Book Shelf
book shelf
If you're interested in the history and mythology of Rock 'N Roll, the damn good stories it's spawned, or just want to follow everything your favorite musician is doing, Book Shelf is for you. Edited by a librarian and R&R historian, this feature will cover new book releases and also mention old ones considered gems for any Rock 'N Roll head. Suggestions and reviews are very welcome.


Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, Eric Clapton just sitting around jammin' in Cass Elliott's backyard in Laurel Canyon.

Laurel Canyon
The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Legendary Neighborhood


From the moment you pick it up and look at the dust cover you think, "Oh boy! This is going to really be good." Just looking at the pictures is exciting.

Buy it
In the late sixties, musicians like Joni Mitchell, Jim Morrison, Carole King, Frank Zappa, the Eagles, and the Mamas and the Papas came together for the first time to meld folk, rock, and American pop into something completely new, something that would launch a generation into history. LAUREL CANYON is the account of what happened behind the scenes to make that generation of music blow up and out of Laurel Canyon, California. Michael Walker recreates jam sessions at the home of Joni Mitchell and then drives down the streets of Laurel Canyon today, listening as those same songs waft out of bungalow windows. He lives in Laurel Canyon.

British Rock 'n' Roll Books!
The official biography of Status Quo's drummer, John Coghlan. Details From Beneath The Wizard's Gown endeavors to delve into the corners of Bolan's mind that made him the charismatic mystical icon. Details The definitive guide to London's rock scene, featuring reviews and detailed information on all major venues in the city. Details Biography of Cream's Jack Bruce, due out in September, on the heels of their reunion concert at the Royal Albert Hall, in May 2005. Details



Rolling Stone: The Complete Covers. The front cover is Bob Dylan, the back , Jason Dylan. I thought that pretty much says it.

If you're interested in Blondie, the punk era, or the New York City scene over the past 30 years, you'll be interested in the new release Blondie, from Punk to the Present.


Positively 4th Street
By David Hajdu
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001

David Hajdu's book, , is the story of how Bob Dylan and Joan Baez formed a relationship in Greenwich Village in the 1960's which eventually led to the creation of the Bohemian lifestyle and a dramatic change in folk music as an art. Hajdu is a journalist and the author of an award winning biography of Billy Strayhorn.
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The Sixties The Sixties
Richard Avedon and Doon Arbus
Random House, NY: 1999

Avedon and Arbus have been collorating on this project for thirty years. The photos and interviews that you find in this book are exquisite morsels of the '60's. Many of the interviews you'll recognize from the Rolling Stone; many of the photos you'll recognize from some of your favorite albums.

Instruments of Desire: The Electric Guitar and the Shaping of Musical Experience
Steve Waksman, Harvard: 2000
This tells the story of electric guitar inventers, Les Paul(Gibson) and Leo Fender with a bit of Chet Atkins thrown in, to add a dash of Gretsch.

Follow The Music: The Life And High Times Of Elektra Records In The Great Years Of American Pop Culture by Jac Holzman and Gavan Daws First Media: 1998

Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes by Griel Marcus. Holt: 1997. No previous writer has so transportingly or authoritatively revealed Mr. Dylan against the receding vistas of American music and culture. (Robert Polito, The New York Times Book Review)

Not Fade Away: The Rock & Roll Photography of Jim Marshall
(Bullfinch,1997 hardcover $50) This is the guy who took that classic picture of Janis Joplin sprawled on a sofa backstage, Southern Comfort in hand; Keith Richards looking like a deadman playing guitar while smoking, and a very young Joan Baez giving an equally young Dylan a back rub, both looking equally cranked up. Probably quite worth the price.

Get Back : The Unauthorized Chronicle of the Beatles' Let It Be Disaster by Doug Sulpy and Ray Schweighardt. New York: St Martin's Press. 1997

The Accidental Evolution of Rock 'n' Roll: A Misguided tour Through Popular Music by Chuck Eddy. New York: Da Capo Press. 1997

Transformer: the Lou Reed Story by Victor Bockris. New York: Da Capo Press. 1997

Stir It Up by Gene Santoro. Oxford University Press, 1997

"Santoro knows the industry far better than most...He is a first class interviewer, with an uncommon knack for getting musicians to reveal themselves...He's also terribly persuasive--be prepared to check out artists you thought it was safe to ignore." --Gary Gibbons New York Review of Books
Conversations with Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello mixed with evaluation of classic recordings of Coltrane, Mingus and Monk, and discussion of the Cuban, Jamaican and African roots of contemporary styles, all eloquently written, according to Robert Palmer of the New York Times.

Blue Book of Guitar Values, 1997 by S.P. Fjestad, ed.
This is the third edition, with enlarged and extensively updated format. Now includes information on over 900 trademarks. It features company histories and designer biographies; special sections on serialization tables and a trademark index. Mix Bookshelf Information Resources for Music Professionals, Summer/Fall 1997.

Rock Accounts, by Cliff Dane.
As founder, chairman and entire staff of Media Research Publishing Ltd., Dane dedicates himself to telling the world just how much the aristocrats of rock in the U.K. actually make. Lengthy excerpts in the September 1997 issue of Musician magazine.

Songs In The Rough: From "Heartbreak Hotel" to "Higher Love" Rock’s Greatest Songs In Rough-Draft Form, by Stephen Bishop, New York: St. Martin’s. 1996.

Stephen Bishop, who himself had several hits in the mid ‘70’s (including "On And On), has assembled a handsome coffee table collection of actual reprints of handwritten lyrics by over 40 notable song writers. Each is accompanied by a short interview with the writer. Many are collectors’ items and include such artists as Dylan, Jim Morrison, Billy Joel, Bob Weir, Sylvia Moy ("Heartbreak Hotel"), Elton John, James Taylor.

Reference Desk
The New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll Patricia Romanowski and Holly George-Warren, editors. New York: Fireside. 1995. The quintessential authority on R&R, this edition revises the 1983 book. Includes birth dates and places, discographies and release dates along with essential information about each artist.
Have any really great Rock 'N Roll books? Let us know and we'll be glad to include your review. --Editor
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Copyright © 1997-2007 Editor -- Lyn Kratz
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