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Thread: Biographies: reviews and recommendations

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    Biographies: reviews and recommendations

    I like reading biographies in general and some coming from musicians are pretty interesting if they don't come in a red cover...

    However...I throw you some (not always sure about the titles but who gives a fuck) and hope for some good recommendations.

    I give them points from 1 to 10. But remember, opinions are like assholes...

    Keith Richards - life

    Fantastic read! Colorful, interesting, funny and sometimes dirty. 10

    Ozzy

    Typical Sharon rip-off project. Some ghost writer was hired to go through the interviews and documentaries. Mix it with some pics and articles and call it autobiography. NOTHING new in there, it's all on YouTube. 3

    Better try:

    Tony Iommi

    Solid, genuine read with some good insight thoughts about what was going on. 8


    Lemmy - The White Line

    It's fucking Lemmy. Read it for crissake! 10

    Ian Gillan

    A bit too long. But not bad. 7

    Bruce Dickinson

    Smart guy. A bit too smart sometimes. Lots of Lead Singer Disease but nothing about the inner conflicts leading to the split. A lot about flyyyyyyyiiiiiing...nice read but left me unsatisfied. 6-7

    Brian May - Laura Jackson

    Fantastic read! But what do you expect from such a highly intelligent and great musician from one of the greatest bands of all times. 10

    Paul Stanley - Face the music

    Remember: it's HIS perspective of things that happened. But interesting and entertaining. Even the normally boring childhood stories. A bit too much of "it wasn't me and if I was it I was right", but hey...it's Paul Stanley 8-9

    Mix it with:

    Peter Criss - from make - up to break up

    If you read both, you might get a nice picture of the truth "in between". Peter goes deep into things you never wanted to know about but it's a good read. He's so desperate for sympathy and pity that sometimes you want to scream at him: "it was YOU, taking the drugs and signing the bad deals, you fucking idiot!" 7-8

    More to come...
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    Thanks Natra!
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    Want to read the Brucie one and the Keith Richards one was excellent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vandeleur View Post
    Want to read the Brucie one and the Keith Richards one was excellent.
    As I said. Don't expect to learn something about the inner turmoils, that were going on behind the Iron curtains. You can guess something from reading between the lines. Also almost literally nothing about fellow musicians except from sitting next to brian may on the beach and puking on Ian gillan's shoes.

    Nothing about the ozzfest egg incident for example. Or being on tour with KISS.

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    I've picked up a few rock bios on the torrents. Billy Idol's book was okay, Rod Stewart's a little less so. Nile Rodgers' was good.

    I have Ron Wood's "Ronnie" sitting on the table and haven't gotten to it. Keef's was good. Victor Bockris did a good Keef bio back in the 90's, I'll have to go through that one again.

    Went through all the KISS books, kind of funny that Stanley and Simmons are pretty close to each other and then Ace and Peter's are like two different stories.

    Not really a bio, but if you can find Billy Gibbons Rock + Roll Gearhead, pick it up.
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    I'm at the first pages of Steven Tyler right now...fucking weirdo...don't know yet what to think about it.

    I read the Gene bio, too. And the one from their manager "Kiss and sell". Skipped the ace book, though. Think it's like the Ozzy book all ghost writing
    Last edited by DavidLeeNatra; 11-16-2017 at 01:51 PM.

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    I remember ish that scar tissue by the red hot chilli bloke . Was a bit shit .
    I fucked her then scored some gear ..... rinse and repeat.

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    It's tough, because although I've read a ton of them, precious few rock bios/autobios turn out to actually be any good.

    The Keith Richards "Life" book WAS one of the better ones that has come out in the last decade.

    I blew through Ozzy's and Iommi's both in under a day: honestly, I found each about as informative as a lengthy magazine interview...both, to my mind, were strictly rock autobiographies by the numbers. Mundane to average at best. And, yes, Ozzy's (like Ace Frehley's) was clearly - I think probably explicitly - ghostwritten.

    Paul Stanley's "Face The Music" wasn't too bad. In point of fact, the first third or so of the book was quite candid when Stanley was talking about his childhood. Once Stanley in the book hooked up with Simmons and they formed KISS with Criss, the rest of the book was pretty much standard Paul Stanley/KISS interview boilerplate material: nothing that a fan of the band hadn't already heard about a million times before.

    If you want a real interesting read, find a copy of The Real Frank Zappa Book, which was first printed in the 1980s. It was clearly written (and well written) by Zappa, is chock full of interesting stories about the music business, Zappa's thoughts on society and politics...I mean, real interesting stuff even for non-Zappa fans.
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    I forgot about that Zappa book. It's around here somewhere. Good read.

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    Finished Steven Tyler and Lita Ford

    Steven Tyler: pretty annoying, tries too hard to be "grooooovy" and the "me, me, meeeee"-factor is hard to get over while reading.

    A lot about drugs and rehabs...a lot of "filling" with lyrics that I don't consider that worth praising. Not much mentioning of fellow musicians. No VH at all. No KISS...
    I flew over the last 150 pages just to finish it.

    Lita Ford

    I was surprised how good it is! First of all it should be a blueprint how a biography should be structured and build up. Enough childhood to get the picture without learning about uncle Joe's shoesize.
    Sounds genuine and honest and her pussy has seen more famous dicks than the urinal in the backstage area of Madison Square Garden. Some funny stories about the mighty Edward, too...but...fair warning: she's a Hagarita...but Tony Iommi beat the shit out of her for that. Really an astonishingly good read.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidLeeNatra View Post

    Bruce Dickinson

    Smart guy. A bit too smart sometimes. Lots of Lead Singer Disease but nothing about the inner conflicts leading to the split. A lot about flyyyyyyyiiiiiing...nice read but left me unsatisfied. 6-7
    I just finished reading this, and agree 100%, pretty boring read, and he skips right over huge gaps in time and tours, was really disappointed in this book....
    After reading your Lita Ford review, I just reserved her book from the library.....
    Last edited by Full Bug; 12-01-2017 at 08:22 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidLeeNatra View Post
    Finished Steven Tyler and Lita Ford

    Steven Tyler: pretty annoying, tries too hard to be "grooooovy" and the "me, me, meeeee"-factor is hard to get over while reading.

    A lot about drugs and rehabs...a lot of "filling" with lyrics that I don't consider that worth praising. Not much mentioning of fellow musicians. No VH at all. No KISS...
    I flew over the last 150 pages just to finish it.

    Lita Ford

    I was surprised how good it is! First of all it should be a blueprint how a biography should be structured and build up. Enough childhood to get the picture without learning about uncle Joe's shoesize.
    Sounds genuine and honest and her pussy has seen more famous dicks than the urinal in the backstage area of Madison Square Garden. Some funny stories about the mighty Edward, too...but...fair warning: she's a Hagarita...but Tony Iommi beat the shit out of her for that. Really an astonishingly good read.
    Yeah, I was interested in the Lita Ford book. Heard it was decent, mostly because it was so candid. Will probably pick it up in paperback at some point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Yeah, I was interested in the Lita Ford book. Heard it was decent, mostly because it was so candid. Will probably pick it up in paperback at some point.
    To be honest...I never was into her music and not that interested in her at all. Heard an interview about the Iommi shit and gave it a try. She's still not my cup of tea but it's a very good read.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidLeeNatra View Post
    To be honest...I never was into her music and not that interested in her at all. Heard an interview about the Iommi shit and gave it a try. She's still not my cup of tea but it's a very good read.
    Thought The Runaways were a good group. Probably in part because it was young girls in the 1970s performing pop rock in the 1970s, actually playing all the instruments, which back then wasn't something common.

    Lita Ford's solo career? Average to good. She could clearly play her instrument, and in the early 80s - much like the 1970s - it wasn't common to see a young woman writing tunes, playing lead guitar, doing the lead vocals, fronting a hard rock band. Strictly in terms of the material, some of what Ford churned out I thought was good, particularly her first two solo albums. Some of it was average. Some of it was forgettable.

    Like, I'm not a the world's hugest, diehard Zappa fan. I wasn't in the late 1980s when his book came out. Still, that was a GREAT book. So I'd agree with you it's certainly possible for an entertainer I'm not gaga over to put out a great bio.

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    So...now Stephen Davis...watch you bleed the G'n'R story. Long fucker....stay tuned...

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidLeeNatra View Post
    Lita Ford

    I was surprised how good it is! First of all it should be a blueprint how a biography should be structured and build up. Enough childhood to get the picture without learning about uncle Joe's shoesize.
    Sounds genuine and honest and her pussy has seen more famous dicks than the urinal in the backstage area of Madison Square Garden. Some funny stories about the mighty Edward, too...but...fair warning: she's a Hagarita...but Tony Iommi beat the shit out of her for that. Really an astonishingly good read.
    You do know that Lita Ford's family all think she is a dangerous lunatic?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seshmeister View Post
    You do know that Lita Ford's family all think she is a dangerous lunatic?
    Yes, did some research. If you Google James Gilette you find some information. That guy is a freak on steroids, drilling his kids to fight and to kill. So...go figure

    Gesendet von meinem SM-G850F mit Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seshmeister View Post
    You do know that Lita Ford's family all think she is a dangerous lunatic?
    She comes across as pretty aggressive at times.

    Who knows? Maybe she's off her meds.

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    As you say who knows but I would be surprised if she isn't a nut.

    Usually the mother wins these kind of wars and it takes a hell of a lot for the father to get sole custody and plus the restraining orders...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seshmeister View Post
    As you say who knows but I would be surprised if she isn't a nut.

    Usually the mother wins these kind of wars and it takes a hell of a lot for the father to get sole custody and plus the restraining orders...
    She's a foreigner...British...

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    My best guess would be a lot of fault on both sides - there are warning bells ringing like mad about both.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Thought The Runaways were a good group. Probably in part because it was young girls in the 1970s performing pop rock in the 1970s, actually playing all the instruments, which back then wasn't something common.....
    It is now?
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidLeeNatra View Post
    She's a foreigner...British...
    Doesn't matter. If anything that's a win here in US courts with the proper, snotty accent...

    Here's a LINK to the Opie and Jimmy show on her fucknuttiness...
    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 12-05-2017 at 01:10 PM.

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    BTW, this doesn't mean it's not a good bio. In fact the craziest people are the best writers often...

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    Oh for fucking shit, she really doesn't make a good case for herself:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    Oh for fucking shit, she really doesn't make a good case for herself:
    Ouch...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    It is now?
    Well, there is (was?)...um, The Donnas?

    The Runaways were sort of forerunners to The Go-Gos, The Bangles, Girlschool, Vixen...that all female Led Zeppelin cover band on youtube whose name escapes me at the moment...

    But, yeah, when I think about girl acts working these days, it's invariably girls warbling off key over techno pop...descendants of Britney Spears.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    Doesn't matter. If anything that's a win here in US courts with the proper, snotty accent...
    Unless you are the nanny...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louise_Woodward_case

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    Oh for fucking shit, she really doesn't make a good case for herself:
    I didn't listen to it all and she is clearly not telling the full truth but even on the thing she admits, someone said she was speeding in the car? Then she admits it was 90 with the kids in the back, then 'someone' becomes a child protection officer in the fucking car. I thought her next line was going to be 'I always speed when I'm high, everyone does'

    Her reason for signing over full custody of her kids was to STOP their father 'abusing' them? Is that not kind of the exact opposite of what you would do?

    If you write a song to your kids about how much you love them and release it as a single, probably not a great idea to sing that their dad should be crucified and left to die.

    As I said who knows but she is at the very least guilty of making some fucked up choices. This is a woman who married Chris Holmes FFS.
    Last edited by Seshmeister; 12-07-2017 at 11:55 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seshmeister View Post
    I didn't listen to it all and she is clearly not telling the full truth but even on the thing she admits, someone said she was speeding in the car? Then she admits it was 90 with the kids in the back, then 'someone' becomes a child protection officer in the fucking car. I thought her next line was going to be 'I always speed when I'm high, everyone does'

    Her reason for signing over full custody of her kids was to STOP their father 'abusing' them? Is that not kind of the exact opposite of what you would do?

    If you write a song to your kids about how much you love them and release it as a single, probably not a great idea to sing that their dad should be crucified and left to die.

    As I said who knows but she is at the very least guilty of making some fucked up choices. This is a woman who married Chris Holmes FFS.
    There are some things you can't get a grip on in her statements. But I wouldn't jump on the statement from her son either. EVERYONE could have written that statement on his account and it sounds "older" than 18. But what the fuck do I know

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    Finished the Guns N' Roses Bio "Watch you bleed" by Stephen Davis.

    It's a long but interesting read. Gives a lot of details and background stories. And if you think VH is dysfunctional, fuck, try these guys...btw some DLR and VH mentioning in the book.

    Davis' writing keeps you in the flow, not boring at all, but sometimes he's got very simple facts so obviously wrong that you wonder how reliable the book is. Calling Paul Stanley "the long time bass player for KISS" doesn't exactly help your credibility as a journalist. And that's just one example.

    The book came out before the reunion so it ends in that time period.

    Overall I can recommend it as a good view on the era we all followed musically in a way.

    8 out of 10

    Now Slash's autobiography...

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    All right...

    So "Slash" is a damn good read. Better than the above mentioned and sounds pretty genuine. It's his view of what happened but he points that out. LOTS of drugs involved and sometimes you wonder how many lifes one cat can have.

    It finishes while Velvet Revolver was still functioning and Slash has to eat some of his written words now...but...that's the trouble with never!

    A long but very interesting read.

    9 out of 10

    Now Springsteen...

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    Thanks for reviewing all thes Natra. Im still amazed you can read! Seriously, this is good info, and will help me decide which ones Im going to read.

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    Von prefers books with plenty of pictures!

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    Quote Originally Posted by twonabomber View Post
    Von prefers books with plenty of pictures!
    Stay away from Springsteen then...that guy is really trying hard to appear as intellectual as possible...and I am at page 120 of 1100...but from Slash to the Boss is quite a culture clash...to say at least.

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    I hate Springsteen, so Id never have any interest in reading his book.

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    I have to stop you there, Natra. It's one of the more brilliant books I've ever read; 2/3 of the way through looking forward to the end so I can start at page 1 again. I'm a lifelong iron maiden fan, that probably helps. He includes an afterword on page 367 which explains lots.
    Hey Jackass! You need to [Register] or log in to view signatures on ROTHARMY.COM!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidLeeNatra View Post
    Finished the Guns N' Roses Bio "Watch you bleed" by Stephen Davis.

    It's a long but interesting read. Gives a lot of details and background stories. And if you think VH is dysfunctional, fuck, try these guys...btw some DLR and VH mentioning in the book.

    Davis' writing keeps you in the flow, not boring at all, but sometimes he's got very simple facts so obviously wrong that you wonder how reliable the book is. Calling Paul Stanley "the long time bass player for KISS" doesn't exactly help your credibility as a journalist. And that's just one example.

    The book came out before the reunion so it ends in that time period.

    Overall I can recommend it as a good view on the era we all followed musically in a way.

    8 out of 10

    Now Slash's autobiography...
    The Stephen Davis Aerosmith book, Walk This Way, was a pretty good read.

    But, yeah, Davis is one of those rock bio authors you have to proofread as a reader (isn't that what an editor is for?!), as evidenced in your discovery of Davis claiming Stanley was the bassplayer for KISS: Davis writes interesting rock books, but far from flawless...and, in the case of the David-authored Led Zep Hammer Of The Gods bio, not above including speculative bullshit rumors/legends as fact, either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidLeeNatra View Post
    Stay away from Springsteen then...that guy is really trying hard to appear as intellectual as possible...and I am at page 120 of 1100...but from Slash to the Boss is quite a culture clash...to say at least.
    I like a lot of Springsteen's music, but he has always been a bit too calculated and full of affectation at times. NOBODY is compelling live for 3 + hours.

    It's like, hey, 'Boss'...you never worked in a factory, or went to Vietnam, or REALLY had to struggle nearly as much as the characters in your songs have: quit with the speechifying before every tune you play live, and stop trying to portray yourself as some Working Class Hero.

    Just play the music.

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