By Mick Wall
Everyone from Sir Paul McCartney and Jimmy Page to Queens of the Stone Age now relishes the chance to share a stage with Dave Grohl and his legendary Foo Fighters. The question is: why? Musical depth? Not really. Major success? Well, yes. Despite no longer shifting albums in the same quantity as they did twenty years ago, this band can still fill stadiums the world over (when Dave's not breaking his leg, of course).Long before Kurt Cobain blew his brains out in 1994, Dave Grohl was planning for a life after Nirvana. The unflinching bright sunlight to Cobain's permanent midnight darkness, Grohl had come from a similar broken home to his erstwhile band leader, but came out of the experience differently - brimming with positivity and a shrewd grasp of opportunities in the music industry.Did Grohl merely take the sonic blueprint of Nirvana and embellish it with a more life-affirming pop sheen? Of course he did. Every band in America that sold over a million records in the post-grunge 90s did the same. The difference was that Grohl had real credibility. And he knew it.With exclusive testimony from true insiders (including Krist Novoselic, Grohl's bass-playing partner in Nirvana, ex-girlfirends, record company executives, tour photographers and confidantes), this book is an exploration of the real story behind Grohl and the Foo Fighters - the only serious literary biography of the group and its leader, one of the most famous and critically bulletproof rock figures of the 21st century.
The Rivered Earth
By Vikram Seth
The Rivered Earth contains four libretti written by Vikram Seth to be set to music by Alec Roth - together with an account of the pleasures and pains of working with a composer.Entitled 'Songs in Time of War', 'Shared Ground', 'The Traveller' and 'Seven Elements', they take us all over the world - from Chinese and Indian poetry to the beauty and quietness of the Salisbury house where the poet George Herbert lived and died.Spanning centuries of creativity and humanity, these poems pulse with life, energy and inspired brilliance.They are accompanied by four pieces of calligraphy by the author.
By Peter Guralnick
Rock 'n' roll was born in rural Alabama, 1923, in the form of Sam Phillips, the youngest son of a large family living in a remote colony called the Lovelace Community. His father had a gift for farming, which was brought to an end by the Depression. His mother picked guitar and showed the kind of forbearance that allowed her to name her son after the doctor who delivered him drunk and then had to be put to bed himself. And yet from these unprepossessing origins, in 1951 Phillips made what is widely considered to be the first rock 'n' roll record, Ike Turner and Jackie Brenston's 'Rocket 88'. Just two years later a shy eighteen-year-old kid with sideburns, fresh out of high school, wandered into his recording studio to make a record 'for his mother', secretly hoping that it might somehow get him noticed. His name was Elvis Presley. Elvis's success, and the subsequent triumph of rock 'n' roll, was initially propelled to an almost astonishing degree by a limited number of releases by Carl 'Blue Suede Shoes' Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis - all from this tiny, one-man label. An engaging mix of biography and anecdote, Peter Guralnick's book brilliantly recreates one shining moment in the history of popular culture. And Sam Phillips was the man who brought it all about.
On Some Faraway Beach
By David Sheppard
Authorised biography of Brian Eno - the 'Father of Ambient Music'A sonic alchemist to the stars, Brian Eno's address book is a veritable who's who of rock and pop. Tellingly, his involvement with Roxy Music, David Bowie, Talking Heads and U2 has coincided with these artists producing their most challenging and critically revered work.ON SOME FARAWAY BEACH is the first serious, critical examination of the life and times of Brian Eno, from an idiosyncratic childhood to 1960s art school and the sharp end of pop charts around the world.
Judi: Behind the Scenes
By Judi Dench
An illustrated memoir of one of Britain's greatest and best-loved actors.'National treasure? I hate that. Too dusty, too in a cupboard, too behind glass, too staid ... What I love is being part of a company. On stage I am not trying to be myself, I'm trying to be someone else, the more unlike me the better.'From her first theatrical roles as a teenager in York to her commanding performances as 'M' in the James Bond films, Dame Judi Dench's professional life has consisted of non-stop acting, leading to numerous accolades, including an Academy Award.BEHIND THE SCENES is a fully updated and expanded edition of Dame Judi's first photograph album SCENES FROM MY LIFE, published in 2005. It is a uniquely personal take on her life and brilliant career, showing her off stage as well as on: in the wings, off sets, in dressing rooms and happily larking about. Beautifully illustrated with photographs from her own collections, here are reflections and reminiscences on those who have mattered to her most - her family, fellow actors, directors and writers - communicated with the truth and insight of her acting.
On Board Flight 666
By Iron Maiden, John McMurtrie
The first and only official book from Britain's biggest heavy-metal band.IRON MAIDEN are a global phenomenon. On board their customised Boeing 757 plane named Ed Force One, and piloted by lead singer and airline captain Bruce Dickinson, the band, crew and 12 tonnes of equipment traversed the planet and broke the mould of traditional touring forever by playing concerts in every continent except Antarctica! Setting off in early 2008 on the Somewhere Back In Time world tour, through to the epic Final Frontier tour, Maiden finally played two sold-out shows in their native London. The Final Frontier tour celebrated their 15th and most successful studio album to date, hitting the No.1 spot in at least 28 countries. The band's official photographer John McMurtrie accompanied them on the tours and his unrestricted access allowed him to capture exclusive images and moments both onstage and off, in over 600 spectacular photographs annotated with individual insights and anecdotes.ON BOARD FLIGHT 666 provides an unprecedented insight into one of the most adventurous rock tours ever undertaken; and into what makes this band so special.
By Mick Wall
The final word on the only name synonymous with heavy metal - Black Sabbath.Way back in the mists of time, in the days when rock giants walked the earth, the name Ozzy Osbourne was synonymous with subversive and dark. Back then, Ozzy was the singer in Black Sabbath, and they meant business. In an era when it seemed possible to measure a band's musical prowess by how 'heavy' they were, they didn't come any weightier than Black Sabbath. There were, it's probably fair to say, none-more-black.A four-piece formed from the ashes of two locally well-known groups called The Rare Breed (Ozzy and bassist Geezer Butler) and Mythology (guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Bill Ward), all four founding members of the original Black Sabbath grew up within half-a-mile of each other, in the same narrow, grey streets of Aston, a tiny Birmingham suburb then struggling to come to terms with the mess Hitler's bombs had made of it. Though they all shared a deep love of music - The Beatles for Ozzy, the Mothers of Invention for Geezer, the Shadows and Chet Atkins for Iommi, and Gene Kruppa for Ward - they all saw the opportunity to form a successful group, Ozzy would tell me, 'as the quickest way out of the slums.'This biography tells the story of how they made that dream come true - and how it then turned into a nightmare for all of them. How at the height of their fame, Sabbath discovered they had been so badly ripped off by their managers they did not even own their own songs. How they looked for salvation from Don Arden - an even more notorious gangster figure, who resurrected their career but still left them indebted to him, financially and personally. And how it finally came to a head when in 1979 they sacked Ozzy: 'For being too out of control - even for us,' as Bill Ward put it.Of course the story does not end there. The next 15 years would see a war break out between the two camps: the post-Ozzy Sabbath and Ozzy himself, whose solo career overshadowed Sabbath to the point where, when he offered them the chance to reform around him again, it was entirely on his terms. Or rather, that of his wife and manager - and, to add a further bitter twist to the tale for Sabbath, daughter of Don Arden - Sharon Osbourne.
Metallica: Enter Night
By Mick Wall
Mick Wall moves on from Led Zeppelin to produce a definitive doorstop on Metallica.Alongside contemporaries Slayer, Megadeath and Anthrax, Metallica came to prominence in the eighties as one of the 'big four' of thrash metal. Metallica were to thrash, though, what the Sex Pistols were to punk. Nearly thirty years on, their tale is one of alcohol, rule breaking and tragically early death. But allied to that are colossal sales figures for their records -- they are the fifth-highest selling recording artists of all time - and members with backgrounds that touch on jazz and classical music. Metallica, in fact, have garnered more critical acclaim than any heavy rock band since Led Zeppelin. Fresh from the critical and commercial success of WHEN GIANTS WALKED THE EARTH, Mick Wall takes a similar informed look at the band, a group he has known on and off since their formation in 1981.
Document And Eyewitness
By Neil Taylor
The official story of 25 years of the legendary Rough Trade Records.Rough Trade is practically a byword for the history of independent music over the last thirty years. DOCUMENT AND EYEWITNESS: AN INTIMATE HISTORY OF ROUGH TRADE tells the story from the inside of a phenomenally influential record label, through the voices of Geoff Travis, Jarvis Cocker, Robert Wyatt, Green Gartside and many many more. From the early records of Cabaret Voltaire, Kleenex and the Swell Maps, through to groundbreaking releases by The Fall, The Smiths and Scritti Pollitti, on through the collapse of the independent collective and the rebirth of Rough Trade at the turn of the century, this is the definitive, essential account for any serious music fan.
The Making of Pink Floyd The Wall
By Gerald Scarfe
Pink Floyd's THE WALL is one of the most iconic and imaginative albums in the history of rock music, endlessly discussed and dissected. It is loosely based on the life and experiences of Roger Waters and the stage performances and film were created in close collaboration with Gerald Scarfe. Scarfe and Waters worked together on the new version of the stage show. Gerald retains all the imagery and from this massive archive the book includes hundreds of photographs of the creation, staging and filming of The Wall as well as the live stage performances. In addition, Roger Waters allowed us to reproduce all the interviews and texts associated with the production of the album, the stage performances and the film. This is the authorised, definitive book of THE WALL.
Appetite for Destruction
By Mick Wall
Whether it's hanging around with Marillion's Fish in Berlin, seeing Whitesnake fail to ignite 1985's Rock in Rio, talking through old times with Jimmy Page in his Berkshire pile or following Ozzy Osbourne to Moscow, there isn't a rock luminary that Wall hasn't cross-examined or kept the flame burning with at some point over the last thirty years. Here, amongst several pieces, he catches Lars Ullrich just on the cusp of world domination; has dinner with Ritchie Blackmore on the eve of a Deep Purple comeback; and is up all night in LA with W. Axl Rose.APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION gathers together Wall's journalism for Kerrang!, for whom he was the star writer in their eighties heyday. It also features brand-new introductions to all the pieces, written with maybe less hair but also the benefit of twenty years' hindsight.
By Alan Parker
The last word on Sid Vicious - the world's most iconic punk figure.The old school register for Soho Parish Primary school has a note in the margin recording that five-year-old John Simon Ritchie turned up for his first day at school unaccompanied in September 1962. He'd walked from his mum's council flat near Drury Lane, across Covent Garden and several major road junctions to Gt Windmill Street alone. Somehow it's a fitting start to the wild and troubled life that would be Sid Vicious's. It's also a story that's indicative of the detailed research Alan Parker has put into this biography of Sid Vicious. He spent an evening discussing young Simon Ritchie's schooldays with the headmistress of Soho Parish, has interviewed the likes of fellow Sex Pistols Paul Cook and Glen Matlock at length, as well as numerous other punk luminaries. The basics of Sid Vicious's brief 21 years are well known: art school, junkie mother, life in a squat, a year in the Sex Pistols until their demise in 1978, Nancy Spungeon's death, Sid's arrest, followed by Sid's own fatal overdose on 2 February 1979. Parker brings a wealth of new detail to the story, much gained from the New York Police Department and extensive interviews with Anne Beverley (Sid's mother), prior to her own suicide in 1996. This enables him to come to dramatic conclusions about who killed Nancy Spungeon and how Sid himself died. This will be the definitive and final word on Sid Vicious, and the perfect tribute to a man who has become a true icon of the 21st century.
My Bass and Other Animals
By Guy Pratt
Guy Pratt's life as bass player to the stars. The book behind the successful comedy show.Guy Pratt came of age just as playing bass became cool, with the likes of Paul Simonon and Bruce Foxton. Having dallied with Funkapolitan, Pratt suddenly found himself on Top of the Pops and supporting David Bowie with smooth Australian outfit Icehouse. At a ludicrously young age Guy Pratt became a sought after bass player to the stars, finding himself crawling from studio to bar, from hotel to stadium portacabin with Robert Palmer, Womack & Womack, Bernard Edwards, Bryan Ferry and David Crosby, etc. The eighties were in their prime, and with a number of Crolla-suited appearances in windswept videos behind him, he was invited to join Pink Floyd for a series of stadium of extravaganzas to make Bono & co look fairly modest. Pratt has recorded with Madonna, and spent time in the studio with Michael Jackson. He was in The Smiths for a week, has travelled through customs in a wheelchair after a flight with Jimmy Page, and has lived to tell all. MY BASS AND OTHER ANIMALS emerges from the successful stand-up tour of the same name. It charts his journey from a Mod band in Southend to playing with Roxy Music at Live 8.