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Rock And Roll Stories - Lynn Goldsmith

Author: Lynn Goldsmith
Publisher: Abrams books
Review by Michael Sherer
Posted December 15, 2013 at 2:34 am

Lynn Goldsmith’s first and clear choice for subject matter to photograph is musicians. She’s been capturing them in a compelling and candid fashion for fifty years. (Goldsmith has a photo of hers published of the legs and feet of the Beatles in their Cuban-heeled boots in ‘64, at the height of Bealtlemania.)

Goldsmith’s newly issued 399 page, large-sized hardcover book is the most complete retrospective of her work yet. The cover dons a striking image of her then live-in boyfriend Bruce Springsteen. It was snapped in ‘78, by which time Springteen had become a major star since breaking through three years prior with his Born To Run record. The leather jacket he’s wearing is Goldsmith’s, and after she had sold off some of her clothing in ’96, which included the jacket, it wound up in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland.


I Slept with Joey Ramone:  A Family Memoir

Author: Mickey Leigh with Legs McNeil
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Review by Jeff Muendel
Posted March 11, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Although the title of this book suggests a sexual connotation, it is offered in humor. It is written by Joey Ramone’s brother, Mickey Leigh Hyman, and the title refers to the protection his brother offered him growing up. Born Jeffrey Hyman in Queens, New York, Joey Ramone was the tall, quirky lead singer of The Ramones. Often, when young Mickey was scared, his older brother (the future Joey Ramone) would let him sleep in his bed with him. When the Ramones released their debut album in 1976, it ushered in punk rock as a complete artistic entity. The Ramones, fast, ugly, and draped in leather, spoke to the angry youth of the seventies and inspired future bands for decades to come.


London’s Burning: True Adventures on the Front Lines of Punk 1976-1977

Author: Dave Thompson
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Review by Jeff Muendel
Posted January 15, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Dave Thompson is a fun and energetic writer, and this is the tale of his experience in the London punk scene of ‘76 and ‘77. It is essentially the story of British punk rock as it happened, stripped of hindsight and future legend, and laid bare. Bands bubbling into existence include The Damned during their early gigs and The Sex Pistols swearing through their prime-time television debut. Lesser known groups like The Adverts and Tom Robinson Band are covered, the latter of which are represented by a story wherein the group leads a club full of skinheads through a sing-along anthem called “Glad to Be Gay.” Yes, there are some seriously wild and funny antics.


The Velvet Underground: New York Art

Author: Johan Kugelberg
Publisher: Rizzoli Press
Review by Jeff Muendel
Posted December 15, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Documenting the formative years of the band, Kugelberg includes newly published photographs starting with the group’s first live show in New York. Andy Warhol is referenced, especially with regard to his Velvet Underground cover and poster designs. Lou Reed’s handwritten music and lyrics are included, and underground press clippings, flyers, handbills, and posters, are added as well to complete a uniquely comprehensive survey of the first rock group ever to transcend genre and embrace subterranean American culture.


Cassette From My Ex: Stories and Soundtracks of Lost Loves

Author: Jason Bitner
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Review by Jeff Muendel
Posted December 15, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Mix tapes have been described as “an art form that combines the skills of a DJ with the intimacy of a letter.” Today, the cassette tape has been rendered obsolete, and the art of crafting these sonic calling cards has been relegated to back of the closet, thirty-something nostalgia. Now, thanks to Jason Bitner, the middle-aged can relive lost youth and lost loves. In this book, sixty writers and musicians wax poetic about their own experiences with these charming artifacts and the relationships that inspired them.


Led Zeppelin: The Neal Preston Collection

Author: Neal Preston
Publisher: Omnibus Press
Review by Jeff Muendel
Posted December 15, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Another coffee table book, this photo collection focuses on one of the greatest (and also thoroughly overplayed) bands ever, the mighty Led Zeppelin, While many of the photographs have been widely published, the collection is nonetheless a great record of Zep at their peak.


From Zero to Rock Hero in Six Weeks

Author: Owen Edwards
Publisher: Collins Design Books
Review by Jeff Muendel
Posted December 15, 2009 at 8:14 pm

The cover of this book looks more like a manual for the Rock Band video game, and that may be precisely the point. For the love of Pong, kids, if you’re going to invest all that time into playing a game about playing rock music, why don’t you invest it in really playing rock music? This book is nicely illustrated and with an accompanying CD that comes together as a six-week crash course that will turn beginner musicians into hot rock guitarists and teach them to play in the styles of the world’s most famous bands. Guitar teacher and musician Owen Edwards shares the styles of legendary rockers such as Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, and Metallica, allowing readers to build a repertoire of both classic and modern-day rock songs.


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