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How does a middle-class Afrikaans boytjie from Springs, a rebellious product of Christelik-nasionale Opvoeding, end up in the grubby world of protest punk, slap-bang in the middle of the anti-apartheid struggle?
The '80s in South Africa were a mess, a schmangled clusterf*ck of a decade. For some, it was braaivleis, rugby, sunny skies and Chevrolet. For others, it was a one-eyed bumbling about in a world without signage, desperately looking for the emergency exit. While the black population was becoming increasingly agitated and militant, the white dorps, towns and leafy suburbs of South Africa’s cities were mostly ignorant in their privileged bliss. Whiteys were like the frog in the cooker, not realising that the temperature was on the rise. Soon they would slowly, to their terminal surprise, turn white belly-up amid the froth of bubbles boiling from below. Soon it would be too late to get the hell out.
But in tiny pockets of white rebellion, the country was beginning to hum with resistant energy in Joburg, Cape Town and Durban. The '80s counter-culture and the music it produced was anti-establishment, anti-government, anti-apartheid, but not self-consciously so. While the state saw this strange white subculture as a hive of hedonists and drugged-up nihilists, this anarchic clutter of guitar-wielding, pill-munching, dope-smoking musicians and their followers were in fact a second front in the struggle against apartheid.
In brilliantly tragic and hilarious detail, Between Rock & A Hard Place is the epic memoir of Carsten Rasch’s role in the South African counter-culture Punk and New Wave scene in the late '70s and early '80s. Through his eyes as a musician, promoter and enthusiastic participant, it tells the story of those tumultuous and giddy times with heartfelt irreverence. Veering between lucid moments of desperate innovation and psychotic adventures on the rim of sanity, all the time riding roughshod at delirious speed over the potholes of “culture”, the reader is introduced to half-forgotten heroes, now fast disappearing into the fog of time, and the band of misfits who attempted to disrupt “the system”.
Love’s got everything to do with it.
Tina Turner is the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, a musical icon celebrating her 60th year in the industry. In this dramatic autobiography, she tells the story of a truly remarkable life in the spotlight. From her early years picking cotton in Nutbush, Tennessee to her rise to fame alongside Ike Turner, and finally to her phenomenal success in the 1980s and beyond, Tina candidly examines her personal history, from her darkest hours to her happiest moments and everything in between.
Brimming with her trademark blend of strength, energy, heart and soul, My Love Story is a gripping, surprising memoir, as memorable and entertaining as any of her greatest hits.
The definitive final word on the world's greatest rock band, Led Zeppelin.
Over ten years after When Giants Walked The Earth, Mick's seminal biography of the band, comes this major and extensively researched revision, which will provide an unflinching look at life inside one of the biggest-selling rock bands of all time, and present the definitive, final word on Led Zeppelin.
They were 'the last great band of the sixties; the first great band of the seventies'; they rose, somewhat unpromisingly, from the ashes of the Yardbirds to become one of the biggest-selling rock bands of all time. Mick Wall, respected rock writer and former confidant of both Page and Plant, unflinchingly tells the story of the band that wrote the rulebook for on-the-road excess - and eventually paid the price for it, with disaster, drug addiction and death.
When Giants Walked The Earth reveals for the first time the true extent of band leader Jimmy Page's longstanding interest in the occult, and goes behind the scenes to expose the truth behind their much-hyped yet spectacularly contrived comeback at London's O2 arena in 2007, and how Jimmy Page plans to bring the band back permanently - if only his former protege, now part-time nemesis, Robert Plant will allow him to. Wall also recounts, in a series of flashbacks, the life stories of the five individuals that made the dream of Led Zeppelin into an even more incredible and hard-to-swallow reality: Page, Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham, and their infamous manager, Peter Grant.
Skollie, saint, scholar, hippest of hippies, imperfect musician with a perfect imagination, Syd Kitchen was, like all great artists, born to enrich his art and not himself.
Plagued by drugs, alcohol and depression, too much of an outlaw to be embraced by record companies, he frequently sold his furniture to cover production costs of his albums, seduced fans at concerts and music festivals worldwide with his dazzling ‘Afro-Saxon’ mix of folk, jazz, blues and rock interspersed with marvellously irreverent banter, and finally became the subject of several compelling documentaries, one of which - Fool in a Bubble - premiered in New York in 2010.
Ed Sheeran has conquered the musical world. Avoiding flashy showmanship and fleeting fashion, he has let his talent do the talking. His moving and uplifting songs forge a lasting connection with the millions of people around the world who love his music.
Bestselling biographer Sean Smith has travelled to the quiet Suffolk backwater that Ed still calls home. Seeing the sunset over the famous ‘Castle on the Hill’ for himself, he follows in the footsteps of Ed’s amazing journey from the boy who could barely hold a tune to the man who sold out Wembley Stadium.
He tells the story of Ed’s remarkable mum and dad who gave their son the courage and confidence to pursue his dream, the friends and mentors who taught and encouraged him and the lovers who inspired his most famous songs.
Ed Sheeran was fifteen when he recorded his first album in his bedroom. But while he was well known for performing his own songs in local pubs and clubs before he was even old enough to drink, he was not ‘discovered’ or groomed for stardom.
Instead he left High School before completing his A-Levels and moved to London where he went to college two days a week, performed hundreds of gigs on the capital’s thriving music scene and sold his self-financed CDs from his rucksack. At the end of the evening, he would head to friends’ flats to sleep on a sofa or on the floor. It was far from glamorous and sometimes the struggle threatened to overwhelm him.
Somehow, Ed’s determination won through and his fortunes changed when he was taken on by Elton John’s management company. Smith explores the joy of a record deal when past rejections were forgotten; the song that changed everything and how he conquered America with a little help from Taylor Swift.
After three number one albums, he is now the biggest earning music star in the UK and the richest under thirty, worth more than £80 million. Surrounded by a world of excess, he found it difficult to cope with his phenomenal fame before a new relationship with a girl from his home town brought him stability and a fresh purpose in life.
Ed Sheeran the book is a fascinating and revealing insight into Ed Sheeran the man…and his music.
With a career spanning over 40 years, Marah Louw is counted among South Africa’s musical and entertainment industry royalty and has a powerful and memorable story to tell. This book is the reader’s front-row ticket to the joys, sadness, triumphs and setbacks that have been part of this legend’s life. Even though she is a celebrity, her story aims to show that stars, no matter how bright, are human too. It also delves into her family secrets and her search for truth.
As one of South Africa’s most iconic entertainers, Marah has had an illustrious career. She performed at the Mandela Concert at London’s Wembley Stadium and she sang at the Newsmaker of the Year Awards, presented to Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk, and in honour of the late Chris Hani. She appeared with Nelson Mandela during his visit to Glasgow in 1993 and sang at George Square and The Royal Concert Hall. In 1994, she sang at the inauguration of President Nelson Mandela and the Freedom Day Celebrations at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
In 2001, Marah produced the successful musical concert Surf, which featured top South African artists including Hugh Masekela. Marah translated the music of The Lion King into Zulu for the Walt Disney Corporation and performed the theme song Circle of Life in Zulu. She was also an Idols judge from 2003 until 2010.
She had a lead role on the SABC2 television soap opera Muvhango and has acted in numerous musicals, stage plays and feature films. She is currently acting in the Mzansi Magic telenovela The Queen.
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink is the long-awaited memoir from Elvis Costello, one of rock and roll's most iconic stars.
Born Declan Patrick MacManus, Elvis Costello was raised in London and Liverpool, grandson of a trumpet player on the White Star Line and son of a jazz musician who became a successful radio dance band vocalist. Costello went into the family business and had taken the popular music world by storm before he was twenty-four. Costello continues to add to one of the most intriguing and extensive songbooks of the day. His performances have taken him from a cardboard guitar in his front room to fronting a rock and roll band on your television screen and performing in the world's greatest concert halls in a wild variety of company.
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink describes how Costello's career has somehow endured for almost four decades through a combination of dumb luck and animal cunning, even managing the occasional absurd episode of pop stardom. This memoir, written with the same inimitable touch as his lyrics, and including dozens of images from his personal archive, offers his unique view of his unlikely and sometimes comical rise to international success, with diversions through the previously undocumented emotional foundations of some of his best known songs and the hits of tomorrow. The book contains many stories and observations about his renowned co-writers and co-conspirators, though Costello also pauses along the way for considerations on the less appealing side of infamy.
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink is destined to be a classic, idiosyncratic memoir of a singular man.
On 11 January 2016, the world was stunned to wake up to the news that David Bowie had died the day before. A genuine icon, he left behind a body of work among the most important in music history. But only a lucky few were privileged to know the man behind that mystique, and know him well. Sean Mayes was one of them.
In 1978, Sean toured the world with David Bowie, in what was one of the most important periods in the artist's history. Travelling first class and performing each night with one of the world's greatest rock stars at the height of his fame was an amazing experience - fortunately, Sean had the foresight to document it. Here, in complete book form, Sean's tour diary is presented; a blow by blow record of how it felt to be part of a real rock circus.
Providing page after page of fascinating insight into life on the road with Bowie, Sean's account is a unique travelogue, a must for any Bowie fan or, indeed, anyone interested in life on a sell-out world tour.
They say there are no second acts in American lives, and third acts are almost unheard of. That's part of what makes Brian Wilson's story so astonishing.
As co-founder member of the Beach Boys in the 1960s, Wilson created some of the most groundbreaking and timeless popular music ever recorded. With intricate harmonies, symphonic structures, and wide-eyed lyrics that explored life's most transcendent joys and deepest sorrows, songs like 'In My Room', 'God Only Knows' and 'Good Vibrations' forever expanded the possibilities of pop songwriting. Derailed in the 1970s by mental illness, drug use, and the shifting fortunes of the band, Wilson came back again and again over the next few decades, surviving and - finally - thriving. Now, for the first time, he weighs in on the sources of his creative inspiration and on his struggles, the exhilarating highs and the debilitating lows.
I Am Brian Wilson reveals as never before the man who fought his way back to stability and creative relevance, who became a mesmerizing live artist, who forced himself to reckon with his own complex legacy and completedSmile, the legendary unfinished Beach Boys record that had become synonymous with both his genius and its destabilization. Today Brian Wilson is older, calmer, filled with perspective and forgiveness. Whether he's talking about his childhood, his bandmates, or his own inner demons, Wilson's story, told in his own voice and in his own way, unforgettably illuminates the man behind the music, working through the turbulence and discord to achieve, at last, a new harmony.
Across six decades, Sir Tom Jones has maintained a vital career in a risky, unstable business notorious for the short lives of its artists. With a drive that comes from nothing but the love for what he does, he breaks through and then wrestles with the vagaries of the music industry, the nature of success and its inevitable consequences.
Having recorded an expansive body of work and performed with fellow artists from across the spectrum and across every popular music genre, from rock, pop and dance to country, blues and soul, the one constant throughout has been his unique musical gifts and unmistakable voice. But how did a boy from a Welsh coal-mining family attain success across the globe? And how has he survived the twists and turns of fame and fortune to not only stay exciting, but actually become more credible and interesting with age?
In this, his first and only autobiography, Tom revisits his past and tells the tale of his journey from wartime Pontypridd to LA and beyond. He reveals the stories behind the ups and downs of his fascinating and remarkable life, from the early heydays to the subsequent fallow years to his later period of artistic renaissance. Raw, honest, funny and powerful, this is a memoir like no other from one of the world's greatest ever singing talents.
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.
Madonna: singer, songwriter, actress, businesswoman, not to mention one of the most renowned cultural icons of the last three decades.
Since her first, eponymous album, over thirty years ago Madonna has sold a remarkable 300 million records worldwide, making her the top-selling female recording artist of all time. Madonna is famous for continuously reinventing both her music and her image. By pushing the boundaries of mainstream popular music with both her lyrical content and the imagery in her music videos she achieved extraordinary popularity.
Michelle Morgan offers a richly illustrated, comprehensive account of the artist's phenomenally successful career shedding new light on her videos, books, tours, fashion, charity work and every other aspect of her life.
Lady Gaga is a once-in-a-decade artist, and the rare instant celebrity whose appearance can become a cultural event. No other music star of the last decade combines the talents Lady Gaga possesses: she’s a genuine singer, composer, songwriter, designer, and performance artist, who uses technology and social media to shape her art and career. In the space of fifteen months, she has become a demographic-smashing pop icon with global reach and impact.
Not since Madonna’s breakout success in the mid-eighties has the world witnessed the advent of a pop-culture provocateur who mixes high-and-low culture, the avant-garde with the accessible, “downtown” authenticity with the sheen of glamorous artifice. She has quickly formed a symbiotic relationship with her rabid fan base who have taken to dressing as she does, imitating her hair and make-up in tribute. Gaga, too, is a cultural shape-shifter, allowing her fans to project their needs, wants, confusions, and desires onto her.
This is a must-read for Gaga fans, who, devoted as they are, know next to nothing about who she is and how she got that way, as well as for anyone who has heard Lady Gaga on television and the radio and is curious about America’s latest over-the-top cultural success story.
Born To Kwaito considers the meaning of kwaito music now. ‘Now’ not only as in ‘after 1994’ or the Truth Commission but as a place in the psyche of black people in post-apartheid South Africa.
This collection of essays tackles the changing meaning of the genre after its decline and its ever-contested relevance. Through rigorous historical analysis as well as threads of narrative journalism Born To Kwaito interrogates issues of artistic autonomy, the politics of language in the music, and whether the music is part of a strand within the larger feminist movement in South Africa. Candid and insightful interviews from the genre’s foremost innovators and torchbearers, such as Mandla Spikiri, Arthur Mafokate, Robbie Malinga and Lance Stehr, provide unique historical context to kwaito music’s greatest highs, most captivating hits and most devastating lows. Born To Kwaito offers up a history of the genre from below by having conversations not only with musicians but with fans, engineers, photographers and filmmakers who bore witness to a revolution.
Living in a place between criticism and biography, Born To Kwaito merges academic theories and rigorous journalism to offer a new understanding into how the genre influenced other art forms such as fashion, TV and film. The book also reflects on how some of the music’s best hits have found new life through the mouths of local hip-hop’s current kingmakers and opened kwaito up to a new generation.
The book does not pretend to be an exhaustive history of the genre but rather a present-active analysis of that history as it settles and finds its meaning.
The tell-all memoir from the loudest, proudest Spice Girl and the truth behind the headlines
As one-fifth of the iconic Spice Girls and judge on X Factor and America's Got Talent, Melanie Brown, a.k.a Scary Spice, has been an international star since her twenties. Brutally Honest is an exposé of the struggles and acute pain that lay behind the glamour and success.
With deep personal insight, remarkable frankness and trademark Yorkshire humour, the book removes the mask of fame and reveals the true story behind the Spice Girls, as well as the horror of her most recent marriage and her 10 year struggle to be free.
“Sy bly nog steeds ná 50 jaar in die vermaaklikheidsbedryf ’n nooi soos Min!” – André H. van Dyk
In hierdie pragboek word foto’s en memento’s uit Min Shaw se persoonlike fotoalbums en plakboeke opgeneem. Min se herinneringe aan haar kinderdae, haar transformasie van onderwyseres tot sang- en filmster, en die mense wat haar op haar pad na sukses gehelp het, word in haar eie woorde weergegee. Min deel verder snaakse staaltjies uit haar verlede, skoonheidsgeheime en interessante “Min-feite”. Sy vertel hoe haar geloof haar positief en plat op die aarde hou. Boodskappe aan Min van bekendes soos Corlea Botha, Franz Marx, Lance James en Leon van Nierop word ook ingesluit.
Freddie Mercury gives fans unprecedented access to one of the world's greatest artists and showmen. This official book 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. This lavishly illustrated book celebrates Freddie's life as part of the British music scene, with lovingly and painstakingly recounted in pictures and insightful text. These images capture the man in the moment through many stages of his life.
For the first time, Andrew Ridgeley - one half of one of the most famous bands in the world - tells the inside story of Wham!, his life-long friendship with George Michael and the formation of a band that changed the shape of the music scene in the early eighties.
In 1975 Andrew took a shy new boy at school under his wing. They instantly hit it off and their boyhood escapades at Bushy Meads School built a bond that was never broken. The duo found themselves riding an astonishing rollercoaster of success, taking them all over the world. They made and broke iconic records, they were treated like gods, but they stayed true to their friendship and ultimately to themselves. It was a party that seemed as if it would never end. And then it did, in front of tens of thousands of tearful fans at Wembley Stadium in 1986.
Andrew's memoir covers in wonderful detail those years, up until that last iconic concert: the scrapes, the laughs, the relationships, the good and the bad. It's a unique and one-and-only time to remember that era, that band and those boys.
On the Road Not Taken is a memoir about the transformational power of music. It begins with a boy growing up in a small town on the Kent coast in the 1970s, who learns to play the guitar and dreams of heading out on the open road with a head full of songs. But when the moment comes to make the choice he is not brave enough to try and do it for a living. Time passes but the desire to explain the world through music never goes away. And as the years go by it gets harder and harder to risk looking like a fool, of doing the very thing he would most like to do, of actually being himself. Eventually, thirty-five years later, when it feels like time is running out, he walks out onto a stage in front of 500 people and begins to sing again. What follows is an extraordinary period of self-discovery as he plays pubs, clubs, theatres and festivals, overcoming anxiety to experience the joy of performance.
There's not a lot we can tell you about 5 Seconds of Summer that you won't already know, unless you've been living under a rock for the past six months. The "boy band with attitude" started out supporting global superstars One Direction and have now notched up a number-one debut album and sellout global tour. 5SOS have conquered the world with their zany antics, charm, good looks, singing, writing and performing talent, and devotion to their loyal fans. 5 Seconds of Summer Confidential is the ultimate visual guide to the band, an Access All Areas pass for fans to gain an exclusive insight into each member as well as stunning photography of the boys hard at work, and play, all around the world.
'Before the sixties, you were a child and then you were a man. You went to school and then you went to work. That changed. Our generation changed it.' Roger Daltrey is the voice of a generation, and this is his story. This is the story of his tempestuous school days and his expulsion, age 15, thanks to his authoritarian headmaster, Mr Kibblewhite. That could have been where the story ended, as the life of a factory worker beckoned, but then came rock and roll. Making his first guitar from factory off-cuts, Roger formed a band that would become The Who, one of the biggest bands on the planet. This is the story of My Generation, Tommy and Quadrophenia, of smashed guitars, exploding drums, cars in swimming pools, fights, arrests and redecorated hotel rooms, but also how all those post-war kids redefined the rules of youth. This is not just a hilarious and frank account of more than 50 wild years on the road, it is the definitive story of The Who and of the sweeping revolution that was British rock 'n' roll.
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