Great musical reads

Somebody mentioned good books on another thread earlier and I’m sitting here listening to Qobuz randomly play Stevie Ray Vaughan.
It reminded me of reading this wonderful book about his life assembled from discussions with those who knew and played with him.


I remembered the section regarding that last recording session for “In Step” when he recorded “Riviera Paradise”, currently playing and wondered if any of you have read this book.
It also had me wondering if there are other books of a similar ilk out there that some may have read and could recommend.
Over to you ‘Guys’ & ‘Gals’…

Not quite the same but all of the guns n roses biographies are excellent, as is the Elton John one

Here are a few:

Jeff Beck - Crazy Fingers - Annette Carson
Bill Bruford - BB
Are We Still Rolling? - Phill Brown
Dazzling Stranger - Bert Jansch - Colin Harper
A Genesis In My Bed - Steve Hackett
Bowie, Bolan & the Brooklyn Boy - Tony Visconti
Phil Lynott - Graeme Thomson
Le Freak - Nile Rodgers
Beeswing - Richard Thompson

You might think I have a liking for musical bio’s… I could not possibly comment… :crazy_face:

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I quite liked “The man who Led Zeppelin” by Chris Welch. I saw it at a knock down price on kindle so gave it a go and surprised myself, it was quite readable and a gives a bit of a different perspective on LZ.


Many thanks for starting this thread. It’s a great idea, particularly for retired folks like me! When I escaped, four years ago, I began a little project to learn much more about the music which has meant so much to me throughout my life. Consequently, I now realise that I need to live until I am at least 93!
Anyway, here are some real goodies which I have read recently:

  • The Speed of Sound, by Thomas Dolby,
  • How Music Works, by David Byrne (yes, THAT David Byrne),
  • The Devil’s Music - A History of The Blues, by Giles Oakley,
  • A Fabulous Creation, by David Hepworth,
  • Guitar Facts, by Joe Bennett, et al,
  • Can, All Gates Are Open, by Rob Young and Irmin Schmidt,
  • The Life of George Martin (two volumes), by Kenneth Womack,
  • The History of Jazz, by Ted Gioia (I have posted on Spotify an eponymous playlist of the
    tracks/songs mentioned in Chapter One of this book, with further chapters to follow).

Over the years, I have also read many books about Bob Dylan. They range from terrific to unspeakably pompous, so it’s a bit hit-and-miss!
I hope that one or two of those which I mention above might strike a chord (!) with forum members.
Best wishes,
Brian D.


Excellent book :+1:


Essential Reading


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Many of the best books about music are about The Beatles, perhaps because their story is so extraordinary and so compelling.

These are the three best I’ve read:

And finally… 1,800 pages of extraordinary scholarship by boss Beatle buff Mark Lewishon. And it only goes up to 1962! Can’t wait for Vol. 2…


Raving Upon Thames by Andrew Humphreys. Well researched and beautifully written book about the sixties blues explosion in sarf west London with a cast of the (later to be) greats.


Sid Griffin’s wonderful book taking an in-depth delve into the Basement Tapes.

At the end Sid makes a plea to the Dylan camp to release the complete tapes (at this point other than bootlegs we only had the double album).

The reply he get’s: “I’m sorry my friend that is never going to happen”


Very different from anything so far:

1791: His Final Year - H C Robbins Landon

W A Mozart died, aged in his mid-30s, in December 1791.

This is the story, which Professor Robbins Landon uncovered in extraordinary detail, of what happened to Mozart in his native Austria in his last year, including the composition of his Requiem (which Mozart left unfinished at his death).

A deeply moving and very sad book. Much of the basics of the story are in Peter Shaffer’s play and later film ‘Amadeus’, but this tells so much more.

This one’s on the Christmas list


Brian Johnson - The Lives Of Brian

Autobiography from the Geordie and AC/DC front man should be a great read

Finishing the Hat by Stephen Sondheim

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