Home Read News Next Week in Music | Oct. 4-10 • New Books

Next Week in Music | Oct. 4-10 • New Books

Grohl and Guthrie, Shaun and Shane, B.B. and Bob, Cohen and The Clash, The Stranglers and The Stones, King and Kelly, Van Halen and more Van Halen — next week’s music books have plenty of name recognition. Read all about ’em:


The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music
By Dave Grohl

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “So, I’ve written a book. Having entertained the idea for years, and been offered a few questionable opportunities (“It’s a piece of cake! Just do four hours of interviews, find someone else to write it, put your face on the cover, and voila!”), I have decided to write these stories just as I have always done, in my own hand. The joy that I have felt from chronicling these tales is not unlike listening back to a song that I’ve recorded and can’t wait to share with the world, or reading a primitive journal entry from a stained notebook, or even hearing my voice bounce between the KISS posters on my wall as a child. This certainly doesn’t mean that I’m quitting my day job, but it does give me a place to shed a little light on what it’s like to be a kid from Springfield, Virginia, walking through life while living out the crazy dreams I had as young musician. From hitting the road with Scream at 18 years old, to my time in Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, jamming with Iggy Pop or playing at the Academy Awards or dancing with AC/DC and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, drumming for Tom Petty or meeting Sir Paul McCartney at Royal Albert Hall, bedtime stories with Joan Jett or a chance meeting with Little Richard, to flying halfway around the world for one epic night with my daughters … the list goes on. I look forward to focusing the lens through which I see these memories a little sharper for you with much excitement.”

How to Be a Rock Star
By Shaun Ryder

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “As lead singer of Happy Mondays and Black Grape, Shaun Ryder was the Keith Richards and Mick Jagger of his generation. A true rebel, who formed and led not one but two seminal bands, he’s had number-one albums, been a figurehead of the Madchester scene, headlined Glastonbury Festival, toured the world numerous times, taken every drug under the sun, been through rehab — and came out the other side as a national treasure. Now, for the first time, Shaun lifts the lid on the real inside story of how to be a rock star. With insights from three decades touring the world, which took him from Salford to San Francisco, from playing working men’s clubs to headlining Glastonbury and playing in front of the biggest festival crowd the world has ever seen, in Brazil, in the middle of thunderstorm. From recording your first demo tape to having a No.1 album, covering tour bus debauchery, ridiculous riders, record company run-ins, drug dealers and the mafia, Shaun gives a fly-on-the-wall look at the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle — warts and all: how to be a rock star — and also how not to be a rock star.”

Spinning Plates: Music, Men, Motherhood and Me: The Autobiography
By Sophie Ellis-Bextor

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s kitchen discos became a source of escapism, catharsis and sequined joy for a swathe of the population during lockdown. From knackered mothers and fed-up fathers, to cooped-up partiers with nowhere to go, Sophie’s gloriously chaotic Friday kitchen performances have cheered and revived us. Now Sophie is bringing that same mixture of down to earth candour and optimistic sparkle to her autobiography. In Spinning Plates, Sophie writes openly and very frankly about her life. From a childhood flogging Blue Peter badges in the playground to joining Theaudience straight from school, to finding love after a dark and troubled relationship, and becoming mother to five boys, Sophie pulls no punches in her autobiography. By choosing to speak so openly on issues close to her heart, Sophie invites us all to join the conversation and bring those trickier subjects out of the shadows and into the light. Covering relationships, body image, good-enough parenting, the highs — and the lows — of competing on Strictly Come Dancing, Sophie writes about the things that take on greater and lesser importance as life becomes more complicated. This is a book about respecting and learning from our mistakes and experiences and not being afraid to smash a few plates for the sake of what we actually need, want and value.”

Eruption: Conversations with Eddie Van Halen
By Brad Tolinski & Chris Gill

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “When rock legend Eddie Van Halen died of cancer on Oct. 6, 2020, the entire world seemed to stop and grieve. Since his band Van Halen burst onto the scene with their self-titled debut album in 1978, Eddie had been hailed as an icon not only to fans of rock music and heavy metal, but to performers across all genres and around the world. Van Halen’s debut sounded unlike anything that listeners had heard before and remains a quintessential rock album of the era. Over the course of more than four decades, Eddie gained renown for his innovative guitar playing, and particularly for popularizing the tapping guitar solo technique. Unfortunately for Eddie and his legions of fans, he died before he was ever able to put his life down to paper in his own words, and much of his compelling backstory has remained elusive — until now. In Eruption, music journalists Brad Tolinski and Chris Gill share with fans, new and old alike, a candid, compulsively readable, and definitive oral history of the most influential rock guitarist since Jimi Hendrix. It is based on more than 50+ hours of unreleased interviews they recorded over the years, most of them conducted at the legendary 5150 studios at Ed’s home in Los Angeles. The heart of Eruption is drawn from these intimate and wide-ranging talks, as well as conversations with family, friends, and colleagues. In addition to discussing his greatest triumphs as a groundbreaking musician, including an unprecedented dive into Van Halen’s masterpiece 1984, the book also takes an unflinching look at Edward’s early struggles as young Dutch immigrant unable to speak the English language, which resulted in lifelong issues with social anxiety and substance abuse. Eruption: Conversations with Eddie Van Halen also examines his brilliance as an inventor who changed the face of guitar manufacturing. As entertaining as it is revealing, Eruption is the closest readers will ever get to hearing Eddie’s side of the story when it comes to his extraordinary life.”

Van Halen: The Eruption and the Aftershock
By Michael Christopher

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Come the late ’70s, the rock music landscape was littered with the bloated carcasses of bands who partied too hard, burned out, or became complacent in success. The door was open for something fresh, wild, and enrapturing. Enter Van Halen. Made up of two Dutch-born brothers, one on drums and the other whose guitar was an extension of his very being, a bass player with a golden throat, and a frontman who made up for his lack of singing ability with attitude and gravity-defying acrobatics onstage, they were unlike anything ever seen before. Alex and Edward Van Halen, Michael Anthony and David Lee Roth put a cap on one decade and exploded into the next with a brand of music not quite punk, not quite metal, and not at all subtle. They went from headlining backyard keggers to top billing at the US Festival in front of 300,000 people within five years. Then, right when it looked like there wasn’t an obstacle created to slow the mighty Van Halen ascent, the group imploded from the inside out, only to rebound stronger than ever with ex-Montrose howler Sammy Hagar leading them to four consecutive No. 1 albums. Van Halen: The Eruption and the Aftershock tells the story of how one of America’s greatest bands weathered arguably the most dramatic soap opera in rock ’n’ roll history with songs that would weave themselves into the fabric of every musician who heard them, alongside an incendiary and unrivaled live show. Featuring exclusive interviews with insiders, fans, and artists who were there to witness the rise, the tumult, and the making of legends, it’s a story that has to be read to be believed.”

King Of The Blues: The Rise And Reign Of B.B. King
By Daniel de Vise

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Riley ‘Blues Boy’ King (1925-2015) was born into deep poverty in Mississippi. Wrenched away from his sharecropper father, B.B. lost his mother at age 10, leaving him more or less alone. Music became his emancipation from exhausting toil in the fields. Inspired by a local minister’s guitar and by the records of Blind Lemon Jefferson and T-Bone Walker, encouraged by his cousin, the established blues man Bukka White, B.B. taught his guitar to sing in the unique solo style that, along with his relentless work ethic and humanity, became his trademark. In turn, generations of artists claimed him as inspiration, from Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton to Carlos Santana and The Edge. King Of The Blues presents the vibrant life and times of a trailblazing giant. Witness to dark prejudice and lynching in his youth, B.B. performed incessantly (some 15,000 concerts in 90 countries over nearly 60 years) — in some real way his means of escaping his past. Several of his concerts, including his landmark gig at Chicago’s Cook County Jail, endure in legend to this day. His career roller-coasted between adulation and relegation, but he always rose back up. At the same time, his story reveals the many ways record companies took advantage of artists, especially those of color. Daniel de Visé has interviewed almost every surviving member of B.B. King’s inner circle — family, band members, retainers, managers, and more—and their voices and memories enrich and enliven the life of this Mississippi blues titan, whom his contemporary Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland simply called “the man.”

A Furious Devotion: The Life of Shane MacGowan
By Richard Balls

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “As the infamously hedonistic lead singer of The Pogues, The Popes and The Nips, Shane MacGowan encapsulates the rock ’n’ roll star lifestyle. While the story of The Pogues has been well-documented, the complete and extraordinary journey of their notorious frontman from outcast to national treasure, has never been told — until now. Drawing on hours of exclusive interviews with Shane himself as well as his sister, father, wife, and many other family members, friends, and fellow musicians, such as Jem Finer and Sinéad O’Connor, this authorised biography also includes a number of unseen personal photographs.”

Woody Guthrie: An Intimate Life
By Gustavus Stadler

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Woody Guthrie is often mythologized as the classic American “rambling’ man,” a real-life Steinbeckian folk hero who fought for working-class interests and inspired Bob Dylan. Biographers and fans frame him as a foe of fascism and focus on his politically charged folk songs. What’s left unexamined is how the bulk of Guthrie’s work — most of which is unpublished or little known — delves into the importance of intimacy in his personal and political life. Featuring an insert with personal photos of Guthrie’s family and previously unknown paintings, Woody Guthrie: An Intimate Life is a fresh and contemporary analysis of the overlapping influences of sexuality, politics, and disability on the art and mind of an American folk icon. Part biography, part cultural history of the Left, Woody Guthrie offers a stunning revelation about America’s quintessential folk legend, who serves as a guiding light for leftist movements today. In his close relationship with dancer Marjorie Mazia, Guthrie discovered a restorative way of thinking about the body, which provided a salve for the trauma of his childhood and the slowly debilitating effects of Huntington’s disease. Rejecting bodily shame and embracing the power of sexuality, he came to believe that intimacy was the linchpin for political struggle. By closely connecting to others, society could combat the customary emotional states of capitalist cultures: loneliness and isolation. Using intimacy as one’s weapon, Guthrie believed we could fight fascism’s seductive call.”

Paul Kelly: The Man, The Music & The Life In Between
By Stuart Coupe

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “He’s been called Australia’s Bob Dylan and likened to Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young, but Paul Kelly stands alone as a chronicler of his and our times. He is Australia’s best-loved singer, songwriter, author and poetic observer and though he has written his own stories, no one has captured the broader life and times of Paul Kelly — until now. Renowned music journalist, author and for many years Kelly’s manager, Stuart Coupe takes us from Kelly’s family life as the sixth of nine children in Adelaide to his life today. With Paul’s blessing and access to friends, family, band mates and musical collaborators, Coupe shows Paul’s evolution from a young man who only really picked up a guitar in his late teens, to an Australian music icon. Through hundreds of interviews, Coupe details the way Paul juggled the demands, temptations and excesses of rock ’n’ roll with real life. Revealing Paul Kelly’s personal relationships, his friendships, his generosity and support of other artists, such as Archie Roach, Kasey Chambers, Kev Carmody, Vika and Linda Bull and Courtney Barnett, the force of Kelly’s powerful storytelling, his musical creativity, his activism and his work ethic also shines through.”

Grebo!: The Loud & Lousy Story of Gaye Bykers On Acid & Crazyhead
By Rich Deakin

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “West Midlands 1980s, home to heavy metal. Black Sabbath and Judas Priest are household names, but over the smoking chimneys and factory yards something new and equally ugly forms. Grebo was a media constructed music genre that even today sends a shudder down the spines of discerning music fans and critics. A homegrown proto-grunge ― counterpart to the likes of Butthole Surfers, Mudhoney, early Nirvana, Alice In Chains and SoundgardenGrebo was a British phenomenon that drew on an eclectic range of influences, from punk, ’60s garage and psychedelia, through to ’70s heavy rock and thrash metal. It foreshadowed rave culture and was steeped in class politics. Gaye Bikers On Acid and Crazyhead hailed from Leicester. They were not the first bands to be labelled grebo but they were the most unashamedly unkempt and came to be considered its greatest exponents. They were “a burst of dirty thunder” and almost no one liked them. Based on interviews with band members, friends, fans, and roadies, this book is an uncompromising history of an overlooked music scene. Rich Deakin charts its course via the changing fortunes of the Bykers and Crazyhead, taking us on the booze-filled tour buses, behind the dodgy deals and onto the international stage and back again (with a pitstop for a rock movie that swallows lots of money). Their careers were short, but the two bands managed to shake up the U.K. indie scene and along the way became Britain’s unlikely ambassadors of rock following the collapse of Soviet Russia.”

Dylan at 80: It Used to Go Like That, and Now It Goes Like This
Edited by Gary Browning & Constantine Sandis

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “2021 marks Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday and his 60th year in the music world. It invites us to look back on his career and the multitudes that it contains. Is he a song-and-dance man? A political hero? A protest singer? A self-portrait artist who has yet to paint his masterpiece? Is he Shakespeare in the alley? The greatest living exponent of American music? An ironsmith? Internet radio DJ? Poet (who knows it)? Is he a spiritual and religious parking meter? Judas? The voice of a generation or a false prophet, jokerman, and thief? Dylan is all these and none. The essays in this book explore the Nobel laureate’s masks, collectively reflecting upon their meaning through time, change, movement, and age. They are written by wonderful and diverse set of contributors, all here for his 80th birthday bash: celebrated Dylanologists like Michael Gray and Laura Tenschert; recording artists such as Robyn Hitchcock, Barb Jungr, Amy Rigby and Emma Swift; and ‘the professors’ who all like his looks: David Boucher, Anne Margaret Daniel, Ray Monk, Galen Strawson and more.”

From this Broken Hill I Sing To You: God, Sex, and Politics in the Work of Leonard Cohen
By Marcia Pally

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Leonard Cohen’s troubled relationship with God is here mapped onto his troubled relationships with sex and politics. Analysing covenantal theology and its place in Cohen’s work, this book is the first to trace a consistent theology across sixty years of Cohen’s writing, drawing on his Jewish heritage and its expression in his lyrics and poems. Cohen’s commitment to covenant, and his anger at this God who made us so prone to failing it, undergird the faith, frustration, and sardonic taunting of Cohen’s work. Both his faith and ire are traced through his unorthodox use of Jewish and Christian imagery, his writings about women, politics, and the Holocaust and his final theology, You Want It Darker, released three weeks before his death.”

We Are The Clash: Reagan, Thatcher, and the Last Stand of a Band That Mattered
By Mark Andersen & Ralph Heibutzki

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Clash was a paradox of revolutionary conviction, musical ambition, and commercial drive. We Are The Clash is a gripping tale of the band’s struggle to reinvent itself as George Orwell’s 1984 loomed. This bold campaign crashed headlong into a wall of internal contradictions, and rising right-wing power. While the world teetered on the edge of the nuclear abyss, British miners waged a life-or-death strike, and tens of thousands died from U.S. guns in Central America, Clash cofounders Joe Strummer, Paul Simonon and Bernard Rhodes waged a desperate last stand after ejecting guitarist Mick Jones and drummer Topper Headon. The band shattered just as its controversial final album Cut the Crap, was emerging. Mark Andersen and Ralph Heibutzki weave together extensive archival research and in-depth original interviews with virtually all of the key players involved to tell a moving story of idealism undone by human frailty amid a climatic turning point for our world.”

The Stranglers 1977
By Laura Shenton

THE EDITE PRESS RELEASE: “For The Stranglers, 1977 was a vital year. Not quite punk, certainly not pop and often at odds with live audiences and the music press alike, their approach was such that nothing could stop them. With hits like Peaches, No More Heroes and Something Better Change, there was everything to play for despite a variety of confrontations and controversies. With two commercially and musically strong albums ― Rattus Norvegicus (their debut) and No More Heroes ― released within just months of each other, the story of The Stranglers in 1977 is one that needs to be told. With vintage interviews and reviews in abundance, this book comprehensively documents it all with immense detail.”

The Rolling Stones in America 1964-1972
By Brian Ireland

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Time marches on: By 2022 it will have been 50 years since the release of The Rolling StonesExile on Main St. and the epic, infamous American tour the band undertook to promote that album. 2022 also marks the 60th anniversary year of the formation of the band. The Rolling Stones In America is published in time to mark both of these anniversaries. Why were the Stones so successful in the States when so many other English bands failed to make their mark? Why was the band so drawn towards American blues music? What was their relationship with the burgeoning American counter-culture? What really happened at Altamont, and why? It could be argued that a marker for the end of the ’60s era might be the Stones’ infamous 1972 American tour. So much had changed in the three years since their last American tour that the 1972 tour might deserve deeper attention than it had previously been given; perhaps it might even be as significant as other events that cultural historians traditionally identify to mark the end of the long 1960s. This hugely detailed tome addresses those questions, making this a unique addition to The Rolling Stones’ bibliography.”

The Rolling Stones: Hot Stuff
By Matt Lee

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Matt Lee has been collecting Rolling Stones memorabilia for more than two decades. He amassed so much that he had to move house; he even has his own museum dedicated to Stones memorabilia and he is the Guinness World Record holder for the largest Stones memorabilia collection. For the first time, Hot Stuff showcases his collection, which spans all decades, and tells the story of the Stones through their memorabilia as never before. The book includes contributions from Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood, and over 1,400 photographs, featuring many rare and previously unpublished items of priceless memorabilia.”

Christmas with Elvis: The Official Guide to the Holidays from the King of Rock ’n’ Roll
By Robert K. Elder

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “For Elvis, Christmas at Graceland was a time for family and friends, a respite from the road and the recording studio. It was a time to sing gospel songs around the piano and give out extravagant gifts. In this spirit, Christmas With Elvis is designed like a Christmas party Elvis himself would have liked. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at the iconic music and songs Elvis sang and recorded for his bestselling holiday albums, alongside favorite stories, trivia, and Yuletide cocktails and munchies — all wrapped up with a merry Christmas twist fit for the King of Rock ’n’ Roll. Fully illustrated with color photographs and illustrations throughout.”

God Is In The Radio
By Barney Hoskyns

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:God Is In The Radio gathers 50 pieces from 40 years of writing passionately about music. A former mainstay of NME and Mojo — and author of such acclaimed books as Hotel California and Small Town TalkBarney Hoskyns hymns the artists that have thrilled and moved him most, from Frank Sinatra to Amy Winehouse, via Cocteau Twins and Queens Of The Stone Age. Together with acts as varied as Laura Nyro and Luther Vandross, Burial and Bobby Womack, these are the “unbridled enthusiasms” that — for Hoskyns — dissolve the rationalisation of feeling, producing a sense of rapture that borders on religious ecstasy. Spanning multiple decades and moments of music history, and containing personal reflections as well as recommendations, this is a poignant and evocative must-read book from one of the U.K.’s foremost music writers.”

Major Labels: A History of Popular Music in Seven Genres
By Kelefa Sanneh

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Kelefa Sanneh, one of the essential voices of our time on music and culture, has made a deep study of how popular music unites and divides us, charting the way genres become communities, shape-shifting across the years, giving us a way to track larger forces and controversies. In Major Labels, Sanneh distills a career’s worth of knowledge about music and musicians into a brilliant and omnivorous reckoning with popular music — as an art form (actually, a bunch of art forms), as a cultural and economic force, and as a tool that we use to build our identities. As Sanneh unspools the stories of the genres that have defined popular music, the connections build, and big themes accrue momentum: the tension between mainstream and outsider, between authenticity and phoniness, between good and bad, right and wrong. Throughout, race is a powerful touchstone: just as there have always been Black audiences and white audiences, with more or less overlap depending on the moment, there has been Black music and white music, constantly mixing and separating. Sanneh debunks cherished myths, reappraises beloved heroes, and upends familiar ideas of musical greatness, arguing that sometimes, the best popular music isn’t transcendent. It expresses our grudges as well as our hopes, and it is motivated by greed as well as inspiration; music is a powerful tool for human connection, but also for human antagonism. The book will intoxicate music nerds, even as it serves as a heady gateway drug for occasional listeners, or even non-listeners. The opposite of a modest proposal, Major Labels takes on the whole extraordinary range of popular music over the past half century, and it pays in full.”

Who Got the Camera?: A History of Rap and Reality
By Eric Harvey

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Reality first appeared in the late 1980s — not in the sense of real life, but rather of the TV entertainment genre inaugurated by shows such as Cops and America’s Most Wanted; the daytime gabfests of Geraldo, Oprah, and Donahue; and the tabloid news of A Current Affair. In a bracing work of cultural criticism, Eric Harvey argues that reality TV emerged in dialog with another kind of entertainment that served as its foil while borrowing its techniques: Gangsta rap. Or, as legendary performers Ice Cube and Ice-T called it, “reality rap.” Reality rap and reality TV were components of a cultural revolution that redefined popular entertainment as a truth-telling medium. Reality entertainment borrowed journalistic tropes but was undiluted by the caveats and context that journalism demanded. While N.W.A.’s Fuck tha Police countered Cops’ vision of Black lives in America, the reality rappers who emerged in that group’s wake, such as Snoop Doggy Dogg and Tupac Shakur, embraced reality’s visceral tabloid sensationalism, using the media’s obsession with Black criminality to collapse the distinction between image and truth. Reality TV and reality rap nurtured the world we live in now, where politics and basic facts don’t feel real until they have been translated into mass-mediated entertainment.”

That Was Yesterday: Men In Music Rewind
By Cate Meighan

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A handful of rock music’s heavyweights reflect on the lessons that life has taught them thus far. Artists from Foreigner, Dokken, Toto, Starship, Whitesnake, Cutting Crew, Survivor, and more also contemplate what advice they’d give to their younger selves now that they’ve got years of life experiences behind them. Steve Lukather, Tom Gimbel, Robin McAuley, Chip Z’Nuff, Joel Hoekstra, Nick Van Eede, Jeff Pilson, Mickey Thomas, Jeffrey Martinez, Eric Bazilian, Steve Brown, Jim Peterik, Ron Keel, Michael Sweet and more have standalone chapters.”

Living from Music in Salvador: Professional Musicians and the Capital of Afro-Brazil
By Jeff Packman

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Living from Music in Salvador examines the labor of musicians in Salvador da Bahia, widely regarded as Brazil’s most African city. Drawing on fieldwork that spans 16 years, the book explores local musicians’ lives as members of a flexible work force, emphasizing questions of race, social class, and cultural politics in relation to professional music making. From clubs and restaurants to Carnaval parades and festival celebrations, to concert stages and recordings, the abiliy of musicians to earn a living wage is contingent on their navigating industry and societal conditions that are profoundly informed by the entrenched legacies of colonization and slavery.”

FAME: Bad Bunny
By Eric Esquivel & Victor Moura

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Bad Bunny is, without a doubt, the most popular entertainer in the world. In 2020, Spotify revealed that Bad Bunny was the most popular artist on their service — and that’s before the release of his third album of that year, El Ultimo Tour Del Mundo. In the month of December, fans streamed Bad Bunny’s songs more than 600 million times on Spotify, and another 500 million times on YouTube. Bad Bunny is currently a featured character in the WWE universe who is currently undefeated at Wrestlemania. This biographical graphic novel explores how a nerdy grocery store clerk from Vega Baja, Puerto Rico became a cross-cultural sensation.”