David Bowie: A Life | by Dylan Jones
Based on over 180 verbatim interviews with friends, rivals, lovers, and collaborators about life and times spent with David Bowie in recording studios, on stages, film sets, and in bedrooms. David Jones’s liveliest pages details Bowie’s cocaine-addicted, sleep-deprived, Hitler-obsessed, Manson-fearing, devil-hallucinating years in Los Angeles in the 1970s.
The book is more about sex than the songs where the credibility creeps into question (who’s doing the fact checking?) so if it’s a deep appreciation of the music you’re after try Paul Trynka’s “Starman” written with the help of a huge array of interviewees.
Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011 | by Lizzy Goodman
Set against a backdrop that encompasses 9/11, the emergent of the Internet and social media, the collapse of the old-style music industry, and the gentrification of New York, journalist Lizzy Goodman’s honest and informative Meet Me in the Bathroom charts the transformation of the New York music scene in the first decade of the 2000s.
Drawing on 200 original interviews with James Murphy, Julian Casablancas, Karen O, Interpol, Vampire Weekend and many other musicians, artists, journalists, bloggers, photographers, managers, music executives, groupies, models, movie stars, and DJs who lived through this musical renaissance.
Goldie: All Things Remembered | by Goldie + Ben Thompson
Born Clifford Price and now known as the ‘King of Jungle’ Goldie co-founded the drum’n’bass record label Metalheadz in the 1990s and created landmark tracks such as “Angel” and “Inner City Life.”
In this book he tells of moving between foster homes, being subjected to long-term sexual abuse, revenge, shotguns, car crashes, gold teeth, and reality TV. Goldie was a gifted visual artist, who gravitated to graffiti in the early 1980s where in found a community. “I obviously felt a very strong need to be a part of a family. Looking at trains and thinking, ‘These kids are writing their names from one end of the city to the other’, I finally felt like I’d found one.”
Nick Cave: Mercy On Me | by Reinhard Kleist
Award-winning graphic novelist Reinhard Kleist blends truth and fiction by employing a cast of characters drawn from Cave’s songs and novels in, Nick Cave: Mercy On Me thus painting an expressive and enthralling portrait of a formidable artist and influencer.
In a statement about the work, Nick Cave says of the writer, “master graphic novelist and myth-maker” and calls it “a terrifying conflation of Cave songs, biographical half-truths and complete fabulations” adding that it is “a complex, chilling and completely bizarre journey into Cave World.”
Petty: The Biography | by Warren Zanes
An unflinching and intimate account of the life on and off the stage of music legend Tom Petty, by an accomplished writer and friend Warren Zanes who toured with Petty. Zanes published this biography in late 2015 which went on to become a New York Times Bestseller. Seems appropriate to include this book as Petty passed away in October 2017.
For a quick fix on the artist before reading the book check out 7 Deadly Things About the Heartbreaker that was Tom Petty.
Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol | by Ben Thompson
With a foreword by Chrissie Hynde, Steve Jones’s Lonely Boy, written with music journalist and author Ben Thompson, is the story of an unlikely guitar hero who, with the Sex Pistols, changed history.
Steve Jones’s takes readers on his journey from the Kings Road of the early 70s through the years of the Sex Pistols, punk rock, and the recording of “Anarchy in the UK” and Never Mind the Bollocks. Jones battled with alcohol, heroin and sex addiction but eventually emerged to gain fresh acclaim as an actor and radio host.
Born To Run | By Bruce Springsteen
Over the past seven years Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life. The result is “an utterly unique, endlessly exhilarating, last-chance-power-drive of a memoir” (Rolling Stone) that offers the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs.
“Born to Run” takes us, album by album, through his career. The book takes us through his many stabs at romance, which tended to end badly. He also opens up on the full-blown depression that has plagued him for most of his life stemming from a troubled relationship with his heavy-drinking Irish father.
Mr. Springsteen’s work ethic has never abandoned him, or he it. “I’m glad I’ve been handsomely paid for my efforts,” he writes, “but I truly would have done it for free.”