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Author: Subject: Blues/Rock Biographies - best ones?

Peach Bud





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  posted on 6/22/2012 at 03:11 PM
It seems like a number of biographies from my favorite performers have come out in the past couple of years. I just finished Buddy Guy's memoirs. Great, conversational read and I highly reccomend it. I've read Gregg's, Buddy's and Eric's biographies/memoirs recently and I'd rank the books something like Buddy>Gregg=Eric. For me, Eric's book gave alot of information about him that I wasn't aware of and appreciated. Both Buddy's and Gregg's were full of great, funny stories about some of my favorite musicians (Duane, Muddy, Howlin Wolf...). What I found surprising from Buddy's book was that he has sort of a split personality as a musician: crazy showman on stage vs low-key studio player with a strong work ethic. I also didn't know that he spent many years working a day job as a tow-truck driver to support his family while also gigging of a night time. Of the three, Buddy comes off the best I think from his book.

I'm curious as to how anyone else from here would rate the three books?

Also, has anyone got any feedback on the Keith Richard's book that came out recently? I'm not really a Stones guy, but if it is a good reflection of the times and talks about some of the other artists from that era, I might be interested.

Any other good rock/blues books that you'd reccomend?

 
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World Class Peach



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  posted on 6/22/2012 at 03:25 PM
I liked Tony Iommi's book Iron Man. It's an easy read and gave a pretty good insight to ups and downs of Black Sabbath.

Eventually I'll get around to reading Keith Richards's book plus Donell Gallagher's book about Rory when it comes out.

 

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  posted on 6/22/2012 at 03:36 PM
Personally, I'm more interested in "nuts and bolts" types of books as opposed to lurid tell-alls.

My current favorite (having just completed it) is Johnny Sandlin's (via Ann) "Never Ending Groove". Sometimes, too-technichal for fan-readers, but good information. There are some behind the scene stories about the players, but it's kept tasteful.

Another book that I read some time ago is "Dangerous Kitchen: The Subversive World of Zappa". Same type of book - kind of bounces between technical-studio jargon, interspersed with stories from the road.

I liked Keith Richard's recent book - though it starts kind slow (almost Chaucer-esque!).

 

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  posted on 6/22/2012 at 04:55 PM
I read Johnny Winter's Rasing Cain book a few months ago, and really enjoyed it. Slash's bio was great as well. I'm reading Aerosmith's Walk This Way right now, am on Chapter 2 of that one. It's good so far. I still need to read Buddy Guy's & Gregg Allman's books.
 

Peach Bud



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  posted on 6/22/2012 at 05:28 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, they're much appreciated.

The Iommi book looks interesting because my son is a big fan and it might give us something else to talk about. The Winter and Sandlin books also sound good. I've seen a bit about the Sandlin book on the 'My Cross to Bear' threads and it sounds as if it would be good to get a diff view on things.

I forgot to mention 2 others I've read recently that were both very good, for diff reasons. One was suggested here on the threads. 'One Way Out: An Oral History of the Allman Brothers Band' by Alan Paul is basically a short history of the band using quotes from the different members over time. Very cool and a quick read. I finished it in one sitting.

The other one was 'Escaping the Delta' by Elijah Wald. It is a very good history of blues music in general and explores alot of the differences between whites and blacks perceptions of the history of the blues, centering around Robert Johnson. Alot of what was described in this book was consistent with the stories in Buddy's memoirs as well. A really good read for anyone who's interested in the history of the blues.

Thanks again!

 

Peach Master



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  posted on 6/23/2012 at 09:14 PM
Honeyboy Edwards "The World Don't Owe Me Nothin' " is a beautiful bio if you want to see the world through the eyes of a real bluesman. Highly recommend!
 

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  posted on 6/23/2012 at 10:01 PM
I'm reading Bobby Witilocks book now , pretty good , a little insight on the Derek and Doms ,allthough he seems to praise Duane at first then he says that Duane couldn't hack it playing live with the D&D's

Kieths book was great , Read Slash and that was good, Skydog was really good , just finished Greggs book it was ok ,Dave Mustaine's was good ,Iommi was good , Johnny Winters raising cain was very good , Grace Slicks book was very good ,(I wish Jorma would write one) Walk this way was very good , not a kiss fan but read Aces book was very good

Eriik's book left me not liking him very much as a person , but I feel the same about most of the rock stars after I read there book , like David Crosby ,what an **** , Shakey Neil Youngs book was really good , he has another coming out soon , one that he was more involed in writing.

Those are a few off the top of my head , I read alot of Bio's ,I can post some more if you like , they are in my closet. I want to read Al Coopers book but can't seem to find it

[Edited on 6/24/2012 by kevhic]

 

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  posted on 6/23/2012 at 10:24 PM
Just read Buddy's book again last week. Really enjoyed it even the 2nd time through. I also had his book from the early 90s-which was more of an authorized biography type book, I liked it and learned a lot but the new one is written and put together a lot better.

Outside of the ones already mentioned (loved Gregg's, Clapton's, Keith's, Slash's, haven't gotten Iommi's yet but plan to eventually) I also enjoyed B.B. King's Blues All Around Me. Had been out back in the 90s also but was just re-released this past spring. I'm now re-reading that one.

There's also a book I got for Christmas this year called Preachin The Blues, a biography on Son House which I really enjoyed. And of course if you haven't read Can't Be Satisfied or Moanin at Midnight, DO! Great bios on Muddy and Howlin Wolf. Also Incurable Blues, Hubert Sumlin's biography is also a must read. I've not read Willie Dixon's book I Am the Blues or the one about Little Walter-Blues With A Feeling, but those are on my list for the near future.

 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 6/24/2012 at 12:36 PM
Just finished Bill Graham Presents My Life Inside Rock And Out and halfway through Al Kooper's Backstage Passes And Backstabbing Bastards. Both excellent! Two difficult guys at times I imagine but Jesus, the things Bill Graham went through in his younger days!

 

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  posted on 6/24/2012 at 08:10 PM
the last sultan/the life and times of ahmet ertegun /atlantic records.gram parsons story/ twenty thousand roads. i'll sleep when i'm dead/ warren zevon. not blues but good reads.
 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 6/25/2012 at 11:13 AM
quote:
The other one was 'Escaping the Delta' by Elijah Wald. It is a very good history of blues music in general and explores alot of the differences between whites and blacks perceptions of the history of the blues, centering around Robert Johnson. Alot of what was described in this book was consistent with the stories in Buddy's memoirs as well. A really good read for anyone who's interested in the history of the blues.


have you read Robert Palmer's "Deep Blues"? that's a pretty in-depth look at the blues culture too. "Robert Johnson: Lost and Found" by Barry Lee Pearson & Bill McCulloch takes a good look at the conflicting stories surrounding Robert Johnson. It's a great companion book to Escaping The Delta. I read both last summer, plus "Deep Blues."

 

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Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 6/25/2012 at 11:53 AM
Anybody read Sammy Hagar's book yet? That one has peaked my interest. Read Gregg's. Reading Johnny's. "Escaping The Delta" although a little textbooklike is a must read for any serious blues fan. It dispells many of the myths surrounding Robert Johnson and the Blues in general. Did y'all know that the "selling of his soul on the crossroads for talent" is actually about TOMMY Johnson and not Robert. Look it up. Agreed on the Clapton and Crosby biographies. How could anybody like tem as people. Some intersting stuff in the Gregg book, but seemed to me he was trying hard not to come off like Clapton or Crosby ... like he actually has some redeeming qualities as a person. Lol! . I enjoy the stories and yes the lurid details by appreciate the technical stuff and would love some insight to the songwriting process - lyrics in particular. Would love for Steely Dan to address this issue. Anyway great post. Looking fo some summer reads.

 

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