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Music Biography and Memoirs

150 GLIMPSES OF THE BEATLES

150 GLIMPSES OF THE BEATLES

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A distinctive portrait of the Fab Four by one of the sharpest and wittiest writers of our time

If you want to know what it was like to live those extraordinary Beatles years in real time, read this book. --Alan Johnson, The Spectator

Though fifty years have passed since the breakup of the Beatles, the fab four continue to occupy an utterly unique place in popular culture. Their influence extends far beyond music and into realms as diverse as fashion and fine art, sexual politics and religion. When they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, fresh off the plane from England, they provoked an epidemic of hoarse-throated fandom that continues to this day.

Who better, then, to capture the Beatles phenomenon than Craig Brown--the inimitable author of Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret and master chronicler of the foibles and foppishness of British high society? This wide-ranging portrait of the four lads from Liverpool rivals the unique spectacle of the band itself by delving into a vast catalog of heretofore unexamined lore.

When actress Eleanor Bron touched down at Heathrow with the Beatles, she thought that a flock of starlings had alighted on the roof of the terminal--only to discover that the birds were in fact young women screaming at the top of their lungs. One journalist, mistaken for Paul McCartney as he trailed the band in his car, found himself nearly crushed to death as fans climbed atop the vehicle and pressed their bodies against the windshield. Or what about the Baptist preacher who claimed that the Beatles synchronized their songs with the rhythm of an infant's heartbeat so as to induce a hypnotic state in listeners? And just how many people have employed the services of a Canadian dentist who bought John Lennon's tooth at auction, extracted its DNA, and now offers paternity tests to those hoping to sue his estate?

150 Glimpses of the Beatles is, above all, a distinctively kaleidoscopic examination of the Beatles' effect on the world around them and the world they helped bring into being. Part anthropology and part memoir, and enriched by the recollections of everyone from Tom Hanks to Bruce Springsteen, this book is a humorous, elegiac, and at times madcap take on the Beatles' role in the making of the sixties and of music as we know it.

ACID FOR THE CHILDREN

ACID FOR THE CHILDREN

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With "virtuosic vulnerability" (The Atlantic), the iconic bassist and Red Hot Chili peppers co-founder pens a love letter to a youth spent wild in Los Angeles in his raw and riveting coming-of-age memoir.
In Acid for the Children, Flea takes readers on a deeply personal and revealing tour of his formative years, spanning from Australia to the New York City suburbs to, finally, Los Angeles. Through hilarious anecdotes, poetical meditations, and occasional flights of fantasy, Flea deftly chronicles the experiences that forged him as an artist, a musician, and a young man. His dreamy, jazz-inflected prose makes the Los Angeles of the 1970s and 80s come to gritty, glorious life, including the potential for fun, danger, mayhem, or inspiration that lurked around every corner. It is here that young Flea, looking to escape a turbulent home, found family in a community of musicians, artists, and junkies who also lived on the fringe. He spent most of his time partying and committing petty crimes. But it was in music where he found a higher meaning, a place to channel his frustration, loneliness, and love. This left him open to the life-changing moment when he and his best friends, soul brothers, and partners-in-mischief came up with the idea to start their own band, which became the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Acid for the Children is the debut of a stunning new literary voice, whose prose is as witty, entertaining, and wildly unpredictable as the author himself. It's a tenderly evocative coming-of-age story and a raucous love letter to the power of music and creativity from one of the most renowned musicians of our time.

New York Times BestsellerA #1 LA Times BestsellerA USA Today BestsellerOne of NPR's "Favorite Books of 2019"

BEASTIE BOYS BOOK

BEASTIE BOYS BOOK

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - A panoramic experience that tells the story of Beastie Boys, a book as unique as the band itself--by band members ADROCK and Mike D, with contributions from Amy Poehler, Colson Whitehead, Wes Anderson, Luc Sante, and more.

The inspiration for the Emmy-nominated Apple TV+ "live documentary" Beastie Boys Story, directed by Spike Jonze

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Rolling Stone - The Guardian - Paste

Formed as a New York City hardcore band in 1981, Beastie Boys struck an unlikely path to global hip hop superstardom. Here is their story, told for the first time in the words of the band. Adam "ADROCK" Horovitz and Michael "Mike D" Diamond offer revealing and very funny accounts of their transition from teenage punks to budding rappers; their early collaboration with Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin; the debut album that became the first hip hop record ever to hit #1, Licensed to Ill--and the album's messy fallout as the band broke with Def Jam; their move to Los Angeles and rebirth with the genre-defying masterpiece Paul's Boutique; their evolution as musicians and social activists over the course of the classic albums Check Your Head, Ill Communication, and Hello Nasty and the Tibetan Freedom Concert benefits conceived by the late Adam "MCA" Yauch; and more. For more than thirty years, this band has had an inescapable and indelible influence on popular culture.

With a style as distinctive and eclectic as a Beastie Boys album, Beastie Boys Book upends the typical music memoir. Alongside the band narrative you will find rare photos, original illustrations, a cookbook by chef Roy Choi, a graphic novel, a map of Beastie Boys' New York, mixtape playlists, pieces by guest contributors, and many more surprises.

Praise for Beastie Boys Book

"A fascinating, generous book with portraits and detail that float by in bursts of color . . . As with [the band's] records, the book's structure is a lyrical three-man weave. . . . Diamond's voice is lapidary, droll. Horovitz comes on like a borscht belt comedian, but beneath that he is urgent, incredulous, kind of vulnerable. . . . Friendship is the book's subject as much as music, fame and New York."--The New York Times Book Review

"Wild, moving . . . resembles a Beastie Boys LP in its wild variety of styles."--Rolling Stone

BEAUTIFUL ONES

BEAUTIFUL ONES

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - The brilliant coming-of-age-and-into-superstardom story of one of the greatest artists of all time, in his own words--featuring never-before-seen photos, original scrapbooks and lyric sheets, and the exquisite memoir he began writing before his tragic death

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST MUSIC BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND THE GUARDIAN - NOMINATED FOR THE NAACP IMAGE AWARD

Prince was a musical genius, one of the most beloved, accomplished, and acclaimed musicians of our time. He was a startlingly original visionary with an imagination deep enough to whip up whole worlds, from the sexy, gritty funk paradise of "Uptown" to the mythical landscape of Purple Rain to the psychedelia of "Paisley Park." But his most ambitious creative act was turning Prince Rogers Nelson, born in Minnesota, into Prince, one of the greatest pop stars of any era.

The Beautiful Ones is the story of how Prince became Prince--a first-person account of a kid absorbing the world around him and then creating a persona, an artistic vision, and a life, before the hits and fame that would come to define him. The book is told in four parts. The first is the memoir Prince was writing before his tragic death, pages that bring us into his childhood world through his own lyrical prose. The second part takes us through Prince's early years as a musician, before his first album was released, via an evocative scrapbook of writing and photos. The third section shows us Prince's evolution through candid images that go up to the cusp of his greatest achievement, which we see in the book's fourth section: his original handwritten treatment for Purple Rain--the final stage in Prince's self-creation, where he retells the autobiography of the first three parts as a heroic journey.

The book is framed by editor Dan Piepenbring's riveting and moving introduction about his profound collaboration with Prince in his final months--a time when Prince was thinking deeply about how to reveal more of himself and his ideas to the world, while retaining the mystery and mystique he'd so carefully cultivated--and annotations that provide context to the book's images.

This work is not just a tribute to an icon, but an original and energizing literary work in its own right, full of Prince's ideas and vision, his voice and image--his undying gift to the world.

CHRONICLES: VOLUME ONE

CHRONICLES: VOLUME ONE

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WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE

The celebrated first memoir from arguably the most influential singer-songwriter in the country, Bob Dylan.

"I'd come from a long ways off and had started a long ways down. But now destiny was about to manifest itself. I felt like it was looking right at me and nobody else."

So writes Bob Dylan in Chronicles: Volume One, his remarkable book exploring critical junctures in his life and career. Through Dylan's eyes and open mind, we see Greenwich Village, circa 1961, when he first arrives in Manhattan. Dylan's New York is a magical city of possibilities--smoky, nightlong parties; literary awakenings; transient loves and unbreakable friendships. Elegiac observations are punctuated by jabs of memories, penetrating and tough. With the book's side trips to New Orleans, Woodstock, Minnesota, and points west, Chronicles: Volume One is an intimate and intensely personal recollection of extraordinary times.

By turns revealing, poetical, passionate, and witty, Chronicles: Volume One is a mesmerizing window on Bob Dylan's thoughts and influences. Dylan's voice is distinctively American: generous of spirit, engaged, fanciful, and rhythmic. Utilizing his unparalleled gifts of storytelling and the exquisite expressiveness that are the hallmarks of his music, Bob Dylan turns Chronicles: Volume One into a poignant reflection on life, and the people and places that helped shape the man and the art.

FACE IT

FACE IT

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Filled with never-before-seen photos and art throughout, the much-anticipated autobiography from rock icon and lead singer of Blondie, Debbie Harry

BRAVE, BEAUTIFUL AND BORN TO BE PUNK

Musician, actor, activist, and the iconic face of New York City cool, Debbie Harry is the frontwoman of Blondie, a band that forged a new sound that brought together the worlds of rock, punk, disco, reggae and hip-hop to create some of the most beloved pop songs of all time. As a muse, she collaborated with some of the boldest artists of the past four decades. The scope of Debbie Harry's impact on our culture has been matched only by her reticence to reveal her rich inner life--until now.

In an arresting mix of visceral, soulful storytelling and stunning visuals, Face It upends the standard music memoir while delivering a truly prismatic portrait. With all the grit, grime, and glory recounted in intimate detail, Face It re-creates the downtown scene of 1970s New York City, where Blondie played alongside the Ramones, Television, Talking Heads, Iggy Pop and David Bowie. Aesthetically dazzling, and including never-before-seen photographs, bespoke illustrations and fan art installations, Face It brings Debbie Harry's world and artistic sensibilities to life.

Following her path from glorious commercial success to heroin addiction, the near-death of partner Chris Stein, a heart-wrenching bankruptcy, and Blondie's breakup as a band to her multifaceted acting career in more than thirty films, a stunning solo career and the triumphant return of her band, and her tireless advocacy for the environment and LGBTQ rights, Face It is a cinematic story of a woman who made her own path, and set the standard for a generation of artists who followed in her footsteps--a memoir as dynamic as its subject.

"I was saying things in songs that female singers didn't really say back then. I wasn't submissive or begging him to come back, I was kicking his ass, kicking him out, kicking my own ass too. My Blondie character was an inflatable doll but with a dark, provocative, aggressive side. I was playing it up yet I was very serious."--From Face It

JOHNNY CASH

JOHNNY CASH

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Join Greg Laurie, pastor and bestselling author of Steve McQueen: The Salvation of an American Icon, as he takes you on a personal journey into the life and legend of Johnny Cash.

At the peak of his career, Cash had done it all--living the ultimate rags-to-riches story of growing up on a cotton farm in the Deep South to becoming a Nashville and Hollywood sensation, singing alongside heroes like Elvis Presley and performing for several American presidents.

But through all of this, Cash was troubled. By the time he released the iconic Man in Black album in 1971, the middle-aged icon was broken down, hollow-eyed, and wrung out.

In his search for peace, Cash became embroiled in controversy. He was arrested five times in seven years. His drug- and alcohol-induced escapades led to car accidents and a forest fire that devastated 508 acres. His time was divided between Jesus and jail, gospel tunes and the "Cocaine Blues."

But by the end of his life, Cash was speaking openly about his "unshakeable faith." What caused the superstar to turn from his conflicting passions to embrace a life in Christ?

Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon dives deep into the singer's inner demons, triumphs, and gradual return to faith. Laurie interviews Cash's family, friends, and business associates to reveal how the singer's true success came through finding the only Person whose star was bigger than his own.

JUST KIDS

JUST KIDS

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The legendary American artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the late sixties and seventies. An honest and moving story of youth and friendship, Smith brings the same unique, lyrical quality to Just Kids as she has to the rest of her formidable body of work--from her influential 1975 album Horses to her visual art and poetry.

Patti Smith would evolve as a poet and performer, and Robert Mapplethorpe would direct his highly provocative style toward photography. Bound in innocence and enthusiasm, they traversed the city from Coney Island to 42nd Street, and eventually to the celebrated round table of Max's Kansas City, where the Andy Warhol contingent held court. In 1969, the pair set up camp at the Hotel Chelsea and soon entered a community of the famous and infamous--the influential artists of the day and the colorful fringe. It was a time of heightened awareness, when the worlds of poetry, rock and roll, art, and sexual politics were colliding and exploding. In this milieu, two kids made a pact to take care of each other. Scrappy, romantic, committed to create, and fueled by their mutual dreams and drives, they would prod and provide for one another during the hungry years.

A true fable, Just Kids is a portrait of two young artists' ascent, a prelude to fame.

M TRAIN

M TRAIN

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From the National Book Award-winning author of Just Kids a "sublime collection of true stories ... and wild imaginings that take us to the very heart of who Patti Smith is" (Vanity Fair), told through the cafés and haunts she has worked in around the world. Patti Smith calls this bestselling work "a roadmap to my life."

M Train begins in the tiny Greenwich Village café where Smith goes every morning for black coffee, ruminates on the world as it is and the world as it was, and writes in her notebook. Through prose that shifts fluidly between dreams and reality, past and present, we travel to Frida Kahlo's Casa Azul in Mexico; to the fertile moon terrain of Iceland; to a ramshackle seaside bungalow in New York's Far Rockaway that Smith acquires just before Hurricane Sandy hits; to the West 4th Street subway station, filled with the sounds of the Velvet Underground after the death of Lou Reed; and to the graves of Genet, Plath, Rimbaud, and Mishima.

Woven throughout are reflections on the writer's craft and on artistic creation. Here, too, are singular memories of Smith's life in Michigan and the irremediable loss of her husband, Fred Sonic Smith.

Braiding despair with hope and consolation, illustrated with her signature Polaroids, M Train is a meditation on travel, detective shows, literature, and coffee. It is a powerful, deeply moving book by one of the most remarkable multiplatform artists at work today.

Featuring a postscript with five new photos from Patti Smith

SOMEBODY TO LOVE

SOMEBODY TO LOVE

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For the first time, the final years of one of the world's most captivating rock showman are laid bare. Including interviews from Freddie Mercury's closest friends in the last years of his life, along with personal photographs, Somebody to Love is an authoritative biography of the great man.

Here are previously unknown and startling facts about the singer and his life, moving detail on his lifelong search for love and personal fulfilment, and of course his tragic contraction of a then killer disease in the mid-1980s.

Woven throughout Freddie's life is the shocking story of how the HIV virus came to hold the world in its grip, was cruelly labelled 'The Gay Plague' and the unwitting few who indirectly infected thousands of men, women and children - Freddie Mercury himself being one of the most famous.

The death of this vibrant and spectacularly talented rock star, shook the world of medicine as well as the world of music. Somebody to Love finally puts the record straight and pays detailed tribute to the man himself.

THIS ISN'T HAPPENING: RADIOHEA

THIS ISN'T HAPPENING: RADIOHEA

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A Rolling Stone-Kirkus Best Music Book of 2020
"In this brilliant book, Steven Hyden goes deep into why Kid A matters--it's the fascinating saga of how the music turned into the symbol of a new cultural era." -- Rolling Stone



THE MAKING AND MEANING OF RADIOHEAD'S GROUNDBREAKING, CONTROVERSIAL, EPOCHDEFINING ALBUM, KID A.

In 1999, as the end of an old century loomed, five musicians entered a recording studio in Paris without a deadline. Their band was widely recognized as the best and most forward-thinking in rock, a rarefied status granting them the time, money, and space to make a masterpiece. But Radiohead didn't want to make another rock record. Instead, they set out to create the future.

For more than a year, they battled writer's block, intra-band disagreements, and crippling self-doubt. In the end, however, they produced an album that was not only a complete departure from their prior guitar-based rock sound, it was the sound of a new era-and it embodied widespread changes catalyzed by emerging technologies just beginning to take hold of the culture. What they created was Kid A.

Upon its release in 2000, Radiohead's fourth album divided critics. Some called it an instant classic; others, such as the UK music magazine Melody Maker, deemed it "tubby, ostentatious, self-congratulatory... whiny old rubbish." But two decades later, Kid A sounds like nothing less than an overture for the chaos and confusion of the twenty-first century.

Acclaimed rock critic Steven Hyden digs deep into the songs, history, legacy, and mystique of Kid A, outlining the album's pervasive influence and impact on culture in time for its twentieth anniversary in 2020. Deploying a mix of criticism, journalism, and personal memoir, Hyden skillfully revisits this enigmatic, alluring LP and investigates the many ways in which Kid A shaped and foreshadowed our world.
UP JUMPED THE DEVIL

UP JUMPED THE DEVIL

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Robert Johnson is the subject of the most famous myth about the blues: he allegedly sold his soul at the crossroads in exchange for his incredible talent, and this deal led to his death at age 27. But the actual story of his life remains unknown save for a few inaccurate anecdotes. Up Jumped the Devil is the result of over 50 years of research. Gayle Dean Wardlow has been interviewing people who knew Robert Johnson since the early 1960s, and he was the person who discovered Johnson's death certificate in 1967. Bruce Conforth began his study of Johnson's life and music in 1970 and made it his mission to fill in what was still unknown about him. In this definitive biography, the two authors relied on every interview, resource and document, most of it material no one has seen before. As a result, this book not only destroys every myth that ever surrounded Johnson, but also tells a human story of a real person. It is the first book about Johnson that documents his years in Memphis, details his trip to New York, uncovers where and when his wife Virginia died and the impact this had on him, fully portrays the other women Johnson was involved with, and tells exactly how and why he died and who gave him the poison that killed him. Up Jumped the Devil will astonish blues fans who thought they knew something about Johnson.
YEAR OF THE MONKEY

YEAR OF THE MONKEY

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Riveting, elegant, humorous--and illustrated by Smith's signature Polaroids--New York Times bestseller Year of the Monkey is a moving and original work, a touchstone for our turbulent times.

"A picaresque voyage through Patti Smith's dreams and life, blending fiction and reality, conjured characters and actual ones"--The New York Times

Following a run of new year's concerts at San Francisco's legendary Fillmore, Patti Smith finds herself tramping the coast of Santa Cruz, about to embark on a year of solitary wandering. Unfettered by logic or time, she draws us into her private wonderland, in which she debates intellectual grifters and spars with the likes of a postmodern Cheshire Cat. Then, in February 2016, a surreal lunar year begins, bringing unexpected turns, heightened mischief, and inescapable sorrow. For Smith--inveterately curious, always exploring, always writing--this becomes a year of reckoning with the changes in life's gyre: with loss, aging, and a dramatic shift in the political landscape of America.

Taking us from California to the Arizona desert, from a Kentucky farm to the hospital room of a valued mentor, Smith melds the western landscape with her own dreamscape in a haunting, poetic blend of fact and fiction. As a stranger tells her, "Anything is possible. After all, it's the Year of the Monkey." But as Smith heads toward a new decade in her own life, she offers this balm to the reader: her wisdom, wit, gimlet eye, and above all, a rugged hope for a better world.

Named one of NPR's Best Books of the Year--now including a new chapter, Epilogue of an Epilogue, and ten new photos--Year of the Monkey "reminds us that despair and possibility often spring from the same source" (Los Angeles Times).