Book Reviews

by Max Ink Staff Writers


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

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

Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and the Music of Laurel Canyon
Author: Harvey Kubernik, Scott Calamar, Diltz Henry, and Lou Adler
Review By Jeff Muendel
Publisher: Sterling Press
Posted: Nov 2009
(17844) Page Views

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

Led Zeppelin: Shadows Taller Than Our Souls

Led Zeppelin: Shadows Taller Than Our Souls
Author: Charles R. Cross
Review By Jeff Muendel
Publisher: It Books
Posted: Nov 2009
(5609) Page Views

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 & Roll Tourist

Rock & Roll Tourist

Rock And Roll Tourist
Author: Graham Forbes
Review By Jeff Muendel
Publisher: Independent Publishers Group
Posted: Oct 2009
(4437) Page Views

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 by Brad Warner

Zen Wrapped In Karma Dipped In Chocolate by Brad Warner

Zen Wrapped In Karma Dipped In Chocolate
Author: Brad Warner
Review By Jeff Muendel
Publisher: New World Library
Posted: Sep 2009
(4585) Page Views

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
Review By Jeff Muendel
Publisher: Backbeat Books
Posted: Jul 2009
(4456) Page Views

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

It Shined: The Saga of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils

It Shined: The Saga of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils
Author: Michael Supe Granda
Review By Greg Harutunian
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Posted: Jan 2009
(4935) Page Views

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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Skydog: The Duane Allman Story

Skydog: The Duane Allman Story

Skydog: The Duane Allman Story
Author: Randy Poe
Review By Jeff Muendel
Publisher: Backbeat Books
Posted: Nov 2008
(8156) Page Views

The Allman Brothers melded rock, country, and jazz into a unique style of music. While brother and organist Greg Allman still leads the band and should certainly get some credit, it was Duane Allman that brought that vision to reality. This thorough biography of Duane Allman offers in in-depth view into the life of the legendary guitarist…

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Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001)

Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001)

Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001)
Author: Don Felder with Wendy Holden
Review By Jeff Muendel
Publisher: Wiley Press
Posted: Nov 2008
(9438) Page Views

The eagles are one of the most successful American bands ever, and also one of the most overplayed groups on our classic rock airwaves. But what you don’t hear much about is the inner workings of the band. Former Eagles guitarist Don Felder spills the beans in this book sharing observations…

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Defenders Of The Faith: The Story of Judas Priest

Defenders Of The Faith: The Story of Judas Priest

The Story of Judas Priest: Defenders Of The Faith
Author: Neil Daniels
Review By Jeff Muendel
Publisher: Omnibus Press
Posted: Nov 2008
(9551) Page Views

This is a rather epic biography of the epic heavy metal band, Judas Priest. The book includes multiple interviews with people who surrounded the band over the years, beginning with blues-oriented beginnings through the height of their success in the eighties, past their eventual split, and onto their 2003 reunion.

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Crossroads: The Life and Afterlife of Blues Legend Robert Johnson

Crossroads: The Life and Afterlife of Blues Legend Robert Johnson

Crossroads: The Life and Afterlife of Blues Legend Robert Johnson
Author: Tom Graves
Review By Jeff Muendel
Publisher: Demers Books
Posted: Nov 2008
(12509) Page Views

This is a small book as music biographies go, but its 124 pages are researched well. Blues musician Robert Johnson has influenced not only many blues artists to follow him, but also many rock musicians. The book tries to separate fact from legend without being clinical. Robert Johnson, legend has it, gained his guitar talent by trading his soul away to Satan…

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Real Moments - Bob Dylan

Real Moments - Bob Dylan

Real Moments - Bob Dylan 1966 - 1974
Author: Barry Feinstein
Review By Jeff Muendel
Publisher: Omnibus Press
Posted: Oct 2008
(5347) Page Views

Barry Feinstein is an award winning photographer who has shot over 500 album covers for artists including Dylan, George Harrison, Gram Parsons, Eric Clapton and Janis Joplin. He has also photographed many Hollywood and political figures. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Q,  Esquire, Life, Time and Newsweek magazines. His photos of Bob Dylan, though, may be his most famous.

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Rap-Up: The Ultimate Guide to Hip-Hop and R&B

Rap-Up: The Ultimate Guide to Hip-Hop and R&B

Ultimate Guide to Hip-Hop and R&B
Author: Devin & Cameron Lazerine
Review By Anthony Sims
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Posted: May 2008
(4568) Page Views

The founders of Rap-Up magazine, brothers Devin and Cameron Lazerine, recently held an event in NYC to celebrate their 3 year anniversary and book release. The book titled “Rap-Up: The Ultimate Guide to Hip-Hop and R&B” hit bookstores in February and the brothers are considered hip-hop gods when it comes to knowing everything from A to Jay-Z. In 2006 the magazine was nominated for “Best New Consumer Publication” at the Maggie Awards and has featured artist’s such as Pharrell, T.I., Mary J. Blige and Ludacris to name a few.

The event held on April 17 featured a performance by Teyana Taylor(Star Trak/Interscope) and Keri Hilson played the MC for the event which was held at the Adidas Originals store in NYC’s trendy SOHO neighborhood. Artist’s such as Nina Sky and Kwame came out to show love and support for the two brothers who have paid there dues and managed to build a nice niche in the world of hip-hop.

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