Best Seat in the House: My Life in the Jeff Healey Band

ECW Press
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For 15 years, Tom Stephen had the unique distinction of being both drummer and manager of the Jeff Healey Band. The dual role was fraught with conflicts of interest. One minute, he was leading the debauched life of a rock musician; the next, he was disciplining the band for the havoc they caused.

But few knew or understood Jeff Healey — a national icon and one of the world’s best blues guitarists — better. Funny and loyal, with a luminous mind and staggering talent, Healey was also provincial, stubborn, obnoxious, and antagonistic. This book explores both sides with honesty, clarity, and humor and reveals what life for the band was really like: Jeff challenging ZZ Top to a bowling competition — and winning; Bill Clinton inviting the band to the White House, and enjoying a special audience with Queen Elizabeth II. To say nothing of the legendary guitarist’s interactions with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Keith Richards, and more…

Tom Stephen was there for it all. He believes that young fans deserve to experience Healey’s brilliance — to understand the complicated man behind those timeless sounds. Best Seat in the House offers an authentic perspective that fans won’t find elsewhere.

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About the author

Tom Stephen continues to work in artist management, dividing his time between Toronto, Los Angeles, and Jamaica. Keith Elliot Greenberg is a New York Times bestselling author and television producer who’s written for Maxim, Playboy, the New York Observer, Village Voice, and USA Today, among others. His credits include the autobiographies of pro wrestling icons Ric Flair and Superstar Billy Graham, as well as December 8, 1980: The Day John Lennon Died. He is a lifetime New Yorker.
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Additional Information

Publisher
ECW Press
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Published on
Nov 6, 2018
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Pages
280
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ISBN
9781773052748
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Composers & Musicians
Music / Genres & Styles / Blues
Music / Genres & Styles / Rock
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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New York Times Bestseller • On the 40th anniversary of The Band’s legendary The Last Waltz concert, Robbie Robertson finally tells his own spellbinding story of the band that changed music history, his extraordinary personal journey, and his creative friendships with some of the greatest artists of the last half-century.

Robbie Robertson's singular contributions to popular music have made him one of the most beloved songwriters and guitarists of his time. With songs like "The Weight," "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," and "Up on Cripple Creek," he and his partners in The Band fashioned a music that has endured for decades, influencing countless musicians.

In this captivating memoir, written over five years of reflection, Robbie Robertson employs his unique storyteller’s voice to weave together the journey that led him to some of the most pivotal events in music history. He recounts the adventures of his half-Jewish, half-Mohawk upbringing on the Six Nations Indian Reserve and on the gritty streets of Toronto; his odyssey at sixteen to the Mississippi Delta, the fountainhead of American music; the wild early years on the road with rockabilly legend Ronnie Hawkins and The Hawks; his unexpected ties to the Cosa Nostra underworld; the gripping trial-by-fire “going electric” with Bob Dylan on his 1966 world tour, and their ensuing celebrated collaborations; the formation of the Band and the forging of their unique sound,  culminating with history's most famous farewell concert, brought to life for all time in Martin Scorsese's great movie The Last Waltz. 

This is the story of a time and place--the moment when rock 'n' roll became life, when legends like Buddy Holly and Bo Diddley criss-crossed the circuit of clubs and roadhouses from Texas to Toronto, when The Beatles, Hendrix, The Stones, and Warhol moved through the same streets and hotel rooms. It's the story of exciting change as the world tumbled through the '60s and early 70’s, and a generation came of age, built on music, love and freedom. Above all, it's the moving story of the profound friendship between five young men who together created a new kind of popular music.

Testimony is Robbie Robertson’s story, lyrical and true, as only he could tell it.
Joey Keithley, aka Joey Shithead, founded legendary punk pioneers D.O.A. in 1978. Punk kings who spread counterculture around the world, they’ve been cited as influences by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, Rancid and The Offspring; have toured with The Clash, The Ramones, The Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Nirvana, PiL, Minor Threat and others; and are the subject of two tribute albums. They are the band that introduced the term “hardcore” into punk lexicon and may have turned Nirvana’s lead singer Kurt Cobain onto a career in music.

But punk is more than a style of music: it’s a political act, and D.O.A. have always had a social conscience, having performed in support of Greenpeace, women’s rape/crisis centres, prisoner’s rights, and antinuke and antiglobalization organizations. Twenty-five years later D.O.A. can claim sales of hundreds of thousands of copies of their 11 albums and tours in 30 different countries, and they are still going strong.

I, Shithead is Joey’s personal, no-bullshit recollections of a life in punk, starting with the burgeoning punk movement and traversing a generation disillusioned with the status quo, who believed they could change the world: stories of riots, drinking, travelling, playing and conquering all manner of obstacles through sheer determination.

Praise for D.O.A.:

“They rock out. They blow the roof off. Some of the best shows I’ve seen in my life were D.O.A. gigs. I’ve never seen D.O.A. not be amazing.”—Henry Rollins (Black Flag, Rollins Band)

“The proper medicine growing young minds needed.”—Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys)

“Joey Shithead casts a long shadow.”—John Doe (X)

“They’ve changed a lot of people’s lives.”—Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters)

Joey “Shithead” Keithley has long been an activist, including as a candidate for the Green Party, and is the founder of Sudden Death Records (www.suddendeath.com). He lives in Vancouver with his wife and their three children.

“Heavy metal’s leading female rocker (Rolling Stone) bares all, opening up about the Runaways, the glory days of the punk and hard-rock scenes, and the highs and lows of her trailblazing career

Wielding her signature black guitar, Lita Ford shredded stereotypes of female musicians throughout the 1970s and ‘80s. Then followed more than a decade of silence and darkness—until rock and roll repaid the debt it owed this pioneer, helped Lita reclaim her soul, and restored the Queen of Metal to her throne.

In 1975, Lita Ford left home at age sixteen to join the world’s first major all-female rock group, the Runaways—a “pioneering band” (New York Times) that became the subject of a Hollywood movie starring Kristen Stewart ad Dakota Fanning. Lita went on to become “heavy rock’s first female guitar hero” (Washington Post), a platinum-selling solo star who shared the bill with the Ramones, Van Halen, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Poison, and others and who gave Ozzy Osbourne his first Top 10 hit. She was a bare-ass, leather-clad babe whose hair was bigger and whose guitar licks were hotter than any of the guys’.

Hailed by Elle as “one of the greatest female electric guitar players to ever pick up the instrument,” Lita spurred the meteoric rise of Joan Jett, Cherie Currie, and the rest of the Runaways. Her phenomenal talent on the fret board also carried her to tremendous individual success after the group’s 1979 disbandment, when she established herself as a “legendary metal icon” (Guitar World) and a fixture of the 1980s music scene who held her own after hours with Nikki Sixx, Jon Bon Jovi, Eddie Van Halen, Tommy Lee, Motorhead’s Lemmy, Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi (to whom she was engaged), and others.

Featuring a foreword by Dee Snider, Living Like a Runaway also provides never-before-told details of Lita’s dramatic personal story. For Lita, life as a woman in the male-dominated rock scene was never easy, a constant battle with the music establishment. But then, at a low point in her career, came a tumultuous marriage that left her feeling trapped, isolated from the rock-and-roll scene for more than a decade, and—most tragically—alienated from her two sons. And yet, after a dramatic and emotional personal odyssey, Lita picked up her guitar and stormed back to the stage. As Guitar Player hailed in 2014 when they inducted her into their hall of fame of guitar greats: “She is as badass as ever.”

Fearless, revealing, and compulsively readable, Lita Ford’s Living Like a Runaway is the long-awaited memoir from one of rock’s greatest pioneers—and fiercest survivors.

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