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What are your 5 favorite biographies/auto-biographies (BOOKS ONLY PLEASE) related to the MUSIC INDUSTRY?

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bFletch

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Apr 6, 2020
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25
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Little River, CA
I have to say that the most FUN my wife and I have had recently with a music "bio book" is what we're still in the middle of right now - and that is Peter Asher's recent title: "The Beatles from A to Zed: An Alphabetical Mystery Tour. We are reading it together and, as recommended by Linda Ronstadt in her review, we are playing every recording as he shares his personal stories about them. Another great way to spend sheltering in place.
Beatles A to ZED.jpg

Some others are: "Behind the Glass" by Howard Massey, "Hotel California" by Barney Hoskyns, "Simple Dreams" by Linda Ronstadt, and "Here, There and Everywhere" by Geoff Emerick and Howard Massy
 

5.1 4 Life

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Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
126
1. Maurice White-My Life With Earth, Wind & Fire
2. Bruce Springsteen-Born To Run
3. Curtis Mayfield-Traveling Soul: The Life of Curtis Mayfield (by Todd Mayfield with Travis Atria)
4. Darlene Love-My Name Is Love
5. Otis Williams-Temptations

Runners Up:
6. Mary Wilson-Dreamgirl (My Life As A Supreme)
7. Phillip Bailey-Surviving The Elements of Earth, Wind & Fire
8. Paul McCartney, George Harrison & Ringo Starr-The Beatles Anthology
9. Bill Wyman-Stone Alone
10. Patti LaBelle-Don't Block The Blessings
 

Werno

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Mar 5, 2010
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102
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Joisey
Here's five I've enjoyed that I haven't noticed anyone mention yet.

Jack Bruce- Composing Himself
Not sure how many fans of Jack Bruce's solo work are hanging out here, but I've enjoyed my share and I enjoyed this very thorough bio that ranges from his school years on a classical music scholarship through the 'Quest for Smack' years touring with West, Bruce, and Lang, and on through many diverse collaborations in his later years. So there's a definite 'don't meet your heros' factor here, but there's also a panoramic spread of a musical life where Bruce generally sought artistic growth over commercial success, collaborated with jazz and world music icons, bought an island... it's not a dull life. And it's amazing that he lived as long as he did.

White Bicycles- Joe Boyd
The prose is a little overblown but the man was present and participating at a ridiculous number of pop music milestones, from running the PA at Newport when Dylan went electric to signing and producing most of the originators of folk-rock in the UK including Fairport Convention, John Martyn, Nick Drake, Richard & Linda Thompson, etc. There's more, but until I get my copy back from whoever I lent it to more details will have to wait.

Glyn Johns- Sound Man
Speaking of producers, Johns produced.... so many classic albums. The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, the Eagles, the Who, the Clash, even one by Fairport Convention. Decent writer too, and entertaining company as he shares stories from his career and life.

Complicated Games- Inside the Songs of XTC
Pretty much what the title says, Todd Berhnardt interviewing Andy Partridge, each chapter devoted to a particular song in the XTC/Dukes of the Stratosphear discography. Those of us who've recently delved into XTC through the Wilson remixes will find much of interest as you evesdrop on the cool kids discussing how the sausage was made.

Roger Daltrey- Thanks a Lot Mr Kibblewhite: My Story
Nicely done autobiography, easy on the tawdry stuff and a little easy on himself sometimes but mostly reads as an honest look back with much gratitude expressed; I wasn't expecting to like him more by the end but he spun a good yarn.
 

pti

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
17
I'll second Nick Mason's Inside Out, which I just finished. It was much better written than the Steve Howe autobiography I read just before it.

I also enjoyed Geoff Emerick's (RIP) and Ken Scott's books for their tilt in the engineering direction.
 

musicmemorabiliashoppellc

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
1,322
Location
Spacewarp Planet
Here's five I've enjoyed that I haven't noticed anyone mention yet.

Jack Bruce- Composing Himself
Not sure how many fans of Jack Bruce's solo work are hanging out here, but I've enjoyed my share and I enjoyed this very thorough bio that ranges from his school years on a classical music scholarship through the 'Quest for Smack' years touring with West, Bruce, and Lang, and on through many diverse collaborations in his later years. So there's a definite 'don't meet your heros' factor here, but there's also a panoramic spread of a musical life where Bruce generally sought artistic growth over commercial success, collaborated with jazz and world music icons, bought an island... it's not a dull life. And it's amazing that he lived as long as he did.

White Bicycles- Joe Boyd
The prose is a little overblown but the man was present and participating at a ridiculous number of pop music milestones, from running the PA at Newport when Dylan went electric to signing and producing most of the originators of folk-rock in the UK including Fairport Convention, John Martyn, Nick Drake, Richard & Linda Thompson, etc. There's more, but until I get my copy back from whoever I lent it to more details will have to wait.

Glyn Johns- Sound Man
Speaking of producers, Johns produced.... so many classic albums. The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, the Eagles, the Who, the Clash, even one by Fairport Convention. Decent writer too, and entertaining company as he shares stories from his career and life.

Complicated Games- Inside the Songs of XTC
Pretty much what the title says, Todd Berhnardt interviewing Andy Partridge, each chapter devoted to a particular song in the XTC/Dukes of the Stratosphear discography. Those of us who've recently delved into XTC through the Wilson remixes will find much of interest as you evesdrop on the cool kids discussing how the sausage was made.

Roger Daltrey- Thanks a Lot Mr Kibblewhite: My Story
Nicely done autobiography, easy on the tawdry stuff and a little easy on himself sometimes but mostly reads as an honest look back with much gratitude expressed; I wasn't expecting to like him more by the end but he spun a good yarn.
I had the audio discs of the Daltrey book.....read by the man himself and copied it ...... then sold it.....great bio
 

MakoShark

New member
Joined
Jul 24, 2020
Messages
5
Location
seven seas
View attachment 54887
I believe this book should be required reading. Louis Armstrong, perhaps the United States greatest musical artist, tells of his upbringing in New Orleans until the age of 21 when he leaves for Chicago. Essential.
I wholeheartedly agree. My father encouraged my sister and I to read this autobiography. Louis Armstrong was a hero of his. I even own a first edition.
 
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