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  • Book Reviews

    by Max Ink Staff Writers


    We'll Be Here For the Rest of Our Lives: A Swingin' Show-biz Saga by Paul Shaffer

    We'll Be Here For the Rest of Our Lives: A Swingin' Show-biz Saga by Paul Shaffer

    We’ll Be Here For the Rest of Our Lives: A Swingin’ Show-biz Saga
    Author: Paul Shaffer
    Review By Jeff Muendel
    Publisher: Flying Dolphin Press
    Posted: Nov 2009
    (4707) Page Views

    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

    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
    (18280) 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
    (6184) 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
    (4875) 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
    (5035) 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
    (4888) 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
    (5399) 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
    (8601) 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
    (9894) 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
    (9984) 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
    (12998) 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
    (5805) 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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