Sir George Martin – The Fifth Beatle

I’ve conducted research on The Beatles for a Teach Rock lecture I am building. I keep uncovering books from authoritative authors. It’s amazing what I have unearthed thus far and what remains to be discovered.

A key vantage point about the lads is a two-volume series about the influential Fifth Beatle, Sir George Martin by Kenneth Womack.

Kenneth Womack is a world-renowned authority on the Beatles and their enduring cultural influence. His latest book project involves a two-volume, full-length biography devoted to famed Beatles producer Sir George Martin. The first book in the series is entitled Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin (The Early Years, 1926-1966). The second volume, Sound Pictures: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin (The Later Years, 1966-2016), is to be released tomorrow September 4th.

The first book of a two-part series, Maximum Volume traces Martin’s early years as a scratch pianist, his life in the Fleet Air Arm during the Second World War, and his groundbreaking work as the head of Parlophone Records during the 1950s, when Martin saved the company from ruin after making his name as a producer of comedy and spoken-word recordings. In its most dramatic moments, Maximum Volume narrates the story of Martin’s unlikely discovery of the Beatles and his painstaking efforts to prepare their newfangled sound for the British music marketplace. As the story unfolds, Martin and the band craft many number-one hits along the group’s progress towards The Ed Sullivan Show and such landmark songs as “Yesterday” and “In My Life”—Beatles tunes that bear Martin’s unmistakable musical signature.

As Martin and the Beatles create one landmark album after another, including such masterworks as Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles (The White Album), and Abbey Road, the internal stakes and interpersonal challenges become ever greater. During his post-Beatles years, Martin attempts to discover new vistas of sound recording with a host of acts, including Jeff Beck, America, Cheap Trick, Paul McCartney, and Elton John. Eventually, all roads lead Martin back to the Beatles, as the group seeks out new ways to memorialize their achievement under the supervision of the man who came to be known as Sir George. Now, more than 50 years later, Martin’s singular stamp remains on popular music as successive generations discover the magic of the Beatles.

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Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography By Andrea Warner

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The Buffy Sainte-Marie authorized biography will be released on September 25, 2018. It’s a powerful, intimate look at the life of a beloved folk icon and activist.

The Saskatchewan-born Cree singer-songwriter “has made her voice heard through her music, art, and activism, establishing herself among the ranks of folk greats such as Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan,” according to publisher Greystone Books.

“But Sainte-Marie is so much more than a musician; she is also an entrepreneur, a pioneer in digital art, and an important cultural activist who has worked tirelessly advocating for and protecting Indigenous rights and freedoms.”

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“Warner’s book draws decades of incredible, world-changing accomplishments together to make an irrefutable case for Sainte-Marie’s place among the rock n’ roll and songwriting greats.” Tanya Tagaq – Experimental vocalist, and artist

Buffy Sainte Marie

Andrea Warner is a writer, critic, broadcaster, and Podcaster focusing on music, arts, pop culture, and feminism. She’s also the author of the acclaimed 2015 book, We Oughta Know: How Four Women Ruled the ’90s and Changed Canadian Music (Eternal Cavalier Press). Andrea is an associate producer at CBC Music and co-hosts the weekly podcast, Pop This!.

Andrea has also written An Essential Guide to Buffy Sainte-Marie for those who want to discover the gems in Buffy’s 20 album catalog prior to obtaining her book.

Pre-orders for the book may be placed:

1) In Canada at your local bookstoreAmazon, or Indigo.
2) In the USA, at your local bookstore/IndieboundAmazon, or Barnes & Noble

Sonny Rollins: Meditating on a Riff

I just discovered in my Twitter feed an illuminating source for the book I’m writing about spirituality and the healing power of music.

Sonny Rollins: Meditating on a Riff, A Journey Into His World of Spirituality by Hugh Wyatt.

It’s the second title from a new, independent book publisher Kamama Books that focuses on books as diverse and offbeat as the city itself.


Jazz legend Sonny Rollins spent his youth hustling on the streets of his native Harlem, but over time the tenor saxophonist shifted gears and developed the reputation of being “the world’s greatest living jazz musician.” Did he deserve such a lofty title?

This biography, entitled Sonny Rollins: Meditating on a Riff, will attempt to answer this and other questions. However, it will not be a regurgitation of previous books or articles that focus exclusively on jazz. Instead, the major focus of this book will be on Sonny’s adventurous foray into spirituality and even the occult.

The secretive Sonny experimented with certain esoteric forms of yoga and spirituality, such as Rosicrucianism and other otherworldly practices. His goal was not only to achieve God-realization, among other things but to develop certain powers that would enable him to unlock the secrets of the universe.

Wyatt’s riveting biography offers a unique glimpse into the psyche of one of the most reclusive figures in jazz. It is a tell-all that reveals intimate and unpublished details of his fascinating life directly from Sonny himself, as well as his family members and close friends

Jimi Hendrix – The Day I Was There

As a veteran of over 415 concerts in 49 years, one of my regrets is that I never saw Jimi Hendrix live in concert. Alas, that was not meant to happen.

I will soon have an opportunity to read about the personal memories of 400 eyewitness accounts of seeing Jimi live. Richard M. Houghton has a new book coming out on the 48th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix’s death, September 18, 2018, Jimi Hendrix, The Day I Was There.

I love the use of color that illustrates the book cover.

Richard M. Houghton is a music journalist/archivist. He has forged an interesting niche by writing a series of books from a rock music fan’s point of view. His, I Was There theme is a smart and welcome idea. The Jimi Hendrix book is the fifth I Was There title in the series.

He has written I Was There books about The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Pink Floyd.

He is working on several more I  Was There books for 2019 and beyond. Upcoming projects are fan memories of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath (2019), the Faces, Cream and Neil Young.  I have some memories to share with Richard for those titles.

If there’s anyone else you’re passionate reading about, he’ d love to hear from you. Drop him a line at iwasatthatgig@gmail.com

I will be corresponding with Richard very soon 🙂

100 Best Selling Albums of the 70s – Hamish Champ

The 70s were an incredible period that produced many foundation music recordings. Hamish Champ has captured this explosive decade in a new book, 100 Best Selling Albums of the 70s.

I own 75% of the recordings listed in my collection. It was an exciting era where music sold in tonnage. Artists achieved multi-platinum sales (Platinum = 1 million albums sold). Arena rock became the new concert experience (the reason rock impresario Bill Graham closed his Fillmore East and West venues).

100 Best-selling Albums of the 70s

 

 

 

 

The New Jerusalem – Patti Smith

The New Jerusalem, the latest book by Patti Smith – poet, punk legend and author of the bestsellers Just Kids and M Train – is now available for order. A stunning long prose poem in the tradition of St. John and William Blake, The New Jerusalem presents a prophetic vision of art and humanity, faith, and freedom; a vision of escape from the rituals of power and the mechanisms of social control.

Illustrated with color photographs and artwork by Patti Smith, this beautiful hardbound volume is a true collector’s item and will be irresistible to bibliophiles. With an introduction by Rob Riemen exploring the connection between art and spirituality in Patti Smith’s poem and in art more broadly, The New Jerusalem can serve as a reminder of the prophetic power of poetry and a guide to all who need it in these times of resistance.

The New Jerusalem was presented at the Nexus Symposium with Patti Smith ‘An Education in Counterculture’,  May 26, 2018, in Amsterdam.

 

Grace: The Jeff Buckley Story!

I want to share the news about an exciting music book that will be available next year on April 23, 2019, Grace: The Jeff Buckley Story!  A graphic novel authored by Tiffanie DeBartolo with art by Pascal Dizin and Lisa Reist, First Second Books publisher.

I find the cover mesmerizing that Lisa colored and Pascal drew. The image is magically alluring and will entice readers to its pages. You can see more of their graphic art here.

Grace

Pascal and Lisa are partners who attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City (Class of 2008) and became friends with our son who is a graphics designer. It’s rewarding to see the book they worked on faithfully for nine years reach the publication stage. Pascal and Lisa were successful in securing the trust of Mary Guibert, Jeff Buckley’s mother and guardian of his estate. Mary was very hands-on in the creation of this book, so the authors had access to a terrific source of information about him.

Tiffanie DeBartolo is a novelist, filmmaker, and founder/CEO of independent record label Bright Antenna Records. The home to such artists as The Wombats, Mona, Flagship, Beware of Darkness, Middle Class Rut, Reuben Hollebon, and Cheerleader. Tiffanie authored the text for the Grace graphic novel.

I intend to write more about the book as time progresses and the publicity campaign is unveiled.

Right now I bide my time until there is an autographed hardcover edition sitting on my music library shelf, right Pascal and Lisa 😉