Posted by: kubiakl | June 29, 2009


I want to talk about something besides music today.  I want to talk about books…

How many drummers did I just lose?  (Kidding, kidding, put down the sticks)

I’ve always been a reader, so naturally when I got interested in music I also got interested in reading about it.  Musician biographies usually follow a pattern – they start off talking about the humble childhood, then the starving musician days, and then comes the fame and stardom – the chapters that usually end with “but the glory days were numbered…”, or something along those lines.  After that comes the addiction and alienation phase before the comeback and redemption story that caps off the book if the artist is still alive.  If the artist is dead, then we get to read about the impact their music/life had on others.

Which isn’t to say that they are bad, just a tad formulaic.  Still very worth the time spent reading them.  A few of my favorites:

The Real Frank Zappa Book, by Frank Zappa

Bob Dylan Chronicles Vol. 1, by Bob Dylan

Hardcore Troubadour: The Life And Near Death Of Steve Earle, by Lauren St. John

Skydog: The Duane Allman Story, by Randy Pol

A Long Strange Trip, by Dennis McNally

There are some others, but those stand out.  Today Amazon delivered a new one to my door, one that promises to be a different sort of music book.  What Would Keith Richards Do?  Daily Affirmations From A Rock ‘N’ Roll Survivor (Jessica Pallington West) doesn’t follow the traditional biography style.  It lampoons self-help books while being one itself.  It uses Keef’s quotes as a source of wisdom and guidance while telling stories from his past.  The reviews made it sound great.

What are some other musician biographies that I should check out?  The suggestion light has been turned on.

(side note – back in college I used to say “What would Keith Richards do?”, and that was almost ten years ago.  And now you’ll have to excuse me while I go kick myself for not having the foresight to write a book based on it.)


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