Last of the Giants: The True Story of Guns N’ Roses

You could build a library solely dedicated to books written about Guns N’ Roses, the genre is that deep. Band members Slash, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler have all written books about their time in the infamous band. Slash’s childhood friend Marc Cantor was able to cash in on a book, even Adler’s mom was able to get a publisher for Sweet Child of Mine: How I Lost My Son to Guns N’ Roses. So, did the world need yet another book about GNR? Probably not, but I’m glad Mick Wall decided to write one. Continue reading “Last of the Giants: The True Story of Guns N’ Roses”

Runnin’ With The Devil: A Backstage Pass to the Wild Times

Noel Monk managed Van Halen from 1978 – 1985, the biggest rock band in the world during that run. And while he was ultimately fired from the band and cut out of millions of dollars, he certainly left the gig with a slew of stories, funny, sad and salacious. Thanks to a 30-plus year NDA agreement that has recently run out, he’s now able to channel the best of those stories into Running’ With The Devil, a wildly compelling read about a band that has certainly earned its reputation for being both great musically and atrocious on a personal level. Continue reading “Runnin’ With The Devil: A Backstage Pass to the Wild Times”

New Super-Man: Volume 1 (DC Comics)

I have been out of the DC Comics loop for a bit, only keeping up to date with the cartoons and feature films. As such, we missed the initial run of New Super-man, a fascinating story that showcases new locales and a Superman-like character in Kenan Kong. Kenan starts the story as an American-styled bully in China, beating up and stealing from a fellow school mate. After the falls into a lucky situation regarding Blue Condor, government officials take notice.  Continue reading “New Super-Man: Volume 1 (DC Comics)”

Startup: A Novel by Doree Shafrir

The tech industry is fertile ground for satire; just look at what Mike Judge has been able to do with his show Silicon Valley. But Doree Shafrir proves there are no geographical boundaries to the characters that are drawn to the bizarre world of tech startups. From tech bros to the journalists who follow their every move, Shafrir, in her debut novel, creates an addictively compelling world in a city that far too often serves as the backdrop to books about the worlds of finance and fashion. By choosing Manhattan, she already manages to skip most of the clichés of Silicon Valley players (if New Yorkers have every felt insecure about an industry, it’s technology where they are clearly considered also-rans). Continue reading “Startup: A Novel by Doree Shafrir”

Smoke Snort Swallow Shoot by Jacob Hoye

The idea behind this books seems a mix of cynicism and the morbid – running a series of excerpts from rock star bios focusing entirely on their drug stories. In realty, if we’re being honest, it actually makes for a wildly entertaining read. Continue reading “Smoke Snort Swallow Shoot by Jacob Hoye”

Haddon Hall – When David Invented Bowie by Nejib

In 1969, after his single “Space Oddity,” managed to garner a decent amount of attention, David Bowie with his wife Angie moved into a massive house in London along with a slew of other hippies, that went under the name Haddon Hall. The house is the setting for the quirky yet inventively creative book by graphic designer/comic artist Nejib. The hardcover comic tells the story of Bowie putting together his band and struggling for a creative identity and the inspiration to become a rock star. Continue reading “Haddon Hall – When David Invented Bowie by Nejib”

SET THE BOY FREE By Johnny Marr

Almost as a rule, musician autobiographies are a chance to settle scores, name names, spew vitriol; essentially an exercise in one-sided venting. Obviously, someone forgot to mention that to Johnny Marr. And while this revelation may turn off some of the realty TV-warped Smith out there, for those looking to get an honest sense of who Marr is as a person, Set The Boy Free makes for a fascinating read. Continue reading “SET THE BOY FREE By Johnny Marr”

New Barbarians: Outlaws Gunslingers and Guitars by Rob Chapman

There have been a slew of great stories around the Rolling Stones for generations now, maybe more so than any band, so you’d be forgiven if you’re sporting a tattoo of the Tongue logo, but can’t exactly recall the short-lived band, The New Barbarians. Thankfully, rock journalist Rob Chapman’s got you covered. Continue reading “New Barbarians: Outlaws Gunslingers and Guitars by Rob Chapman”

Tolinski and Perna Play It Loud

If you can’t tell the difference between a Fender Telecaster and Gibson Les Paul, this is clearly not the book for you. However, if you know Hendrix was a Strat guy and underneath that black spray paint and all those stickers, Joe Strummer always rocked a Tele, then this is likely to be your new Bible. Continue reading “Tolinski and Perna Play It Loud”

The Speed of Sound: Breaking the Barriers Between Music and Technology by Thomas Dolby

At this point there’s a pretty set template for writing rock memoirs (with a few exceptions, of course). Most roll out like a version of VH1’s Behind the Music: future rock star has dreams of making it big, so he practices all the time, stopping only for the occasion drug and drink binge; he/she hooks up with future band mates, they sign a really shitty record contract but end up touring the globe and spending big; the third act is realizing they are drinking/drugging too much and the fans start to move on; the closing chapters are all about starting over, settling into a normal life and writing the best music of his/her life. Thomas Dolby, thankfully manages to tear up the template for the most part in his memoir (he keeps the part about the shitty one-sided music contract, though). Continue reading “The Speed of Sound: Breaking the Barriers Between Music and Technology by Thomas Dolby”