The twentieth century had three great female singers who plumbed the darkest corners of their hearts and transformed private grief into public dramas. In opera, there was the unsurpassed Maria Callas. In jazz, the tormented Billie Holiday. And in country music, there was Tammy Wynette.
"Stand by Your Man," "D-I-V-O-R-C-E," "Take Me to Your World" are but a few highlights of Tammy's staggering musical legacy, all sung with a voice that became the touchtone for women's vulnerability, disillusionment, strength, and endurance.
In Tammy Wynette, bestselling biographer Jimmy McDonough tells the story of the small-town girl who grew up to be the woman behind the microphone, whose meteoric rise led to a decades-long career full of tragedy and triumph. Through a high-profile marriage and divorce, her dreadful battle with addiction and illness, and the struggle to compete in a rapidly evolving Nashville, Tammy turned a brave smile toward the world and churned out masterful hit songs though her life resembled the most heartbreaking among them.
Tammy Wynette is an intimate portrait of a music icon, the Queen of Heartbreak, whose powerful voice simultaneously evoked universal pain and longing even as it belied her own.
Bringing his anecdote—and action—packed biographical style to another renegade of popular culture, New York Times bestselling author of Shakey Jimmy McDonough offers a wild, warts-and-all portrait of Russ Meyer, the director, writer, producer, and commando moviemaking force behind such sexploitation classics as Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Vixen, and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. This former WWII combat photographer immortalized his personal sexual obsession (women with enormous breasts, of course) upon the silver screen, turning his favorite hobby into box-office gold when this one-man movie machine wrote, directed, and produced a no-budget wonder called The Immoral Mr. Teas in 1959. The modest little film pushed all preexisting limits of on-screen nudity, and with its success, the floodgates of what was permitted to be shown on film were thrust open, never to be closed again. Russ Meyer ignited a true revolution in filmmaking, breaking all sex, nudity, and violence taboos. In a career that spanned more than forty years, Meyer created a body of work that has influenced a legion of filmmakers, fashionistas, comic book artists, rock bands, and even the occasional feminist.
Rich with wicked and sometimes shocking observations and recollections from Meyer’s friends (such as colleague Roger Ebert and fellow filmmaker John Waters), lovers and leading ladies (some of whom played both roles with equal vigor), a cadre of his grizzled combat buddies, moviemakers inspired by him, and critics and fans alike, Big Bosoms and Square Jaws tells the voluptuous story of Meyer’s very singular life and career: his troubled youth, his war years, his volatile marriages, his victories against censorship, and his clashes with the Hollywood establishment. In his new biography of a true maverick, Jimmy McDonough blows the lid off the story of Russ Meyer, from beginning to his recent tragic demise, creating in the process a vivid portrait of a past America.
Al Green has blessed listeners with some of the biggest hits of the past fifty years. "Love and Happiness," "I'm Still in Love with You," "Let's Get Married," and "I'm Tired of Being Alone" are but a sampling of the iconic songs that led a generation to embrace love in perhaps the most tumultuous period in this country's history, an unparalleled body of work that has many calling Green one of the greatest soul singers of all time. The music legend has sold over 20 million albums and been sampled by numerous rappers, and even President Obama has been known to sing a chorus or two. The now-Bishop Green is without a doubt one of the most beloved yet inscrutable figures ever to grace the popular music stage, and he has managed to magically sidestep being successfully scrutinized in print. Until now.
Acclaimed journalist and author Jimmy McDonough expertly tackles this most elusive of subjects and aims to present readers with the definitive portrait of a man everyone knows but few understand. McDonough manages to break through Green's joyous veneer to reveal the contrary, tortured, and solitary individual beneath, a man who spent decades dancing an uneasy tightrope between the sacred and the profane. From his childhood in the backwaters of Arkansas to commanding the stage in front of throngs of lusting fans to addressing a very different audience from the pulpit of his own church, readers will bear witness to the creation of some of the most electrifying soul music ever recorded; learn the hitherto untold real story behind Green's colorful down-home Memphis label, Hi Records; and--by way of countless in-depth interviews with major players in the story, some speaking for the very first time--unravel one of the last great mysteries in popular music: Al Green.
Scar Tissue is Anthony Kiedis's searingly honest memoir of a life spent in the fast lane. In 1983, four self-described "knuckleheads" burst out of the mosh-pitted mosaic of the neo-punk rock scene in L.A. with their own unique brand of cosmic hardcore mayhem funk. Over twenty years later, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, against all odds, have become one of the most successful bands in the world. Though the band has gone through many incarnations, Anthony Kiedis, the group's lyricist and dynamic lead singer, has been there for the whole roller-coaster ride.
Whether he's recollecting the influence of the beautiful, strong women who have been his muses, or retracing a journey that has included appearances as diverse as a performance before half a million people at Woodstock or an audience of one at the humble compound of the exiled Dalai Lama, Kiedis shares a compelling story about the price of success and excess. Scar Tissue is a story of dedication and debauchery, of intrigue and integrity, of recklessness and redemption--a story that could only have come out of the world of rock.
For the first time, Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor speaks directly to his fans and shares his worldview about life as a sinner. And Taylor knows how to sin. As a small-town hero in the early '90s, he threw himself into a hard-drinking, fierce-loving, live-for-the-moment life; when his music exploded, he found himself rich, wanted, and on the road. But soon his extreme lifestyle led him to question what it means to sin and whether it could-or should-be cast in a different light. After all, if sin makes us human how wrong can it be?Now updated with a new Afterword by the author, Seven Deadly Sins is a brutally honest look "at a life that could have gone horribly wrong at any turn," and the soul-searching and self-discovery it took to set it right.
More than a rock star, Eric Clapton is an icon, a living embodiment of the history of rock music. Well known for his reserve in a profession marked by self-promotion, flamboyance, and spin, he now chronicles, for the first time, his remarkable personal and professional journeys.
Born illegitimate in 1945 and raised by his grandparents, Eric never knew his father and, until the age of nine, believed his actual mother to be his sister. In his early teens his solace was the guitar, and his incredible talent would make him a cult hero in the clubs of Britain and inspire devoted fans to scrawl “Clapton is God” on the walls of London’s Underground. With the formation of Cream, the world's first supergroup, he became a worldwide superstar, but conflicting personalities tore the band apart within two years. His stints in Blind Faith, in Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, and in Derek and the Dominos were also short-lived but yielded some of the most enduring songs in history, including the classic “Layla.”
During the late sixties he played as a guest with Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan, as well as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and longtime friend George Harrison. It was while working with the latter that he fell for George’s wife, Pattie Boyd, a seemingly unrequited love that led him to the depths of despair, self-imposed seclusion, and drug addiction. By the early seventies he had overcome his addiction and released the bestselling album 461 Ocean Boulevard, with its massive hit “I Shot the Sheriff.” He followed that with the platinum album Slowhand, which included “Wonderful Tonight,” the touching love song to Pattie, whom he finally married at the end of 1979. A short time later, however, Eric had replaced heroin with alcohol as his preferred vice, following a pattern of behavior that not only was detrimental to his music but contributed to the eventual breakup of his marriage.
In the eighties he would battle and begin his recovery from alcoholism and become a father. But just as his life was coming together, he was struck by a terrible blow: His beloved four-year-old son, Conor, died in a freak accident. At an earlier time Eric might have coped with this tragedy by fleeing into a world of addiction. But now a much stronger man, he took refuge in music, responding with the achingly beautiful “Tears in Heaven.”
Clapton is the powerfully written story of a survivor, a man who has achieved the pinnacle of success despite extraordinary demons. It is one of the most compelling memoirs of our time.
The only autobiography authorized by Jenni Rivera
"I can’t get caught up in the negative because that destroys you. Perhaps trying to move away from my problems and focus on the positive is the best I can do. I am a woman like any other, and ugly things happen to me like any other woman. The number of times I have fallen down is the number of times I have gotten up."
These are the last words that beloved Mexican American singer Jenni Rivera spoke publicly before boarding the plane that would crash and cut her life short on December 9, 2012. However, they are not the final words that La Diva de la Banda had for the world. Those are found in the pages you hold in your hands, Jenni’s own account of the highs and lows of her extraordinary journey.
She became the most acclaimed Spanish-language singer in the United States and sold more than 15 million records worldwide. A single mother of five and grandmother of two, she was also an actress, a television producer, the star of her own reality show, and an entrepreneur. But for all its immense success, Jenni’s life often seemed to be a series of personal battles in which perseverance was her only weapon. As her fame grew, she made it her mission to speak about her struggles, forging an intimate connection with her fans. She became a figure of strength and a source of encouragement to women of all ages.
In Unbreakable, Jenni recounts the crucial moments in her past, revealing her experiences with domestic and sexual abuse, divorce, body image issues, making her way in a male-dominated industry, raising her children as a single mother, and learning that she could depend only on herself.
Though she is no longer with us, Jenni will always be the "Rivera rebel from Long Beach," the girl who maintained her sense of humor and fighting spirit in every circumstance. In this remarkable memoir, Jenni leaves behind a legacy of inspiration and determination that will forever live on through her precious family, friends, and fans.
In his three decades of recording, Prince had nearly thirty albums hit the Billboard Top 100. He is the only artist since the Beatles to have a number-one song, movie, and single at the same time. Prince's trajectory—from a teenage unknown in Minneapolis to an idol and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer—won him millions of adoring fans the world over.
Prince is the first book to give full treatment to his thirty-five-year career. Acclaimed music journalist Ronin Ro traces Prince's rise from anonymity in the late 70s, to his catapult to stardom in the 80s, to his reemergence in the twenty-first century as an artistic icon. Ro expertly chronicles his music and career, showing how Prince and his albums helped define and inspire a generation. Along the way, Prince confronted labels, fostered other young talents, and took ownership of his music, making a profound mark on the entertainment industry and pop culture.
Steven Patrick Morrissey was born in Manchester on May 22nd 1959. Singer-songwriter and co-founder of the Smiths (1982–1987), Morrissey has been a solo artist for twenty-six years, during which time he has had three number 1 albums in England in three different decades.
Achieving eleven Top 10 albums (plus nine with the Smiths), his songs have been recorded by David Bowie, Nancy Sinatra, Marianne Faithfull, Chrissie Hynde, Thelma Houston, My Chemical Romance and Christy Moore, amongst others.
An animal protectionist, in 2006 Morrissey was voted the second greatest living British icon by viewers of the BBC, losing out to Sir David Attenborough. In 2007 Morrissey was voted the greatest northern male, past or present, in a nationwide newspaper poll. In 2012, Morrissey was awarded the Keys to the City of Tel-Aviv.
It has been said “Most pop stars have to be dead before they reach the iconic status that Morrissey has reached in his lifetime.”
Graham Nash's songs defined a generation and helped shape the history of rock and roll—he’s written over 200 songs, including such classic hits as "Carrie Anne," “On A Carousel,” "Simple Man," "Our House," “Marrakesh Express,” and "Teach Your Children." From the opening salvos of the British Rock Revolution to the last shudders of Woodstock, he has rocked and rolled wherever music mattered. Now Graham is ready to tell his story: his lower-class childhood in post-war England, his early days in the British Invasion group The Hollies; becoming the lover and muse of Joni Mitchell during the halcyon years, when both produced their most introspective and important work; meeting Stephen Stills and David Crosby and reaching superstardom with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; and his enduring career as a solo musician and political activist. Nash has valuable insights into a world and time many think they know from the outside but few have experienced at its epicenter, and equally wonderful anecdotes about the people around him: the Beatles, the Stones, Hendrix, Cass Elliot, Dylan, and other rock luminaries. From London to Laurel Canyon and beyond, Wild Tales is a revealing look back at an extraordinary life—with all the highs and the lows; the love, the sex, and the jealousy; the politics; the drugs; the insanity—and the sanity—of a magical era of music.
Elvis Presley’s fiancée and last love tells her story and sets the record straight in this deeply personal memoir that reveals what really happened in the final years of the King of Rock n' Roll.
Elvis Presley and Graceland were fixtures in Ginger Alden’s life; after all, she was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. But she had no idea that she would play a part in that enduring legacy. For more than three decades Ginger has held the truth of their relationship close to her heart. Now she shares her unique story…
In her own words, Ginger details their whirlwind romance—from first kiss to his stunning proposal of marriage. And for the very first time, she talks about the devastating end of it all and the fifty thousand mourners and reporters who descended on Graceland in 1977, exposing Ginger to the reality of living in the spotlight of a short yet immortal life.
Above it all, Ginger rescues Elvis from the hearsay, rumors, and tabloid speculations of his final year by shedding a frank yet personal light on a very public legend. From a unique and intimate perspective, she reveals the man—complicated, romantic, fallible, and human—behind the myth, a superstar worshipped by millions and loved by Ginger Alden.
Prepare to meet the real McFly ...
In 2003, Tom Fletcher, Danny Jones, Harry Judd and Dougie Poynter came together and formed what would become one of the most popular and successful bands in the UK. Just teenagers at the time, they were catapulted into the limelight and had to adapt quickly to their new-found fame – and everything that came with it. Now, at last, they have decided to tell their story, in full and revealing detail.
Speaking with candour and their trademark humour, Tom, Danny, Harry and Dougie share both the stories of their own lives and that of McFly. They give their personal insights into their contrasting childhoods, the individual paths that led them to the band, the struggles they have each overcome, their love lives and, of course, their music.
Packed with previously untold stories, a lot of laughter and the occasional tear, Unsaid Things offers a privileged look into the lives of four guys who started out as bandmates and became best friends. Their unique camaraderie radiates from every page and by the end of the book, you’ll know them almost as well as they know each other ...
Tom Fletcher, Danny Jones, Harry Judd and Dougie Poynter have been together as McFly since 2003. They hold the record for being the youngest band to have a debut No 1 album in the UK. Their hits include: 'Five Colours in Her Hair', 'All About You', 'Please, Please' and 'Shine a Light'. They are one of the biggest bands in the UK.
From the bestselling author of Hammer of the Gods comes the complete story of Guns N? Roses ? from their drug-fueled blastoff in the 80s to the turbulent life of legendary singer Axl Rose, and his fifteen-year, multimillion dollar quest to make the perfect hard rock album.
Riotous world tours. Drug-induced rampages. One hundred millions albums sold. In his sixth major rock biography, Stephen Davis details the riveting story of the last great rock band. Watch You Bleed documents the life of every band member, including the improbable story of W. Axl Rose. Davis brilliantly captures the Guns? raw power ? from the gutters of Sunset Strip to the biggest stadiums on the planet. Based on exclusive interviews, private archives, and packed with stunning revelations, Watch You Bleed is the savage, definitive, and highly unauthorized story of Guns N? Roses. For the first time, millions of fans will learn the whole truth about this legendary band.
Author Tom Bryant has been given unparalleled access to the band over the years, and now he draws on interviews with Gerard Way, his brother Mikey, Ray Toro, and Frank Iero, as well as friends and associates, to bring their stories to life. In this unauthorized biography, he takes us behind the scenes from their very first show in front of thirty kids in New Jersey-the Ways downing beer to calm their nerves-to international arena-storming superstardom. He sheds light on the personal demons the bandmates battled and the haunted recording sessions that resulted in the brilliance of The Black Parade. He also explores the genesis of their music, the constant reinvention that culminated in the visual splendor of Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, and the strains that led to their split in 2013.
Insightful and revealing, Not the Life It Seems presents one of the most adored rock bands of this century, their story an epic saga of self-belief and the pursuit of dreams.
With his soulful and singular voice, narrative songwriting, and passionate live performances Rod Stewart has paved one of the most iconic and successful music careers of all time. He was the charismatic lead singer for the trailblazing rock and roll bands The Jeff Beck Group and The Faces, and as a solo artist, the author of such beloved songs as "Maggie May," "Tonight’s the Night," "Hot Legs," "Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?," "Young Turks," "Forever Young," and "You Wear It Well." Now after more than five decades in the spotlight, he is finally ready to take a candid and romping look back at his life both on and off the stage. From his humble British roots to his hell-raising years on tour with his bandmates, not forgetting his great loves (including three marriages and eight children) and decades touring the world, Rod delivers a riveting ride through one of rock's most remarkable lives.
From the Hardcover edition.
In his twenty-nine years, rock idol Manson has experienced more than most people have (or would want to) in a lifetime. Now, in his shocking and candid memoir, he takes readers from backstage to gaol cells, from recording studios to emergency rooms, from the pit of despair to the top of the charts, and recounts his metamorphosis from a frightened Christian schoolboy into the most feared and revered music superstar in the country. Illustrated with dozens of exclusive photographs and featuring a behind-the-scenes account of his headline-grabbing Dead to the World tour.
So forgive me if it's a bit hard for me to slice open a vein and let my blood run red all over this page for you. I'll fight you or I'll f*ck you but chances are I'll be hard pressed to sit there and talk to you. War stories. War wounds. I know, I know. Old rock stars fall hard. I'm forty-nine years old. I'm five-foot-nine, 170. The spandex is over. I've had three plastic surgeries. Still, who do you think gets laid more, me or you? But time does change a man. I ain't twenty-one anymore.
It's a miracle we survived at all. A bottle of Jack Daniel's and uncooked hot dogs do not make for a particularly well-balanced diet. We are all very lucky we didn't kill ourselves. It might look like we were trying to do that but speaking for myself, death was never my intent. I just wanted to feel good, you know? I was just looking for that kick, that high...
These days I've got businesses to run. I like the action. Something to get your heart pumping. Healthier than a syringe full of cocaine powder like I was doing back in '81 with my girlfriend Lovey, that's for sure...
But you got to admit...those days are a lot more fun to talk about..."
Corey Taylor has seen a lot of unbelievable things. However, many of his most incredible experiences might just shock you. For much of his life, the Grammy Award-winning singer of Slipknot and Stone Sour has brushed up against the supernatural world. Those close encounters impacted his personal evolution just as much as headlining at Castle Donington in front of 100,000 people at Download Festival or debuting at #1 on the Billboard Top 200.
Since growing up in Iowa, his own curiosity drew him into situations that would've sent most people screaming scared and running for the hills. He's ballsy enough to go into the darkness and deal with the consequences, though. As a result, he's seen ghosts up close and personal, whether while combing through an abandoned house in his native Iowa as a child or recording an album in the fabled Houdini Hollywood Hills mansion. He's also got the memories (and scars) to prove it. For some reason, he can't seem to shake these spectral stories, and that brings us to this little tome right here...
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven compiles Taylor's most intimate, incredible, and insane moments with the supernatural. His memories are as vivid as they are vicious. As he recounts these stories, he questions the validity of religious belief systems and two-thousand-year-old dogma. As always, his rapid-fire writing, razor-sharp sense of humor, unbridled honesty, and cozy anecdotes make quite the case for his point. You might end up believing him or not. That's up to you. Either way, you're in for a hell of a ride.
In 1984, at the age of twenty, Duff McKagan left his native Seattle—partly to pursue music but mainly to get away from a host of heroin overdoses then decimating his closest group of friends in the local punk scene. In LA only a few weeks and still living in his car, he answered a want ad for a bass player placed by someone who identified himself only as “Slash.” Soon after, the most dangerous band in the world was born. Guns N’ Roses went on to sell more than 100 million albums worldwide.
In It’s So Easy, Duff recounts Guns’ unlikely trajectory to a string of multiplatinum albums, sold-out stadium concerts, and global acclaim. But that kind of glory can take its toll, and it did—ultimately—on Duff, as well as on the band itself. As Guns began to splinter, Duff felt that he himself was done, too. But his near death as a direct result of alcoholism proved to be his watershed, the turning point that sent him on a unique path to sobriety and the unexpected choices he has made for himself since.
In a voice that is as honest as it is indelibly his own, Duff—one of rock’s smartest and most articulate personalities—takes readers on a harrowing journey through the dark heart of one of the most notorious bands in rock-and-roll history and out the other side.
Two-time Grammy winning rap artist, Lecrae, learned this lesson through more than his share of adversity—childhood abuse, drugs and alcoholism, a stint in rehab, an abortion, and an unsuccessful suicide attempt.
Along the way, Lecrae attained an unwavering faith in Jesus and began looking to God for affirmation. Now as a chart-topping industry anomaly, he has learned to ignore the haters and make peace with his craft. The rap artist holds nothing back as he divulges the most sensitive details of his life, answers his critics, shares intimate handwritten journal entries, and powerfully models how to be a Christian in a secular age.
This is the story of one man's journey to faith and freedom.
*Cover/Interior design by Alex Medina, photography by Mary Caroline Mann
Even in the world of rock and roll, a figure like Axl Rose doesn't come along very often. Mercurial and brilliant, deluded and imperious, Rose defies easy description or analysis. Few people have studied Rose as closely as Mick Wall has. Traveling with Guns n' Roses and writing about them in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Wall first earned Axl's trust and later his fury.
W.A.R. goes back to the beginning, revealing Rose's childhood influences (and how he got his name), and tracking the birth of the band and their enormous success with albums like "Appetite for Destruction" and "Use Your Illusion." With fame and money came substance abuse and infighting, and a lead singer who morphed from eccentric to seemingly unhinged. Wall's book is richly detailed and offers surprising new views on some celebrated Guns 'n Roses and Axl Rose incidents, including:
--the death of two fans at a concert in Donington Park in England,
--Rose's fall-out and eventual split from every one of the other original Gn'R band members,
--fights with perceived enemies like Kurt Cobain, Motley Crue's Vince Neil and fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger,
--Rose's consistent refusal to show up at concerts throughout his career,
--Axl becoming a virtual recluse at his Malibu mansion for most of the past 15 years.
The book goes right up to the present, to explore why a new Guns n' Roses—with a reconfigured band—has toured but still hasn't released their long-awaited album "Chinese Democracy", now over a decade in the making at a cost of over $13 million. W.A.R. is about great music, bad relationships, and the public and private personas of one of the most controversial performers of our time.
After a five-day trial, he was acquitted on March 5, 2013.
In Dark Days, Blythe tells the story of his incarceration and the wild life that led up to it. As he explains, “Most substance abuse books end with the author getting sober. My book starts there.”
She met the Beatles in 1964 when she was cast as a schoolgirl in A Hard Day’s Night. Ten days later a smitten George Harrison proposed. For twenty-year-old Pattie Boyd, it was the beginning of an unimaginably rich and complex life as she was welcomed into the Beatles inner circle—a circle that included Mick Jagger, Ron Wood, Jeff Beck, and a veritable who’s who of rock musicians. She describes the dynamics of the group, the friendships, the tensions, the musicmaking, and the weird and wonderful memories she has of Paul and Linda, Cynthia and John, Ringo and Maureen, and especially the years with her husband, George.
It was a sweet, turbulent life, but one that would take an unexpected turn, starting with a simple note that began “dearest l.”
I read it quickly and assumed that it was from some weirdo; I did get fan mail from time to time.... I thought no more about it until that evening when the phone rang. It was Eric [Clapton]. “Did you get my letter?”... And then the penny dropped. “Was that from you?” I said....It was the most passionate letter anyone had ever written me.
For the first time Pattie Boyd, former wife of both George Harrison and Eric Clapton, a high-profile model whose face epitomized the swinging London scene of the 1960s, a woman who inspired Harrison’s song “Something” and Clapton’s anthem “Layla,” has decided to write a book that is rich and raw, funny and heartbreaking—and totally honest and open and breathtaking. Here is the truth, here is what happened, here is the story you’ve been waiting for.
From the Hardcover edition.
Rex Brown's memoir is the definitive account of life inside one of rock's biggest bands, which succeeded against all odds but ultimately ended in tragedy when iconic lead guitarist Darrell “Dimebag” Abbott was murdered mid-performance by a deranged fan.
This is a lucid account of the previously untold story behind one of the most influential bands in heavy metal history, written by the man best qualified to tell the truth about those incredible and often difficult years of fame and excess.
In this often violent but always introspective memoir, Mobb Deep’s Prodigy tells his much anticipated story of struggle, survival, and hope down the mean streets of New York City. For the first time, he gives an intimate look at his family background, his battles with drugs, his life of crime, his relentless suffering with sickle-cell anemia, and much more. Recently released after serving three and a half years in state prison due to what many consider an unlawful arrest by a rumored secret NYPD hip hop task force, Prodigy is ready to talk about his life as one of rap’s greatest legends.
My Infamous Life is an unblinking account of Prodigy’s wild times with Mobb Deep who, alongside rappers like Nas, The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Jay-Z, and Wu-Tang Clan, changed the musical landscape with their vivid portrayals of early ’90s street life. It is a firsthand chronicle of legendary rap feuds like the East Coast–West Coast rivalry; Prodigy’s beefs with Jay-Z, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Ja Rule, and Capone-N-Noreaga; and run-ins with prodigal hit makers and managers like Puff Daddy, Russell Simmons, Chris Lighty, Irv Gotti, and Lyor Cohen.
Taking the reader behind the smoke-and-mirrors glamour of the hip hop world, so often seen as the only way out for those with few options, Prodigy lays down the truth about the intoxicating power of money, the meaning of true friendship and loyalty, and the ultimately redemptive power of self. This is the heartbreaking journey of a child born in privilege, his youth spent among music royalty like Diana Ross and Dizzy Gillespie, educated in private schools, until a family tragedy changed everything. Raised in the mayhem of the Queensbridge projects, Prodigy rose to the dizzying heights of fame and eventually fell into the darkness of a prison cell.
A truly candid memoir, part fearless confessional and part ode to the concrete jungles of New York City, from the front line of the last great moment in hip hop history.
Fueled by an explosive mix of makeup, costumes, and attitude, KISS burst onto the music scene thirty years ago and has become a rock institution. The band has sold more than eighty million records, has broken every concert attendance record set by Elvis Presley and the Beatles, stands behind the Beatles alone in number of gold records from any group in history, and has spawned more than 2,500 licenses.
There would have been no KISS without Gene Simmons, the outrageous star whose superlong tongue, legendary sexual exploits, and demonic makeup have made him a rock icon. KISS and Make-Up is the wild, shocking, unbelievable story, from the man himself, about how an immigrant boy from Israel studied to be a rabbi, was saved by rock and roll, and became one of the most notorious rock stars the world has ever seen.
Before Gene Simmons there was Chaim Witz, a boy from Haifa, Israel, who had no inkling of the life that lay ahead of him. In vivid detail Gene recounts his childhood growing up in Haifa under the watchful eye of his beloved, strong-willed mother, a concentration camp survivor; his adolescent years attending a Jewish theological center for rabbinical studies in Brooklyn; his love of all things American, including comic books, superheroes, and cowboys; and his early fascination with girls and sex, which prompted him to start a rock band in school after he saw the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show.
KISS and Make-Up is not just the classic story of achieving the American dream through the eyes of an immigrant boy making good, but a juicy, rollicking rock and roll read that takes you along for the ride of your life with KISS, from the 1970s, when they were the biggest band in the world, through the ’80s, when they took off their world-famous war paint, and into the ’90s, when they came back bigger and badder than ever to become the number one touring band in the world.
In his own irreverent, unapologetic voice, Gene talks about the girls (4,600 of them and counting); his tight bond with KISS cofounder Paul Stanley; the struggles he and Paul had with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss and their departures from the group; the new band members and Eric Carr’s untimely death; the enormous love and affection he has for the people who put him there in the first place—the KISS Army and the ever-loyal KISS fans around the world; his love life, including stories about his relationships with Cher and Diana Ross and with Shannon Tweed, Playmate of the Year, mother of his son and daughter, and his companion of eighteen years; and much more.
Full of dozens of photographs, many never-before-seen pictures from Gene’s private collection, KISS and Make-Up is a surprising, intimate look at the man behind the mask. For the first time Gene reveals all the facets of his complex personality—son, rock star, actor, record producer, businessman, ladies’ man, devoted father, and now author.
From the Hardcover edition.
An interviewer's favorite, McKagan's wisdom has been sought out on everything from financial planning and relationships to surviving the summer festival circuit and escaping a military coup. Expanding on his popular weekly columns in Seattle Weekly, Playboy.com, and ESPN.com, McKagan equips readers with the knowledge they need to rock fatherhood, manage their money, and remain a good dude in spite of it all.
The RZA, founder of the Wu-Tang Clan, imparts the lessons he's learned on his journey from the Staten Island projects to international superstardom. A devout student of knowledge in every form in which he's found it, he distills here the wisdom he's acquired into seven "pillars," each based on a formative event in his life-from the moment he first heard the call of hip-hop to the death of his cousin and Clan- mate, Russell Jones, aka ODB. Delivered in RZA's unmistakable style, at once surprising, profound, and provocative, The Tao of Wu is a spiritual memoir the world has never seen before, and will never see again. A nonfiction Siddhartha for the hip-hop generation from the author of The Wu-Tang Manual, it will enlighten, entertain, and inspire.
From rap superstar Lil Wayne comes the long-awaited Gone ’Til November, a deeply personal and revealing account of his time spent incarcerated on Rikers Island for eight months in 2010.
In 2010, recording artist Lil Wayne was at the height of his career. A fixture in the rap game for more than a decade, Lil Wayne (aka Weezy) had established himself as both a prolific musician and a savvy businessman, smashing long-held industry records, winning multiple Grammy Awards, and signing up-and-coming talent like Drake and Nicki Minaj to his Young Money label. All of this momentum came to a halt when he was convicted of possession of a firearm and sentenced to a yearlong stay at Rikers Island. Suddenly, the artist at the top of his game was now an inmate at the mercy of the American penal system. At long last, Gone ’Til November reveals the true story of what really happened while Wayne was behind bars, exploring everything from his daily rituals to his interactions with other inmates to how he was able to keep himself motivated and grateful. Taken directly from Wayne’s own journal, this intimate, personal account of his incarceration is an utterly humane look at the man behind the artist.
Among the bands profiled: Mission of Burma, Butthole Surfers, The Minutemen, Sonic Youth, Black Flag, Big Black, Hüsker Dü, Fugazi, Minor Threat, Mudhoney, The Replacements, Beat Happening, and Dinosaur Jr.
Now at last Richards pauses to tell his story in the most anticipated autobiography in decades. And what a story! Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records in a coldwater flat with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, building a sound and a band out of music they loved. Finding fame and success as a bad-boy band, only to find themselves challenged by authorities everywhere. Dropping his guitar's sixth string to create a new sound that allowed him to create immortal riffs like those in "Honky Tonk Woman" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash." Falling in love with Anita Pallenberg, Brian Jones's girlfriend. Arrested and imprisoned for drug possession. Tax exile in France and recording Exile on Main Street. Ever-increasing fame, isolation, and addiction making life an ever faster frenzy. Through it all, Richards remained devoted to the music of the band, until even that was challenged by Mick Jagger's attempt at a solo career, leading to a decade of conflicts and ultimately the biggest reunion tour in history.
In a voice that is uniquely and unmistakably him--part growl, part laugh--Keith Richards brings us the truest rock-and-roll life of our times, unfettered and fearless and true. Richards' rich voice introduces the audiobook edition of LIFE and leads us into Johnny Depp's performance, while fellow artist Joe Hurley bridges the long road traveled before Richards closes with the final chapter of this incredible 23-hour production, which includes a bonus PDF of photos.
"Unvarnished. Funny. Leaving no stone unturned."
. . . So say the publishers about this book I've written.
What I say is that this is the story of my life, told as clear as a Texas sky and in the same rhythm that I lived it.
It's a story of restlessness and the purity of the moment and living right. Of my childhood in Abbott, Texas, to the Pacific Northwest, from Nashville to Hawaii and all the way back again. Of selling vacuum cleaners and encyclopedias while hosting radio shows and writing song after song, hoping to strike gold.
It's a story of true love, wild times, best friends, and barrooms, with a musical sound track ripping right through it.
My life gets lived on the road, at home, and on the road again, tried and true, and I've written it all down from my heart to yours.
He was just a boy from the Bronx with stars in his eyes. But when he picked up his guitar and painted stars on his face, Ace Frehley transformed into “The Spaceman”—and helped turn KISS into one of the top-selling bands in the world. Now, for the first time, the beloved rock icon reveals his side of the story with no-holds-barred honesty . . . and no regrets.
For KISS fans, Ace offers a rare behind-the-makeup look at the band’s legendary origins, including the lightning-bolt logo he designed and the outfits his mother sewed. He talks about the unspoken division within the band—he and Peter Criss versus Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons—because the other two didn’t “party every day.” Ace also reveals the inside story behind his turbulent breakup with KISS, their triumphant reunion a decade later, and his smash solo career. Along the way, he shares wild stories about dancing at Studio 54 with “The Bionic Woman,” working as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, and bar-flying all night with John Belushi. In the end, he comes to terms with his highly publicized descent into alcohol, drugs, and self-destruction—ultimately managing to conquer his demons and come out on top.
This is Ace Frehley.
Rock star, crowdfunding pioneer, and TED speaker Amanda Palmer knows all about asking. Performing as a living statue in a wedding dress, she wordlessly asked thousands of passersby for their dollars. When she became a singer, songwriter, and musician, she was not afraid to ask her audience to support her as she surfed the crowd (and slept on their couches while touring). And when she left her record label to strike out on her own, she asked her fans to support her in making an album, leading to the world's most successful music Kickstarter.
Even while Amanda is both celebrated and attacked for her fearlessness in asking for help, she finds that there are important things she cannot ask for-as a musician, as a friend, and as a wife. She learns that she isn't alone in this, that so many people are afraid to ask for help, and it paralyzes their lives and relationships. In this groundbreaking book, she explores these barriers in her own life and in the lives of those around her, and discovers the emotional, philosophical, and practical aspects of THE ART OF ASKING.
Part manifesto, part revelation, this is the story of an artist struggling with the new rules of exchange in the twenty-first century, both on and off the Internet. THE ART OF ASKING will inspire readers to rethink their own ideas about asking, giving, art, and love.
Designed with a DIY/fanzine feel, this book is more than a fan tribute; it's a cultural exchange that captures the unique connection of an iconic band as devoted to their fans as the fans are to them.
In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl’s halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That’s how this extraordinary autobiography began.
Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs.
He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as “The Big Bang”: seeing Elvis Presley’s debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work, and shows us why the song “Born to Run” reveals more than we previously realized.
Born to Run will be revelatory for anyone who has ever enjoyed Bruce Springsteen, but this book is much more than a legendary rock star’s memoir. This is a book for workers and dreamers, parents and children, lovers and loners, artists, freaks, or anyone who has ever wanted to be baptized in the holy river of rock and roll.
Rarely has a performer told his own story with such force and sweep. Like many of his songs (“Thunder Road,” “Badlands,” “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” “The River,” “Born in the U.S.A.,” “The Rising,” and “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” to name just a few), Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography is written with the lyricism of a singular songwriter and the wisdom of a man who has thought deeply about his experiences.
Recognized the world over for his distinct voice and timeless hits spanning a career of nearly half a century, Charlie Wilson is one of the most celebrated musicians of his generation. So it took friends and family by surprise when he checked into rehab and revealed that he had been not only homeless, but also helpless.
Here is the riveting story of how love and faith carried him through not only his addiction, but also prostate cancer. Here, too, is the story of his work in the music business, including a career resurgence that saw collaborations with some of the most sought-after artists of today, including Pharrell and Justin Timberlake.
Now over twenty years sober, Wilson recounts a life filled with vertiginous highs and heartbreaking lows. His is a story of triumph over adversity, courage in the face of extreme hardship, and love when all else is lost. It is a tale of the last sixty years in social and pop culture history, and one that will stay with you for years to come.
In Face the Music, Paul Stanley—the co-founder and famous “Starchild” frontman of KISS—reveals for the first time the incredible highs and equally incredible lows in his life both inside and outside the band. Face the Music is the shocking, funny, smart, inspirational story of one of rock’s most enduring icons and the group he helped create, define, and immortalize.
Stanley mixes compelling personal revelations and gripping, gritty war stories that will surprise even the most steadfast member of the KISS Army. He takes us back to his childhood in the 1950s and ’60s, a traumatic time made more painful thanks to a physical deformity. Born with a condition called microtia, he grew up partially deaf, with only one ear. But this instilled in him an inner drive to succeed in the most unlikely of pursuits: music.
With never-before-seen photos and images throughout, Stanley’s memoir is a fully realized and unflinching portrait of a rock star, a chronicle of the stories behind the famous anthems, the many brawls and betrayals, and all the drama and pyrotechnics on and off the stage. Raw and confessional, Stanley offers candid insights into his personal relationships, and the turbulent dynamics with his bandmates over the past four decades. And no one comes out unscathed—including Stanley himself.
“People say I was brave to write such a revealing book, but I wrote it because I needed to personally reflect on my own life. I know everyone will see themselves somewhere in this book, and where my story might take them is why I’m sharing it.” —Paul Stanley
In February 2005, more than ten thousand people in Bakersfield, California, watched as Brian "Head" Welch—the former lead guitarist of the controversial rock band Korn—was saved by Jesus Christ. The event set off a media frenzy as observers from around the world sought to understand what led this rock star out of the darkness and into the light.
Now, in this courageous memoir, Head talks for the first time about his shocking embrace of God and the tumultuous decade that led him into the arms of Jesus Christ. Offering a backstage pass to his time with Korn, Head tells the inside story of his years in the band and explains how his rock star lifestyle resulted in an all-consuming addiction to methamphetamines. Writing openly about the tour bus mayhem of Ozzfest and The Family Values tour, he provides a candid look at how the routine of recording, traveling, and partying placed him in a cycle of addiction that he could not break on his own.
Speaking honestly about his addiction, Head details his struggles with the drug that ultimately led him to seek a higher power. Despite his numerous attempts to free himself from meth, nothing—not even the birth of his daughter—could spur him to kick it for good. Here Head addresses how, with the help of God, he emerged from his dangerous lifestyle and found a path that was not only right for his daughter, it was right for him.
Discussing the chaotic end to his time in Korn and how his newfound faith has influenced his relationship with his daughter, his life, and his music, Head describes the challenging but rewarding events of the last two years, exposing the truth about how his moments of doubt and his hardships have only deepened his faith.
Candid, compelling, and inspirational, Save Me from Myself is a rock 'n' roll journey unlike any other.
The talent. The charisma. The videos. From their 1981 hit "Planet Earth" to their latest number-one album, All You Need Is Now, John Taylor and Duran Duran have enchanted audiences around the world. It's been a wild ride, and—for John in particular—dangerous. John recounts the story of the band's formation, their massive success, and his journey to the brink of self-destruction. Told with humor, honesty—and packed with exclusive pictures—In the Pleasure Groove is an irresistible rock-and-roll portrait of a band whose popularity has never been stronger.
In 1996 Tupac Shakur, one of the most talented artists of his time, was murdered by an unknown gunman. Fred L. Johnson and Tayannah Lee McQuillar examine the theories surrounding his death and the story of Tupac's lost legacy in this definitive biography.For millions, Shakur gave voice to their stories, but there was also another side to him, revealed as his life spun out of control, as the whispered warnings from friends went unheeded and the denunciations of critics grew louder. Disturbingly, he sang and wrote about his impending death. When it came, it brought the music industry to its knees and ended an era when American rappers were leaders in using their art to speak the truth to corporate, government, and judicial power.
A life-changing spiritual awakening freed Brian “Head” Welch from a stranglehold of drugs and alcohol and prompted him to leave the highly successful nu-metal band KoRn in 2005. What followed was a decade-long trial by fire, from the perils of fathering a teen lost in depression and self-mutilation to the harsh realities of playing solo and surviving the shattering betrayal of a trusted friend. In this intensely inspiring redemption saga, perhaps most inspiring is Brian’s radical decision to rejoin KoRn and reconcile with the tribe of people he once considered family in the metal music scene.
Brian returned to his musical roots with a clear head and a devoted heart. Though his story is wild, hilarious, and deeply poignant, the message is simple: God will love you into the freedom of being yourself, as long as you keep the relationship going and never, ever quit.
Completely full-color, with photos throughout and lavishly designed, True Love is a stunning and timeless book that features more than 200 never-before-seen images from Lopez’s personal archives, showing candid moments with her family and friends and providing a rare behind-the-scenes look at the life of a pop music icon travelling, rehearsing, and performing around the world.
Legendary music photographer Ross Halfin has documented Metallica for nearly 25 years, from their beginnings as a scrappy, furious garage band to their current status as the heaviest and most popular metal band in the world. The Ultimate Metallica collects the best of Halfin's amazing images, taken over the years with access granted exclusively to him as the band's main lensman. His candid photographs—taken on stage, backstage, on and off tour—are supplemented by text from many people close to the band, including managers and music writers, plus some colorful personal observations from Halfin himself.
Growing up as the youngest Rivera, Rosie was surrounded by unconditional love, support, and affection. There was nothing that her family wouldn’t do for her, especially her sister Jenni, who was the most important thing in the world to Rosie. With her strong will and a solid foundation, Rosie was set to conquer the world.
Yet life would take a drastic turn when Rivera was scarred by sexual abuse within her family at a very young age. Living in fear and confined by painful secrets, she was plagued with constant threats, confusion, and pain. Not only was she stripped of her childhood and innocence, but she was also robbed of her confidence and self-worth. Feeling completely shattered and lost, Rivera plunged into a world of damaging habits and deep depression.
For the first time ever, and with unflinching candor and courage, Rosie shares the traumatic details of her abuse and the daily struggle to live and how, through faith and the love of her family, she found life once more. Yet Rosie’s life would be severely impacted once again as the worst tragedy imaginable hit and her biggest fear came to reality—the death of her beloved sister.
Equally harrowing and uplifting, Rosie’s story is a true testament to beating the odds and proves that despite the worst of times and no matter how many more challenges life has in store, it is always possible to pick up the pieces and find the strength and purpose to dream and live again.
From the Hardcover edition.
In this intimate and often moving personal account of Michael Jackson’s public and private life, he recalls a childhood that was both harsh and joyful but always formidable. Michael and his brothers played amateur music shows and seamy Chicago strip joints until Motown’s corporate image makers turned the Jackson 5 into worldwide superstars. He talks about the happy prankster days of his youth, traveling with his brothers, and of his sometimes difficult relationships with his family over the years. He speaks candidly about the inspiration behind his music, his mesmerizing dance moves, and the compulsive drive to create that has made him one of the biggest stars in the music business and a legend in his own time.
Jackson also shares his personal feelings about some of his most public friends…friends like Diana Ross, Berry Gordy, Quincy Jones, Paul McCartney, Fred Astaire, Marlon Brando, and Katharine Hepburn. He talks openly about the crushing isolation of his fame, of his first love, of his plastic surgery, and of his wholly exceptional career and the often bizarre and unfair rumors that have surrounded it.
Illustrated with rare photographs from Jackson family albums and Michael’s personal photographic archives, as well as a drawing done by Michael exclusively for this book, Moonwalk is a memorable journey to the very heart and soul of a modern musical genius.
• Over 30 minutes of never-before-seen video* interviews with Jay-Z discussing the back-story and inspiration for his songs
• Two bonus videos*: “Rap is Poetry” and “The Evolution of My Style”
• The full text of the book with illustrations and photographs
*Video may not play on all readers. Check your user manual for details.
Expanded edition of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller features 16 pages of new material, including 3 new songs decoded.
Decoded is a book like no other: a collection of lyrics and their meanings that together tell the story of a culture, an art form, a moment in history, and one of the most provocative and successful artists of our time.
What he finally attains is joy, love, and indelible memories of the most extraordinary journey of his life. Ghost Rider is a bold, brilliantly written, intense, exciting, and ultimately triumphant narrative memoir from a gifted writer and musician, who started out as a man reduced to trying to stay alive by staying on the move.
This masterly biography takes a fresh and penetrating look at every aspect of Lennon's much-chronicled life, including the songs that have turned him, posthumously, into a near-secular saint. In three years of research, Norman has turned up an extraordinary amount of new information about even the best-known episodes of Lennon folklore—his upbringing by his strict Aunt Mimi; his allegedly wasted school and student days; the evolution of his peerless creative partnership with Paul McCartney; his Beatle-busting love affair with a Japanese performance artist; his forays into painting and literature; his experiments with Transcendental Meditation, primal scream therapy, and drugs. The book's numerous key informants and interviewees include Sir Paul McCartney, Sir George Martin, Sean Lennon—whose moving reminiscence reveals his father as never seen before—and Yoko Ono, who speaks with sometimes shocking candor about the inner workings of her marriage to John.
“[A] haunting, mammoth, terrific piece of work.” -New York Times
Honest and unflinching, as John himself would wish, Norman gives us the whole man in all his endless contradictions—tough and cynical, hilariously funny but also naive, vulnerable and insecure—and reveals how the mother who gave him away as a toddler haunted his mind and his music for the rest of his days.