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Trust: Photographs of Jim Marshall


Author: Jim Marshall
Publisher: Omnibus Press
Review by Jeff Muendel
Posted December 15, 2009 at 8:08 pm

If you love rock’n'roll, you probably have an affinity for rock photography as well. So many iconic rockers earned their stardom not only because they were musical, but because they were also photogenic. That’s the way it should be because live rock’n'roll—at least the good stuff—isn’t about music alone. It is a craft that incorporates and embraces many elements of theater, dance, cinema, and of course photography. For the first time, images from rock photographer Jim Marshall’s extensive color archive are published together in book form and include many rare images.


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Michael


Author: Jason Fine
Publisher: Harper Collins
Review by Jeff Muendel
Posted December 15, 2009 at 7:57 pm

It almost goes without saying that this book attempts to tell the story of Michael Jackson’s epic life. It is, essentially, an amalgamation of several rolling Stones stories (usually cover stories) along with more recent text and over 100 photos to bring it all together. There are multiple writers represented in the book under the editorial eye of Jason fine, but Ben Fong-Torres is one of the best writers at Rolling Stone Magazine. He gives us our first glimpse of a young star on the rise in an article that would be the first of many Rolling Stone cover stories on Jackson.


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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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