Uncommon People: The Rise and Fall Of The Rock Stars – David Hepworth

I’ve come to respect how prolific and authoritative David Hepworth is as a music journalist. I published a blog post last year about his earlier book, 1971: Never A Dull Moment. A pivotal year in rock music.

His new book is titled, Uncommon People: The Rise and Fall Of The Rock Stars.

The latest book, “Uncommon People,” takes in the genre through a broader lens, 1955 to 1995, charting the rise and fall of the rock star as a species over that time.

An elegy to the age of the Rock Star, featuring Chuck Berry, Elvis, Madonna, Bowie, Prince, and more, uncommon people whose lives were transformed by rock and who, in turn, shaped our culture

The age of the rock star, like the age of the cowboy, has passed. Like the cowboy, the idea of the rock star lives on in our imaginations. What did we see in them? Swagger. Recklessness. Sexual charisma. Damn-the-torpedoes self-belief. A certain way of carrying themselves. Good hair. Interesting shoes. The talent we wished we had. What did we want of them? To be larger than life but also like us. To live out their songs. To stay young forever. No wonder many didn’t stay the course.

 

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Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains Book

This Pink Floyd book is the closest I will get to the Pink Floyd Museum Exhibit.

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I am hoping that New York City will be the next museum tour stop. The curator hasn’t announced where in the world this exhibit will appear next but my fingers are crossed.

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Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe

I was recently listening to the Joni Mitchell box set, The Studio Albums, 1968-1979, tuning in to her jazz period with bassist Jaco Pastorius. Specifically, the recordings, Hejira, Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter, Mingus and the live concert double LP, Shadows and Light which represents a lucrative jazz interval.

This created a strong desire for me to dig deeper into Joni’s extensive muse. I wanted to learn more what motivated her to transition from folk singer/songwriter to intricate jazz phrased poetry.

A new biography, Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe. provides many more revelations about that creative era.

Yaffe was granted extraordinary access to the famously standoffish Mitchell, as well as to many of her closest friends and collaborators, including Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Joan Baez, David Crosby, Judy Collins, and the late Leonard Cohen. Making the most of his proximity, he pulls off the feat that has eluded so many of his predecessors: He forges an intimacy with Mitchell on her own, uncompromising terms by truly listening to her, as closely and as generously as she’s always deserved.

This is a book I can’t wait to savor. I’m appreciative of David Yaffe sharing the artistic wealth.

Eyes Of The World—Grateful Dead Photography, 1965 to 1995

Released Today!

Eyes of the World: Grateful Dead Photography 1965 – 1995 is a fine art, hardcover coffee table photography book that brings together, for the first time, a comprehensive collection of photographs from a lot of photographers whose work has captured the Grateful Dead at different times throughout their career.

Co-Edited by former Relix editor-in-chief Josh Baron and famed rock photographer Jay Blakesberg, Eyes of the World will be released October 23, 2017, via Rock Out Books.

Shocking as it may seem—particularly given the unparalleled job the band’s shepherds did in documenting its history—until now there has been no definitive visual reference encompassing the 30-year career of the Grateful Dead.

Over the course of six months of research, Baron and Blakesberg reached out to more than 100 photographers (or in some cases, their representatives) to see if they’d be willing to give their images for review.  After much deliberation, countless conversations and 32 versions of the eventual layout, they landed on 220 images captured by 61 photographers across 272 pages that would become Eyes of the World, the book.

Photographers featured in Eyes of the World include such legendary names as Annie Leibovitz, Jim Marshall, David Gahr, Mark Seliger, Herb Greene, William Coupon, Michael O’Neill, Adrian Boot, Michael Putland, Peter Simon, Baron Wolman and, of course, Jay Blakesberg. Included in the collection are iconic images, lesser-known photos, and never-seen-before seen images – each of them a singular perspective of a poignant moment that together helps tell the Grateful Dead’s epic tale through large, bold imagery.

We’re Going To Be Friends – Third Man Books

I love how Jack White does it all, in addition to the PBS American Epic Series, he owns Third Man Records and Third Man Books. Talk about the ability to publish and reach an audience.

I welcome the opportunity to sit down with Jack White and share a cup of coffee. I’d love nothing more than the opportunity to thank him in person for all he does to educate, entertain and preserve music heritage. I appreciate all you invent and share with the world, Jack.

On November 7th, you can join Suzy Lee as she goes to school with her books and pens, looks for bugs, shows and tells and finds a friend in the “We’re Going To Be Friends” children’s picture book from Third Man Books! Pre-order the Jack White-penned book with illustrations by Elinor Blake now: http://smarturl.it/WGTBFbook

American Epic: The First Time America Heard Itself

 

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Jack White, T. Bone Burnett, and Robert Redford have teamed up to executive produce American Epic, a historical music project exploring the pivotal recording journeys of the early twentieth century, which for the first time captured the breadth of American music and made it available to the world. It was, in a very real way, the first time America truly heard herself.

The companion book to the groundbreaking PBS and BBC documentary series celebrating the pioneers and artists of American roots music—blues, gospel, folk, Cajun, Appalachian, Hawaiian, Native American—without which there would be no jazz, rock, country R&B, or hip hop today.

 

 

The Vinyl Me, Please – “Piece De Resistance”

Vinyl Me, Please believes that an album isn’t something you simply own, and their mission is to turn music listening into an immersive sensory experience.

One way they seek to carry out that aim is with the book, Vinyl Me, Please: 100 Albums You Need In Your CollectionA vibrant visual guide to curating must-have records for any music lover’s shelf. Each entry includes an album’s artwork, a short essay from a contributing music writer, and further suggestions to help you expand your taste and build your collection. Standard fare for most album reviews.  Unique to their menu are the recipe suggestions for possible cocktail pairings to complete your listening experience.

Note to my readers in the NYC Metro area, on Wednesday May 10: 7:30 PM 8:30PM ,there will be a related event at The Strand Bookstore.

Music fans of all ages are invited to a panel moderated by Vinyl Me, Please co-founder Tyler Barstow and Vinyl Me, Please senior editor Andrew Winistorfer, and featuring book contributors Eric Sundermann (Editor in Chief of Noisey), Gary Suarez (VMP Electronic Columnist and freelance music writer), and Drew Millard (freelance writer for Noisey, Vice, Spin, and more). Panelists will discuss the albums they covered for the book, albums they wished had been in it– and debate their choices–with a Q+A and book signing to follow.

Wish I could attend…Sigh