Home Read News Next Week in Music | June 21-27 • New Books

Next Week in Music | June 21-27 • New Books

Bobby Rush and Beyonce, Goldtops and GTOs, the ’70s Mac and more good reads.


Hello, book lovers! Are you ready to read? What’s that? I said, ARE! YOU! READY! TO! READ!? Well, you better get ready — there are at least a dozen new musical tomes hitting the shelves. Here’s the lowdown:


I Ain’t Studdin’ Ya: My American Blues Story
By Bobby Rush and Herb Powell

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This memoir charts the extraordinary rise to fame of blues legend Bobby Rush. Born Emmett Ellis, Jr. in Homer, La., he adopted his stage name out of respect for his father, a pastor. As a teen, Rush started playing in juke joints in Little Rock, Ark., donning a fake moustache to trick club owners into thinking he was older. He soon relocated to Chicago and started to work with Earl Hooker, Luther Allison and Freddie King, and sat in with many of his musical heroes, such as Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed and Little Walter. Rush began leading his own band in the 1960s, crafting his own distinct style of funky blues and recording a succession of singles for various labels. In the early 1970s, he finally scored a hit with Chicken Heads. At 86, he still headlines at festivals, clubs and theatres with some 200 dates in a typical year. His hectic tour schedule has earned him the affectionate title King of the Chitlin’ Circuit. In 2007, he earned the distinction of being the first blues artist to play at the Great Wall of China. His stage act features his famed shake dancers, who personify his funky blues and his ribald sense of humour. He was featured in Martin Scorcese’s docuseries The Blues, performed with Dan Aykroyd on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and had a cameo in the film Dolemite Is My Name, starring Eddie Murphy. Considered by many to be the greatest bluesman currently performing, his memoir gives readers unparalleled access into the man, the myth, the legend — Bobby Rush.”

Fleetwood Mac in the ’70s: Decades
By Andrew Wild

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Music fans tend to fall into two camps at the mention of Fleetwood Mac: Those who love the multi-million-selling five-piece band that formed in the mid-1970s and released Rumours, the biggest selling album of all time. And those who prefer the 1960s blues band fronted by virtuosic guitarist Peter Green. But that’s not the whole story. Between May 1970, when Green left his own band to be replaced by the bass player’s wife, to the beginning of 1975, when Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac, there were five years of turmoil. One by one, talented musicians such as Jeremy Spencer, Danny Kirwan, Bob Weston and Bob Welch joined and left the band. While it’s impossible to ignore the skill and longevity such classic songs as Rhiannon and Don’t Stop and albums Fleetwood Mac, Rumours and Tusk, an equal number of half-forgotten classic songs from the first half of the 1970s have been overlooked. This is the whole story of Fleetwood Mac in the 1970s.”

Permanent Damage: Memoirs of an Outrageous Girl
By Mercy Fontenot

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Mercy Fontenot grew up in the San Francisco Haight-Ashbury scene, where she crossed paths with Charles Manson, went to the first Acid Test, and was friends with Jimi Hendrix (she was later in his movie Rainbow Bridge). She claims to have predicted the Altamont disaster when reading The Rolling Stones’ tarot cards at a party and left San Francisco for the climes of Los Angeles in 1967 when the Haight ‘lost its magic.’ Miss Mercy’s work in The GTOs, the Frank Zappa-produced all-female band, launched her into fame in 1969. She jumped out of a cake at Alice Cooper’s first record release party while high on PCP. She married and then divorced Shuggie Otis, before transitioning to punk rock and working with The Rockats and Gears. Written just prior to her death in 2020, Permanent Damage shows us the world of the 1960s and 1970s music scene through Mercy’s eyes, as well as the fallout of that era — she experienced homelessness before sobering up and putting her life back together. Her journey is a can’t miss for anyone who was there and can’t remember, or just wishes they’d been there.”

Another Mickey: Ruminations of a Texas Guitar Slinger
By Mickey White

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Although never a star, author Mickey White played with a number of notable Texas-based songwriters, most significantly, the legendary songwriter Townes Van Zandt. Accompanying Van Zandt on guitar at hundreds of live performances, White contributed to three of his recordings. A veteran of the garage-band circuit in the late 1960s, White attended the University of Texas in Austin. He writes about his encounters with such notables as Lightnin’ Hopkins, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Richard Dobson, Billy Joe Shaver, Kinky Freidman, Ian Tyson, Steve Goodman, Gamble Rogers, Butch Hancock, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and others.”

Babysitting A Band On The Rocks: … and Other Adventures With Aerosmith, AC/DC, Van Halen, Pink Floyd, Yes, Jethro Tull, Ritchie Blackmore, Keith Richards and Many More!
By G.D. Praetorius

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In BabysittingG.D. Praetorius tells the story of a chaotic youth producing concerts during the late 1970s and early 1980s at the peak of rock-god excess. He reflects on the excitement and insanity of the era from the viewpoint of a fan who hit the jackpot, leaping from the back row to backstage, promoting, pacifying and occasionally partying with some of the music world’s biggest names. Centered on a year of living on the edge with a down-and-out Steven Tyler and Aerosmith, the book takes many side trips with chapters dedicated to AC/DC, Van Halen, Pink Floyd, Yes, Jethro Tull and more. A more recent chance meeting with Keith Richards results in an evening being treated to the wit and wisdom of an older but no less outrageous Stone alone. The author also has a colourful take on the business of rock ’n’ roll.”

The Haight: Revised and Expanded: Love, Rock, and Revolution
By Joel Selvin & Jim Marshall

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Featuring striking images of icons such as Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsburg, Grace Slick and more, The Haight is an indispensable gallery of legendary photographer Jim Marshall’s iconic 1960s-era San Francisco photography — now available in a smaller, easy-to-carry size for tourists. The footprint of the counterculture movement of the 1960s reverberates strongly today in music, culture, literature and art. Widely regarded as the cradle of revolution, Haight-Ashbury grew from a small neighbourhood in San Francisco to a worldwide phenomenon — a concept that extended far beyond the boundaries of the street intersection itself. Renowned for his powerful portraits of some of the greatest musicians of the era, Marshall covered Haight-Ashbury with the same unique eye that allowed him to amass a staggering archive of music photography. In this book, the full extent of Marshall’s Haight-Ashbury archive is stunningly displayed — powerful candids, intimate portraits, and images of live concerts, street scenes, crash pads and alleyways are collected in the definitive photographic record of a watershed moment in time. Featuring hundreds of images this book tells the complete and comprehensive story.”

Rock and Roll Meltdown: The Circus Nightclub Story 1979-1983
By Rick Bandazian

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In 1979, rock was in revolution. While FM radio covered the nation with a nonstop format of Fleetwood Mac, Foreigner, Kansas, Styx, Led Zeppelin and more Fleetwood Mac, it was a different story in the clubs. Punk rock and new wave bands were rewriting the story of rock ’n’ roll In dingy, sweaty venues from L.A. to New York, And in New Jersey, the club scene was exploding as a result of the drinking age having been lowered to 18 just a few years earlier. It was a time of great clubs and even greater music. Brothers Jack and Rick Bandazian — barely out of their teens themselves — and their dad Jack Sr. opened one of the premiere rock clubs in the New York metropolitan area. They had to hustle and learn the ropes quickly while dealing with underage drinkers, nightly fights, the drug scene and a pool of sharks that were controlling the entertainment industry. Cyndi Lauper, The Ramones, Papa John Creach, New Riders of the Purple Sage, John Kay and Steppenwolf, Johnny Thunders, Twisted Sister, David Johansen, Robert Hunter, Rick Danko, Joe Perry, Steve Forbert — they were all there, live on stage and in your face. This first-hand account includes interviews with band members, fans and former employees who witnessed this special time in rock history.”

Goldtop Believers: The Les Paul Golden Years
By Vic DaPra and David Plues

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “When the Les Paul guitar hit retail stores in 1952, it was Gibson’s introduction to the solid-body world of electric guitars. In the early 1950s, demand for electric guitars was reaching a new customer base. Rock ‘n’ roll was just around the corner and ready to explode. The timing was right and Gibson ran with the idea and introduced other guitars to the lineup. The new single cutaway Goldtop Les Paul Model spawned many changes in its six years of production. The wraparound and tune-o-matic bridge along with the humbucking pickup were Gibson firsts and are still used to this day. Early performers such as Les Paul, Freddie King, Carl Perkins and BB King were early pioneers playing this model. Later years would bring a new barrage of guitarists such as David Gilmour, Paul McCartney, Les Dudek, Jeff Lynne, Danny Kirwan, Steve Hackett, Clem Clempson, Dickey Betts and more to the Les Paul Goldtop.”

Atomic Tunes: The Cold War in American and British Popular Music
By Tim Smolko and Joanna Smolko

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “During the Cold War, more than 500 songs were written about nuclear weapons, fear of the Soviet Union, civil defence, bomb shelters, uranium mining, the space race, espionage, the Berlin Wall, and glasnost. This music uncovers aspects of the world-changing events that documentaries and history books cannot. In Atomic Tunes, Tim and Joanna Smolko explore everything from the serious to the comical, the morbid to the crude, showing the widespread concern among musicians who were trying to cope with the effect of Communism on American society and the consequences of a potential nuclear conflict. Atomic Tunes presents a musical history of the Cold War, offering insight into the songs that capture the fear of those who lived under the shadow of Sputnik, mushroom clouds and missiles.”

The Road To Nowhere: How To Be A Successful Failure In The Music Industry!
by Johnny Samson

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “So what’s it really like to play in a band? The budding rock star sets off on the road with high hopes of stardom, glamour and riches, but reality soon kicks in. The Road to Nowhere follows the trail of the journeyman musician — free from the chains of any degree of commercial success and able instead to dedicate a life to sending hundreds of unanswered emails in a vain attempt to get a gig at the Dog & Duck for $20 on a Tuesday night. His hilarious and (predominantly) disastrous experiences cover learning to play, forming a band, the rehearsal room, the recording studio, playing live and doing a photo-shoot. Anyone who has played in a band will recognize the stories, and those innocent souls who are considering the idea of setting off on their own musical adventure may gain some useful advice. It may not save them, but at least they’ll know what to pack.”

Beyoncé (Trailblazers Book 4)
By Ebony Joy Wilkins

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The latest book in this illustrated biography series for ages 8-10 looks at how Beyoncé become an international superstar. As a child, she may have been shy in the classroom, but when Beyoncé stepped out on stage she transformed into a powerful performer. After singing and dancing in local talent shows, she went on to front best-selling girl band Destiny’s Child, before setting out on a solo career that has inspired and empowered millions of people around the world.”