Category Archives: Book

Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony will be held on February 12, 2017. The CBS network will broadcast the show live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The most prestigious party associated with the event is the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala. The festivities take place tonight, Saturday, February, 11 at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

This year’s guests will include Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Ringo Starr, Metallica, Pharrell Williams, John Legend, Michael Keaton, Jane Fonda, Nile Rogers, Mary J. Blige, Britney Spears, Neil Young, Brian Grazer, Larry King, Andrea Day and Wiz Khalifa.

Clive Davis’s influence has been felt for 50 years in the music industry. He will be honored with a documentary, Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives which opens the 16th Annual Tribeca Film Festival, at Radio City Music Hall on April 19, 2017. After the screening, an all-star music concert will take place featuring performances by Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson and Earth, Wind & Fire. (to name a few)

The documentary is based on Clive Davis’s 2013 bestselling autobiography:

I admire Clive Davis who was President of Columbia-CBS Group in the heyday (1967-1973) at Big Black Rock on 52nd Street in New York City. This was a significant period that expanded my rock music appreciation.

An early pop signing of his was the British folk-rock musician Donovan, who enjoyed a string of successful hit singles and albums released in the U.S. on the Epic Records label.

Clive Davis went on to further success by founding Arista Records in 1975 by signing Patti Smith, Barry Manilow, and after Whitney Houston.

He’s 84 and still a pivotal force in the recording industry as Chief Creative Officer of Sony Music Entertainment.

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The Beginner’s Guide to Vinyl By Jenna Miles

A more focused vinyl experience is my New Year’s resolution.

I have been conducting research how to increase the aesthetics of vinyl audio listening. I’d like to share a book I have found invaluable in that context,  The Beginner’s Guide to Vinyl  by Jenna Miles.

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The author, Jenna Miles is a subject matter authority on vinyl collecting and selling. She is the President and co-Founder of SRC Vinyl, a company specializing in vinyl records. In addition she is the co-owner of Vinyl Collective, an online vinyl news site and community with more than 20,000 registered users.

Jenna Miles shares her vast vinyl expertise with the reader in an easy discernible manner. I considered myself a knowledgeable person in vinyl audio until I consumed the pages of her guide. I was further enlightened by the many in-depth vinyl resources that populate her chapters. Her writing method is suited to crate digging for that vinyl treasure you are always search for in life.

Jenna’s keen sense of customer satisfaction, coupled with her thoroughness makes this an essential read for the vinyl connoisseur.

Two Thumbs Up!

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T Bone Burnett – A Life In Pursuit

I add this book to my list of books to own. I admire and respect T Bone Burnett. He and Rick Rubin have the “midas touch” when it comes to the recording process. Their unique ear for music is our listening benefit.

This first critical appreciation of T Bone Burnett reveals how the proponent of Americana music and producer of artists ranging from Robert Plant and Alison Krauss to B. B. King and Elvis Costello has profoundly influenced American music and culture.

Rudy Gutierrez – Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey

Thanks to Rudy Gutierrez I have become aware of his art gracing the cover of the book, Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey

I have written about the Doc NYC film festival and Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary before on this blog.

What I did not know until this morning is that Rudy’s art is featured in animated form in the Coltrane documentary. I am eager to see this artistic interpretation in the film one day. I can’t get to the SVA Theatre in NYC on Thursday night, 11/17 but perhaps you, my readers can attend. If you’re into art , jazz, and Coltrane it will be a religious experience. The documentarian John Scheinfeld will be in attendance and might be speaking after the showing (just my perception).

Below is a spiritual rendition of John Coltrane by Rudy Gutierrez that appears in the documentary. Don’t you love the colors and the warm, healing feeling he communicates through his representation of Trane. 🙂 I can picture this art work hanging in the Saint John Coltrane Church in the Fillmore District in San Francisco, California.

A Love Supreme, Supreme, Supreme

Rudy Gutierrez

History Is Made At Night

David Godlis’s, History Is Made At Night, includes 119 of his iconic black-and-white images from nights on the Bowery at CBGB between 1974 and 1979, shot with his handheld Leica and TRI-X film.

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Godlis was front and center during the heyday of the New York Punk scene, capturing the likes of the Ramones, Blondie, Richard Hell, Patti Smith, Television, and the Talking Heads.

He snapped one of my favorite photographs of Patti Smith backdropped by the street light in The Bowery, outside CBGB in 1976.

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i am Brian Wilson a memoir

Brian Wilson’s musical genius sustainability are his and our remarkable treasures. His new memoir takes us into his creative muse. Isn’t that what we want to learn about Brian’s talent? The thought process behind such great classics as “Good Vibrations” and “God Only Knows”.

I Am Brian Wilson,  written by Brian Wilson with music journalist Ben Greenman will be available on October 11th from Da Capo Press.

I Am Brian Wilson is the story of Brian Wilson’s life, told by Brian Wilson. But he’s not the same man who had a nervous breakdown on an airplane in 1964 or the one who ballooned to 300 pounds and couldn’t get out of bed in the 1970s. This Brian Wilson is older, calmer, filled with perspective regarding his extraordinary accomplishments and forgiveness for the people who complicated those accomplishments, and his life. Wiser, more measured, though still possessed of the youthful spark that helped him rise to the top of the rock and roll world, Wilson relates his life with a level of emotional honesty that has eluded authors of scores of previous works on Brian and The Beach Boys: “Telling my story honestly means remembering things I sometimes prefer to forget. I would like people to get to know what I’ve gone through, and I hope that my story will give them strength.”

Born to Run: Bruce Springsteen

You’d have to be living under a rock not to know that Bruce Springsteen has a new autobiography, Born to Run and a companion recording, “Chapter and Verse”.

Bruce Springsteen is our American music living legend. He has one of the strongest and most committed fan  bases in music today.

He is presently on a book promotion tour. Yesterday he sat down with Eddy Cue, Senior VP of Internet Software and Services at the Apple SoHo Store for a 45 minute interview. Jimmy Iovine, Apple Music top executive and the producer of Springsteen’s Born to Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town albums was in also in attendance.

I find it interesting that Eddy Cue chose Facebook Live as the medium for the Webcast. I thinking Eddy Cue would have preferred to utilize Apple’s network (Beats 1) but they don’t have that capability yet. (Outsource vs. insource)

Here is the video link from last night’s interview. Enjoy.

 

 

Biography: ‘Bear: The Life and Times Of Augustus Owsley Stanley III’

I’m looking forward to a new biography due to release on November 15, 2016. ‘Bear: The Life and Times Of Augustus Owsley Stanley III’  written by Robert Greenfield, a music author/journalist I deeply respect.

First-hand reflections from Bob Weir, Phil Lesh and Jerry Garcia are included in the book which comes from the author of Dark Star: An Oral History Of Jerry Garcia. Greenfield also penned Exile on Main St.: A Season in Hell with the Rolling Stones and collaborated with impresario Bill Graham on Bill Graham Presents: My Life Inside Rock and Out.

Augustus Owsley Stanley III, better known by his nickname, Bear, was one of the most iconic figures in the cultural revolution that changed both America and the world during the 1960s.

Owsley’s high-octane rocket fuel enabled Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters to put on the Acid Tests. It also powered much of what happened on stage at Monterey Pop. Owsley turned on Pete Townshend of The Who and Jimi Hendrix. The shipment of LSD that Owsley sent John Lennon resulted in The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour album and film.

Convinced that the Grateful Dead were destined to become the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band, Owsley provided the money that kept them going during their early days. As their longtime soundman, he then faithfully recorded many of the Dead’s greatest live performances and designed the massive space age system that came to be known as the Wall of Sound.

 

New York Rock: From the Rise of The Velvet Underground to the Fall of CBGB by Steven Blush

As a city that represents endless possibilities, New York has been the setting for the dawning of new movements, styles, and genres. In the 20th century, the birth of Rock represented a connection between art forms and the city’s socioeconomic, racial, and sexual variants. New York Rock breaks down the rock scene’s half-century connection to New York and analyses its distinct subculture through the prism of influences, crosscurrents, and psychoactive distractions. Over 1,500 musicians, clubs, and labels held roles in the making of New York Rock, and it’s their contributions that created this iconic art form. A compilation of first hand narratives about each genre of rock, from Punk New Wave and Glitter Rock to New York Hardcore and Indie rock, New York Rock is the ultimate illustrated account of Rock’s role in New York City.

Jim Marshall: Jazz Festival

Published by Reel Art Press

Edited by Amelia Davis, Tony Nourmand. Introduction by Nat Hentoff. Foreword by President Bill Clinton. Designed by Graham Marsh.

Jim Marshall is known as the defining father of music photography and his intimate photographs of the greats of rock & roll, country, folk, blues and jazz are legendary. Renowned for his extraordinary access and ability to capture the perfect moment, his influence is second to none. In 2014, Marshall became the only photographer ever to be honored by the Grammys with a Trustees Award for his life’s work.

Published here for the first time ever are Marshall’s jazz festival photographs from the 1960s, which capture the crowd, the performances and unguarded moments with jazz icons such as Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Nina Simone, Ray Charles and many more.

Over 95% of the material in this breathtaking volume has never been seen before. Marshall’s remarkable photographs of the festivals at Newport and Monterey immortalize the unique energy and soul of these celebrations of jazz. Complete access to Marshall’s vast archive has been granted for this book. It includes a foreword by President Bill Clinton and an introduction by renowned jazz writer Nat Hentoff, and is designed by art director Graham Marsh (The Cover Art of Blue Note Records, Hollywood and the Ivy Look). This is the first in a series of books to be published by Reel Art Press in collaboration with the Jim Marshall Archive.

Jim Marshall (1936–2010) was born in Chicago. While still in high school, he purchased his first camera and began documenting musicians and artists in San Francisco. Over a 50-year career he created hundreds of legendary images that came into public consciousness through magazine features, more than 500 album covers and six books: Monterey Pop, Not Fade Away, Proof, Jazz, Trust and Pocket Cash.

From Thelonious Monk to John Coltrane, Miles Davis to Nina Simone, Jim Marshall’s defining photographs of the 1960s jazz scene