- Feb 22 2023Rocking Christmas reads. As we like to do every year
Rocking Reads For Xmas!
Rocking Reads For Xmas!
As we like to do every year, ILYOS has looked at the latest releases and come up with a rock book buyers guide for Xmas. If you're not going to give the gift of music for music, a book about music is the next best thing. And there are plenty of great ones on the shelves now.
I'LL BE GONE: MIKE RUDD, SPECTRUM AND HOW ONE SONG CAPTURED A NATION by Craig Horne
If your loved one loves Australian music from the first half of the '70s, THIS is the book for them. Craig Horne, who a couple of years ago wrote the book on Daddy Cool, has come up with another fine book in the story of the seminal Melbourne-based, New Zealand ex-pat musician, Mike Rudd. Rudd's musical path was entwined with those of the Rosses Wilson and Hannaford before they formed Daddy Cool and Mike formed Spectrum. The book, named after Spectrum's iconic hit single, covers Rudd's whole career - from mid-'60s R&B wildmen Chants R&B through to more recent low-key activities, but the meat of it is about Spectrum, Spectrum's alter-ego band the Murtceps, and the band that came next, Ariel. Those bands stand amongst Australia's most significant, and Horne's book serves them well.
BOY ON FIRE: THE YOUNG NICK CAVE by Mark Mordue
Esteemed Sydney music writer mark Mordue digs deep into Cave's early days - so deep that this, the first volume of a multi-part biography, clocks in at 432 pages and only gets up to the end of Nick's first band the Boys Next Door. Fantastic detail and analysis of Cave's musical roots make this essential for anyone interest in Cave's work, and wonderful descriptions of the Melbourne punk and post-scenes makes it mandatory for anyone who was there or just wished they were.
PAUL KELLY: THE MAN, THE MUSIC AND THE LIFE IN-BETWEEN by Stuart Coupe
We covered this in more depth with a chat mid-year with the author which – you can read here. Suffice to say, it's another fine, in-depth look at a truly iconic Australian musician by a well-travelled and insightful Australian music writer. Kelly's fledgling days on the late '70s Melbourne days are detailed wonderfully too, providing detail that has been for too long overlooked.
TELL ME WHY: THE STORY OF MY LIFE AND MY MUSIC by Archie Roach
Now available in paper-back, the award-winning 2019 memoir from this year's ARIA HALL OF FAME inductee and VICTORIAN OF THE YEAR is essential reading in many regards - biographical, cultural, musical. It is also the gut-wrenching but inspirational story of the man who is increasingly and deservedly recognised as one of this country's greatest artists.
FRIDAY ON MY MIND: THE LIFE OF GEORGE YOUNG by Jeff Apter
Another one we looked at in more detail with a Q&A with its author earlier in the year which – you can read here. This detailed biography of the genius behind The Easybeats and other significant Australian artists of the '70s, including of course his brothers' band AC/DC, follows the author's biographies of both Angus and Malcolm but avoids repetition. Friday On My Mind covers the Easybeats and George's post-Easys' days well; and wonderfully puts AC/DC's music and success into several broader contexts.
DOLLY PARTON, SONGTELLER by Dolly Parton and Robert K Oermann
Moving away from the locals but sticking with the icons, this beautiful book, written by Parton with esteemed American country journalist Oermann, looks at the stories behind of 150 of Dolly's most significant songs to illuminate many aspects of her remarkable life. Dolly is increasingly – and finally – being seen as one of the songwriting greats these days, and this explores her art and her life in equal measure and captures her voice beautifully.
THE DREAMER by Cliff Richard
"Before Cliff Richard and the Shadows, there was nothing worth listening to in British music." - John Lennon. Younger folk forget that Cliff, Mr Nice Guy, was one of the pioneers of British rock in the '50s, as well as an enduring pop star into the '80s and beyond. He's had a remarkable career and lived his life the way he wanted to, and he speaks frankly about it all in this 416-page tome.
REMAIN IN LOVE: TALKING HEADS, TOM TOM CLUB, TINA by Chris Frantz
The story of one of America's most influential bands, and the enduring personal and musical partnership between Talking Heads drummer Chris Franz and the band's bass player, his wife, Tina Weymouth. Chris and Tina were an enduring and significant part of the Talking Heads story, and they continued to make great music with the Tom Tom Club. Yet they are often obscured by David Byrne's prominence, so this is a look at things from a different perspective.
RESISTANCE: A SONGWRITER'S STORY OF HOPE, CHANGE AND COURAGE by Tori Amos
Part memoir, part political treatise, Amos delivers on the unflinchingly bold promise of her songwriting in a book that looks beyond her own life to offer guidance on how to engage in a world that isn't getting easier for the marginalised.
BANANARAMA: REALLY SAYING SOMETHING by Sara Dallin, Keren Woodward
They sing together, and now they write together. This is the story of Bananarama by the girls themselves. Pop stars in an era before that meant having your life left open to public scrutiny, Sara and Keren's story is a largely untold one; one begins in London's clubs and takes in former Sex Pistols, Malcolm McLaren, George Michael, Andy Warhol and others along the way.
CONFESS by Rob Halford
"The year's most touching and revelatory rock autobiography," according to the Telegraph. Few would expect such a thing from a heavy metal icon, but the Judas Priest frontman, known to fans as The Metal God, has lived a different life to most of his contemporaries. A working-class kid from the industrial north of Britain, Halford realised at a young age that he was gay. Here he digs deep into how that impacted his chosen path as he tells the story of Priest's rise and enduring fame, with guest appearances from the PRMC and the Queen amongst others along the way.
SWEET DREAMS: THE STORY OF NEW ROMANTICS by Dylan Jones
A massive 688-page overview of Britain's most colourful contribution to '80s culture. The New Romance movement took its inspiration from style icons like David Bowie, who is featured on the cover alongside Boy George, Adam Ant and others. Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran, Visage, Ultravox, Marilyn, Eurhythmics are amongst the many others covered inside about. Dylan Jones is the long-time editor of GQ magazine and has written acclaimed books on Bowie, London, and Saville Row, so he knows music and fashion!
For some top Christmas tunes to accompany your festive shopping, check out our I Like Your Old CHRISTMAS Stuff playlist on Spotify:
Listen to I Like Your Old CHRISTMAS Stuff on Apple Music:
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