After breaking out as the acclaimed drummer of the multiplatinum punk band Blink-182, everything changed for Travis Barker. But the dark side of rock stardom took its toll: his marriage, chronicled for an MTV reality show, fell apart. Constant touring concealed a serious drug addiction. A reckoning did not truly come until he was forced to face mortality: His life nearly ended in a horrifying plane crash, and then his close friend, collaborator, and fellow crash survivor DJ AM died of an overdose.
In this blunt, driving memoir, Barker ruminates on rock stardom, fatherhood, death, loss, and redemption, sharing stories shaped by decades’ worth of hard-earned insights. His pulsating memoir is as energetic as his acclaimed beats. It brings to a close the first chapters of a well-lived life, inspiring readers to follow the rhythms of their own hearts and find meaning in their lives.
The Los Angeles, Orange County, and South Bay punk scenes, populated by blue collar kids who responded to the violence and aggression of punk songs and shows. A number of them formed punk gangs that got into beatings, drug dealing and murder. Among them, no gang was more notorious than La Mirada Punks, or LMP.
Says LMP chieftain Frank the Shank after getting arrested by police for murder: "After having my hands in so much bloodshed over the years, I most certainly had it coming. I deserved whatever I got."
Unexpectedly Frank was bailed out from prison by his father's friend, a mob gangster.
"Too many people died at the hands of punk rock violence," said Frank. "I got lucky, some didn't. As an ultra-violent punk rock gangster, I admit my part in ruining the scene. L.A. punk was a magical moment of youth expression like no other. And the gangs ruined punk rock. I still have people telling me today that they quit punk because of LMP. I dig graves at a small cemetery just outside Los Angeles. What else would you expect for Frank the Shank?"
Cover illustration by the renowned Raymond Pettibon.
Unlike other books about Joy Division, Factory Records, or lead singer Ian Curtis—who took his own life just before the band's first U.S. Tour—Unknown Pleasures tells Joy Division's story from the unique perspective of one of the three surviving band members.
Told with surprising humor and vivid detail, Unknown Pleasures is the book Joy Division fans have been waiting for.
The early ’90s grunge movement may have last only a few years, but it spawned some of the greatest rock music of all time: Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden. This book contains the first-ever interview in which Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder was willing to discuss the group’s history in great detail; Alice in Chains’ band members and Layne Staley’s mom on Staley’s drug addiction and death; insights into the Riot Grrrl movement and oft-overlooked but highly influential Seattle bands like Mother Love Bone/Andy Wood, the Melvins, Screaming Trees, and Mudhoney; and much more.
Grunge Is Dead digs deeper than the average grunge history, starting in the early '60s, and explaining the chain of events that gave way to the grunge movement. The end result is a book that includes a wealth of previously untold stories and insight for the longtime fan, as well as its renowned story for the newcomer. Grunge Is Dead collects the whole truth of grunge music in one comprehensive volume.
John Lydon is an icon—one of the most recognizable and influential cultural figures of the last forty years. As Johnny Rotten, he was the lead singer of the Sex Pistols-the world’s most notorious band. The Pistols shot to fame in the mid-1970s with songs such as “Anarchy in the UK” and “God Save the Queen.” So incendiary was their impact at the time that in their native England, the Houses of Parliament questioned whether they violated the Traitors and Treasons Act, a crime that carries the death penalty to this day. The Pistols would inspire the formation of numerous other groundbreaking groups and Lydon would become the unlikely champion of a generation clamoring for change.
Following on the heels of the Pistols, Lydon formed Public Image Ltd (PiL), expressing an equally urgent impulse in his character: the constant need to reinvent himself, to keep moving. From their beginnings in 1978 PiL set the groundbreaking template for a band that continues to challenge and thrive to this day, while also recording one of the eighties most powerful anthems, “Rise.” Lydon also found time for making innovative dance records with the likes of Afrika Bambaataa and Leftfield. By the nineties he’d broadened his reach into other media while always maintaining his trademark invective and wit, most memorably hosting Rotten TV on VH1.
John Lydon remains a captivating and dynamic figure to this day—both as a musician, and, thanks to his outspoken, controversial, and from-the-hip opinions, as a cultural commentator. In Anger is an Energy, he looks back on a life full of incident, from his beginnings as a sickly child of immigrant Irish parents growing up in post-war London to his present status as a vibrant, alternative hero.
The book includes 70 black-and-white and color photos, many which are rare or never-before-seen.
Here is a life of many crossed boundaries, from East L.A.'s musica ranchera to Hollywood's punk rock; from a violent male-dominated family to female-dominated transgressive rock bands. Alice's feminist sympathies can be understood by the name of her satiric all-girl early Goth band Castration Squad.
Violence Girl takes us from a violent upbringing to an aggressive punk sensibility; this time a difficult coming-of-age memoir culminates with a satisfying conclusion, complete with a happy marriage and children. Nearly a hundred excellent photographs energize the text in remarkable ways.
Alice Bag's work and influence can be seen this year in the traveling Smithsonian exhibition "American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music."
Selected by the New York Times as one of the 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years
Viv Albertine is a pioneer. As lead guitarist and songwriter for the seminal band The Slits, she influenced a future generation of artists including Kurt Cobain and Carrie Brownstein. She formed a band with Sid Vicious and was there the night he met Nancy Spungeon. She tempted Johnny Thunders...toured America with the Clash...dated Mick Jones...and inspired the classic Clash anthem “Train in Vain.” But Albertine was no mere muse. In Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys., Albertine delivers a unique and unfiltered look at a traditionally male-dominated scene.
Her story is so much more than a music memoir. Albertine’s narrative is nothing less than a fierce correspondence from a life on the fringes of culture. The author recalls rebelling from conformity and patriarchal society ever since her days as an adolescent girl in the same London suburb of Muswell Hill where the Kinks formed. With brash honesty—and an unforgiving memory—Albertine writes of immersing herself into punk culture among the likes of the Sex Pistols and the Buzzcocks. Of her devastation when the Slits broke up and her reinvention as a director and screenwriter. Or abortion, marriage, motherhood, and surviving cancer. Navigating infidelity and negotiating divorce. And launching her comeback as a solo artist with her debut album, The Vermilion Border.
Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. is a raw chronicle of music, fashion, love, sex, feminism, and more that connects the early days of punk to the Riot Grrl movement and beyond. But even more profoundly, Viv Albertine’s remarkable memoir is the story of an empowered woman staying true to herself and making it on her own in the modern world.
While shallow celebrities dominate the headlines, pundits bemoan the death of the music industry, and the government decries teenagers for their morals (or lack thereof) earnest, heartfelt bands like Dashboard Confessional, Jimmy Eat World, and Thursday are quietly selling hundreds of thousands of albums through dedication, relentless touring and respect for their fans. This relationship - between young people and the empathetic music that sets them off down a road of self-discovery and self-definition - is emo, a much-maligned, mocked, and misunderstood term that has existed for nearly two decades, but has flourished only recently. In Nothing Feels Good, Andy Greenwald makes the case for emo as more than a genre - it's an essential rite of teenagehood. From the '80s to the '00s, from the basement to the stadium, from tour buses to chat rooms, and from the diary to the computer screen, Nothing Feels Good narrates the story of emo from the inside out and explores the way this movement is taking shape in real time and with real hearts on the line. Nothing Feels Good is the first book to explore this exciting moment in music history and Greenwald has been given unprecedented access to the bands and to their fans. He captures a place in time and a moment on the stage in a way only a true music fan can.
The author of the critically acclaimed Your Favorite Band is Killing Me offers an eye-opening exploration of the state of classic rock, its past and future, the impact it has had, and what its loss would mean to an industry, a culture, and a way of life.
Since the late 1960s, a legendary cadre of artists—including the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, Black Sabbath, and the Who—has revolutionized popular culture and the sounds of our lives. While their songs still get airtime and some of these bands continue to tour, its idols are leaving the stage permanently. Can classic rock remain relevant as these legends die off, or will this major musical subculture fade away as many have before, Steven Hyden asks.
In this mix of personal memoir, criticism, and journalism, Hyden stands witness as classic rock reaches the precipice. Traveling to the eclectic places where geriatric rockers are still making music, he talks to the artists and fans who have aged with them, explores the ways that classic rock has changed the culture, investigates the rise and fall of classic rock radio, and turns to live bootlegs, tell-all rock biographies, and even the liner notes of rock’s greatest masterpieces to tell the story of what this music meant, and how it will be remembered, for fans like himself.
Twilight of the Gods is also Hyden’s story. Celebrating his love of this incredible music that has taken him from adolescence to fatherhood, he ponders two essential questions: Is it time to give up on his childhood heroes, or can this music teach him about growing old with his hopes and dreams intact? And what can we all learn from rock gods and their music—are they ephemeral or eternal?
Punk has been romanticized and embalmed in various media. An English class revolt that became a worldwide fashion statement, punk's idols were the Sex Pistols, and its sneering hero was Johnny Rotten.
Seventeen years later, John Lydon looks back at himself, the Sex Pistols, and the "no future" disaffection of the time. Much more than just a music book, Rotten is an oral history of punk: angry, witty, honest, poignant, crackling with energy. Malcolm McLaren, Sid Vicious, Chrissie Hynde, Billy Idol, London and England in the late 1970s, the Pistols' creation and collapse...all are here, in perhaps the best book ever written about music and youth culture, by one of its most notorious figures.
The Dead Boys, with roots in the band Rocket from the Tombs, came out of Cleveland to dominate the NYC punk scene in the mid-1970s. Their hit â€œSonic Reducerâ€? soon became a punk anthem. Now, for the first time, Cheetah dishes on the people heâ€™s known onstage and off, including the Dead Boysâ€™ legendary singer Stiv Bators, Johnny Thunders of the New York Dolls, the Ramones, the Clash, Pere Ubu, and the Ghetto Dogs, as well as life at CBGBs, a year with Nico, and more.Straight from the man, these are the backstage stories that every punk fan will want to hear. Never mind the Sex Pistols, hereâ€™s Cheetah Chrome!
"Miret’s memorable, affecting stories capture an important time in the hardcore music scene. . . . Equal parts music memoir and gritty coming-of-age story, it’s an eminently readable and fast-paced look at life during hardcore’s heyday. . . . Not just for music fans, My Riot is a valuable snapshot of an important time." ―Foreword Reviews
“My Riot is a powerful and riveting read. A brutal look into the life of a man that did what he had to do to survive.” ―Scott Ian, Anthrax
Born in Cuba, Roger Miret fled with his family to the US to escape the Castro regime. Through vivid language and graphic details, he recounts growing up in a strange new land with a tyrannical stepfather and the roles that poverty and violence played in shaping the grit that became critical to his survival. In his teen years, he finds himself squatting in abandoned buildings with unforgettably eccentric runaways and victims of similar childhood trauma. With like-minded misfits he helps pioneer a new musical genre, but with money scarce and commercial success impossible, he turns to running drugs to support his family and winds up in prison. It’s the ultimate test of his toughness and perseverance that eventually sets him on a path towards redemption.
My Riot is both an unflinching portrait of downtown New York in the 1980s and a testament to the perils of growing up too fast.
“It's a great read, tracing the roots of New York Hardcore via lots of crazy stories about potentially deadly situations. . . . Pick up this book and take a walk back in time through the Lower East Side when it was still a hair-raising adventure.” ―D. Randall Blythe, Lamb of God
The Clash was--and still is--one of the most important groups of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Indebted to rockabilly, reggae, Memphis soul, cowboy justice, and '60s protest, the overtly political band railed against war, racism, and a dead-end economy, and in the process imparted a conscience to punk. Their eponymous first record and London Calling still rank in Rolling Stone's top-ten best albums of all time, and in 2003 they were officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Joe Strummer was the Clash's front man, a rock-and-roll hero seen by many as the personification of outlaw integrity and street cool. The political heart of the Clash, Strummer synthesized gritty toughness and poetic sensitivity in a manner that still resonates with listeners, and his untimely death in December 2002 shook the world, further solidifying his iconic status.
Salewicz was a friend to Strummer for close to three decades and has covered the Clash's career and the entire punk movement from its inception. He uses his vantage point to write Redemption Song, the definitive biography of Strummer, charting his enormous worldwide success, his bleak years in the wilderness after the Clash's bitter breakup, and his triumphant return to stardom at the end of his life.
Salewicz argues for Strummer's place in a long line of protest singers that includes Woody Guthrie, John Lennon, and Bob Marley, and examines by turns Strummer's and punk's ongoing cultural influence.
Steven Blush's "definitive treatment of Hardcore Punk" (Los Angeles Times) changed the way we look at Punk Rock. The Sony Picture Classics–distributed documentary American Hardcore premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. This revised and expanded second edition contains hundreds of new bands, thirty new interviews, flyers, a new chapter ("Destroy Babylon"), and a new art gallery with over 125 rare photos and images.
The movement in its inception was nameless. It, as we found, has many definitions and associations. Some original members of the scene referred to themselves as punks, others new romantics, new wavers, the bats, or the morbids, for example. Goth often did not become a term until the late 1980s or, in some countries such as Peru, a label in the 1990s. Therefore, postpunk in all its variety, is deemed as the "single" word that encompasses all evolutions of the 1980s proto-punk alternative movement. In one decade, the genre evolved, grew darker and crossed borders: from Argentina to the Netherlands, Greece to Canada and Belgium to Japan.
Even though the postpunk and goth timeline varied between countries, the movement began at approximately 1978 and concluded around 1992. Some regions reflected the economic challenges and sentiments towards social issues, while others relied on the individual desire to gain solace in a subculture that accepted diversity. To identify and encompass the words postpunk and goth are arduous since everyone has a different perspective on such definitions. There is no "one "truth about their timeline or attributes. Therefore, this book""is about the music, the individual, and the creativity of a worldwide community rather than theoretical definitions of a subculture.
Though not a complete historical essay on postpunk and goth, "Some Wear Leather, Some Wear Lace" is a visual and oral history of the first decade of the scene. The team found and interviewed both the performers and the audience in order to capture the community both on and off stage. Participants of the project dug through their personal archives for photographs of their past and these are placed alongside professional photography. By combining both personal collections and professional images, a unique range of fashions, bands and scenes are revealed within these pages.
Seen through the eyes of the people who were there - musicians, managers, producers, publicists - this insightful biography depicts the Ramones rebellion against the establishment, how they forged their unique voice against the pressures of censure and managed to stay honest until the bitter end.
Updated to reflect the sad death of guitarist Johnny Ramone, this is the essential story of the punk scene’s most durable and influential band.