Prince: Inside the Music and the Masks

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With a brand-new introduction and chapter that cover the last five year's of Prince's life and work and his untimely death in April 2016.

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.

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About the author

RONIN RO has written for USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, Vanity Fair, MTV, Rolling Stone, and Playboy. He has written several books about the entertainment industry, including biographies of Dr. Dre, Sean Combs, Run-DMC, and more.
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Additional Information

Publisher
St. Martin's Press
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Published on
Oct 25, 2011
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9781429950732
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Music
Music / Genres & Styles / Rock
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Loud rock, fast cars, and Cabo.
This is the life of Sammy Hagar.

For almost forty years, Sammy Hagar has been a fixture in rock music. From breaking into the industry with the band Montrose to his multiplatinum solo career to his ride as the front man of Van Halen, Sammy's powerful and unforgettable voice has set the tone for some of the greatest rock anthems ever written—songs like "I Can't Drive 55," "Right Now," and "Why Can't This Be Love."

In Red, Sammy tells the outrageous story of his tear through rock 'n' roll, detailing the backstage antics and nonstop touring that have made his voice instantly recognizable. Beginning with his musical coming-of-age in the blue-collar towns of California, Sammy traces his rough and determined rise to fame, working harder than anyone else out there and writing songs about the things he loved—fast cars, loud parties, and lots of good times.

But solo success was just the start, a prelude to his raucous and notorious decade as the front man for Van Halen, one of the biggest-selling rock groups in history. Filled with behind-the-scenes stories from his time with the band, Red offers the Van Halen story as Sammy saw it, holding nothing back about the worldwide stadium tours, the tensions with Eddie, the messy parties, the divided friendships, and, of course, his controversial and widely disputed exit from the band.

After Van Halen, Sammy changed directions again, throwing himself headfirst into the tequila business and creating Cabo Wabo, one of the most successful tequila brands in the world. And all the while he continued to rock, touring the country with his bands the Waboritas and Chickenfoot, and eventually reuniting with Van Halen for a tour that became both a box-office smash and a personal catastrophe.

From the decadence of being one of the world's biggest rock stars to the unfiltered story of being forced out of Van Halen, Sammy's account spares no one, least of all himself. His is a tale of a true rock 'n' roller—someone who's spent decades bringing the party with him wherever he goes but always headin' back to Cabo for mas tequila.

Chrissie Hynde, for nearly four decades the singer/songwriter/ undisputed leader of the Pretenders, is a justly legendary figure.

Few other rock stars have managed to combine her swagger, sexiness, stage presence, knack for putting words to music, gorgeous voice and just all-around kick-assedness into such a potent and alluring package. From “Tatooed Love Boys” and “Brass in Pocket” to “Talk of the Town” and “Back on the Chain Gang,” her signature songs project a unique mixture of toughness and vulnerability that millions of men and women have related to. A kind of one- woman secret tunnel linking punk and new wave to classic guitar rock, she is one of the great luminaries in rock history.
 
Now, in her no-holds-barred memoir Reckless, Chrissie Hynde tells, with all the fearless candor, sharp humor and depth of feeling we’ve come to expect, exactly where she came from and what her crooked, winding path to stardom entailed. Her All-American upbringing in Akron, Ohio, a child of postwar power and prosperity. Her soul capture, along with tens of millions of her generation, by the gods of sixties rock who came through Cleveland—Mitch Ryder, David Bowie, Jeff Back, Paul Butterfield and Iggy Pop among them. Her shocked witness in 1970 to the horrific shooting of student antiwar protestors at Kent State. Her weakness for the sorts of men she calls “the heavy bikers” and “the get-down boys.” Her flight from Ohio to London in 1973 essentially to escape the former and pursue the latter. Her scuffling years as a brash reviewer for New Musical Express, shop girl at the Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood boutique 'Craft Must Wear Clothes But The Truth Loves To Go Naked', first-hand witness to the birth of the punk movement, and serial band aspirant. And then ,at almost the last possible moment, her meeting of the three musicians who comprised the original line-up of The Pretenders, their work on the indelible first album “The Pretenders,” and the rocket ride to “Instant” stardom, with all the disorientation and hazards that involved. The it all comes crashing back down to earth with the deaths of lead guitarist James Honeyman Scott and bassist Peter Farndon, leaving her bruised and saddened, but far from beaten. Because Chrissie Hynde is, among other things, one of rock’s great survivors.
 
We are lucky to be living in a golden age of great rock memoirs. In the aptly titled Reckless, Chrissie Hynde has given us one of the very best we have. Her mesmerizing presence radiates from every line and page of this book.
18 And Life on Skid Row tells the story of a boy who spent his childhood moving from Freeport, Bahamas to California and finally to Canada and who at the age of eight discovered the gift that would change his life. Throughout his career, Sebastian Bach has sold over twenty million records both as the lead singer of Skid Row and as a solo artist. He is particularly known for the hit singles I Remember You, Youth Gone Wild, & 18 & Life, and the albums Skid Row and Slave To The Grind, which became the first ever hard rock album to debut at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and landed him on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Bach then went on to become the first rock star to grace the Broadway stage, with starring roles in Jekyll & Hyde, Jesus Christ Superstar and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He also appeared for seven seasons on the hit television show The Gilmore Girls.

In his memoir, Bach recounts lurid tales of excess and debauchery as he toured the world with Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Motley Crue, Soundgarden, Pantera, Nine Inch Nails and Guns N’ Roses. Filled with backstage photos from his own personal collection, 18 And Life on Skid Row is the story of hitting it big at a young age, and of a band that broke up in its prime. It is the story of a man who achieved his wildest dreams, only to lose his family, and then his home. It is a story of perseverance, of wine, women and song and a man who has made his life on the road and always will. 18 And Life On Skid Row is not your ordinary rock memoir, because Sebastian Bach is not your ordinary rock star.

Alan Light, former writer for Rolling Stone, editor-in-chief of Vibe and Spin magazines, and author of The Holy or the Broken, “gets inside Prince’s mind palace in Let’s Go Crazy—a history of the making of his historic, semi-autobiographical musical masterwork, Purple Rain” (Vanity Fair).

Purple Rain is a song, an album, and a film—widely considered to be among the most important albums in music history and often named the best soundtrack of all time. It sold over a million copies in its first week of release in 1984 and blasted to #1 on the charts, where it would remain for a full six months and eventually sell over 20 million copies worldwide. It spun off three huge hit singles, won Grammys and an Oscar, and took Prince from pop star to legend—the first artist ever simultaneously to have the #1 album, single, and movie in the country.

In Let’s Go Crazy, acclaimed music journalist Alan Light takes a timely look at the making and incredible popularizing of this once seemingly impossible project. With impeccable research and in-depth interviews with people who witnessed and participated in Prince’s audacious vision becoming a reality, Light reveals how a rising but not yet established artist from the Midwest was able not only to get Purple Rain made, but deliver on his promise to conquer the world.

“A must-read for the Prince die-hards who have remained devoted through the musical meanderings of the last three decades” (Kirkus Reviews), Let’s Go Crazy examines how the masterpiece that blurred R&B, pop, dance, and rock sounds altered the recording landscape and became an enduring touchstone for successive generations of fans.
Named one of the best music books of 2017 by The Wall Street Journal

A unique and kaleidoscopic look into the life, legacy, and electricity of the pop legend Prince and his wideranging impact on our culture

Ben Greenman, New York Times bestselling author, contributing writer to the New Yorker, and owner of thousands of recordings of Prince and Prince-related songs, knows intimately that there has never been a rock star as vibrant, mercurial, willfully contrary, experimental, or prolific as Prince. Uniting a diverse audience while remaining singularly himself, Prince was a tireless artist, a musical virtuoso and chameleon, and a pop-culture prophet who shattered traditional ideas of race and gender, rewrote the rules of identity, and redefined the role of sex in pop music.

A polymath in his own right who collaborated with George Clinton and Questlove on their celebrated memoirs, Greenman has been listening to and writing about Prince since the mid-eighties. Here, with the passion of an obsessive fan and the skills of a critic, journalist, and novelist, he mines his encyclopedic knowledge of Prince’s music to tell both his story and the story of the paradigm-shifting ideas that he communicated to his millions of fans around the world. Greenman's take on Prince is the autobiography of a generation and its ideas. Asking a series of questions—not only “Who was Prince?” but “Who wasn’t he?” and “Who are we?”—Dig if You Will the Picture is a fitting tribute to an extraordinary talent.

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