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Autobiographies, Biographies and books on Music and Musicians

Halfers

Finger Flapper
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2,155
This made me think: I wonder if anyone would apply 'never meet your heroes' to Elvis, as well (?)....
It could apply to anyone under the correct circumstances, so I guess the answer is yes. Or was it a rhetorical question?
 

Alice

Psychedelic
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5,362
This made me think: I wonder if anyone would apply 'never meet your heroes' to Elvis, as well (?)....
Probably not, because despite what’s been written about him, his fans still uphold him as a god fearing, southern gentleman and continue to worship the King.
 

Halfers

Finger Flapper
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2,155
Probably not, because despite what’s been written about him, his fans still uphold him as a god fearing, southern gentleman and continue to worship the King.
I took the reference to be in relation to the Costello brand of Elvis, rather than the hip shaker in chief, but you never know? :confused2:
 

Alice

Psychedelic
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5,362
I took the reference to be in relation to the Costello brand of Elvis, rather than the hip shaker in chief, but you never know? :confused2:
Oh.... sorry I’m half asleep... thought Presley...! I’ll go to the Café section of this bookshop, have a coffee and wake up.
 

GCinCT

Seeker of truth and beauty
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1,602
Here are a few I enjoyed reading:

Miles the Autobiography by Miles Davis with Quincy troupe
Tonight at Noon by Sue Mingus
Beneath the Underdog by Charles Mingus
Born Under The Sign Of Jazz by Randi Hultin
Cats of Any Color: Jazz, Black and White by Gene Lees
Satchmo: My Life in New Orleans by Louis Armstrong
I Put A Spell On You by Nina Simone
Whisper Not by Bennie Golson

Enjoy!
I really enjoyed Miles Davis' autobiography. I read it about 20 years ago. Fascinating!
 

GCinCT

Seeker of truth and beauty
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1,602
a few books that find their way off the bookshelf and into my hands frequently - '
Jazz People' and 'As Serious As Your Life' by Val Wilmer
So What - The Life Of Miles Davis - John Swed... Ian Carr's book on Miles is also good
Duke Ellington - Music Is My Mistress
Four Lives In The Bebop Business - A B Spellman
Woodwind Instruments And Their History - Anthony Baines
Solid Foundation; an oral history of reggae - Daxid Katz
The Freedom Principle - John Litweiler
Bird Lives - Ross Russell - mot the best or most accurate book on Charlie Parker, but it's the one I read first
Chasin' The Trane - J C Thomas - again, there are better books on Coltrane, but this is the one I got out of the library when I was a teenager, so it made the biggest impression on me
The Trouble With Cinderella by Artie Shaw is an interesting read
Space Is The Place - John F Swed - if you want to know about Sun Ra, this is the book
Improvisation, It's Nature and Practice - Derek Bailey
Head On/Repossessed by Julian Cope
Lemmy - White Line Fever
Living With The Dead - Rock Scully's entertaining account of being the Grateful Dead's road manager
Stairway To Heaven - Richard Cole - -- Led Zep's former road manager tells it like it was
Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground by Michael Azerrad

I borrowed a book called Gigs From Hell a few years ago that is full of amusing anecdotes about disastrous gigs - just found a copy on amazon so will be reading that again next week

a few people have mentioned Straight Life by Art Pepper and I read it every so often just to remind me where we can end up if life goes wrong - plus it's a really good book


Free Jazz, Harmolodics and Ornette Coleman by Stephen Rush is supposed to be the definitive work, but I've not saved up enough tyo buy it yet
eventually I'll get a copy of Giants Of Black Music by Pauline Rivelli and Robert Levin

I second Bird Lives and Chasin' the Trane. I also really enjoyed another Bird biography, Kansas City Lightning by Stanley Crouch and I've just started Duke by Terry Teachout.
 

Halfers

Finger Flapper
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2,155
I really enjoyed Miles Davis' autobiography. I read it about 20 years ago. Fascinating!
I read Ian Carr's biography of Miles. Also, probably about 20 Years ago. My one abiding memory from a very dense book, is that he was seemingly in permanent bad health. Might just be a clouded memory.
 

Greg Strange

Well-Known Member
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2,077
The Long Shadow of the Little Giant - Bio about Tubby Hayes by Simon Spillett
Walk Tall - Bio about Cannonball Adderley by Cary Ginell
Kind of Blue - Making of the album by Ashley Kahn
Fire In His Soul - Bio abiut Joe Harriott by Alan Robertson
Blowing my own trumpet - autobio by Aussie James Morrison
Every Night's A Saturday Night - autobio by Bobby Keys...

Greg S.
 

Greg Strange

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,077
Plus Wally Horwood's bio about Adolphe Sax
and The Cambridge Companion to the Saxophone Edited by Richard Ingham and forum member David Roach contributed a chapter about Jazz and Rock Techniques...

Greg S.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,622
Plus one for Blowing the Blues- Dick Heckstall Smith's Autobiography (which ships with a great live CD too, which is worth the price of admission in itself), Miles Davis for what an extreme character he was and a darkly hilarious book called Songs thy never paly on the radio about Nico's attempt to revive her career in the 1980s (funny and heart-breaking at the same time).
another big favourite- Lester Bangs Psychotic Reactions and Carburettor Dung
 

Keep Blowing

Senior Member
Messages
1,696
Two thirds of the way through this, probably not for many many people here, but it's a really good book, I was a big Clash fan in my younger days Redemption Song, the definitive biography of Joe Strummer by Chris Salewicz
 

scotsman

Member
Messages
378
Mezz Mezzrow..Really the Blues.
Lois Armstrong by Laurence Bergreen.
Dexter Gordon by Stan Britt
Footprints .. the Life and work of Wayne Shorter..by Michelle Mercer (Just about the most strange book Ive had to struggle through.!!)
The sound of Surprise..Whitney Balliett..NYC Jazz from 1954 to 1958
I always kept a Unicorn The Life of Sandy Denny
 

randulo

Playing alto since 2018
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4,924
I know I read Bird Lives and Chasin the Trane and more recently Graham Nash's Wild Tales, about Crosby Stills and Nash. I also read about a New Orleans clarinetist called Bill Johnson and while I was searing for more info on that to post here, I came across this interesting site which happens to offer a free download of almost 1,000 New Orleans tunes called "Close Enough for Jazz": C-jam - New Orleans jambook A-L
 
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