Rock Bios

Self-Portrait, DIA Chelsea, 2018

The Beautiful Ones by Prince 

Autobiography Music and Musicians 21st Century Cultural History

One part personal scrapbook, one part cultural history, The Beautiful Ones is Prince’s final “letter to the world.” Filled with handwritten notes, lyrics, and journal entries, Prince’s singular vision springs from the pages like a flight of doves. The Beautiful Ones begins with Dan Pipenbring’s moving introduction and then winds its way through Prince’s early life as the child of two musicians, his beginnings on the stages of Minneapolis, and his inevitable mega-stardom.  Every inch of this book is pure Prince: witty, naughty, melodic, and brilliantly, blisteringly cool. Even his handwriting, looping and elegant, is a sparkling work of art. 

Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge by Mark Yarm

BiographyMusic and Musicians – 20th Century Cultural History

Fans of Please Kill Me might like to fast forward twenty or so years to the start of the nineties when a sound that is often considered the wayward stepchild of punk began raging out from the basements and garages of the gloomy Northwest. Mark Yarm employs the model set forth by McNeil and McCain in their landmark oral history to tell the story of grunge. Comprised of almost 250 interviews conducted over twenty years that cover all the glory, gore, and greed that accompanied the movement. Everybody Loves Our Town is compulsively readable and deeply nostalgic.  

Scars of Sweet Paradise: The Life and Times of Janis Joplin by Alice Echols

BiographyMusic and Musicians 20th Century Cultural History

Alice Echols uses the life of Janis Joplin to illuminate the seismic cultural shift that took place between the late 1950s and early 1970s. Beginning with her conventional but lonely upbringing in Port Arthur, Texas, Scars of Sweet Paradise traces Joplin’s journey from a misunderstood school girl to a raucous genius of rock and blues all the way to her tragic end in a lonely hotel room and the legendary status she has maintained ever since. Echols gives us a vibrant and honest portrait of this one-of-a-kind artist. 

2 thoughts on “Rock Bios”

  1. What a range of experience and music in those tome. And none of them were from NYC or LA…imagine! Wonderful photo, LTV.

    Like

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