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We’ll Be Here For the Rest of Our Lives: A Swingin’ Show-biz Saga


Author: Paul Shaffer
Publisher: Flying Dolphin Press
Review by Jeff Muendel
Posted November 15, 2009 at 7:18 pm

Paul Shaffer, a lifelong hipster and Hammond organist, not to mention the longtime leader of David Letterman’s band, explains how a kid goes from a remote Canadian town at the tip of Lake Superior to a gig in New York City leading one of the most famous television bands ever. From playing seedy strip joints in Toronto to being the first musical director of Saturday Night Live to helping to form the Blues Brothers to being onstage every night with David Letterman—Shaffer shares it all.


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Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and the Music of Laurel Canyon


Author: Harvey Kubernik, Scott Calamar, Diltz Henry, and Lou Adler
Publisher: Sterling Press
Review by Jeff Muendel
Posted November 15, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Laurel Canyon is literally a canyon in Los Angeles, and it has long been a cradle for the biggest names in rock’n'roll. Just a few who called it home include Sonny & Cher, The Doors, The Turtles, Canned Heat, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and The Eagles. Those artists and many more cultivated their immortal sounds in Laurel Canyon.


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Led Zeppelin: Shadows Taller Than Our Souls


Author: Charles R. Cross
Publisher: It Books
Review by Jeff Muendel
Posted November 15, 2009 at 6:39 pm

Not another Led Zeppelin book! Yes indeed, yet another company has found yet another angle to put the Led Zeppelin name on the cover of a book. But wait, this one may be the coolest Zeppelin book yet. Remember pop-up books when you were a kid? Well, this is similar except that there are all kinds of little goodies hidden in enveloped pages throughout - twenty interactive and rare reproductions of historical memorabilia, including Zeppelin tickets, concert posters, old stickers, and even a CD.


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Rock And Roll Tourist


Author: Graham Forbes
Publisher: Independent Publishers Group
Review by Jeff Muendel
Posted October 16, 2009 at 2:56 am

This book is essentially an insider’s view into the underworld of touring musicians, but with a unique twist. The author hits the road not with a party in mind, but to try and beat an addiction to “hillbilly heroin.” Graham Forbes has an accident that leads to surgery and the use of prescribed pain pills. But once the prescription ends, he finds himself hooked. In an effort to leave the pills behind, the musician decides to travel the world experiencing the lifestyle of a touring performer, reporting on fellow performers, fans, and his method of getting away from his drug habit.


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Zen Wrapped In Karma Dipped In Chocolate


Author: Brad Warner
Publisher: New World Library
Review by Jeff Muendel
Posted September 13, 2009 at 8:31 pm

Brad Warner is both a Zen master and a punk rock musician. In this book, his third to date, he walks the line between those two roles, effectively spreading the word of Buddhism to those who have an interest in rock music. But the book tells a very personal story. During a year that Warner spent giving talks and leading retreats across North America, both his mother and grandmother died, he lost his dream job, and his wife left him. In writing about how he applied the Buddha’s teachings to his own real-life suffering, Warner reveals his own shortcomings. In fact, that is a large part of the message: Zen masters aren’t perfect because none of us humans are.


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I Hate New Music: The Classic Rock Manifesto


Author: Dave Thompson
Publisher: Backbeat Books
Review by Jeff Muendel
Posted July 9, 2009 at 8:15 pm

The title says a lot: this is a book written buy a guy who prefers “classic rock” to “EMO.” What’s great about the author’s take is that, even if you’re a fan of newer music, the humor with which the book is written allows you to still enjoy it. You may not agree with everything or anything he says, but you’ll still enjoy the reading and probably learn something along the way. Dave Thompson has penned over 100 books. That’s stunning! He is the author of the highly-acclaimed Kurt Cobain bio, Never Fade Away, as well as books on Cream, George Clinton, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, David Bowie, Red Hot Chili Peppers and many more.

In this book, Thompson writes against the forces he sees as killing rock’n'roll from the inside out.


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It Shined: The Saga of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils


Author: Michael Supe Granda
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Review by Greg Harutunian
Posted January 20, 2009 at 5:19 am

From the furtive music scene, which was once located in Springfield (MO) during the 1970’s, a host of Ozark-tinged musicians in numerous bands forged their own styles of country-rock. A love of playing music and sharing the fun was always at its core.

“The Ozarks have always been magical, not just for musicians…there’s plenty of clean air, clean water, blue skies and nice hills,” said Michael “Supe” Granda. “If that isn’t enough to inspire a musician, then I don’t know what is.”


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