By Kent Hartman
From behind the walls of a handful of well-hidden, unlikely recording studios in the Los Angeles area, legends-in-waiting created masterpiece albums. It was a time of astonishing creativity and unprecedented fame and fortune. It was also a time of unfettered excess that threatened to unravel everything along the way.With access that only a longtime music business insider can provide, Kent Hartman packs Goodnight, L.A. with never-before-told stories about the most prolific time and iconic place in rock 'n' roll history. He brings the stories to life through new in-depth interviews with classic rock artists and famous producers. What Hartman's The Wrecking Crew was to pop singles, AM radio, and the '60s, Goodnight, L.A. is to album cuts, FM radio, and the high-flying, hard-rocking '70s and '80s.
Great Lost Albums
By Mark Billingham, David Quantick, Martyn Waites, Stav Sherez
We can all name the classic rock and pop albums of the last fifty years. But what about the great lost albums? The albums that fell behind the back of the musical sofa? The albums that, in a very real sense, have been completely made up by the authors of this book?It took a bestselling crime writer or three to hunt down these fifty lost classics, and an award-winning TV comedy scriptwriter to buy them a pint and make them write it. From the 60s to the 00s, with track listings and full histories, Great Lost Albums reveals the recordings that - just perhaps - never existed, but really should have done. Albums include:· Bob Dylan's legendary collaboration with Liberace· Joy Division's 'musical theatre' period· Coldplay's IKEA Sessions, including 'Conscious Uncoupling (See Leaflet for Details)' and 'In my Place (There's a Lovely HEMNES Shelving System)'· The Who's magisterial, abandoned rock opera 'Bingo Wizard' · Kraftwerk's hastily deleted Christmas album, featuring the melancholic classic 'I Wish to Return this Item'...and many, many more.
Goodbye 20Th Century
By David Browne
There has never been a rock institution quite like Sonic Youth. Their distinctive, uncompromising sound provided a map for innumerable musicians who followed, and in 2005, CMJ, the bible of the indie and alternative music work, ranked them no. 3 on its list of the 25 most influential artists of the last quarter century. But their impact does not end with their music. The Sonic Youth worldview encompasses punk rock, trashy pulp fiction, pop-art minimalism, contemporary classical composition, glam rock, leftist politics, feminist iconography, and ironic humour. Countless musicians and artists - including Kurt Cobain, Beck, Spike Jonze and Sofia Coppola - were introduced to the world thanks to Sonic Youth. In Goodbye 20th Century, David Browne tells the full glorious story of 'the Velvet Underground of their generation', based on extensive research, fresh interviews with the band and those who have worked with them, and unprecedented access to unreleased recordings and documents. Complete with never before published photos and artwork, Goodbye 20th Century is a richly detailed account of an iconic band and the times they helped create.
Growing Up Dead
By Peter Conners
Told against the backdrop of the American landscape of the late'80s to the mid-'90s, Growing Up Dead is the story of Peter Conners's journey from straight-laced suburban kid to touring Deadhead. Peter discovered the Grateful Dead in 1985, at the age of 15, through friends who exchanged bootleg tapes of live Grateful Dead concerts. A teenager living in the suburbs of Rochester, New York, he became exposed to an entirely new way of life, and friends who were enjoying more freedom and less parental guidance. At the age of 16, he attended his first Grateful Dead concert on June 30, 1987 - he was hooked. Between 1987 and 1995, Conners would attend Dead'shows' all over the United States. He traveled with a makeshift'family' of other Deadheads in a Volkswagen camper, selling drugs and whatever else would provide gas money to the next concert. His hair was a wild, unkempt bush and baths were infrequent. In short, he had progressed from suburban kid, to Grateful Dead fan, to full-blown Deadhead. Chronicling this progression, which culminates with the 1995 death of Jerry Garcia, Conners reveals the truth behind Deadhead culture and history. The result is a riveting insight into the obsessive fandom that made The Grateful Dead the most successful touring band of all time, as well as a cultural phenomenon.
By Will Hodgkinson
The guitar is the iconic instrument of modern popular music. It is portable, it has history, and it will always be hip. But why has the guitar become such a classic? Will Hodgkinson, a wannabe guitar player, whose only experience was an afternoon's bashing on a friend's guitar at the age of sixteen, set out to find out. Along the way he hoped to teach himself a few chords too. His goal was to get good enough to play before a live audience in just six months- even if it threatened to drive his wife and family to the point of insanity. His trip becomes an odyssey: He chats with British folk legend Bert Jansch, ex-Smith's guitarist Johnny Marr, and reclusive folk guitar legend Davey Graham, as well as Sufjan Stevens, PJ Harvey, and Cat Power's chanteuse Chan Marshall. He travels to America and with a hurricane brewing visits Roger McGuinn from the Byrds. He travels to the Deep South, looking for the spirit of Robert Johnson, and drops in on T-Model Ford, an old bluesman living in Mississippi. Gloriously readable and highly amusing, Guitar Man is classic obsessional nonfiction for a nation of guitar freaks.
By Jessica Hundley, Polly Parsons
There has never been a better time for a book on Gram Parsons. At the thirty-year anniversary of his death, his sound, a mix of country and rock'n' roll, is absolutely everywhere. Popular musicians of today trace their inspiration to pick up a guitar to when they first heard his music. His songs and his style have had a lasting effect on the music of our time. Now, together with Parsons's daughter, Polly, Jessica Hundley has created an intimate and extensive biography that brings together never-before-seen photos and illustrations, unpublished letters, and in-depth interviews with some of the many artists whose work was shaped by Parsons, including Keith Richards, Emmylou Harris, Wilco, and Ryan Adams, among many others. Grievous Angel is the tribute that the legions of Parsons fans have been waiting for,a book that brings to life the story of the Southern boy who revolutionized the way music sounds.
By Edward Jablonski
This still unrivaled biography portrays with precision and insight the tragically brief life,from the Brooklyn tenements to Broadway, Hollywood, and Carnegie Hall,of George Gershwin (1898-1937), a man whose music ( Lady Be Good, Of Thee I Sing, Rhapsody in Blue, Concerto in F, An American in Paris, Porgy and Bess ) and career,like F. Scott Fitzgerald's,embodied the glamorous success and lost possibilities of the Jazz Age.
The Gershwin Years
By Edward Jablonski, Lawrence D. Stewart
Both the definitive biography of the Gershwin brothers and a lavishly illustrated chronicle of the American era their music and lyrics embodied, The Gershwin Years celebrates the musical achievements of George (1898-1937) and Ira (1896-1983) while offering a revealing inside look at their lives. The brothers drew inspiration from its varied faces,black culture from Porgie and Bess, the frantic sophistication of the 1920s for such musical comedies as Funny Face and Girl Crazy, the tumult of American politics for the satirical Of Thee I Sing. From George's Tin Pan Alley days as a song plugger and Ira's first attempts at lyric writing to their conquest of Broadway and Hollywood, from their collaborations and George's solo compositions ( Rhapsody in Blue, Concerto in F, and An American in Paris ) to George's death from a brain tumor and Ira's later work with Kern, Weill, and Arlen, The Gershwin Years presents an authoritative, visually stunning, and altogether delightful account of the "Wright Brothers" of American music.
Getting To Know Him
By Hugh Fordin
Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960) forged a remarkable, multifaceted career as a librettist, lyricist, playwright, director, and producer. He wrote Carmen Jones, Carousel, Show Boat , and, with longtime collabourator Richard Rodgers, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music. Hugh Fordin enjoyed complete access to the Hammerstein archives and conducted numerous interviews with family and colleagues like Rodgers, Berlin, Robbins, and Sondheim. The result is the definitive biography of a creative giant, who changed forever the texture of American theatre.
The Great Jazz Pianists
By Len Lyons
This comprehensive survey of jazz piano, beginning with a brief history of the instrument within the jazz tradition and concluding with interviews that present twenty-seven pianists in their own words, is both wonderfully anecdotal and a serious piece of jazz history. Lyons has assembled a giant concert of piano voices,Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Teddy Wilson, Oscar Peterson, Keith Jarrett, Randy Weston, Cecil Taylor, Horace Silver, Dave Brubeck, Sun Ra, McCoy Tyner, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Chick Corea, and many others. The pianists are candid, intense, and always opinionated. Yet their responses are infused with a keen appreciation for fellow musicians, their contemporaries, and those who came before,Walter, Tatum, Ellington. For pianists everywhere, whatever their individual style, this book will speak to and for you as it expresses the thoughts of its many great artists.
Glenn Miller & His Orchestra
By George T. Simon
Moonlight Serenade, Sunrise Serenade, Little Brown Jug, In the Mood... These and other memorable tunes endeared Glenn Miller to millions in the Swing Era and all who recall those times. After playing trombone and arranging for leading orchestras of the Dorsey brothers, Ray Noble, Ben Pollack, and Red Nichols, Glenn Miller formed his own "sweet" band, which from 1938 to 1942 achieved widespread popularity second only to Benny Goodman's. Miller learned all he could from these and other bands like Jimmie Lunceford's and Artie Shaw's, going on to create a uniquely rich sound with clarinet over four saxes and four trombones ("three-part harmony sounds too thin," he once exclaimed). Simon tells of both the successes and hard times of Miller's illustrious career, up to his celebrated Army Air Force band and his untimely death.
Genesis Of A Music
By Harry Partch
Among the few truly experimental composers in our cultural history, Harry Partch's life (1901-1974) and music embody most completely the quintessential American rootlessness, isolation, pre-civilized cult of experience, and dichotomy of practical invention and transcendental visions. Having lived mostly in the remote deserts of Arizona and New Mexico with no access to formal training, Partch naturally created theatrical ritualistic works incorporating Indian chants, Japanese kabuki and Noh, Polynesian microtones, Balinese gamelan, Greek tragedy, dance, mime, and sardonic commentary on Hollywood and commercial pop music of modern civilization. First published in 1949, Genesis of a Music is the manifesto of Partch's radical compositional practice and instruments (which owe nothing to the 300-year-old European tradition of Western music.) He contrasts Abstract and Corporeal music, proclaiming the latter as the vital, emotionally tactile form derived from the spoken word (like Greek, Chinese, Arabic, and Indian musics) and surveys the history of world music at length from this perspective. Parts II, III, and IV explain Partch's theories of scales, intonation, and instrument construction with copious acoustical and mathematical documentation. Anyone with a musically creative attitude, whether or not familiar with traditional music theory, will find this book revelatory.