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Next Week in Music | Nov. 28 – Dec. 4 • New Books

Holly and P.P. and Brady And Bob and two Harrys — the stories just keep on comin’.

Holly and P.P. and Brady and The Beatles and Smith and Styles and Rock Camp and rastas. And plenty more besides. Black Friday may be over, but the music books just keep on comin’. Add these to your Christmas list:


I Am the Warrior: My Crazy Life Writing the Hits and Rocking the MTV Eighties
By Holly Knight

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “As a writer and musician, Holly Knight worked hard and played hard with the likes of KISS, Rod Stewart, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith and Heart. She showed the boys how it was done when many women were still struggling to get a foot in the door. Starting in the late 1970s in post-punk New York, Knight, a gifted keyboardist, joined the band Spider — which quickly ascended to buzzworthy status before things began to disintegrate. Fortunately, her song Better Be Good to Me found its way to Tina Turner and became the second single on her landmark solo album Private Dancer, launching Holly into rarified air. Soon she was being sought out to write for other artists in search of the big hit or their lead single. Coinciding with the birth of MTV, Knight’s powerful lyrics, hooks, and melodies became a staple on the channel as it exploded into a cultural force. But it was an often lonely journey to success. Not only was Holly a woman in a male-dominated industry that didn’t welcome women warmly into the inner sanctum, she carried with her the baggage of a difficult childhood and a fraught relationship with her mother, the substance of which informed the themes that made her songs so anthemic. I Am the Warrior is a story of survival, perseverance, and triumph laced with ample amounts of sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll. Backstage, onstage, in the studio, and on the road, this book is a revealing, bang-bang tale that welcomes you along for a look back at one of the most adventurous and colorful periods in music history.”

Soul Survivor: The Autobiography
By P.P. Arnold

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:P.P. Arnold’s story is that of a rich and varied life. From her early musical origins in powerhouse church gospel, the talented singer’s career began when she joined the Ike & Tina Turner Revue at the age of 17. But little did the young Ikette know how much her world was about to be turned upside-down. Now, for the first time, she is telling her remarkable story. Upon arriving in London in 1966 to support The Rolling Stones, the shy but vivacious 19-year-old caught the eye of frontman Mick Jagger. He would persuade her to stay in the city and record as a solo artist, ultimately leading to a five-decade career working with everyone from Rod Stewart, Small Faces, Eric Clapton, Nick Drake and Barry Gibb to Peter Gabriel, Roger Waters, Paul Weller and Primal Scream. However, it has been far from a gilded life for the musical star, who, after being forced into marriage at the age of 15 upon becoming pregnant, went on to endure a string of personal traumas. Yet the legendary musician survived it all and has continued to reinvent herself throughout the years, be that as a West End actress, a much-sought-after backing singer or a renowned pop and soul star in her own right. This very timely memoir tells the still-pertinent story of bigotry and abuse experienced by a young Black woman growing up in the music industry on both sides of the Atlantic. It also covers the temptations and trappings of fame and success — themes that continue to resonate with readers.”

Crazy Dreams
By Paul Brady

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Crazy Dreams is the compelling and highly anticipated autobiography from Paul Brady, a musician whose remarkable career has spanned six decades and who is indisputably one of Ireland’s greatest living songwriters. This evocative memoir chronicles Paul’s many years at the forefront of the Irish folk scene, from The Johnstons and Planxty through to his seminal work with Andy Irvine and onwards to his own vaunted solo career. Along the way are the many encounters and collaborations with such musical luminaries as Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Carole King, Tina Turner, Mark Knopfler and Bonnie Raitt, to name but a glittering few. From such celebrated tracks as The Island, Nobody Knows and The World is What You Make It to his interpretations of traditional folk songs like Arthur McBride and The Lakes of Pontchartrain, Paul has carved out his own unique place in Irish musical history. In Crazy Dreams, he tells how it was done and regales the reader with remarkable stories of life on the road and the journey from small-town Tyrone to the world’s stage.”

Silver Beatles: 1956-1963
By Marco Crescenzi

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the first Beatles explosive hit Love Me Do by John Lennon and Paul McCartney in 1962, here is the extraordinary story of The Beatles before they became The Beatles. The early struggles of the unknown band, the people, places, strokes of luck and strokes of genius, from the incredible encounter with Brian Epstein, to Decca‘s historic rejection, from gigs in Liverpool’s Cavern Club to Hamburg’s red-light district, the band’s first break with EMI and their first famous single at Abbey Road studios. This absorbing conversational account of the makings of a fabulous destiny is packed with precious photos of the young Beatles, legendary anecdotes, concerts, line-ups and a treasure of facts of the most famous musicians in the history of music.”

Harry Smith: American Magus Expanded
By Paola Igliori

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Best known during his lifetime as an experimental filmmaker and Folkways Records music anthologist, Harry Smith (1923–1991) was a spiritual outsider and one of the most original, influential artists of the mid-century American avant-garde. An avid, inspired collector of old blues and hillbilly recordings during his youth, he became a fan of such bebop jazz as Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, and began making avant-garde film animations featuring patterns painted directly onto the negatives as visual accompaniments to jazz performances. Smith crossed paths with nearly everyone central to the cultural avant-garde; he lived for art and gnosis with little thought for practical consequences. In 1991, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammy Awards in New York. Five years after Smith’s death, the poet Paola Igliori began conducting intimate interviews with the filmmakers, musicians, poets, and artists who knew him best. The result, American Magus, offers a privileged look not only into Smith’s life and artistic practice, but also into his era and the informal economy of influence that operated during that time. It provides invaluable insight into the mind of one of the twentieth century’s most enigmatic polymaths. This expanded edition includes photos of Smith and many other color images.”

The Life and Music of Harry Styles
By Malcolm Croft

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Life and Music of Harry Styles is written in an enthusiastic tone and fan-focused style, richly illustrated with photographs of the heartthrob and charts the evolution of Styles’s career — from his discovery on The X Factor to his rise to a global superstar and the next step: Conquering the world as a solo artist and actor in 2017’s Dunkirk, 2021’s Eternals and landing the starring role in 2022’s Don’t Worry Darling. Having been a leading member of One Direction — possibly the most successful boy band of this century — Harry Styles has embarked on his solo career, not only managing to escape that shadow, but has thrived and become equally successful on his own. His first solo album Harry Styles debuted at No. 1 all over the world, and his legions of fans were ecstatic with the first solo offering from the pop phenomenon.”

Rasta Time
By Kathy Arlyn Sokol

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Rasta Time is Kathy Arlyn Sokol’s personal journey with the king of reggae Bob Marley, which has spanned over four decades. Her journey takes us from Kansas and Japan, where she first met and toured with him, to Miami, Jamaica and the Bahamas to learn more of his music’s enduring power. The book was inspired by Kathy’s in-depth interview with Marley in 1979 in Tokyo. It is perhaps the last still-unreleased conversation with the legend in the world. Subsequent interviews with his family and friends reveal how the King’s philosophy has been translated into art and action. It is an essential primer for all those who love Marley’s music and spellbinding persona, and seek to understand more of his social vision and spiritual roots.”

Rock Camp: An Oral History, 25 Years of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp
By David Fishof

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Who doesn’t want to be a rock star? After years of producing rock tours throughout the world and working with icons like Roger Daltrey, Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh and so many more, David Fishof wanted to capture the rock ’n’ roll experience for everyone. He was inspired to create the one-of-a-kind Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp, where over the past 25 years 6,000 campers and counselors have lived, played, and become family with rockstars. Campers get to meet and jam with their musical idols — including Joe Perry, Vince Neil, Jack Bruce and Jeff Beck — in such legendary venues like Abbey Road Studios in London, the Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood, and Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. Rock Camp: An Oral History shares the history of the camp through interviews from the people who got to live out their dreams. Fishof gives a behind-the-scenes look at the origins, early struggles, and challenges he faced to meet the level of excellence he envisioned for the campers and rockers. With original photos and illustrations, the camp experience comes to life and celebrates the heart of its mission: ordinary fans right in the middle of it all!”

Pop Rock Icons: London’s Swingin’ 60s & 70s
By Philippe Margotin

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The fuse was lit by The Beatles with their Mersey sound in Liverpool. In London, The Rolling Stones played the blues as if their lives depended on it. Then came The Yardbirds, The Who, The Kinks, heralding inventive prog rock bands like Pink Floyd, Genesis and Yes, unleashing the fury of heavy metal with bands like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. As the ’70s progressed, the androgyny of David Bowie and bands like T-Rex launched glam rock to the world. These two decades of freedom and creativity are captured in this book with some rarely seen photos by the best photographers, and text by top French music writer Philippe Margotin.”

Rock & Roll in Kennedy’s America: A Cultural History of the Early 1960s
By Richard Aquila

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In the early 1960s, the nation was on track to fulfill its destiny in what was being called “the American Century.” Baby boomers and rock ’n’ roll shared the country’s optimism and energy. For “one brief, shining moment” in the early 1960s, both President John F. Kennedy and young people across the country were riding high. The dream of a New Frontier would soon give way, however, to a new reality involving assassinations, the Vietnam War, Cold War crises, the civil rights movement, a new feminist movement, and various culture wars. From the former host of NPR‘s Rock & Roll America, Richard Aquila’s Rock & Roll in Kennedy’s America offers an in-depth look at early 1960s rock ’n’ roll, as well as an unconventional history of Kennedy’s America through the lens of popular music. Based on extensive research and exclusive interviews with Dion, Bo Diddley, Brenda Lee, Martha Reeves, Pete Seeger, Bob Gaudio, Dick Clark and other legendary figures, the book rejects the myth that Buddy Holly’s death in 1959 was “the day the music died.” It proves that rock ’n’ roll during the early 1960s was vibrant and in tune with the history and events of this colorful era. These interviews and Aquila’s research reveal unique insights and new details about politics, gender, race, ethnicity, youth culture, and everyday life. Rock & Roll in Kennedy’s America recalls an important chapter in rock & roll and American history.”

The Sound of Being Human: How Music Shapes Our Lives
By Jude Rogers

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Sound of Being Human explores why music plays such a deep-rooted role in our lives from before we are born to our last days. At its heart is Jude Rogers’ own story: How songs helped her wrestle with the grief of losing her father; concoct her own sense of self; sky-rocket her relationships, both real and imagined, propel her own journey into working life, adulthood and parenthood, and look to the future. Shaped around twelve songs, ranging from ABBA’s Super Trouper to Neneh Cherry’s Buffalo Stance, Kraftwerk’s Radioactivity to Martha Reeves and the VandellasHeat Wave, the book combines memoir and historical, scientific and cultural enquiry to show how music can shape different versions of ourselves; how we rely upon music for comfort, for epiphanies, and for sexual and physical connection; how we grow with songs, and songs grow inside us. It is about music’s power to help us tell our own stories, whatever they are, and make them sing.”

Ain’t But A Few Of Us: Black Music Writers Tell Their Story
By Willard Jenkins

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Despite the fact that most of jazz’s major innovators and performers have been African American, the overwhelming majority of jazz journalists, critics, and authors have been and continue to be white men. No major mainstream jazz publication has ever had a Black editor or publisher. Ain’t But a Few of Us presents over two dozen candid dialogues with Black jazz critics and journalists ranging from Greg Tate, Farah Jasmine Griffin and Robin D. G. Kelly to Tammy Kernodle, Ron Welburn and John Murph. They discuss the obstacles to access for Black jazz journalists, outline how they contend with the world of jazz writing dominated by white men, and point out that these racial disparities are not confined to jazz and hamper their efforts at writing about other music genres as well. Ain’t But A Few Of Us also includes an anthology section, which reprints classic essays and articles from Black writers and musicians like LeRoi Jones, Archie Shepp, A.B. Spellman, Herbie Nichols and others.”

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