Bookshelf Bound: Fall 2015
While there are still some great music books to hit the shelves in stores this summer—Elijah Wald’s Dylan Goes Electric: Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night That Split the Sixties (Dey St., $26.99, July) is one of the most revealing and simply a great read—the fall always promises a rich diet of books on which music fans can gorge, and this fall is no different. Memoirs once again dominate publishers’ lists, and Elvis Costello, Chrissie Hynde, Carrie Brownstein, Ray Benson, Bobby Braddock, and Tom Petty (though his is not strictly a memoir) all deliver their tales of excess and insight between September and December. This is the first part of a sneak peek of the music books to look for this fall—or to preorder now from the publisher—with a second installment to follow in a few weeks.
Love Becomes a Funeral Pyre: A Biography of the Doors. Mick Wall (Chicago Review Press, $28.95)—Drawing on interviews with all the surviving members of the band as well as archival research, rock journalist Wall ranges over the entire history of The Doors, from the band’s earliest days to the pinnacle of its fame, revealing the real story behind Jim Morrison’s death.
Reckless: A Memoir. Chrissie Hynde (Doubleday, $26.95)—Perhaps the most awaited memoir of the fall, Hynde invites us to get close as she lets out all the stops in this rambunctious story of her life in rock and roll.
You’ve Heard These Hands: From the Wall of Sound to the Wrecking Crew and Other Incredible Stories. Don Randi and Karen Nishimura (Hal Leonard, $24.99 paper)—Keyboardist Randi, member of the Wrecking Crew and pianist on Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots were Made for Walkin’” and The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” delivers his own behind-the-scenes tales of his life making some the most memorable sounds of our time.
Dust & Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting. Eilon Paz (Ten Speed $50)—A lavishly illustrated book that features photos of vinyl collections from deejays, record dealers, and record enthusiasts from around the world. Interviews with these collectors reveal their passion, as well as the histories of their vinyl treasure troves.
Los Lobos: Dream in Blue. Chris Morris (University of Texas, $22.95)—Morris traces the evolution of Los Lobos from the East Los Angeles barrio to international stardom.
M Train (Knopf, $25)—Patti Smith’s follow up to Just Kids; a memoir structured as a journey through 18 “stations,” moving from a café in Greenwich Village to Mexico and Berlin, features 18 black-and-white photos by Smith.
Sinatra: The Photographs, Andrew Howick (Abrams, $50)—A stunning collection of photos that helped shape Sinatra’s public image, from the Chairman socializing with JFK and Marilyn Monroe to his making music with Nelson Riddle and Quincy Jones.
Sinatra: The Chairman, James Kaplan (Doubleday, $35)—The sequel to Kaplan’s Frank: The Voice, follows Sinatra’s story after he wins his Academy Award in 1954.
Sinatra’s Century: One Hundred Notes on the Man and His World. David Lehman (Harper, $24.99)—Poet Lehman meditates on 100 facets of Sinatra, his music, and his legend.
Bob Dylan: All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track. Phillippe Margotin and Jean-Michel Guesdon (Black Dog & Leventhal, $50)—A comprehensive account of Dylan’s work, featuring full stories of every recording session, every album, and every song (all 525 of them) Dylan has released over the course of his career.
Bobby Braddock: A Life on Nashville’s Music Row. Bobby Braddock. (Country Music Hall of Fame/Vanderbilt University Press, $35)—Braddock takes up where he left off in his earlier memoir, Down in Orburndale: A Songwriter’s Youth in Old Florida (University Press of Florida), regaling us with tales of his path to becoming one of country music’s legendary songwriters; as he says, “it’s a look at Nashville and country music through my eyes.”
Becoming Beyoncé: The Untold Story. J. Randy Taraborrelli (Grand Central, $28)—Journalist Taraborrelli offers the first comprehensive biography of the pop star.
Why I Still Carry a Guitar: My Spiritual Journey from Cat Stevens to Yusuf. Yusuf Islam (HarperOne, $25.99)—Islam/ Stevens brilliantly and thoughtfully shares his moving personal journey and his quest to deliver his message of peace to the world.
The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory. John Seabrook (Norton, $26)—Talking with the writers, producers, and artists from Sweden to South Korea to Southern California, Seabrook reveals the behind-the-scenes work that produces the hooks and refrains of today’s hottest pop stars and their hits.
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink. Elvis Costello. (Blue Rider/Penguin, $28.95)—The long-awaited memoir from one of music’s most enigmatic and influential songwriters.
Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. Carrie Brownstein. (Riverhead, $27.95)—In this riveting memoir, Brownstein explores the dimensions of her life as the leader of feminist punk rock, passionate fan, comedic television performer, and pioneering female guitarist.
MJ: The Genius of Michael Jackson. Steve Knopper. (Scribner, $27)—Drawing on 400 interviews, Rolling Stone contributing editor Knopper digs deeply into Jackson’s life and music, providing a critical biography of the King of Pop.
Don’t Suck, Don’t Die: Giving Up Vic Chesnutt. Kristin Hersh, Foreword by Amanda Petrusich (University of Texas Press, $22.95)—A haunting ode to a lost friend, this memoir by the acclaimed author of Rat Girl offers the most personal, empathetic look at the creative genius and often-tormented life of singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt that is ever likely to be written.
Comin’ Right at Ya: How a Jewish Yankee Hippie Went Country, or, the Often Outrageous History of Asleep at the Wheel. Ray Benson and David Menconi (University of Texas Press, $24.95)—A who’s who of American popular music fills this lively memoir, in which Ray Benson recalls how a Philadelphia Jewish hippie and his bandmates in Asleep at the Wheel turned on generations of rock and country fans to Bob Wills-style Western swing.
What Happened, Miss Simone: The Nina Simone Diaries. Alan Light (Crown Archetype, $26)—Drawing upon a treasure trove of rare archival materials and Simone’s private diaries, music journalist Light provides a biography of the singer.
Petty: The Biography. Warren Zanes (Holt, $30)—Petty shares his insights, ambitions, and regrets with his friend Zanes in a revealing, candid portrait of the artist as musician who’s helped shape rock ‘n’ roll.
Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll: How One Man Discovered Howlin’ Wolf, Ike Turner, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley, and How His Tiny Label, Sun Records of Memphis, Revolutionized the World! Peter Guralnick (Little, Brown, $32)—The title says it all.
Strayhorn: An Illustrated Life. Edited by Alyce Claerbaut and David Schlesinger (Agate Bolden, $35)—This collection of essays, photos, and ephemera celebrates Billy Strayhorn and his lasting contributions to American music.
Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements, the Last Rock ‘n’ Roll Band. Bob Mehr (Da Capo, $25.99)—Mehr traces the development of the band from basements in Minneapolis to stages around the world; with the full participation of Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson, Slim Dunlap, and the late Bob Stinson’s family.