We’ve Got Ourselves a Reader! – Dec 2013

Words and words and words and... ELVIS' FACE!!
Words and words and words and… ELVIS’ FACE!!

Had a run of book purchases lately and thought I’d fill you all in!

Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love – Peter Guralnick (£2.99 each – Oxfam Books)

These were an exciting find. I’m not a big Elvis guy but I’ve wanted to read these for ages. I feel like reading these will be a big project for me in 2014. Also, the guy in the Oxfam shop was delighted to discover the two spines formed Elvis’ face! In all these years he had never noticed. I’m guessing he’s not very good at jigsaws.

Slayer: 66⅔ The Jeff and Dave Years – D.X. Ferris (£15 Amazon)

This is a very timely new Slayer bio that comes hot on the heels of Dave Lombardo’s depature from the band and the tragic death of Jeff Hanneman (hence the “Jeff and Dave” title). It’s not as rushed as you might expect: the author started writing at the time of the Lombardo split with Hanneman passing away while the book was still being written. It’s an unofficial bio but D.X. Ferris wrote the fantastic Reign In Blood book that was part of the 33⅓ series and this is an exciting follow up to that. It’s fairly slight but it’s entertaining and interesting and also features some great unreleased pictures including early artwork sketches.

No Regrets – Ace Frehley (£2.50 Fopp Glasgow)

I couldn’t resist this at this price but after reading a few chapters I’ve had to put it away in favour of the more meaty Slayer and Elvis books. I’m not a big fan of musician autobiographies and this one seems unlikely to change that, although I’m sure there will be enough insights for it to be a rainy-day read. Before I put it away I had a wee skim… does Tod Howarth’s name really only appear once in this?!

Trampled Under Foot: The Power and Excess of Led Zeppelin by Barney Hoskyns (£2.50 Fopp Glasgow)

And here’s another fantastic bargain from Fopp. A new hardback too! I’m not sure I needed another Zep book (still not read the Mick Wall one I bought last year) but its curation of quotes and interview segments in place of a straight narrative is appealling. It looks fascinating and seems to carry the conversation into the years after the split too which is a bonus as I love Plant’s solo stuff and Coverdale/Page.

Not a bad haul for the money, I’m sure you’ll agree! I’m not the fastest reader so this lot should keep me busy until 2017! See you then!

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91 thoughts on “We’ve Got Ourselves a Reader! – Dec 2013”

  1. A meaty selection! Some of my favourite rock autobiogs in my collection are:
    Crazy from the Heat – David Lee Roth – a fantastic read.
    Diary of a Rock n Roll star – Ian Hunter – the best of all, probably.
    Life – Keith Richard – not as good as you’d expect – better.
    X-Ray – Ray Davies -off the wall take on an autobiography, almost a novel.
    Life and near death of a rock n roll star – Glenn Hughes – painfully honest and gripping.

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    1. Brilliant choices! Loved the Roth, Hunter and Hughes ones. Not read Richards or Davies though. There just seems to be glut of really lightweight ones lately. Quite liked the first half of Rod Stewart’s then it got crap.

      BTW what’s that bass you’re playing in your pic? Looks very unusual!

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      1. That sounds like Rod’s career actually! The bass in my avatar is a one-off. I had it built from parts I sourced from round the world. It is a Dan Electro semi-acoustic Longhorn. Basically they don’t exist! It has a vintage lipstick pickup and bridge, and no tailpiece. This means the bridge should in fact be ripped out of the body by the string tension, but I had an engineer design a system of three brass posts that go through the hollow body and anchor the bridge. the accidental by-product of this is the amazing natural tone and resonance it gives the bass – it’s possibly my favourite of all my basses -and irreplaceable! (bet you wished you’d never asked – haha!)

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      2. It’s a 24 fret neck, but looks shorter because of the two-a-side headstock and the longhorns. I have another Longhorn too, with ‘supercharged’ lipsticks in black with chrome hardware. I do like my basses! 🙂 Re: Rod – I first heard him back in 1970 on an MFP LP called the most of Jeff Beck retailing at 72p! It was basically Beck-ola reissued, and it’s an absolute classic. His work with Beck and The Faces and perhaps his first solo album was superb, he never bettered it, in my opinion. Surprising really, because he surrounded himself with the likes of Strider’s Gary Grainger, and Family’s Jim Cregan, but he always fell short for me.

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      3. I’ve got the Storyteller compilation to cover some of Rod’s later stuff. There’s some good stuff on that but I agree with you. The Every Picture Tells a Story album was his peak and it was gradually downhill from there for me.

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  2. Wow, nice haul. That would literally take me a decade to get through. I’ve been working my way through the Keith Richards autobiography for more than a year, and I’m only 100 pages in. I spend most of my reading time with music magazines (Mojo, Classic Rock, Uncut, Prog), and so it’s rare that I’ll sit down with a book…especially a heavy hardcover which I don’t want to carry on the train.

    Anyway, looking forward to hearing your thoughts on these whenever you get to them.

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    1. Rich, I’m exactly the same. If a music book is a good read I can sometimes tear through but usually I’m a pretty slow reader. And like yourself I read a lot of mags. Actually some of the very best band bios I’ve read have been in Mojo. Their Free one was amazing and I loved the one they did on Alex Harvey too.

      I would like to read the Keef book. I see it in the library and keep meaning to pick it up.

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      1. I didn’t even get as far as him actually joining KISS but I didn’t find it all that interesting. I’ve not read Peter’s at all, I think you might have put me off buying that one! I saw the news about Paul’s and I’d be interested in reading that definitely. Vinnie Vincent should do one!

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      2. I’m sorry to hear the Ace book isn’t that great. I read Peter’s and agree with everything Mike says — boring and bitchy throughout. Am I remembering correctly that there exists out there some other book from a long while ago about Ace, or at least some of his crazier exploits? I seem to remember on of the Donnas mentioning in an interview having read it and been flabbergasted or something.

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      3. I know the book you mean, Victim. A friend of mine loaned it to me years ago. I can’t remember the title but it was very sordid. In that book Ace was bombed on something every page and on his worst possible behaviour.

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  3. Those look like some great books to read. Surely it won’t take you THAT long to read them! For me, the problem is there are so many of these types of books I wanna read, and then there are so many others too… I wants all the music books AND all the new fiction AND all the graphic novels AND… sigh, a trip to the library for me usually involves need of a moving van to carry all the stuff I want… What I really need to do is develop book osmosis. Then I could just walk to the end of an aisle at the library, hold my head against the shelf, and have it all go in at once, Matrix-style! I know kung-fu! There’s just too many books, not enough time…

    Let me know how the Elvis books go. They look like they could be a cool birthday gift for my Mom (she’s a huge fan of his).

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    1. Ooo, also, I know I am a biased Stones fan but the Keef book is a MUST READ. Even just for the shits and giggles of it. And I don’t know why he had to apologize to Mick over it. Mick’s said way worse about Keef many, many times.

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      1. Haha well, if all he talked about was his cock, that’s not a big deal. Clearly a few women on the planet had no problems with it, over the years. No, I’d have found it more believable him getting mad about Keef calling him a giant DICK, not talking about his cock.

        The thing is, those two are inseparable, no matter how much they fight. They’re like brothers (I imagine, I don’t have a brother). They may go long periods of thinking the other is a ludicrous moron, but ultimately there’s love there, and need. And I’m pretty sure Keef makes that clear in the book too, for all the witticisms he may pack along side it.

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      2. I think a lot of famous band mates go through that. I imagine it is just like a family thing. But obviously the media takes the juicy stuff and runs with it. I daresay that behind the scenes all or most that stuff just gets laughed off.

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      3. I don’t think Mick has written his own, but what do I know except there have been several wriitten ABOUT him, I’ve read a couple of them and he never, ever comes off like a nice guy. And I’d wager that if he said something salacious about Keef in his own book, and Keef demanded apology, I truly doubt he would.

        Of course, £5 is great, but the library is free. I think it’s worth owning (and I do own it) but I’m a big fan. For you, maybe try it before you buy it?

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      4. Yes, Keef’s Life is a must-read. Philip Norman’s biography of Jagger is also good. (He also wrote Shout about the Beatles and an autobiography of Lennon; have read the latter but not (yet) the former.

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      5. That’s the thing. I think they were great songwriters… I just always seem to prefer other artist’s versions of their songs! Not heard Lone Start but Gov’t Mule’s version of She Said is great too. I like Cheap Trick ‘s Day Tripper too. I might appreciate them more one day… I can’t rule them out!

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    2. Well… probably not that long. I can usually tear through music books if I’m enjoying them. I find fiction harder because I have less time to devote to it. I’m already half way through the Slayer one and I’m pretty sure I’ll read the Elvis ones pretty fast. I’ll let you know how they work out but based on what I’ve read of the 1st one they look very good indeed.

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  4. HMO check out Dee Sniders Shut Up & Gibe Me The Mic!
    It’s a good read,you don’t have to be a TS fan to get into it it’s basically his survival after TS imploded in the late 80s!

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  5. I know the market has become so over saturated with rock bios that it’s hard to pick a good one….
    For Xmas I got Kiss Nuthin To Lose Early Years 72-75 & Eddie Trunks vol 2.
    I know people are on the fence with Trunk but I like him,plus he’s flown the flag for Rush,Triumph & Coney Hatch as well….so he gets my vote! And my wife’s money as she paid for the book!
    Haha

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    1. Totally agree about the over-saturation. It’s like everyone and their dog is writing a book now!

      That KISS book looks great. It’s on my wishlist for sure. I quite liked the 1st Trunk book. I find him a bit too humourless but he definitely champions lots of great bands and has good taste. I liked his mix-tapes in the 1st book. He obviously knows his stuff!

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  6. Yeah I started it and it seems good as it’s Authorised by them.
    Trunk does know his stuff he’s about the only guy who could pull that off.
    Actually HMO check out the Metal On Ice book by Sean Kelly about Canadian Rock in the 80s and No Sleep Til Sudbury by Brent Jensen.
    Both books I highly recommend !
    And not just cuz I’m a Canuck!
    I have u bookmarked on my ipad along with Mike,Jon,80s metal man and Every Picture.
    U guys all do fantastic writeups!

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    1. Thank you very much! I really appreciate you stopping by and commenting. I always enjoy reading all your comments and insights over at Mike’s blog.

      I’m not familiar with either of those books. Obviously a Canuck thing! 😉 I’ll check them out and if Amazon has them here. Was there a Metal on Ice album too?

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  7. Hahaha no worries about the Canuck thing. I just find it cool that two Canadian guys have picked up a 80s genre and ran with it as it’s sumthin. I can totally relate too!
    Tell 1537 I had tried to post a comment over at his site but I couldn’t as it would not let me it was in response to his Kingdom Come review…..

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  8. Ha! tracked you down! I’d love to give the Elvis ones a go myself, the only one of his I read was the one about the last day of his life (Goldman, was it?), which was really sordid and made me feel a bit unhealthy. Wouldn’t recommend.

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    1. That’s a shame. I read a Marc Bolan book recently that was a tad similar. Well, from what I’ve read so far I’d thoroughly recommend these two. Really thorough and evocative. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles the last years though.

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      1. It’s been brilliant. Nearly finished it. I can’t wait to get started on Careless Love but I think I’ll read something else and give myself a break in between. Incidentally, I had a peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich yesterday. It was foul.

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      1. Amazingly, here in Spain, I’ve found a place called ‘taste of America ‘, I found their shop when I visited Toledo, and they’re online too, so now I order, and they deliver! PS back to the books, I’ve just finished both Slash’s and Durans John Taylor, both great reads, and now it’s the turn of Duff McKagan. He’s already covered when his pancreas exploded so all good so far!

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      2. I’d forgot about Duff’s. I really want to read that one. He seems like a really switched on, funny guy… even if his Pancreas is all over the place.

        I finished the Slayer one (great if a bit wiki’d) and the first Elvis one which was just fantastic.

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      3. Duffs is shaping up to be great. The Taylor one was quite eye opening,, despite a nagging feeling that he didn’t really want to rock the boat too much , especially when he refers a lot to Andy Taylor’s rock leanings! Interestingly their second album was totally remixed for the U.S. with bigger guitars and drums, which I didn’t know. So, you know, more useless trivia for the frontal lobes….

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      4. Sorry to butt in, but I read the Duff book and it’s a great one. Glad you’re enjoying it! I’d have thought I would have reviewed it at the time, but, sadly not. No help there, except to say keep going. It’s a very good book.

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