Janis Joplin blazed across the sixties music scene, electrifying audiences with her staggering voice and the way she seemed to pour her very soul into her music. By the time her life and artistry were cut tragically short by a heroin overdose, Joplin had become the stuff of rock–and–roll legend.
Through the eyes of her family and closest friends , we see Janis as a young girl, already rebelling against injustice, racism, and hypocrisy in society. We follow Janis as she discovers her amazing talents in the Beat hangouts of Venice and North Beach–singing in coffeehouses, shooting speed to enhance her creativity, challenging the norms of straight society. Janis truly came into her own in the fantastic, psychedelic, acid–soaked world of Haight–Asbury. At the height of her fame, Janis's life is a whirlwind of public adoration and hard living. Laura Joplin shows us not only the public Janice who could drink Jim Morrison under the table and bean him with a bottle of booze when he got fresh; she shows us the private Janis, struggling to perfect her art, searching for the balance between love and stardom, battling to overcome her alcohol addiction and heroin use in a world where substance abuse was nearly universal.
At the heart of Love, Janis is an astonishing series of letters by Janis herself that have never been previously published. In them she conveys as no one else could the wild ride from awkward small–town teenager to rock–and–roll queen. Love, Janis is the new life of Janis Joplin we have been waiting for–a celebration of the sixties' joyous experimentation and creativity, and a loving, compassionate examination of one of that era's greatest talents.
Then Dylan faltered. His instincts, formerly unerring, deserted him. in the 1980s, what had once appeared unthinkable came to pass: the “voice of a generation” began to sound irrelevant, a tale told to grandchildren.
Yet in the autumn of 1997, something remarkable happened. Having failed to release a single new song in seven long years, Dylan put out the equivalent of two albums in a single package. In the concluding volume of his groundbreaking study, Ian Bell explores the unparalleled second act in a quintessentially American career. It is a tale of redemption, of an act of creative will against the odds, and of a writer who refused to fade away.
Time Out of Mind is the story of the latest, perhaps the last, of the many Bob Dylans.
Now, in this new and acclaimed biography, Ian Bell attempts to see Stevenson whole, to trace the line of descent form the son of Calvinist engineers to the man who ended his days as Tusitala among the Samoan islanders. Understanding that for Stevenson geography mattered, Bell sets out to discover the complete man through the places he lived and the people he lived among as well as through the books that poured from him during his all-too-short literary life. As such, Dreams of Exile is both literary biogrpahy and travel narrative. It follows Stevenson's development as an artist and as a man by following his often chaotic progress from continent to continent, in good health and in bad, in poverty and in wealth. Along the way, it reveals his often tortured relations with his family, his robust sexuality, and the mystery of his stormy marriage to a woman many years his senior.
But perhaps Bell's most important contribution is to rescue R.L.S. from the many conflicting and often romanticized images that have continued to surround him, and in the process to make a telling case for Stevenson's genius as a writer.
Christened Reginald Dwight, he was a shy boy with Buddy Holly glasses who grew up in the London suburb of Pinner and dreamed of becoming a pop star. By the age of twenty-three he was performing his first gig in America, facing an astonished audience in his bright yellow dungarees, a star-spangled T-shirt, and boots with wings. Elton John had arrived and the music world would never be the same again.
His life has been full of drama, from the early rejection of his work with song-writing partner Bernie Taupin to spinning out of control as a chart-topping superstar; from half-heartedly trying to drown himself in his LA swimming pool to disco-dancing with Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth; from friendships with John Lennon, Freddie Mercury, and George Michael to setting up his AIDS Foundation to conquering Broadway with Aida, The Lion King, and Billy Elliot the Musical. All the while Elton was hiding a drug addiction that would grip him for over a decade.
In Me, Elton also writes powerfully about getting clean and changing his life, about finding love with David Furnish and becoming a father. In a voice that is warm, humble, and open, this is Elton on his music and his relationships, his passions and his mistakes. This is a story that will stay with you by a living legend.