Top 5: Rock Biographies for Summer Reading
With a stretch of warm weather hitting the Capital Region, it almost feels as if summer is upon us. Though, growing up in New York, I know enough not to get my hopes up or dust off all of my shorts just yet. But, being an avid reader and total rock nerd, I am getting my hopes up for the idea of a good rock book while hanging by the creek in my bathing suit, taking in the sun and some rock history. I’ve read far too many but still not enough books in my lifetime, and have quite the collection of rock biographies. I know that I’m definitely in the minority among my group of friends with my affinity for reading, but for those who share the same interest, here’s my Top 5 Rock Biographies!
“Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll” – Peter Bebergal
Written by Peter Bebergal, who some would consider a fringe writer (which is even acknowledged in the short author summary on the back cover), this book is a fantastic look at the evolution of Rock and Roll, and the role that the occult played. The chapters span rock history including the likes of Bowie and Ozzy, and take a thorough and fascinating look at how the concept of the dark arts and the supernatural mutated rock in to the music that we now know. As much fascinating and entertaining as it is informative, I was hooked in the first two pages.
Publisher: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin
“Hammer of the Gods”- Stephen Davis
I actually own one of the newer editions, with updated photographs, however the book was originally published in 1985. It’s enthralling to read a history of one of the most influential rock bands. If you want a good read, and a definite tell-all, covering the classic rock and roll lifestyle, this is the book for you.
“The Long Hard Road Out of Hell”- Marilyn Manson with Neil Strauss
Already a Marilyn Manson fan, I found a new level of appreciation after this. It’s definitely not your run-of-the-mill PG biography, and encompasses everything you would come to expect of Manson, while shedding insight in to who he is and how he came to be. Purely addicting.
“Petty”- Warren Zanes
A relaxed feel with truth and honesty, I appreciated reading about not just Tom Petty but the concept of a rock band as a whole. Petty is an artist that I admire, I’ve seen live, and I enjoy all his music. Yet somewhat enigmatic, I never knew too much about who Tom Petty is or was, and for that I truly appreciated this biography.
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
“Can I Say”- Travis Barker with Gavin Edwards
A must-read that transformed my perception of who I thought Travis Barker was. Not just a drummer and not just a rock star, he truly has quite the story of ups and downs that reach extremes from his battle with addiction to his now infamous survival of a plane crash.