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Books... remember what they are????

I love an insightful book about music. I also love a good autobiography about a musician. I lent a few books out to a few students last week before we all got "quarantined" (so a few of my faves are not here.)

But I figured before I put them back on the shelf, I would ask y'all if any of you has read any of these and would like to discuss the book. So many of these get released, receive little "press" or attention, and unfortunately forgotten. But so many of them are really good.

PLEASE lets not let this go the way of the Charlie Watts book thread!!! But I've read most of these (not all,) and I'm sure many of you have as well. Most of them are "drum-centric" but not all. Maybe you'll see something here and be inspired to hit up Amazon.

I didn't want to type them all in, so zoom in on the pix, the titles should all be readable.

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Does anyone want to discuss any of them?
Questions, comments, queries, whatever.....

MSG
 

Mcjnic

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I loved Not Dead Yet by Phil Collins ...
I read that one last year. Excellent and insightful. It was a fantastic read until he hit the part where alcohol was added. That was tough to read. He was such a neat positive guy until that turn in his life. Almost killed him ... but I'd rather talk about the earlier period.
I loved the years of juggling acting and music. That was slick.
He was in Oliver ... neato.
 
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Yeah I just finished that one last night. I had NO idea his last 25 years was such a mess. We all knew about the divorce stuff. But damn, "Smiling Uncle Phil" was a hot mess for the last 25 years or so. I sincerely hope he has cleaned everything up. He's one of my favorite drummers. There is ALOT to be learned from his life story and entire career, in the good and the bad.

I just wish he would have dealt with the guilt and the insecurity earlier. Maybe he wouldn't have gotten into the mess he got into. There's a lot to talk about with Phil's story. But what a GREAT book about a fantastic musician.

The never-ending George Harrison "All Things Must Pass" story, was hilarious.

Mcjnic,
Thanks for "joining" the DFO bookclub!
MSG
 

Polska

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^^
I too just finished Phil's book. Sad and surprising those past 20+ years. A really good read yhough, especially the Live Aid section.

Love a good musician book. A few of mine:

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BennyK

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Some of the better ones I've read -

USConductors - Sean Michaels

Jazz Anecdotes - Bill Crow

Castles Made of Sound - the story of Gil Evans - Larry Hicock

Blue,The Murder of Jazz - Eric Nisenson

Glenn Gould A life and Variations -- Otto Freidrich

The Trouble with Cinderella - Artie Shaw

Weird Scenes in the Canyon - David McGowan

... and many more that I either can't find or have given away .
 
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wflkurt

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I want to read the Buddy Rich one and I think there is a new book about Buddy. I love reading books about musicians. I love seeing how they got to where they did and hear some of the behind the scenes stuff. John Densmore has a couple of books out which are great. I read Joey Kramer's book and man that guy had a rough childhood. His parents totally sucked and I felt so sorry for him after reading that. Certainly makes me understand some of the struggles he has gone through.
 

Mcjnic

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Ghost Rider by that drummer all the kids are so keen on ... loved that book!
It was the first of his that I read. Very insightful. Not being a huge fan of the group, I had not paid attention to the tours and such. What a refreshing moment when I read how stable and founded he was in the midst of the Rock Excess crap the other bands demonstrated.
Incredible realization.
I loved the guys drumming before ... but it made him a bit more endearing.
So doggone glad I read that one.
 

Skeet6

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I want to read the Buddy Rich one and I think there is a new book about Buddy. I love reading books about musicians. I love seeing how they got to where they did and hear some of the behind the scenes stuff. John Densmore has a couple of books out which are great. I read Joey Kramer's book and man that guy had a rough childhood. His parents totally sucked and I felt so sorry for him after reading that. Certainly makes me understand some of the struggles he has gone through.
I am reading the new Buddy book now on kindle. Pretty good so far - I have everything else published in my collection.
Mike B
 
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Cribbon,
Please tell me about the Hiseman book? I've been listening to him (and his English peers) a lot recently. Never heard of the book.

I just read the Cobham Ronnie Scotts book. And while it's different, so is Billy (I've interviewed him twice.) It's an interesting take on the process of putting a project together though. Although it would have been a little better if the author's knowledge of music was a little deeper. Not a "bad" read though (in my opinion.) What didn't you like about it?

BennyK,
How and why is, Castles Made of Sound - the story of Gil Evans - Larry Hicock good? I have never even heard of that one.

And both of the Drummin Men books were pretty inspirational to me as a writer and a musician, I agree. ESSENTIAL.

I think I might have to read Ghost Rider, never a Rush fan, never a Peart nut. But out of the utmost respect and my interest into the person that Neil was, I might have to read that.

Let's keep going. A discussion of why you like certain books and why you don't.

MSG
 

BennyK

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Cribbon,
Please tell me about the Hiseman book? I've been listening to him (and his English peers) a lot recently. Never heard of the book.

I just read the Cobham Ronnie Scotts book. And while it's different, so is Billy (I've interviewed him twice.) It's an interesting take on the process of putting a project together though. Although it would have been a little better if the author's knowledge of music was a little deeper. Not a "bad" read though (in my opinion.) What didn't you like about it?

BennyK,
How and why is, Castles Made of Sound - the story of Gil Evans - Larry Hicock good? I have never even heard of that one.

And both of the Drummin Men books were pretty inspirational to me as a writer and a musician, I agree. ESSENTIAL.

I think I might have to read Ghost Rider, never a Rush fan, never a Peart nut. But out of the utmost respect and my interest into the person that Neil was, I might have to read that.

Let's keep going. A discussion of why you like certain books and why you don't.

MSG

Yes, this is an engaging biography of Evans as an individual and as a composer/arranger . We're all familiar with his pivotal collaboration with Miles Davis, but this book explores his impact on the whole jazz scene . Lots of insightful interviews with those who were close to him musically and otherwise . That he is Canadian is ,of course, the icing on the cake ....

I found this one (hard cover) like new at the Salvation Army .
 

owr

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Great thread guys, havent had a chance to absorb it all, but I really appreciate the recommendations. I consume books pretty heavily on audible on my 2 hour daily commute (well, when I used to drive to work at least...) and love the musician biographies. My favorite so far have been Tom Petty's, Keith Richards, Miles and Robbie Robertson. Monks new one is great as well.
 

cribbon

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Cribbon,
Please tell me about the Hiseman book? I've been listening to him (and his English peers) a lot recently. Never heard of the book.

I just read the Cobham Ronnie Scotts book. And while it's different, so is Billy (I've interviewed him twice.) It's an interesting take on the process of putting a project together though. Although it would have been a little better if the author's knowledge of music was a little deeper. Not a "bad" read though (in my opinion.) What didn't you like about it?

BennyK,
How and why is, Castles Made of Sound - the story of Gil Evans - Larry Hicock good? I have never even heard of that one.

And both of the Drummin Men books were pretty inspirational to me as a writer and a musician, I agree. ESSENTIAL.

I think I might have to read Ghost Rider, never a Rush fan, never a Peart nut. But out of the utmost respect and my interest into the person that Neil was, I might have to read that.

Let's keep going. A discussion of why you like certain books and why you don't.

MSG
You can get Playing the Band via Amazon:

The book is a bio of Hiseman and covers his life from birth until its publication date of 2010. I've been a big fan of Hiseman ever since I heard the first Colosseum records back in the 60s - I thought he was the best British rock drummer of that time.

I was fortunate enough to have an extended talk with him back in the mid-90s when Colosseum had reunited, and he struck me as extremely intelligent and knowledgeable not only about music but over a broad range of subjects/topics.

One of the other books I mentioned (Dick Heckstall-Smith's Blowing the Blues) has a lot of info on Hiseman (Dick was the saxophonist in Colosseum and also played with Jon in the Graham Bond Organization). It gives you another perspective on Hiseman, whom Heckstall-Smith held in very high regard, both as a musician and as a person. It's well worth looking for.

The Six Days at Ronnie Scott's book struck me as something that was just thrown together. I thought it was an interesting idea, but it somehow missed the mark for me. I was just hoping for something more from that book.

Like you, I've also met and spoken at length with Cobham on several occasions, and I have the highest regard for him - he's the total package: an insightful individual and a superb musician who also knows how to navigate the sometimes treacherous undercurrents of the business of music. (He was also the first musician I ever saw who traveled with a laptop and conducted all his music business with it while touring.) The Mahavishnu book Bathed in Lightning is a good source of info on Billy from the golden days of the Orchestra, and Joey Kramer's book also has some interesting drummer-perspective bits about Billy from when the M.O. toured with Aerosmith.

Just a note on Billy's technical prowess: When he toured the USA in the 90s, he let me check out his Yamaha kit before sound check. He was using Fiberskyn heads on all his toms, and when I pressed my finger down onto the batter head of each tom to to check out the tension, I was surprised at how slack they all were. Yet when he played them, you'd swear he was flying around them like they had all the bounce in the world, which they very definitely did not - a clear tribute to his mind-boggling technique.
 

Mcjnic

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Love it. I first met Cobham in New Orleans ... I believe in the 80s. Amazing drummer and a seriously neat guy. He inspired the heck out of me. He has worked with another branch of my family for many years. When I finally had the good fortune to meet with him, it was memorable. Oddly enough, I’ve never read a book on him. I appreciate the book insight this thread has brought.
Excellent.
 
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OK, so what? Three weeks in (feels like a year.) No gigs, I miss musical interaction. You can only practice so much. I am enjoying the time off, but staring at a computer screen to teach is driving me nuts.

So besides perfecting the making (and the consuming of) of a few drinks for my wife (who is a stressed out nurse on the front lines:) Namely, Dark and Stormy's, Key Lime Martini's, and Orange Crush's.


Here are my reading results, and major takeaways, so far....

Before I started reading anything I wanted to finish Steven Hawking "A Brief History of Time. Fascinating guy. I have to admit, there was a lot of this book that went right over my head (and I was told this book was his most easy to digest.) And there are pages (hell there were sentences) that I read quite a few times. But I STILL learned a TON. I find it really inspiring to see that BRILLIANT scientists can spend many years proving something, publish it, defend it. And they say, "But maybe I'm wrong. That's OK. We'll see..." I find that really inspirational, especially because the world we live in today is filled with douches that are never wrong (sarcasm.)

Phil Collins "Not Dead Yet." I really miss the Genesis years with Phil and Pete. Phil has had a heck of a last 20 years, mostly self inflicted. I don't blame him for the 80's (I would have done almost the same thing. Work until you drop, because pretty soon, no one will really care about you.) I don't blame him for the Live Aid fiasco either. Everyone has to learn how to say "no" to work sometime, Phil just never has. Drummers watch your posture, and your snare height.

Dennis Byron "My Life With The Bee Gees." GREAT book, about the life of a drummer who isn't that different that many of us. EXCEPT his grooves have made the world dance and smile, he played with Hendrix, etc... Really nice to read a book about a musician who is normal, came from a normal family, took his shot, had a gratifying career, and didn't shoot himself in the foot at every chance. Inspiring read.

"You'll Know When You Get There, Herbie Hancock and The Mwandishi Band." Some of my favorite music ever! An entire study of how Herbie's Sextet evolved into Mwandishi, and then towards Headhunters. Pretty deep analysis of all the musicians that were involved,, and an equally deep analysis of the music they created.

Lennie DiMuzio "Tales From The Cymbal Bag." I got to hang with Lennie a few times, and this book brought back all the memories, I miss him. The world could use some "Lennie" about now, a very fun book (to offset the news.)

Billy Cobham "A Week at Ronnie Scott's." Could have been better, but not a bad read. More of a documentary about putting together a gig and a band. But an interesting look into Billy's head.

"Steven Colbert Beyond Truthiness" I dig his show, he's a master improviser, and I wanted to learn some more about him. Just a basic bio, but he's a fascinating guy! I'd like to hang out for a few drinks with him.

"The Last Miles." A cool examination of an ignored point of Miles' career. I really enjoyed the last par of his career. Loved "Decoy," and "Star People," part of "Man With the Horn." Wore out "Tutu" and "Amandla" and saw the last band with Ricky Wellman and Kenny Garrett quite a few times. This book gave a very good analysis of how all those bands evolved and how the music progressed.

Zawinul "In A Silent Way." GREAT book, great read, interesting cat, sheer GENIUS!

Sammy Hagar "Red." Biggest surprise of them all. The guy has a magic touch for business (sprinkler systems, mountain biking equipment, booze, clubs, and charity.) DAMN!!!! He was financially set and ready for retirement when VH came calling. Good songwriter, and a great rock singer. Some good stuff about Montrose too, a real forgotten and talented cat.

Now working on, Stan Levey, Danny Seraphine, Mel lLewis and the Bernard Purdie's books. I might have to order the Gil Evans book from Amazon. And a friend suggested the Ted Gioia "Music: A Subversive History" as one of the best books that he has read recently.

Anything you want to discuss about any of these?
Can we go out yet?
Stay safe be smart!!!!!
MSG
 

BennyK

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In Europe's Shadow - Robert Kaplan - Romania and how geography has shaped its character and history .
Marco Polo's World - Robert Kaplan - The difficult choices facing America and its allies .
When the World Seemed New - Jeffrey A. Engel - George H.W. Bush and the end of the cold war .

Compelling insights into why we've started marching to the beat of a different drum .
 

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