Today brought news that the mother of Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl is publishing a book about raising a child who became a rock star. As well as detailing her own experiences, she has spoken to the mothers of other famous musicians such as Amy Winehouse, Dr. Dre and Michael Stipe, setting it up to be a riveting read, and not just for those with musical offspring. So to celebrate, we’ve taken a look at other titles about musicians and music that are well worth a read right now…
The Age of Bowie by Paul Morley
This relatively recent and timely release is penned by cultural commentator Paul Morley, who was one of the music experts behind the much talked about David Bowie exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. This biography details the key moments in Bowie’s long career as well as the personal and working relationships he formed along the way.
I’m Not With the Band by Sylvia Patterson
After spending three decades as a music journalist, Patterson certainly isn’t short of a celebrity anecdote or two, so settle down and read about her many adventures and encounters in the industry, including sharing fruit with Johnny Cash, receiving compliments on her shoes from Prince and going out on the town with Shaun Ryder. Available using The Book People (was £18.99, now £15.19).
Naked at the Albert Hall by Tracey Thorn
After the success of her autobiography Bedsit Disco Queen, Everything But the Girl’s Tracey Thorn takes an in depth look at the art of singing and through both her own experiences and the styles of other artists including Dusty Springfield and Alison Moyet. Taking in everything from her own bouts of stage-fright to The X Factor, this is now available to order in paperback using The Book Depository discount vouchers (was £8.99, now £5.79).
1966 by Jon Savage
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of this seminal year, read about the cultural landmark in greater depth with this new release from social and cultural historian Savage. An important year in the UK for so many reasons, he argues that the explosion experienced in 1966 was a culmination of a number of different cultural and political ideas and movements gaining ground across America and Europe since the late 50s, and covers a wide range of key musical figures of the era including The Beatles, The Kinks and Velvet Underground. Available with Waterstones voucher codes (£12.99).
Telling Stories by Tim Burgess
For anyone who lived through the 90s music scene, Burgess’s memoir has been heralded as one of the best accounts of the Britpop era. The Charlatans frontman details the not just his own musical experiences throughout the decade but also the darker side of their early days including tales of armed robbery and tragic loss. Telling Stories can be ordered using The Book People promo codes (was £9.99, now £9.89).
Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts and Madness, or My Life as a Fabulous Ronnette by Ronnie Spector and Vince Waldron
Almost as famous for her music as her hellish personal life with former husband Phil Spector, Ronnie Spector’s autobiography tells the story of her escape and struggle to reclaim her voice and career. This new edition now features photographs from Ronnie Spector’s personal collection and can be purchased using The Book Depository discount vouchers (£13.95).
Just Kids by Patti Smith
The story of musicians and artists Patti Smith and Robert Mabblethorpe, from their meeting in 1967 that led to a lifelong friendship to their struggles and experiences in the art and music world, it’s not only a tale of romance and commitment but also a memoir of New York City during a fascinating period in its history. Available with The Book People promo codes (was £9.99, now £7.99).
It seems we’re now in a golden age for the music memoir, so why not take the opportunity to pick up some of these inspiring titles? And with Christmas on the way, we’re betting there are plenty more on the horizon…
By Anna Scott, 9th September 2016