Garnier and David Byrne. From having Morrissey to tea and meeting writers such as Raymond Carver and Jonathan Franzen to discussing masturbation with Viv Albertine and ecstasy with Roisin Murphy, via having a gun pulled on him at the Hacienda and a drug dealer threatening to slit his throat, this is not your usual memoir.
By Greg Lake
Greg Lake first won acclaim as lead vocalist, bass guitarist and producer when, together with Robert Fripp, he formed King Crimson. Their first album, the landmark In the Court of the Crimson King, co-produced by Greg, featured the iconic song '21st Century Schizoid Man'. King Crimson pioneered progressive rock and paved the way for many famous bands that followed, from Yes and Genesis to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.In 1970 Greg met fellow legend Keith Emerson during a North American tour; the two shared common bonds: European musical influences and a desire to reinterpret classical works while creating a new musical genre. After being introduced to drummer Carl Palmer, they formed the first progressive rock supergroup Emerson, Lake and Palmer.To date ELP has sold over 50 million records. Lake produced Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Tarkus, Pictures at an Exhibition, Trilogy, Brain Salad Surgery, Works Vol. 1 and 2, and two different live albums. All went platinum and featured a series of hit singles, most written and all sung by Lake. The three created a unique live theatrical performance which featured Emerson attacking his keyboards with knives, Palmer playing a 2.5 ton stainless steel kit and Lake performing on a £6,000 Persian rug which had its own roadie. One of their very first performances was at the historic Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 and they went on to headline California Jam, one of the biggest concerts of the 1970s, attended by 350,000 people.Probably the voice of his generation, Greg fronted the greatest rock supergroup of the 1970s but never held with the 'progressive' tag that attached itself to both the music and the excess. Lucky Man not only charts the highs and lows of a career in rock music but also reflects on the death of Keith Emerson last year, living with terminal cancer and the end of life. Greg can best be summed up by his now-famous line: 'Material wealth is a very fleeting pleasure ... when you can buy anything you want and do anything you want, you soon discover that you actually don't want any of it.'
Booze & Vinyl
By André Darlington, Tenaya Darlington
Booze and Vinyl explores the intersection of timeless music and mixed drinks with a spotlight on 70 great records from the 1950s through the 2000s.From modern craft cocktails to old standbys, prepare to shake, stir, and just plain pour your way through some of the best wax ever pressed. Wickedly designed and featuring photography throughout, Booze & Vinyl is organized by mood, from Rock to Chill, Dance, and Seduce. Each entry has liner notes that underscore the album's musical highlights and accompanying cocktail recipes that complement the music's mood, imagery in the lyrics, or connect the drink to the artist. This is your guide to a rich listening session for one, two, or more.Among the 70 featured albums are: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club, Purple Rain, Sticky Fingers, Born To Run, License to Ill, Appetite for Destruction, Thriller, Like a Virgin, Low End Theory, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, Hotel California, Buena Vista Social Club, Back to Black, Pet Sounds, Vampire Weekend, and many more
Coal Black Mornings
By Brett Anderson
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 Fast Ride Out of Here
By Pete Way, Paul Rees
'They call me a madman but compared to Pete Way, I'm out of my league.' - Ozzy OsbourneThere are rock memoirs and then there is this one. A Fast Ride Out of Here tells a story that is so shocking, so outrageous, so packed with excess and leading to such uproar and tragic consequences as to be almost beyond compare. Put simply, in terms of jaw-dropping incident, self-destruction and all-round craziness, Pete Way's rock'n'roll life makes even Keith Richards's appear routine and Ozzy Osbourne seem positively mild-mannered in comparison. Not for nothing did Nikki Sixx, bassist with LA shock-rockers Motley Crue and who 'died' for eight minutes following a heroin overdose in 1988, consider that he was a disciple of and apprenticed to Way.During a forty-year career as founding member and bassist of the venerated British hard rock band UFO, and which has also included a stint in his hell-raising buddy Ozzy's band, Pete Way has both scaled giddy heights and plunged to unfathomable lows. A heroin addict for more than ten years, he blew millions on drugs and booze and left behind him a trail of chaos and carnage. The human cost of this runs to six marriages, four divorces, a pair of estranged daughters and two dead ex-wives. Latterly, Way has fought cancer, but has survived it all and is now ready to tell his extraordinary tale. By turns hilarious, heart-rending, mordant, scabrous, self-lacerating, brutally honest and entirely compulsive, A Fast Ride Out of Here will be a monument to rock'n'roll debauchery on an epic, unparalleled scale and also to one man's sheer indestructability.