As 2,000 bands from all over the globe gather in Austin this week for SXSW the focus is on celebrating gift of great music. We thought we’d talk to you about three music biographies we’re really excited about right now.
Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s by Tom Doyle
The little known, agonizing decade in Paul McCartney’s life, starting with his personal crisis following the Beatles’ split, his reclusive, hippie life-style with his new family, the awkward beginnings of his start-up band, Wings, and his drinking, drugs and arrests.
This is the only McCartney bio based on first hand interviews.
“The go-to guy if you want to coax confessions from a superstar, Doyle writes without agenda.”—Mojo Magazine
Fantastic. I devoured it.”—Stuart Maconie, BBC Radio 6 Music
Please Be with Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman by Galadrielle Allman
An intimate, revealing, and lyrical portrait of the legendary musician Duane Allman, written by his daughter.
Galadrielle Allman went to her first concert as an infant, held in her teenaged mother’s arms. Her father was playing—Duane Allman, founder of the legendary Allman Brothers Band, who would become known as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Just a few short years into his remarkable career, he was killed in a motorcycle accident at the age of 24. Galadrielle was two years old. She was raised in the shadow of his loss and his fame. Galadrielle listened intently to his music, read articles about him, and yet the spotlight rendered him too simple and too perfect to know. It took her many years to accept that his story and his legacy is hers, so she began to ask for stories-from family, bandmates, friends-and they began to flow. Her memoir is at once a fascinating and intimate account of the birth of one of the most influential and beloved bands of our time and a tender inquiry of a daughter searching for her father in the memories of others.
“Duane Allman was my big brother, my partner, my best friend. I thought I knew everything there was to know about him, but Galadrielle’s deep and insightful book came as a revelation to me, as it will to everyone who reads it.”—Gregg Allman
Songs Only You Know: A Memoir by Sean Madigan Hoen
Eighteen-year-old Sean Madigan Hoen was struggling to keep his involvement in the Michigan’s hardcore punk scene a secret from his family. Then he learned that his father, too, had a second life-as a crack addict.
Songs Only You Know begins in the ’90s and spans a decade during which the family fights to hold itself together. Sean’s father cycles from rehab to binge, his heartsick sister spirals into depression, and his mother works to spare what can be spared. Meanwhile, Sean seeks salvation in a community of eccentrics and outsiders, making music Spin magazine once referred to as “an art-core mindfuck.” But the closer Sean comes to realizing his musical dream, the further he drifts from his family and himself.
By turns heartbreaking and mordantly funny, Songs Only You Know is a fierce, compassionate rendering of the chaos and misadventure of a young man’s life.
Hoen was in many Detroit-based music groups, including Thoughts of Ionesco, The Holy Fire and Leaving Rouge.
“Perceptive, sprawling memoir of a young man’s escape from cascading family tragedies into the noise-punk underground…. A dark, knowing look at addiction, rock ‘n’ roll, and the ties that bind.”—Kirkus Reviews