BMS Shopping Guide: Music Books of 2011

BMS takes a look at the new music books released in 2011

, Staff

‘Tis the season of giving and receiving, and here at BMS, we know that finding the perfect gift for someone can be a frustrating process. Because of this, we want to give you, our readers, the gift of making your life a little easier. We have searched high and low to find all the newly released books for the music lover in your life.

From autobiographies and music history to coffee books and novels from songwriters, we got it covered. And if that’s not enough, you can always check out our previous guides (2010 and 2009) for more inspiration. Now take a look and get that shopping done.


Diary of a Player – How My Musical Heroes Made a Guitar Man Out of Me by Brad Paisley:
Featuring a series of sidebar stories from a variety of country stars who have worked with Paisley over the course of his career, this memoir details his professional and personal growth as well as his intimate relationship with the guitar.

Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? – A Rock ‘n’ Roll Memoir by Steven Tyler:
Aerosmith’s frontman bares the true life of a rock star behind the riches and rehab, the fights and notoriety. Featuring an intimate encounter of Tyler’s spiritual side and his relationships with his children, this memoir gives fans a first hand look at the Bad Boys of Boston and their notorious frontman.

It’s So Easy – and Other Lies by Duff McKagan:
The founding member of Guns N’ Roses details his entire musical journey, from the day he answered a want ad from a man named “Slash” while living in his car in L.A. to the rise of one of rock and roll’s most notorious bands. And from there, to the group’s disintegration and McKagan’s brush with death due to alcoholism.

My Appetite for Destruction – Sex & Drugs & Guns N’ Roses by Steven Adler:
For another perspective of life in Guns N’ Roses, the band’s original drummer reveals all as he tells of the band’s rise to fame and how their success cost him nearly everything.

One Day It’ll All Make Sense by Common:
Common illustrates exclusive accounts of his interactions with those who shaped not only his musical career, but his life as well inlcuding fellow rappers (Tupac and Biggie) and even world leaders (Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela). Just as important is his relationship with his mother, Mahalia Ann Hines, whom he credits with much of his success.

Sweet Judy Blue Eyes – My Life in Music by Judy Collins:
Divulging the secrets behind the work that shaped folk music for an entire decade, this 360-page long glimpse into the life of Judy Collins reveals her resilience, creativity and passion as she navigated the turbulent ’60s with the likes of Joan Baez and Leonard Cohen.

Mustaine – A Heavy Metal Memoir by Dave Mustaine:
From drug addiction and abusive parents to crushing professional setbacks and experiences with the extremes of multiple religions, the story of Dave Mustaine’s life is one of the most terrifying and exhilarating tales music has to offer. The Megadeth frontman hides nothing as he accounts for every professional and personal struggle.

Red – My Uncensored Life in Rock by Sammy Hagar:
Hagar chronicles everything from his time with Van Halen including his controversial parting with the band to his latest ventures in the tequila business.

No Regrets by Ace Frehley:
This memoir from “The Spacemen” is sure to be a must have for any KISS fan as the guitarist tells of the band’s rise to fame, its division and why he ultimatly left the group.

Iron Man – My Journey through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath by Tony Iommi:
The Black Sabbath guitarist chronicles the band’s exhilarating highs and catastrophic lows as well as his own personal struggles with marriage and addiction.

From This Moment On by Shania Twain:
From poverty and domestic violence to heartbreaking loss and betrayal, the country superstar has overcome it all on her path to success and acceptance.

See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody by Bob Mould:
This account exposes the driving forces behind Bob Mould: the anger and passion that inspired his punk material, his struggles with his sexuality, a grueling transition from alcoholism to sobriety, the sheer persistence that led to his solo career, and even a stint as a pro wrestler.

Drinking with Strangers – Music Lessons from a Teenage Bullet Belt by Butch Walker:
Paying tribute to the influences who have shaped his life – names like Motley Crue, Elvis Presley, and Jack Daniels – Walker credits his failures as much as his accomplishments as milestones on the road to becoming a successful singer-songwriter and producer.

The Music of Silence by Andrea Bocelli:
This updated edition of Bocelli’s memoir tells the intimate tale of a man who not only has sung for popes and presidents, but who overcame blindness at an early age and discovered his extraordinary voice through Braille music sheets and the guidance of one Luciano Pavarotti.

Not Dead & Not for Sale – A Memoir by Scott Weiland:
With his well-publicized drug busts and trips to rehab included, Weiland divulges the secrets behind his life in rock and roll with Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver.

Le Freak – An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco and Destiny by Nile Rodgers:
This deeply personal glimpse into the life of one of pop’s most influential figure reveals the love, loss and joy that fueled Rodger’s song.

My Infamous Life by Mobb Deep’s Prodigy:
The rapper relays a life of riches, crime, tragedy, and his struggles with sickle-cell anemia.

Backstage Pass by Barry Fey
This narrative tells the story of one of rock and roll’s greatest concert promoters.Featuring forewords by Pete Townshend and Ozzy Osbourne and an original poem from Bono, this book is an informative read for any interested in the inner workings of the music industry.

I Still Believe by Jeremy Camp:
The Christian singer’s memoir chronicles his life from growing up in Indiana and his struggles as a teen, to his love for his first wife Melissa and her untimely passing, to his growing music ministry and re-found hope and love in his wife Adrienne.

Music History and More

I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution by Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum:
Chronicling the first ten years of the cultural revolution that was MTV, this book features hundreds of interviews with artists, directors, VJs, and television and music executives who had a hand in shaping the music channel. This is a must-read for any MTV fan with a wish to revisit the days when MTV actually aired music videos.

Everybody Loves Our Town – An Oral History of Grunge byMark Yarm:
Yarm recaptures the essence of the grunge era, from the release of Deep Six to the worldwide success of bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam, through the words of the musicians themselves in a compilation of over 250 interviews. Between basement parties in Seattle, the grunge frenzy that seized the entire Pacific Northwest and the deaths of grunge legends Kurt Cobain and Layne Stacey, Yarm excludes nothing in this book that marks the twentieth anniversary of Nirvana’s seminal album Nevermind.

Fire and Rain – The Lost Story of 1970 by David Browne:
Browne weaves together the stories behind four landmark albums of 1970: The Beatles’ Let It Be, Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young’s Deja Vu, Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water and James Taylor’s Sweet Baby James. This book reveals the well-known and more subtle links between these works and the artists who made them, and places them within the context of 1970’s Kent State shooting, Apollo 13 crisis, and other crucial events that shaped the turbulent transition from the ’60s to the ’70s.

Far and Away – A Prize Every Time by Neil Pert:
This latest book from the legendary drummer of Rush combines his love for music and the open road. Featuring 22 chapters, this travelogue captures Peart as a drummer, biker, husband and father. Complete with full-color photos, this is a prize for both Rush fans and motorcycle enthusiasts alike.

George Harrison: Living in the Material World by Olivia Harrison and Mark Holborn:
Delving into George Harrison’s personal archive of photographs, diaries, letters, and memorabilia, Olivia Harrison delivers a comprehensive biography of her late husband,  spanning his childhood in Liverpool, accomplishments with the Beatles, and time as an independent musician. Featuring photos taken by George himself and stories by his close friends, including Eric Clapton, Terry Gilliam and Paul McCartney among others, this book is the ultimate tribute to the “quiet” Beatle.

Ticket Masters: The Rise of the Concert Industry and How the Public Got Scalped by Dean Budnick and Josh Baron:
Budnick and Baron detail the intricate relationships between artists, promoters, ticketing agents, and the public, and how companies like Ticketmaster and Live Nation have shaped the industry.

Trust Me, I’m Dr. Ozzy – Advice from Rock’s Ultimate Survivor by Ozzy Osbourne:
Not many rock stars can boast of several near-death experiences, 40 years of drug abuse, and extreme hypochondria – let alone having their full DNA mapped out. This collection of columns from The Sunday Times of London, shows Ozzy digging into his wealth of experience and abundant wit to answers readers’ questions with survival stories and advice.

For you Coffee Table

Pearl Jam: 20:
Published along with Cameron Crowe’s documentary film and soundtrack of the same name, this book marks the 20th anniversary of Pearl Jam’s debut album Ten. Featuring behind-the-scenes action, rare memorabilia, personal notes and tour photographs that the band hid from the media for so long, this chronicle assembled by Jonathan Cohen and Mark Wilkerson is a must-have for any diehard Pearl Jam fan.

Aerosmith: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Boston Bad Boys by Richard Bienstock:
The first complete illustrated history of what many have called rock and roll’s best American band is finally here. Stuffed with backstage photographs and passes, gig posters, picture sleeves, ticket stubs and more, this detailed documentation of the band’s rise, fall, and rebirth by Richard Bienstock is the ultimate addition to any Aerosmith collection.

40 Years of Queen by Harry Doherty:
Marking the 40th anniversary of Queen’s inception, this comprehensive history of the band features over 200 photos – some never-before-published – and a foreword by Brian May and Roger Taylor.

Lady Gaga X Terry Richardson:
This photobook assembled by acclaimed photographer Terry Richardson captures an entire year of Lady Gaga in photos. Following Gaga from Lollapalooza, her rally in Portland, Maine, the Thierry Mugler show in Paris and over 30 Monster Ball tour dates, Richardson snapped over 100,000 pictures to capture every aspect of pop’s most peculiar star.

Novels from Songwriters

Paper Angels by Jimmy Wayne:
Kevin Morrell is a diligent businessman struggling to revive his marketing firm when he happens across a Salvation Army project that leads him to Thomas Brandt, an orphaned fifteen-year-old struggling to find God amid the loss of his family. The two are brought together to experience the true meaning of Christmas in this fiction work by country star Jimmy Wayne.

I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive by Steve Earle:
Doc Ebersole, a disgraced doctor who has long lost his medical license, struggles with more than just a morphine addiction as he continues an illegitimate practice to support himself and his habit; he is haunted by the ghost of Hank Williams, as Doc was one of the last to see the country legend alive and is even suspected of delivering the morphine dose that killed him. But when a young woman named Graciela, who inexplicably transforms everyone she meets for the better, approaches him for help, Doc has a chance to amend his wrongs in this redemption story by legendary singer-songwriter Steve Earle.

Bright’s Passage by Josh Ritter:
Recently returned from the trenches and battlefields of France, WWI veteran Henry Bright is struck by tragedy with the death of his young wife. With only his newborn son – who he is unsure how to take care of – and a mysterious angel who protected him during the war, Bright flees across the fire-ravaged countryside of West Virginia in an attempt to escape his malicious in-laws in this novel by singer-songwriter Josh Ritter.


MacLean Cadman contributed to this feature.


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