‘Anyone who can read will admire the intelligence, the detail and the robust good sense of this biography. It captures the flavour of the times every bit as distinctively as it captures the personality of Elton John’ Sunday Telegraph
Elton John is one of the biggest stars in the world, a man whose extraordinary career has resulted in timeless songs and sold-out world tours. But how did the sensitive boy from Pinner, who started out pounding the piano in a pub, become such an iconic figure?
Philip Norman’s acclaimed biography paints a frank but sympathetic portrait, from Elton’s rise to success to the attempted suicides, from Watford football club chairman to flamboyant Versace shopaholic, from the draining addictions to his turbulent personal relationships and the extraordinary moment in Westminster Abbey when ‘Candle in the Wind’ turned into a requiem for his friend Diana Princess of Wales.
Covering the first five decades of Elton’s life, setting him in the context of the changing music scene, this is a vivid, perceptive, superbly researched account of a musical legend.
Adele’s breathtaking songs have seen her top the charts around the planet, collect millions of admirers and win dozens of top awards. But who is she? Her commendable desire to protect her family and friends from the harsh glare of the media’s spotlight has meant that she has become one of the most private superstars on the planet.
Adele: The Biography traces her story from a humble childhood in London through to the phenomenal success of her first two albums, 19 and 21 and the making of her most recent work, 25.
Along the way, this unique book uncovers how her troubled private life influenced her heartbreaking tracks and how she gamely overcame a string of obstacles that threatened to derail her career. You will discover the fascinating truth behind all the highs and the lows experienced by this fun, formidable woman, whose songs have become national anthems for the heartbroken.
In this fully updated edition of his internationally-bestselling biography, Chas Newkey-Burden reveals the woman behind the music.
Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, George Michael was raised in a family of Greek Cypriot immigrants in North London, and dreamed of stardom when he was a little boy. At just twelve years old he met Andrew Ridgeley and the two of them went on to achieve stunning success in the early 1980s with Wham!, creating music that remains popular to this day.
Yet despite the enormous success of Wham!, George wanted more, and so set about recreating himself as a serious solo artist, reaching heights of even greater success. Ironically, however, even from the early days he was plagued with insecurity about his sexuality, which, combined with the calamity of losing his first lover to AIDS and his mother to cancer, plunged him into a lifelong struggle with drug addiction. He died, at the tragically early age of just fifty three, on Christmas Day 2016.
George Michael's life and career brought him international fame, and his sudden and unexpected death shocked the world. His unrivalled popularity as an artist, however, and the music he made, have turned him into one of the immortal greats of pop music. As Emily Herbert shows in this new biography, his legacy is not just his music, but his many extraordinary, and often anonymous, acts of charity.
That's not all, though. Keep your eyes peeled for several special guest appearances from the likes of Robbie Williams, Jonathan Ross and the comedians, Russell Brand and John Bishop. One or two Premier League footballers rock up in the story, and I fall victim to a few terrible practical jokes. If that's not enough, there's also the untold story of what really happened when I got the X Factor job.
Planes, tourbuses and a helicopter ride or two: On The Road is the access-all-areas tale of my biggest ever headline tour. I promise it's going to give my fans a real insight into what my life's like really behind the scenes - grumps, giggles and all. Don't believe me? Just watch...
“It’s taken me three years to unpack the events of my life, to remember who did what when and why, to separate the myths from the reality, to unravel what really happened at the Holiday Inn on Keith Moon’s 21st birthday,” says Roger Daltrey, the powerhouse vocalist of The Who. The result of this introspection is a remarkable memoir, instantly captivating, funny and frank, chock-full of well-earned wisdom and one-of-a-kind anecdotes from a raucous life that spans a tumultuous time of change in Britain and America.
Born during the air bombing of London in 1944, Daltrey fought his way (literally) through school and poverty and began to assemble the band that would become The Who while working at a sheet metal factory in 1961. In Daltrey’s voice, the familiar stories—how they got into smashing up their kit, the infighting, Keith Moon’s antics—take on a new, intimate life. Also here is the creative journey through the unforgettable hits including My Generation, Substitute, Pinball Wizard, and the great albums, Who’s Next, Tommy, and Quadrophenia. Amidst all the music and mayhem, the drugs, the premature deaths, the ruined hotel rooms, Roger is our perfect narrator, remaining sober (relatively) and observant and determined to make The Who bigger and bigger. Not only his personal story, this is the definitive biography of The Who.
There are rock memoirs and then there is this one. A Fast Ride Out of Here tells a story that is so shocking, so outrageous, so packed with excess and leading to such uproar and tragic consequences as to be almost beyond compare. Put simply, in terms of jaw-dropping incident, self-destruction and all-round craziness, Pete Way's rock'n'roll life makes even Keith Richards's appear routine and Ozzy Osbourne seem positively mild-mannered in comparison. Not for nothing did Nikki Sixx, bassist with LA shock-rockers Motley Crue and who 'died' for eight minutes following a heroin overdose in 1988, consider that he was a disciple of and apprenticed to Way.
During a forty-year career as founding member and bassist of the venerated British hard rock band UFO, and which has also included a stint in his hell-raising buddy Ozzy's band, Pete Way has both scaled giddy heights and plunged to unfathomable lows. A heroin addict for more than ten years, he blew millions on drugs and booze and left behind him a trail of chaos and carnage. The human cost of this runs to six marriages, four divorces, a pair of estranged daughters and two dead ex-wives. Latterly, Way has fought cancer, but has survived it all and is now ready to tell his extraordinary tale.
By turns hilarious, heart-rending, mordant, scabrous, self-lacerating, brutally honest and entirely compulsive, A Fast Ride Out of Here will be a monument to rock'n'roll debauchery on an epic, unparalleled scale and also to one man's sheer indestructability.
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.
Gold Dust Woman gives "the gold standard of rock biographers" (The Boston Globe) his ideal topic: Nicks' work and life are equally sexy and interesting, and Davis delves deeply into each, unearthing fresh details from new, intimate interviews and interpreting them to present a rich new portrait of the star. Just as Nicks (and Lindsay Buckingham) gave Fleetwood Mac the "shot of adrenaline" they needed to become real rock stars—according to Christine McVie—Gold Dust Woman is vibrant with stories and with a life lived large and hard:
—How Nicks and Buckingham were asked to join Fleetwood Mac and how they turned the band into stars
—The affairs that informed Nicks' greatest songs
—Her relationships with the Eagles' Don Henley and Joe Walsh, and with Fleetwood himself
—Why Nicks married her best friend's widower
—Her dependency on cocaine, drinking and pot, but how it was a decade-long addiction to Klonopin that almost killed her
— Nicks’ successful solo career that has her still performing in venues like Madison Square Garden
—The cult of Nicks and its extension to chart-toppers like Taylor Swift and the Dixie Chicks
Fab is the first exhaustive biography of the legendary musician; it tells Sir Paul's whole life story, from childhood to present day, from working-class Liverpool beginnings to the cultural phenomenon that was The Beatles to his many solo incarnations.
Fab is the definitive portrait of McCartney, a man of contradictions and a consummate musician far more ruthless, ambitious, and moody than his relaxed public image implies. Based on original research and more than two hundred new interviews, Fab also reveals for the first time the full story of his two marriages, romances, family feuds, phenomenal wealth, and complex relationships with his fellow ex-Beatles.
Gary's story begins in North London, where the Kemp family rented a home with no bathrooms and chickens in the yard. After a couple of failed attempts to kill his brother Martin, his parents gave him a guitar for Christmas.
From schoolyard battles between the Bowie Boys and the Prog Rockers to Mrs Kemp's firm insistence on net curtains, from acting for the Children's Film Foundation to manning a fruit and veg stall on Saturdays, Gary brilliantly evokes an upbringing full of love, creativity and optimism.
As the Thatcher years begin, Gary's account of the outrageous London club scene centred around the Blitz and Billy's is just sizzling. Out of this glamorous mayhem of kilt-wearing mascara'd peacocks would emerge Spandau Ballet - the band that would define the era, and hold high the victorious standard of the New Romantics.
Gary's thrilling journey with Spandau Ballet would see them record worldwide hits such as True, Gold and Through the Barricades, play the biggest stadiums in the world, and take to the stage in togas when their luggage gets lost in flight. Stallions, supermodels and dwarves would be hired for video shoots, and through it all, Gary records the wonderful friendships, and the slowly-building tensions that would eventually see five old friends facing each other in court.
I Know This Much tells the story of Spandau Ballet, but it's far more than a book about being in a band. Whether it's meeting Ronnie Kray before filming The Krays, sketching out the fashions and subcultures of the day, or hanging out with Princess Diana, this book offers a story on every page. And all the more so because it's all written – brilliantly – by Gary himself.
Right out of high school, Darlene Love began singing lead vocals for legendary producer Phil Spector, cutting such classic hits as the number one "He's a Rebel," "Da Doo Ron Ron," and "He's Sure the Boy I Love." As part of the girl group the Blossoms, she held a regular spot on television's Shindig!, and with Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans she toured the country.
Later, she sang backup—and collected numerous scintillating backstage stories—with, among others, Dionne Warwick, the Mamas and the Papas, and Sonny and Cher. Now in My Name Is Love, Darlene is ready to tell her tales about Elvis coming on to her backstage during his famous '68 Comeback Special, about wild parties she witnessed at Tom Jones's house, and about her love affair with Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers. She also recalls how she found herself cleaning houses in Beverly Hills, heard herself on the radio, and vowed to make a comeback. That comeback has included roles in all of the Lethal Weapon movies, starring roles on Broadway, and headlining concert appearances worldwide.
A dishy, behind-the-scenes showbiz memoir, My Name Is Love is also the inspiring story of a woman who refused to give up.
For Alex James, music had always been a door to a more eventful life. But as bass player of Blur - one of the most successful British bands of all time - his journey was more exciting and extreme than he could ever have predicted. In Bit of a Blur he chronicles his journey from a slug-infested flat in Camberwell to a world of screaming fans and private jets - and his eventual search to find meaning and happiness (and, perhaps most importantly, the perfect cheese), in an increasingly surreal world.
An artist who helped define a period in popular culture, Johnny Marr tells his story in a memoir as vivid and arresting as his music. The Smiths, the band with the signature sound he cofounded, remains one of the most beloved bands ever, and have a profound influence on a number of acts that followed—from the Stone Roses, Suede, Blur, and Radiohead to Oasis, The Libertines, and Arctic Monkeys.
Marr recalls his childhood growing up in the northern working-class city of Manchester, in a house filled with music. He takes us back to the summer of 1982 when, at eighteen, he sought out one Stephen Morrissey to form a new band they called The Smiths. Marr invites fans on stage, on the road, and in the studio for the five years The Smiths were together and how after a rapid ascent, the working-class teenage rock star enjoyed and battled with the perks of success until ideological differences, combined with his much publicized strained relationships with fellow band mates, caused him to leave in 1987. Marr’s “escape” as he calls it, ensured the beginning of the end for one of the most influential groups of a generation. But The Smiths’ end was only the beginning for Marr. The bona-fide guitar hero continues to experiment and evolve in his solo career to this day, playing with Paul McCartney, Pretenders, Modest Mouse, Oasis and collaborating today’s most creative and renowned artists.
Rising above and beyond the personal struggles and bitter feuds, Marr delivers the story of his music and his band, sharing the real insights of a man who has made music his life, and finally giving fans what they’ve truly been waiting for.
A transcendent story of first loves and first songs, High School captures the tangle of discordant and parallel memories of two sisters who grew up in distinct ways even as they lived just down the hall from each another. This is the origin story of Tegan and Sara.
From teenage model to hard-partying rock 'n' roll devotee, through motherhood, marriage, breakdown, and the challenge of starting over again, Jo Wood has had a roller-coaster ride of a life. At the age of sixteen, Jo burst onto the British modeling scene and became a fixture at London's most glamorous parties. A few years later, just twenty-two years old and a single mom, she met Ronnie Wood and her life changed forever.
Holding nothing back, Jo paints an astonishing picture of the sex, drugs, booze, groupies, and—above all—the fun that filled her thirty years as a member of the Stones' inner circle. Telling never-before-heard stories about what life on the road with the Stones was really like, she offers intimate portraits of the band's legendary cast of characters, including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Jerry Hall, and Patti Hansen. She recalls the excitement of getting to know international A-list celebrities like Kate Moss, Andy Warhol, Johnny Depp, and Slash.
Jo also opens up about her family life with Ronnie: their passionate love affair, the demands of being a mother by day and a wild child by night, and eventually coping with Ronnie's increasingly difficult behavior as his addictions consumed him. For the first time, she reveals her heartbreaking account of what happened when Ronnie left her for an eighteen-year-old waitress, explaining how she was able to forgive, live without bitterness or regret, and find new happiness as an entrepreneur and organic beauty expert.
Including never-before-seen photographs from Jo's personal collection, It's Only Rock 'n' Roll is a compelling piece of rock 'n' roll history from a woman with a backstage pass and front-row seat. Enchanting, candid, and moving, this page-turning fairy tale of fame and fortune has the best of the era's many euphoric and reckless moments within its pages.
The memoir recalls a childhood enriched by music and culture, but also one shrouded in secrets that would eventually tear her family apart. Simon brilliantly captures moments of creative inspiration, the sparks of songs, and the stories behind writing "Anticipation" and "We Have No Secrets" among many others. Romantic entanglements with some of the most famous men of the day fueled her confessional lyrics, as well as the unraveling of her storybook marriage to James Taylor.
Coleen also reveals how she coped with her tumultuous marriage to television star Shane Richie and how, after they split she was left a single parent struggling to get through each day. She landed the job of presenter on This Morning and was just finding her feet when she was sacked, plunging her into depression as she lost all confidence.
A way out finally came in the form of chat show Loose Women, where Coleen reclaimed her place in the nation's hearts. Today she is happily married and an inspiration to women everywhere who believed their 'best days' were behind them. Entertaining, funny and shockingly honest, this book is sure to appeal to her many fans old and new.
From the Mod revolution and the British Invasion of the 1960s, through the psychedelic era of the 1970s, and into the exuberance and excesses of stadium rock in the 1980s, Kenney Jones helped to build rock and roll as we know it. He was the beat behind three of the world's most enduring and significant bands.
He wasn't just in the right place at the right time. Along with Keith Moon, John Bonham, and Charlie Watts, Jones is regarded as one of the greatest drummers of all time, sought after by a wide variety of the best-known and best-selling artists to bring his unique skill into the studio for the recording of classic albums and songs—including, of course, the Rolling Stones's "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)."
And Jones is no shallow rock star. He may play polo with royalty from across the globe now, but this is the story of a ragamuffin from the East End of London, a boy who watched his bandmates, friends since his teens, die early, combated dyslexia to find a medium in which he could uniquely excel, and later found a way through the wilderness years when the good times seemed to have gone and he had little to fall back on.
Kenney Jones has seen it all, played with everyone, and partied with all of them. He's enjoyed the highs, battled the lows, and emerged in one piece. Let the Good Times Roll is a breathtaking immersion into music past that leaves readers feeling as if they lived it too.
Critical Praise for Be My Baby:
“A lively, illuminating read... Spector’s portrait of the energy of the early Sixties music scene is fascinating.”
“An entertaining, gossipy, whirlwind ride through the 1960s...”
—Wendy Leigh, London Sunday Times
“Entertaining, often disturbing... well told and... quite moving. Be My Baby …marks the passage of Ronnie Spector from victim to survivor.”
—Alan Light, Rolling Stone
“Funny and observant, consistently engaging… sprinkled with deadpan humor..."
—Mike Boehm, The Los Angeles Times
“Despite all the hard times, Ronnie comes across here as a survivor, and the book maintains a surprisingly jaunty tone.”
—Ilene Cooper, Booklist
“An enthralling and moving Dante-esque descent through the rock ’n’ roll inferno. One of the three greatest rock ’n’ roll memoirs.”
—Jon Wilde, Blitz (London)
Daryl Hall and John Oates have over 20 albums together, more than 60 million records sold, and 29 Top 40 hits. They are the most successful pop duo in the world and members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And yet John’s story has never been told. Relying on his many hand-written journals, he brings to light many fascinating stories spanning his entire life with a journalist’s eye and a poet’s heart.
In Change of Seasons, John shares his highs, lows, triumphs, and failures. He takes the reader on a wild ride through all the eras, personalities and music that has shaped him into what he is.
To have been alive during the last sixty years is to have lived with the music of Paul Simon. The boy from Queens scored his first hit record in 1957, just months after Elvis Presley ignited the rock era. As the songwriting half of Simon & Garfunkel, his work helped define the youth movement of the '60s. On his own in the '70s, Simon made radio-dominating hits. He kicked off the '80s by reuniting with Garfunkel to perform for half a million New Yorkers in Central Park. Five years later, Simon’s album “Graceland” sold millions and spurred an international political controversy. And it doesn’t stop there.
The grandchild of Jewish emigrants from Galicia in the Austro-Hungarian empire, the 75-year-old singer-songwriter has not only sold more than 100 million records, won 15 Grammy awards and been installed into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame twice, but has also animated the meaning—and flexibility—of personal and cultural identity in a rapidly shrinking world.
Simon has also lived one of the most vibrant lives of modern times; a story replete with tales of Carrie Fisher, Leonard Bernstein, Bob Dylan, Woody Allen, Shelley Duvall, Nelson Mandela, drugs, depression, marriage, divorce, and more. A life story with the scope and power of an epic novel, Carlin’s Homeward Bound is the first major biography of one of the most influential popular artists in American history.
Illustrated with material from Hunter's remarkable private collection of artefacts and memorabilia, this is the definitive Beatles treasure.
In Jim Morrison, critically acclaimed journalist Stephen Davis, author of Hammer of the Gods, unmasks Morrison’s constructed personas of the Lizard King and Mr. Mojo Risin’ to reveal a man of fierce intelligence whose own destructive tendencies both fueled his creative ambitions and brought about his downfall. Gathered from dozens of original interviews and investigations of Morrison’s personal journals, Davis has assembled a vivid portrait of a misunderstood genius, tracing the arc of Morrison’s life from his troubled youth to his international stardom, when his drug and alcohol binges, tumultuous sexual affairs, and fractious personal relationships reached a frenzied peak. For the first time, Davis is able to reconstruct Morrison’s last days in Paris to solve one of the greatest mysteries in music history in a shocking final chapter.
Compelling and harrowing, intimate and revelatory, Jim Morrison is the definitive biography of the rock idol in snakeskin and leather who defined the 1960s.
He was Kerrang! magazine's star writer and the presenter of Monsters of Rock, his own weekly show on Sky TV, and the decade passed in a blur of hard drugs, hot women, and some of the heaviest people your mother definitely would not like.
Depicting a world where vague concepts like 'the future' are disdained in favour of nights that last a week and weeks that last forever, Getcha Rocks Off is a rock apocalypse Cider With Roadies, and a more frank and disturbing Apathy for the Devil. It is the kind of book you need to put on your leather jacket to read, open that bottle of Jack and reach for the Charlie. And let the good times roll...
—St. Petersburg Times
“An often hilarious, always candid and astutely observed memoir chronicling a life observed, largely, from the vantage point of a drum throne.”
Rock legend Stewart Copeland, drummer for seminal pop trio The Police, shares his stories from before, during, and after his days with Sting and Andy Summers, in one of the most popular and influential bands of the eighties. Strange Things Happen indeed.
Over the course of a thirteen-album and multi-award-winning career with Squeeze, it was clear from the very beginning that Chris Difford has few peers when it comes to smart, pithy lyricism. In Some Fantastic Place, he charts his life from his childhood in south London to becoming a member of one of Britain's greatest bands and beyond. Along the way Chris reveals the inspiration and stories behind Squeeze's best-known songs, and his greatest highs and lows from over four decades of making music.