Reading List

As this blog is supposed to about more than just records and gigs, I thought I would start its new iteration with a reading list – some of the music books that I’ve read and some I plan to read.

  • Joe Boyd “White Bicycles” – I read this on the back of his work with Fairport Convention – someone who seemed to be there at every key event in the 60s
  • Glyn Johns “Sound Man” – again, involved with Fairport and also involved with some of the top acts of the 60s. I’m reading this at the moment.
  • Bruce Springsteen “Born to Run” – I’m a huge fan but I’d rate it as OK, not a classic.
  • Peter Ames Carlin “Bruce” – a fairly traditional biography but with plenty that was new to me.
  • David Hepworth “1971: Never a Dull Moment” and “Uncommon People: The Rise and Fall of the rock star 1955-1994”. I started with David Hepworth way back when he edited Smash Hits, followed to Q magazine and finally to the much missed Word. He’s now turned to writing books, and very good they are too. These are more of a series of essays on a common theme.
  • Chris Difford “Some Fantastic Place” – Not a bad read, documenting the ups and downs of someone who isn’t a household name. He’s in Squeeze for those who don’t know.
  • Steve Hogarth’s “Invisible Man” tour diaries – two volumes by the Marillion singer, showing the impact that being a touring musician has on home life, and the tedium of life on the road.
  • James Rhodes “Instrumental” – about so much more than his piano playing, quite a traumatic description of his childhood abuse and subsequent mental health problems.
  • Tracy Thorn “Bedsit Disco Queen” – a thoroughly readable story about Everything But The Girl and beyond.
  • Ben Watt “Romany and Tom” and “Patient” – these aren’t so much about music, but they do touch on Everything But The Girl. The first is is largely about his relationship with his parents, while the second is about his long-term illness.
  • Viv Albertine “Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys” – From someone who was right there in the very early days of punk.
  • Philip Glass “Words Without Music” – well written account of his very long journey to becoming a leading minimalist composer.
  • Pete Townshend “Who Am I” – actually a pretty good read.
  • Phil Collins “Not Dead Yet” – an even more surprisingly good read.
  • Bruce Dickinson “What Does This Button Do?” – heavy metal autobiographies are not known for being stunning reads, but Dickinson is an interesting character that makes this a bit different to the norm.
  • Louise Wener “Just for One Day: Adventures in Britpop” – I was never a Sleeper fan but picked this up from the library on the spur of the moment, and it’s good, and I do find it interesting to read about people who were successful but not megastars.
  • They re fiction, but the Vinyl Detective books by Andrew Cartmel are quite an enjoyable read.

I’ve either got these loaded on the Kindle and ready to read or they’re on my Amazon wish list

  • David Hepworth “Nothing Is Real: The Beatles Were Underrated And Other Sweeping Statements About Pop” and “A Fabulous Creation: How The LP Saved Our Lives” – his third and fourth books.
  • Mark Lewisohn “Beatles, All These Years Vol 1: Tune In” – He has turned up on a couple of David Hepworth podcasts, talking about his massively detailed research into the Beatles. This book is vast (900 pages apparently – hard to tell on a Kindle) and only goes up to the very early part of the band – Ringo doesn’t join until page 700! Volumes 2 and 3, Turn On & Drop Out, are still to come, each one taking years to research.
  • Eamonn Forde “Final days of EMI: Selling the Pig” – sounds interesting.
  • Kenneth Womack “Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin, the Early Years 1926-1966” and “Sound Pictures: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin, the Later Years 1966-2016” – a BBC documentary about George Martin showed him to be a thoroughly nice chap, and anyone who produced the record he did is worth reading about.
  • Jon Savage “England’s Dreaming: The Sex Pistols” and “Punk Rock; 1966 : The Year The Decade Exploded”
  • Lizzy Goodman “Meet Me In The Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock And Roll In New York City 2001-2011” – recommended by a colleague at work.
  • Ginger Baker “Hellraiser: The Autobiography of the World’s Greatest Drummer” – it has to be worth reading just to see how much of a bastard he comes across as.
  • Paul Gambaccini “My Year Under The Yewtree” – not about music as such, but he is in the industry and it’s an interesting story.
  • Pauline Black “Black by Design: A 2-Tone Memoir”

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