Book Reviews

by Max Ink Staff Writers


Neal Preston: Exhilarated and Exhausted

Neal Preston: Exhilarated and Exhausted

Neal Preston: Exhilarated and Exhausted
Author: Neal Preston
Review By Michael Sherer
Publisher: Reel Art Press
Posted: Nov 2017
(1420) Page Views

“I want the reader at the end of this book to feel like they’ve just spent a year on the road with Zeppelin with one day off, then six months with Guns ‘n’ Roses, with one day off and then five years with Bruce Springsteen. Exhilarated and exhausted.” - Neal Preston

Neal Preston is one of the most published, known and respected music based photographers of modern times. He was busiest as a young man with the stamina to be working almost constantly during rock’s golden age: The 1970’s.

Read More...


All photography by Lynn Goldsmith

All photography by Lynn Goldsmith

KISS - 1977-1980, Photography by Lynn Goldsmith
Author: Lynn Goldsmith
Review By Michael Sherer
Publisher: Rizzoli
Posted: Oct 2017
(1643) Page Views

Celebrated and veteran photographer Lynn Goldsmith, in conjunction with top shelf (no pun intended) book publisher Rizzoli, has compiled and released an excellent presentation of the band KISS during their height of popularity, that being 1977 through 1980. With access and trust being key for successful photography, (in addition to the obvious talent, creativity and eye) Goldsmith had that access in spades with the band. While incorporating her own compelling ideas and gifts in her craft, Goldsmith was able to capture stellar images of this highly theatrical and visual group of four distinct personas that comprise KISS. This includes many candid, behind the scenes photos, and a nice mix of color and black and white.

Read More...


Tommy James

Tommy James

Me, The Mob, And The Music - By Tommy James with Martin Fitzpatrick
Author: Tommy James with Martin Fitzpatrick
Review By Michael Sherer
Publisher: Scribner
Posted: Jul 2016
(2991) Page Views

This compelling book tells the story of how Thomas Jackson, later to be renamed Tommy James, played locally in Niles, Michigan for years until a cover of an obscure song called Hanky Panky in ‘64 was cut. One of a few songs he and his group recorded in a local studio, it was to have huge consequences when two years later a radio DJ in Pittsburgh discovered it and began playing it very frequently. It received a rousing response from listeners and Tommy had a big regional hit on his hands.

Things snowballed from there, with Tommy taking on a manager who negotiated with several record company executives that were quite interested in signing Tommy and the band. While Tommy went overnight from languishing in small town Michigan to being able to mull over these tantalizing offers from several NYC record company honchos, he was suddenly informed that all of them but one was still interested, that being Morris Levy and his Roulette Records. It turns out that Levy was a ruthless and feared figure in the industry and had made it clear to all the other executives that Tommy was HIS artist and they had to back off. Not wanting to deal with Levy’s wrath, they did.

Read More...


Carmine Appice

Carmine Appice

Stick It! - My Life of Sex, Drums, And Rock ‘N’ Roll, by Carmine Appice with Ian Gittins
Author: Carmine Appice
Review By Michael Sherer
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Posted: Jul 2016
(3563) Page Views

This page turning book, written by Carmine with the help of Ian Gittins, tells of the amazing, fifty year plus year journey of one of the most influential, innovative and well known rock drummers of all, and one who has seen and done everything that someone could dream of in living a proverbial rock star life.

Growing up in Borough Park, Brooklyn, a very Jewish and Italian area of NYC, Carmine hung with gangs as a teenager and indulged in some of their hoodlum activities. At least a couple of the other guys wound up going to jail or dying from overdosing. Or were snuffed out from Mafia related reasons upon getting involved with organized crime. Carmine decided that he wasn’t going to go in that doomed direction, and was determined to make it in music instead. After toiling in some other groups trying to make it he joined The Penguins, another local band, after being highly impressed with their musicianship. They changed their name to the much more interesting Vanilla Fudge when a female fan said after a concert that they sounded like a white soul band, like vanilla fudge. They also found an effective manager in Phil Basile, in good part because he was connected to the mob and owned a big and popular club in Long Island to have them be the house band for.

Read More...


Lita Ford's Autobiography

Lita Ford's Autobiography "Living Like A Runaway: A Memoir"

Living Like A Runaway: A Memoir
Author: Lita Ford
Review By Laura Sorensen
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Posted: May 2016
(2086) Page Views

A review of Lita Ford’s book “Living Like A Runaway.” Lita tells it straight from the heart, even when it doesn’t reflect well on her. She is not just a talented musician, she’s an icon, a queen, “The Queen of Heavy Metal” as some have said. Her story is one of courage, hope and inspiration. I highly recommend this book to any fan of rock and roll music.

Read More...


Punks, Poets & Provocateurs: NYC Bad Boys, 1977 - 1982 by Marcia Resnick and Victor Bockris

Punks, Poets & Provocateurs: NYC Bad Boys, 1977 - 1982 by Marcia Resnick and Victor Bockris

Punks, Poets & Provocateurs: NYC Bad Boys, 1977 - 1982
Author: Marcia Resnick and Victor Bockris
Review By Michael Sherer
Publisher: Insight Editions
Posted: Feb 2016
(2663) Page Views

In 1977, Marcia Resnick, then 26, began photographing the downtown Manhattan cultural scene. Downtown was “where it was at” for a convergence of rock and roll, jazz, film, literature and art that in retrospect stands as as the counterculture’s last hurrah. And what a hurrah it was. Resnick reflects back on this era by musing “The people from the extraordinary New York milieu amongst whom I was living and working had no way of knowing that the years between 1977 and 1982 were enchanted, endangered, and unrepeatable.” It’s these years that the book covers.

Read More...


All My Friends Are Rock Stars

All My Friends Are Rock Stars

All My Friends Are Rock Stars
Author: Theron Moore
Review By Jeff Muendel
Publisher: Mean Machine Press
Posted: Dec 2015
(2531) Page Views

Book review of All My Friends Are Rock Stars focused on the local rock’n’roll scene during the late eighties and early nineties in the geographical triangle of Rockford, Illinois; Madison, Wisconsin; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Read More...


Terry O'Neill's Rock & Roll Album

Terry O'Neill's Rock & Roll Album

Terry O’Neill’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Album
Author: Terry O'Neill
Review By Michael Sherer
Publisher: ACC Editions
Posted: Apr 2015
(4504) Page Views

Terry O’Neill is one of the world’s most respected and collected photographers. His widely seen work can be found internationally as permanent installments in art galleries and private collections, and is exhibited in over 30 cities.

Some background: Born in 1938 to Irish immigrant parents, O’Neill grew up in the East End of London. His initial ambition was to be a jazz drummer. He played at United States Air Force bases and jazz clubs throughout and around London, eking out a meager living. He then applied for a job as an air steward with the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC; later to be renamed British Airways). He had hoped to use his off-duty spells in New York City to play in clubs. However, BOAC offered him a position in their technical photography department. O’Neill accepted. This would lead him into the photography world that changed his life.

Read More...


"AC/DC FAQ" by Susan masino

AC/DC FAQ
Author: Susan Masino
Review By Sal Serio
Publisher: Backbeat Books
Posted: Apr 2015
(5290) Page Views

There’s probably no one on the planet more qualified to write the ultimate fan’s guide to AC/DC than Madison journalist Susan Masino. Having first met the iconic and diminutive Australian rock group in 1977 during their first tour of the United States, Masino struck up a friendly rapport with the band, which has lasted over the years. Additionally, Masino has developed a professional relationship with AC/DC, having interviewed them a few times, including, perhaps, the only interview with the entire band at once - including Bon Scott - in late 1977. Masino also published the book “Let There Be Rock: The Story Of AC/DC” in 2006.

Read More...


Punk Rock Blitzkrieg - My Life As A Ramone
Author: Marky Ramone with Rich Herschlag
Review By Michael Sherer
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Posted: Mar 2015
(2877) Page Views

Born Marc Bell in ‘56 in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NY, the drummer that’s best known as Marky Ramone certainly paid his dues before becoming a Ramone in ‘78. His very honest and thorough new autobiography tells his story all the way through. We learn that as a member of one of America’s earliest bands to define the heavy metal genre, Dust, Marc tasted a bit of real success with them, as they had a record deal with the Karma Sutra/Buddha label and some good opening tour slots. Marc also played with Wayne County, who would go on to be Jayne County, America’s first transsexual act. There was also time and a record with Richard Hell and the Voidoids. Hell was the first to wear torn clothing with safety pins, and influenced the whole punk scene in England, especially the Sex Pistols.

Read More...


The Haight: Love, Rock, And Revolution - The Photography of Jim Marshall
Author: Jim Marshall with Joel Selvin
Review By Michael Sherer
Publisher: Insight Editions
Posted: Jan 2015
(3279) Page Views

One of the most important factors of Jim Marshall’s great success in capturing the life and times of the Haight-Asbury area of San Francisco during its hippie/psychedelic ascent in the pivotal years of ‘65 to ‘68 is that Marshall had lived in the general area since he was two years old, having moved there from his birthplace of Chicago in ‘36. Marshall had only lived elsewhere for two years, that being NYC from ‘62 to ‘64, where he was very busy on assignments from Columbia, Atlantic and ABC/Paramount Records, essentially launching his photographic pursuit which became a lifelong career. Marshall had taken his first photos in ‘59.

Read More...


Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson

Big Shots - Rock Legends and Hollywood Icons
Author: Guy Webster
Review By Michael Sherer
Publisher: Insight Editions
Posted: Jan 2015
(2978) Page Views

Guy Webster grew up in Beverly Hills during the 1950’s and early ‘60’s, and was the son of Oscar-winning lyricist Paul Francis Webster. This afforded Webster an inside view and easy access to the evolving entertainment world at a level that very few of his peers enjoyed. Webster was in L.A. to see it go through much change and expansion during the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, and was of the same generation of myriad talented and charismatic people beginning their careers at about the same time that Webster was his.

Read More...

View More

Viewing Page 1 - of 4

 1 2 3 >  Last ›