Home Read News Next Week in Music | May 17-23 • New Books

Next Week in Music | May 17-23 • New Books

Upcoming tomes about Dylan, Don Letts, Capitol Records, King Crimson & more.

Two sides of Bob Dylan, a dose of Don Letts, a visit to Capitol Records and a deep dive into King Crimson’s “impossible” song. Read all about ’em (and more) next week:


Double Life of Bob Dylan, The: A Restless, Hungry Feeling, 1941-1966
By Clinton Heylin

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In 2016 Bob Dylan sold his personal archive to the George Kaiser Foundation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, reportedly for $22 million. As the boxes started to arrive, the Foundation asked Clinton Heylin — author of the acclaimed Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades — to assess the material they had been given. What he found in Tulsa — as well as what he gleaned from other papers he had recently been given access to by Sony and the Dylan office — so changed his understanding of the artist, especially of his creative process, that he became convinced that a whole new biography was needed. It turns out that much of what previous biographers — Dylan included — have said is wrong. With fresh and revealing information on every page A Restless, Hungry Feeling tells the story of Dylan’s meteoric rise to fame: His arrival in early 1961 in New York, where he is embraced by the folk scene; his elevation to spokesman of a generation whose protest songs provide the soundtrack for the burgeoning Civil Rights movement; his alleged betrayal when he ‘goes electric’ at Newport in 1965; his subsequent controversial world tour with a rock ’n’ roll band; and the recording of his three undisputed electric masterpieces: Bringing it All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde. At the peak of his fame in July 1966 he reportedly crashes his motorbike in Woodstock, upstate New York, and disappears from public view. When he re-emerges, he looks different, his voice sounds different, his songs are different. Heylin’s meticulously researched, all-encompassing and consistently revelatory account of these fascinating early years is the closest we will ever get to a definitive life of an artist who has been the lodestar of popular culture for six decades.”

The Chameleon Poet: Bob Dylan’s Search For Self
By John Bauldie

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On his untimely death at 47 years old in October 1996, not only did John Bauldie sit at the what could be called the high table of Dylan studies, but from the early ’90s, when he was invited by Dylan’s management to write the liner notes that accompanied The Bootleg Series Volume 1-3, many would attest that he was chairman of the board. In his lifetime, Bauldie was a giant amongst Bob Dylan fans and collectors. As the editor of The Telegraph, he was a voracious advocate for Dylan to be afforded the respect of a major artist and an early lobbyist for him to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Yet, despite creating the Wanted Man Study Series to encourage analysis of Dylan’s work, Bauldie never published his own full critical study, though regular subscribers to The Telegraph knew he had completed one. A few teasing extracts and a handful of mysterious mentions revealed the existence of this fabled manuscript The Chameleon Poet, which has remained unpublished until now. Covering the formative span of Dylan’s career from his emergence in the early ’60s to his conversion to Christianity in the late ’70s, The Chameleon Poet traces each step in the development of the artist and man from youth to maturity. With scholarly precision and vivid clarity, Bauldie’s analysis of Dylan’s work reveals a continuous journey. Forty years on, as a Nobel Laureate, Dylan’s position as one of the great artists of the age is secure, fulfilling Bauldie’s vision. Now it is time to read the only full-length critical study by the foremost champion of Dylan’s art. The Chameleon Poet is a book of its time, but such is its focus on the inner journey of everyman, it’s as relevant today as it was yesterday, and will be tomorrow. Bill Allison’s introduction sketches a portrait of Bauldie’s life and his ascendancy in the world of Dylan studies.”

Capitol Records
By Barney Hoskyns

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “From The Beatles to Beck, Frank Sinatra to Sam Smith, a parade of era-defining artists have passed through the doors of the Capitol Records Tower, one of Hollywood’s most distinctive landmarks and home to one of the world’s most defining labels for the past 75+ years. To commemorate this extraordinary history of recorded music, Barney Hoskyns presents this official account of Capitol Records, from its founding year of 1942 to today. With a foreword by Beck, essays by cultural historians and music and architecture critics, as well as hundreds of images from Capitol’s extensive archives, we follow the label’s evolution and the making of some of the greatest music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Through pop, rock, country, classical, soul, and jazz, the photographic and musical history includes the label’s most successful, cool, hip, and creative stars, as well as the one-hit wonders who had their all-too-brief moments in the spotlight. Along the way, we encounter the likes of Miles Davis, Nat King Cole, The Kingston Trio and Frank Sinatra in Capitol’s first 20 years; The Beach Boys, The Band, and The Beatles in the 1960s; global rock magnets Pink Floyd, Wings, Steve Miller Band, Bob Seger and Linda Ronstadt in the 1970s; Beastie Boys, Duran Duran, Radiohead and Bonnie Raitt in the 1980s and 1990s; and such contemporary stars as Coldplay, Katy Perry and Sam Smith. An unmissable milestone for music lovers, Capitol Records is a live and kicking celebration of the mighty giant of the industry that created the soundtrack to generations past, present, and future.”

There and Black Again: The Autobiography of Don Letts
By Mal Peachey, Don Letts

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Starring the Grammy Award-winning filmmaker, rock star, DJ, radio broadcaster, social commentator, husband and father Don Letts, There And Black Again takes in many lives and places. It is written as scenes from a movie shot on location in London, Kingston, New York, Los Angeles, Windhoek, Salt Lake City, and Goldeneye. Co-starring a cast of hundreds, including Joe Strummer, John Lydon, Bob Marley, Chrissie Hynde, Chris Blackwell, Paul McCartney, Nelson Mandela, Keith Richards, Pattie Smith, Chuck D., McLaren and Westwood, etc., it takes in major cultural movements from skinhead through punk to Black Lives Matter, and includes scenes of civil unrest, live music, humour, and political struggle. There And Black Again describes in clear-eyed detail a life of work and love, of battles against prejudice and negativity, of failures and great successes. It describes a six-decade journey through sound and vision which has left a unique body of award-winning work in film, television, and music.”

Beneath Missouri Skies, 14: Pat Metheny in Kansas City, 1964-1972
By Carolyn Glenn Brewer

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The New Yorker recently referred to Pat Metheny as ‘possibly the most influential jazz guitarist of the past five decades.’ A native of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, just southeast of Kansas City, Metheny started playing in pizza parlors at age 14. By the time he graduated from high school he was the first-call guitarist for Kansas City jazz clubs, private clubs, and jazz festivals. Now 66, he attributes his early success to the local musical environment he was brought up in and the players and teachers who nurtured his talent and welcomed him into the jazz community. Metheny’s 20 Grammys in 10 categories speak to his versatility and popularity. Despite five decades of interviews, none have conveyed in detail his stories about his teenage years. Beneath Missouri Skies also reveals important details about jazz in Kansas City during the sixties and early seventies, often overlooked in histories of Kansas City jazz. Yet this time of cultural change was characterized by an outstanding level of musicianship. Author Carolyn Glenn Brewer shows how his keen sense of ensemble had its genesis in his school band under the guidance of a beloved band director. Drawn from news accounts, archival material, interviews, and remembrances, to which the author had unique access, Beneath Missouri Skies portrays a place and time from which Metheny still draws inspiration and strength.”

Failure to Fracture: Learning King Crimson’s Impossible Song
By Anthony Garone

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “When progressive rock band King Crimson released Starless and Bible Black in 1974, very few recognized the astonishing virtuosity captured in the album’s 11-minute instrumental capstone Fracture. Three minutes into the piece, guitarist Robert Fripp begins playing a quiet, non-stop barrage of notes called a “moto perpetuo,” an Italian term for “perpetual motion.” Fripp’s moto perpetuo requires intense right-hand string-skipping, and picking capabilities only a handful of guitarists around the world possess. Musician Anthony Garone was challenged by his father to learn Fracture in 1998. As a 16-year-old who practised six or more hours every day, he could not understand why he could play other technical pieces of music, but not Fracture. Over the years, he published blog posts and videos about his efforts. Garone kept working in isolated frustration until he enrolled in a week-long guitar instruction course led by Fripp in rural Mexico in 2015. That week was transformative. It was in Mexico that Garone learned the mechanics of Fripp’s very unique right-hand technique. To properly play Fracture, Garone had to re-learn how to play guitar, sit, stand, and breathe. It would also require meditation and a new way of using his body. Following many months of remedial guitar practice, Garone re-trained himself to play guitar. In 2016, he was finally able to play small pieces of Fracture without any pain or frustration. He documented his progress, work, and learnings on his Make Weird Music YouTube channel in a series called Failure to Fracture. The videos garnered hundreds of thousands of views and praise from Fripp himself, who wrote “Fracture is impossible to play, cf. Anthony Garone.” Failure to Fracture (the book) captures Garone’s transformative 22-year journey. The story begins with his time as a teenager developing a friendship with guitar hero Steve Vai in 1996. It ends with video performances of both Fracture and the even more difficult “sequel” composition, FraKctured, written and performed in Fripp’s own New Standard Tuning. It is a book about achieving the impossible, overcoming one’s limitations, and retraining the mind and body.”

On The Trail Of Americana Music
By Ralph Brookfield

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Americana is a trail followed by those creating music that finds inspiration in country, folk and other rebel music. It’s a trail followed by music lovers who want to discover authentic singer-songwriters who can capture the zeitgeist of our changing times. It’s a trail where diverse musicians from around the world find a natural home for their music under the Americana umbrella. Based on documentary film interviews with leading musicians and music industry professionals, this book explores the illusive genre and movement that is Americana.And with so many music venues closed and incomes reduced, musicians speak of their hopes and fears for the future of the industry in challenging times. Extracts from interviews with: Emily Barker, Yola Carter, Troy Cassar-Daley, Kasey Chambers, Dave Cobb, Diesel, Bob Harris, Hayseed Dixie, Don Gallardo, Paul Kelly, Lindi Ortega, Larkin Poe, Kevin Welch, Wildwood Kin and many more.”

Orbit: Icons of Rock and Roll: Volume 2: David Bowie, Alice Cooper, Freddie Mercury and Bon Jovi
By Michael Frizell, Manuel Díaz

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Rock music has taken over the airwaves for decades. David Bowie, Alice Cooper, Freddie Mercury and Bon Jovi are just some of the iconic figures that have formed the rock music genre. This jam session of biographies showcases these trailblazers in this unique illustrated graphic novel.”