Rockers Top Book Charts

Three musicians fill top spots on the New York Times’ Best Sellers list this week–Who Am I by Pete Townshend, In the Pleasure Groove by John Taylor (of Duran Duran fame) and Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young. Help your readers discover more stories behind the songs with these beat-keeping bios.

Psychotic Reactions And Carburetor Dung  by Lester Bangs
The collected essays by the late, legendary rock critic Bangs. A whirling dervish of a writer, Bangs wrote for CreemRolling Stone, The Village Voice, New Musical Express, and many other popular musis publications.

I’m With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie by Pamela Des Barres
The gold-standard of kiss-and-tell memoirs, Des Barres reminisces about her relationships (some platonic, some erotic) with Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Keith Moon, Waylon Jennings, Jim Morrison, Don Johnson, Robert Plant, Gram Parsons, Ray Davies, and Frank Zappa (just to name a few.)

Chronicles. Volume One by Bob Dylan
Much like his music, Dylan’s memoir is pensive, poetic and moves at its own pace. What comes across most strongly is Dylan’s love of music and musicians. Even readers who are not fans of the songs that influenced the second-half of a century will be entertained by Dylan’s reflections on musicianship, fame, and the need for an occasional detour.

Fargo Rock City by Chuck Klosterman
Klosterman’s funny, touching account of how heavy metal finally reached a kid in North Dakota and gave a soundtrack to his typical, misfit years.

Shakey: Neil Young’s Biography by Jimmy McDonough
McDonogh was given unprecedented access to legendary singer/songwriter Neil Young and took ten years to write the definitive biography of the rocker.

Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd by Nick Mason
The only original member of the rock band Pink Floyd throughout its 40-years together, drummer Nick Mason writes about the groups formative years, recording and concert career, and eventual breakup. As only an insider can, Mason reveals the bands disruptive personal conflicts, incredible tour schedules and preparations, and songwriting and recording process.

Hellfire: The Jerry Lee Lewis Story by Nick Tosches
It’s hard to know if Jerry Lee Lewis is best known for his hit “Great Balls of Fire” or for marrying his 13-year-old cousin. Tosches reveals the tortured man behind both headlines.

Life by Keith Richards
Rock and roll’s quintessential bad boy opens up about rocky, but always reconciled, relationship with The Rolling Stones.

When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography of Led Zeppelin by Mick Wall
Arguably the last great band of the ’60s and the first great band of the 1970s, Led Zeppelin changed the face and the sound of rock music. Music journalist Wall follows Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones through the highs and lows of stardom.

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About the Author:

Karen Kleckner Keefe is the director of the Hinsdale (IL) Public Library, a Booklist reviewer, and one of Library Journal's 2009 "Movers and Shakers." Follow her on Twitter at @KarenKleckner.

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