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Winner of the 2010 Non-Fiction National Book Award Patti Smith's definitive memoir: an evocative, honest and moving coming-of-age story of her extraordinary relationship with the artist Robert Mapplethorpe 'Sharp, elegiac and finely crafted' Sunday Times 'Terrifically evocative ... The most spellbinding and diverting portrait of funky-but-chic New York in the late '60s and '70s that any alumnus has committed to print' New York Times 'Render, harrowing, often hilarious' Vogue In 1967, a chance meeting between two young people led to a romance and a lifelong friendship that would carry each to international success never dreamed of. The backdrop is Brooklyn, Chelsea Hotel, Max's Kansas City, Scribner's Bookstore, Coney Island, Warhol's Factory and the whole city resplendent. Among their friends, literary lights, musicians and artists such as Harry Smith, Bobby Neuwirth, Allen Ginsberg, Sandy Daley, Sam Shepherd, William Burroughs, etc. It was a heightened time politically and culturally; the art and music worlds exploding and colliding. In the midst of all this two kids made a pact to always care for one another. Scrappy, romantic, committed to making art, they prodded and provided each other with faith and confidence during the hungry years--the days of cous-cous and lettuce soup. Just Kids begins as a love story and ends as an elegy. Beautifully written, this is a profound portrait of two young artists, often hungry, sated only by art and experience. And an unforgettable portrait of New York, her rich and poor, hustlers and hellions, those who made it and those whose memory lingers near.
The Little Book of the Rolling Stones is a superb book of quotations by, and about, the greatest rock 'n' roll band in history. A perfect companion for Stones fans everywhere, this collection of bite-sized quips helps capture exactly what has made the band so legendary across more than 50 years in the spotlight. From insightful quotes by fellow artists, collaborators and friends, to words of wit and wisdom from Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and the rest of the band, you'll find more than 170 amusing and inspiring soundbites inside. 'You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need.' Mick Jagger, 1969.
"An occasion to appreciate Dexter's resounding musical genius as well as his wish for major social transformation."-Angela Y. Davis, political activist, scholar, author, and speaker Sophisticated Giant presents the life and legacy of tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon (1923-1990), one of the major innovators of modern jazz. In a context of biography, history, and memoir, Maxine Gordon has completed the book that her late husband began, weaving his "solo" turns with her voice and a chorus of voices from past and present. Reading like a jazz composition, the blend of research, anecdote, and a selection of Dexter's personal letters reflects his colorful life and legendary times. It is clear why the celebrated trumpet genius Dizzy Gillespie said to Dexter, "Man, you ought to leave your karma to science." Dexter Gordon the icon is the Dexter beloved and celebrated on albums, on film, and in jazz lore--even in a street named for him in Copenhagen. But this image of the cool jazzman fails to come to terms with the multidimensional man full of humor and wisdom, a figure who struggled to reconcile being both a creative outsider who broke the rules and a comforting insider who was a son, father, husband, and world citizen. This essential book is an attempt to fill in the gaps created by our misperceptions as well as the gaps left by Dexter himself.
Born in 1948 into a family of ministers in Kingston, Jamaica, the statuesque and strikingly beautiful Grace Jones lived with her family in Syracuse, NY, before launching a career as a model in New York City. Gaining fame as the cover girl for such publications as Vogue and Elle, Jones's flamboyant look proved to be a hit on the New York City nightclub circuit and she became a darling of the disco scene, which led to a recording contract and a substantial following among gay men. With her sexually charged, outrageous live shows, Grace soon earned the title of 'Queen of the Gay Discos.' When she moved to Paris in 1970, the French fashion scene embraced her unusual, androgynous looks and, in addition to cover work, she dominated the runways of designers like Yves St. Laurent and befriended the likes of Giorgio Armani and Karl Lagerfeld. While there, she shared an apartment with Jerry Hall and Jessica Lange and became artist Jean-Paul Goude's muse - he also fathered her son Paulo. (Grace was married twice - to a producer and a bodyguard - and she dated Swedish actor Dolph Lundgren for four years.) But with the dawn of the '80s came a massive anti-disco movement across the U.S., leading to Grace Jones focusing on more new wave and experimental-based work, putting her 21/2 octave voice to good use. She is as known for her unique look as she is for her music and has influenced the likes of Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Annie Lennox. In the book, Grace takes us on a journey from her religious upbringing in Jamaica to her heyday in Paris and New York in the 70s and 80s, all the way to present-day London, where she is working on a new album.
For the duration of his career, David Bowie kept away from scripts imposed by others, choosing, for better or for worse, to write his own story of his life. From the Sixties until his death in 2016, he created a series of fictional figures, imagining them in full, designing, and translating them on stage, giving each its unique identity. The clothes, faces, and music of those years become subjects to colour in, paper-dolls to dress, and board games to assemble in this, the ultimate collector's activity-book: to be approached with glue, scissors and colouring pencils, dedicated to all the fans of the legendary superstar.
Prince: An Original Life in Pictures paints an amazing picture of the artist, through personal anecdotes gleaned from his entourage and beautiful photography. Mobeen Azhar has interviewed the artist's friends specifically for this book in order to find out what the man behind iconic albums such as Purple Rain was really like. Prince was a paragon of artistry and individuality, a symbol (quite literally, at one point in his career) of independence, a man who lived for the art of his music. He chose to position himself outside the confines of the music industry and recorded, played and performed the way he wanted to. And it worked: his fans were devoted, his influence was huge, his music popular around the world, and his live shows legendary, while news of his untimely death was met with shock and sadness.
2013 saw the seventieth birthday of David Matthews, the British composer who has established an international reputation as a leading symphonist of our time. This collection, the first on his work, marks the occasion with lively contributions from a host of distinguished musicians and writers. Matthews has supplemented his freelance career by writing extensively and personally on music, and the first part of the book includes all his important essays and reviews to date. These survey the present scene, discuss symphonists (notably Mahler and Sibelius) and focus on individual composers (notably Britten and Tippett). By including extracts from his journal and letters, Thomas Hyde's substantial editorial notes sketch out an accompanying biography. This is supplemented in the second part by extended memoirs from Roger Scruton and Peter Sculthorpe, and a collection of tributes in words and music by James Francis Brown, the Smirnov family, Maggie Hemingway, Robin Holloway, Robin Leanse, Colin Matthews, John McCabe, Sir Paul McCartney, Pavel Zemek Novak and Judith Weir. The third part offers a critical forum on Matthews's music. Here, an overview by Malcolm Macdonald leads to essays on symphonies, concertos, quartets and other works by Arnold Whittall, Edward Venn, Geraint Lewis, Hugh Wood and the editor. Frank Ward adds a witty, bibulous epilogue. David Matthews studied composition privately with Anthony Milner, assisted Benjamin Britten and collaborated with Deryck Cooke on the performing version of Mahler's Tenth Symphony. His large musical output includes contributions to most of the instrumental and vocal genres; he has also published monographs on Tippett (1980) and Britten (2003). For 13 years he was artistic director of the Deal Festival. Thomas Hyde has lectured at the City University (London) and Worcester College, Oxford. His compositions include a one-man opera That Man Stephen Ward (2007), a string quartet (2010) and a violin sonata (2012).
Starting with a foreword by Academy Award winner Rami Malek, Freddie Mercury - The Great Pretender, a Life in Pictures gives fans unprecedented access to one of the world's greatest artists and showmen. This official book about the lead singer of the rock band Queen contains superb photographs of Freddie Mercury in all aspects of his life. There are photographs from the private collections of his parents, Mr and Mrs Bulsara, from Brian May, as well as portraits by many famous contemporary photographers. Since the release of Bohemian Rhapsody, even more fans have discovered his amazing talents as performer and songwriter. This lavishly illustrated book celebrates Freddie's life as part of the British music scene, lovingly and painstakingly recounted in pictures and insightful text. These images capture the man in the moment through many stages of his life.
Staggering talent Kae Tempest's first work of non-fiction: a meditation on the power of creative connection 'Powerful and merciful.' Ali Smith 'Tempest . . . doesn't just leap off the page, but leaps into your throat and demands to be shouted all the way out.' Marlon James '[Kae's] language hits like lightning. It illuminates and it burns.' Guardian Beneath the surface we are all connected . . . This is a meditation on the power of creative connection. Drawing on twenty years' experience as a writer and performer, Kae Tempest explores how and why creativity - however we choose to practise it - can cultivate greater self-awareness and help us establish a deeper relationship to ourselves and the world. Honest, tender and written with piercing clarity, On Connection is a call to arms that speaks to a universal yet intimate truth.
In 2009 the legendary Les Paul passed away at the age of 94. In celebration of his life this book capturing Paul's own reflections on his remarkable inventions and guitar playing was published as a high-end collector's edition. In 2015 Les Paul reached his centennial and Backbeat Books is pleased to celebrate the legend once more in the first-ever paperback edition of ELes Paul in His Own WordsE making his fascinating story available to a wide range of readers.THThis book is the definitive work on the recording and electric guitar pioneer whose prodigious talents and relentless work ethic single-handedly launched a new era in American popular music. This authentic account of Les Paul's life is packed with words of wisdom and experience from one of the most important contributors to modern music.
Legendary and iconic singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper offers a poignant account of the journey that led her to become an international superstar. From her years growing up in Queens, New York, to the making of enduring hits like 'Time After Time', 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' and 'True Colors', to becoming an actress, a mother, an outspoken activist and maintaining a music career that has lasted more than thirty years. After leaving her childhood home at seventeen, Cyndi took on a series of jobs: racetrack hot walker, IHOP waitress and, as she puts it, 'gal Friday the thirteenth', as she pursued her passion for music. She worked her way playing small gigs and broke out in 1983 with 'She's So Unusual' which earned her a Grammy for Best New Artist and made her the first female artist in history to have four top five singles on a debut album. And while global fame wasn't always what she expected, she has remained focused on what matters most. Cyndi is a gutsy real-life heroine who has never been afraid to speak her mind and stick up for a cause - whether it's women's rights, gay rights, or fighting against HIV/AIDS. With her trademark warmth and humour, Cyndi fearlessly writes of a life she's lived only on her own terms.
You might not know the names of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, but you know their music. Arriving in Nashville in 1950, the songwriting duo became the first full-time independent songwriters in that musical city. In the course of their long careers, they created classic hits that pushed the boundaries of country music into the realms of pop and rock. Songs like ""Bye Bye Love,"" ""All I Have to Do Is Dream,"" ""Love Hurts,"" and ""Rocky Top"" inspired young musicians everywhere. Here, for the first time, is a complete biography of Nashville's power songwriting couple. In Nashville's Songwriting Sweethearts, authors Bobbie Malone and Bill C. Malone recount how Boudleaux and Felice, married in 1945, began their partnership as itinerant musicians living in a trailer home and writing their first songs together. In Nashville the couple had to deal with racism, classism, and in Felice's case, sexism. Yet through hard work and business acumen - and a dose of good luck - they overcame these obstacles and rose to national prominence. By the late 1990s, the Bryants had written as many as 6,000 songs and had sold more than 350 million copies worldwide. They were inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972, and in 1991 they became members of the Country Music Hall of Fame - a rare occurrence for songwriters who were not also performers. In 1982 their composition ""Rocky Top"" was adopted as one of the official state songs of Tennessee. The Bryants were lucky enough to arrive in the right place at the right time. Their emergence in the early fifties coincided with the rise of Nashville as Music City, USA. And their prolific collaboration with the Everly Brothers, beginning in 1957, sparked a fusion between country and pop music that endures to this day.
This book explores Benjamin Britten's creative relationship with Russia throughout his life by examining his engagement with Russian composers, musicians and writers in the context of twentieth-century politics. The remarkable relationship between Britten and Shostakovich is a central theme, but it also evaluates other key influences, particularly Britten's passion for Tchaikovsky, his more elusive fascination with Prokofiev, and his ambiguous attitude towards Stravinsky; and it places Britten's enduring friendships with Rostropovich, Vishnevskaya and Richter in the context of his musical output. The book also analyses Britten's responses to various Russian composers and musicians - why, for example, did he dislike Musorgsky? - and considers personal and political perceptions of Britten in the Soviet Union. Finally, it assesses the wider question of Russian influence on Britten's works and in turn whether Britten's music had any influence on the younger generation of Russian composers, such as Alfred Schnittke. This study draws on Foreign Office and British Council files at the National Archives, published and unpublished material from the former Soviet Union, including the Shostakovich Family Archive, and oral history, in addition to the Britten-related archives. Benjamin Britten and Russia will appeal not only to Britten scholars and students but also to those interested in twentieth-century culture, history and politics more widely. CAMERON PYKE is Deputy Master (External) at Dulwich College and part-time lecturer at the Centre of Russian Music, Goldsmiths, University of London.
This is a fascinating collection on the life and times of Brenda Fassie, which includes a Foreword by Hugh Masekela and contributions from people who knew Brenda in both professional and personal capacities. It is being published in the year of the tenth anniversary of her death and is intended as both a tribute and to give fresh insight into Africa's biggest pop star.
The collection includes reminiscences, criticism, elegies, essays and appreciation by friends, ex-lovers, critics, poets, academics and musicians, reflecting the endless and boundary-crossing legacy of Brenda Fassie.
Funny, crazy, poignant, insightful and tragic, I'm Not Your Weekend Special traces the highs and lows of Brenda Fassie's life, celebrating the significance of this South African icon.
Mahler in Context explores the institutions, artists, thinkers, cultural movements, socio-political conditions, and personal relationships that shaped Mahler's creative output. Focusing on the contexts surrounding the artist, the collection provides a sense of the complex crosscurrents against which Mahler was reacting as conductor, composer, and human being. Topics explored include his youth and training, performing career, creative activity, spiritual and philosophical influences, and his reception after his death. Together, this collection of specially commissioned essays offers a wide-ranging investigation of the ecology surrounding Mahler as a composer and a fuller appreciation of the topics that occupied his mind as he conceived his works. Readers will benefit from engagement with lesser known dimensions of Mahler's life. Through this broader contextual approach, this book will serve as a valuable and unique resource for students, scholars, and a general readership.
Stravinsky in Context offers an alternative to chronological biography. Thirty-five short, specially commissioned essays explore the eventful life-tapestry from which Stravinsky's compositions emerged. The opening chapters draw on new research into the composer's childhood in St. Petersburg. Stravinsky's early, often traumatic upbringing is examined in depth, particularly in the context of his brother Roman's death, and religious sensibilities within the family. Further essays consider Stravinsky's years in exile at the centre of dynamic and ever-evolving cultural environments, the composer constantly refining his idiom and re-defining his aesthetics against a backdrop of world events and personal tragedy. The closing chapters review new material regarding Stravinsky's complicated relationship with the Soviet Union, whilst also anticipating his legacy from the varied perspectives of publishing, research and even - in the iconic example of The Rite of Spring - space exploration. The book includes previously unpublished images of the composer and his family.
In 1957 the Australian-American composer Percy Grainger, then 75 and in failing health, received a letter from another pianist-composer, the young Ronald Stevenson, writing from his home in West Linton, below Edinburgh. That first contact - requesting Grainger's reminiscences of Ferruccio Busoni, with whom he had studied - led to an exchange of 32 letters over the four years before Grainger's death in February 1961. The two men soon found that, despite their 46-year age-difference, they had many affinities. Both were pianists of staggering abilities and composers who combined a love for folk-music and working-class art with an aesthetic that proposed a world music' to include the farthest reaches of humanity. Both made an art of piano transcription of a wide variety of works and were champions of little-known music and composers. And both revered the work of Walt Whitman, that great poet of inclusivity, the pioneering spirit and the open road. This book presents both the complete Grainger-Stevenson correspondence and Ronald Stevenson's many articles and lectures on Grainger and his music, edited by Teresa Balough, whose two interviews with Stevenson open and close the volume - which includes a CD of a lecture-recital on Grainger that Stevenson presented in Grainger's home in White Plains, New York, in 1976.
John Jenkins (1592-1678) was both the most prolific and most esteemed of English composers between the death of Byrd and the rise of Purcell. During his long life he was employed as a resident musician in East Anglian noble households and became a court musician to Charles II in his later years.This is the first in a two-volume study of Jenkins and his music. It presents a biographical introduction to the composer then concerns itself exclusively with the superb consorts for viols which dominate the early part of the composer's career. It is profusely illustrated with music examples and discusses virtually every work in this form. ANDREW ASHBEE is an internationally renowned expert on C17th English instrumental music, has edited a number of volumes of music from the period, and is an author, broadcaster and lecturer.
The late-Romantic composer Richard Flury (1896-1967) was born in Biberist, a tiny town outside the Baroque city of Solothurn in northern Switzerland. He went to school in Solothurn, later taught there, conducted its orchestra, and had his operas and ballets performed at the local theatre by its semi-professional ensemble. But Flury was more than just another conservative composer stuck in the provinces. His teachers included Ernst Kurth and Joseph Marx of Vienna, and his music was performed by conductors such as Felix Weingartner and Hermann Scherchen and star instrumentalists like Wilhelm Backhaus and Georg Kulenkampff. His first opera was conducted by a former student of Berg and Schoenberg who became his staunch advocate, and during the Second World War Flury worked closely with several Jewish emigre writers and musicians from Germany and Czechoslovakia. In his music of the early 1930s, the influence of Berg and Hindemith became apparent as Flury dabbled in modernism and free tonality before moving back to a more traditionalist stance; but he was also a fine tunesmith who loved writing Viennese waltzes and violin miniatures after the manner of Kreisler. In both his aesthetic and his career, Flury offers a fascinating case of a man negotiating constantly between the centre and the periphery - and composing some very good music in the process.The book includes a 23 track CD of Flury's music. CHRIS WALTON teaches music history at the Basel University of Music in Switzerland. He is the author of Othmar Schoeck: Life and Works (2009) and Richard Wagner's Zurich: The Muse of Place (2007).
Adele needs no introduction. From humble beginnings she has come to be a globally recognized icon. Her first album shot her to fame and the second consolidated her position as a singing/songwriting superstar with lasting, global appeal. She has already won more than 40 industry awards, including 11 Billboard Music Awards, a BRIT award, and eight Grammy awards. She has broken record after record: first artist to sell more than 3m albums in a year in the UK, first living artist to have two top five hits in both the UK singles and albums charts simultaneously since the Beatles, the first artist in history to lead the Billboard chart concurrently with three number ones, 21 is the longest running number one album by a female solo artist on the UK chart and in the US it held the top position for longer than any other album since 1993.
`Someone called and said Kurt died. I just f*****g lost it.' He has sold over 40 million albums. He's been in bands that have changed popular music forever. He saw his best friend commit suicide. He starts supergroups. He's the nicest guy in rock. From Nirvana to Foo Fighters, from brotherhood to bitter rivalry, from breathless highs to lifeless lows, Paul Brannigan gives an unparalleled, intimate and extraordinary account of the life and times of Dave Grohl. In 1990, little-known punk-metal upstarts Nirvana added a new drummer to the band. They were soon to become a global phenomenon - but as we all know, things went wrong. Dave's friend Kurt, frontman of Nirvana, took his own life, plunging the band and their future into chaos. His friends' grief was mirrored by worldwide sorrow to an unprecedented degree. Defying expectations, a knack that was soon to become his trademark, Grohl refused to see it as the end. In 1995 his new band, the Foo Fighters, rose to join the pantheon of rock deities. The 'wonder years' were by no means calm. The spotlit existence imposed by his celebrity status, the bellowed vilification by his critics and his high-speed lifestyle proved a dangerous cocktail. With an account of Grohl's life that is more personal than anything written before, more startling, more thrilling, more heart-rending and more inspiring, Paul Brannigan reveals Dave fully for the first time. This is the story of the man who changed music forever. And he's not finished yet.
Nostalgia for the Future is the first collection in English of the writings and interviews of Luigi Nono (1924-1990). One of the most prominent figures in the development of new music after World War II, he is renowned for both his compositions and his utopian views. His many essays and lectures reveal an artist at the center of the analytical, theoretical, critical, and political debates of the time. This selection of Nono's most significant essays, articles, and interviews covers his entire career (1948-1989), faithfully mirroring the interests, orientations, continuities, and fractures of a complex and unique personality. His writings illuminate his intensive involvements with theatre, painting, literature, politics, science, and even mysticism. Nono's words make vividly evident his restless quest for the transformative possibilities of a radical musical experience, one that is at the same time profoundly engaged with its performers and spaces, its audiences, and its human and social motivations and ramifications.
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