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Life Is Not a Fairy Tale
Fantasia
074328156X
Sept 2005
Hardcover
·
 
Review
"Fantasia Barrino is a S-T-A-R."--Los Angeles Times
"With a chart-topping single and her new album, Free Yourself, the American Idol champ showed a nation how to turn obstacles into inspiration."--CosmoGirl
"In song after song she reaches back to her church roots, pulling notes from deep within and passionately sending them out to the sky."--New York Daily News

Book Description
"The more people say you can't, the more you can. The more they talk negatively, the more you fight. You have to think about bettering your life and go after it. I don't care what you got to do. You only have one life to live, so do your thing." In one moment, with one tearful, touching performance of "Summertime," Fantasia captured the hearts, and the votes, of millions of American Idol fans. Her...


The King
Jim Piazza
1579124623
November 2005
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The life of Elvis Presley is chronicled in a giant (15"×17") tome with 600 color and b&w pictures unearthed from such sources as AP, Photofest and the Getty Archives. Piazza, a former script analyst for Columbia, Fox and Paramount, adds an informative text to the innovative design by Platinum Design's Matthew Bouloutian and Andy Taray. Opening on Presley's Mississippi childhood, an extensive parade of images begins. The volume romps through the decades, highlighting Elvis events with a chronological time line floating at the top of each page, while amusing anecdotes punctuate a striking selection of magazine covers, paintings, photos, posters and other entertaining ephemera, from cinema curiosities to Elvis imitators. Paging through, readers encounter an explosion of sidebars with...


The Beatles: The Biography
Bob Spitz
0316803529
November 2005
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. With this massive opus, veteran music journalist Spitz (Dylan: A Biography) tells the definitive story of the band that sparked a cultural revolution. Calling on books, articles, radio programs and primary interviews, Spitz follows the band from each member's family origins in working-class Liverpool to the band's agonizing final days. Spitz's unflinching biography reveals that not only did the Beatles pioneer a new era of rock but they also were on the cutting edge of rock star excess, from their 1961 amphetamine-fueled sets in the clubs of Hamburg to their eventual appetites for stronger drugs, including marijuana, LSD, cocaine and, eventually for John Lennon, heroin. Sex was also part of the equation; in 1962, when the band cut its first audition for Sir George Martin, all four members had a venereal...


Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain
Charles R. Cross
0786884029
August 2002
Paperback
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Book Review's Best of 2001
The art of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain was all about his private life, but written in a code as obscure as T.S. Eliot's. Now Charles Cross has cracked the code in the definitive biography Heavier Than Heaven, an all-access pass to Cobain's heart and mind. It reveals many secrets, thanks to 400-plus interviews, and even quotes Cobain's diaries and suicide notes and reveals an unreleased Nirvana masterpiece. At last we know how he created, how lies helped him die, how his family and love life entwined his art--plus, what the heck "Smells Like Teen Spirit" really means. (It was graffiti by Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna after a double date with Dave Grohl, Cobain, and the "over-bored and self-assured" Tobi Vail, who wore Teen Spirit perfume; Hanna wrote it to taunt the emotionally clingy Cobain for wearing Vail's scent...


From Pieces to Weight
50 Cent
0743486447
Aug 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The rap superstar known as 50 Cent was born Curtis James Jackson III in 1976. His mother, a smalltime drug dealer, was murdered when he was eight, but that didn't stop him from pursuing her profession. 50 Cent is unflinchingly honest about his mother, his drug past and just about everything else in this raw, literate memoir chronicling his rise from Jamaica, Queens, to the top of the Billboard charts. In his neighborhood, recalls 50 Cent, the only people with money were the drug dealers: "They were my role models." By 11, he'd made his first sale. Over the next decade, 50 Cent evolved from a hustler selling capsules of crack cocaine ("pieces") to a kingpin purchasing by the kilo ("weight"). With money came girls, clothes, cars—and trouble. 50 Cent describes spraying bullets at rivals,...


Sinatra
Anthony Summers
0375414002
May 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
The second collaboration for the husband-and-wife team (after their Nixon bio, The Arrogance of Power) is hardly the first book about Frank Sinatra, and despite their claim to be the only objective biographers to address the crooner's final years, the book's later chapters feel rushed compared with the lengthy passages covering Sinatra's well-trod glory days. Furthermore, since Sinatra's musical genius and acting skills have been thoroughly analyzed by previous writers, Summers and Swan put in minimal effort there. Where their work does stand out is in firming up the evidence of organized crime's "continuing interest" in Sinatra, from affirming that the famous scene in The Godfather only slightly exaggerates how he got his breakthrough role in From Here to Eternity to exploring his possible role as a go-between...


Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix
Charles R. Cross
1401300286
August 2005
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Cross (Heavier than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain) turns his thoughtful eye toward another Seattle music icon, Jimi Hendrix (1942–1970). With a storyteller's eye, he captures Hendrix's difficult, poverty-stricken childhood with alcoholic and largely absent parents, rendering it as tragic yet not without its happy, tender moments. After a stint as an army paratrooper, Hendrix knocked around playing guitar in blues clubs in the 1960s, winding up in New York and eventually London, where he established himself as a guitar god, even earning the adulation of the Beatles, before exploding onto the U.S. scene with a 1967 appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival. While replete with tales of rock star excess, Cross's narrative, based on more than 300 interviews, describes Hendrix as thoughtful and craving some...


Elvis by the Presleys
Priscilla Presley
0307237419
May 2005
Hardcover
·
 
Book Review
Think of Elvis by the Presleys as the ultimate souvenir guide from your tour of Graceland. The 256 pages are packed with family photos, reminisces, and still-life photography of Elvis's possessions. The book is also a companion volume to the multimdedia event that brings the personal side of Elvis to the masses from the recollections of just six family members: wife Priscilla; daughter Lisa Marie; cousin Patsy; along with Priscilla's mom, dad, and sister. Many of the words written here were not in the TV show but one assumes what will make this a keeper are the photos. Along with candid shots, there are stills of the home movies seen on the CBS special (and subsequent--and expanded--DVD), and the still life shots by Henry Leutwyler get your mind racing. Here one can dwell on Elvis's guitar and think of all the music that...


Beethoven: The Universal Composer (Eminent Lives Series)
Edmund Morris
0060759747
October 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
This addition to the Eminent Lives Series by Pulitzer-winning biographer Morris (Theodore Rex; Dutch) does not disappoint. The author provides a close analysis of only one cantata, the early (written at 19) and relatively obscure Joseph II, but leaves no doubt he could easily do the same for the more radical and magisterial works, which are "bothersome to orthodox opinion" about Beethoven's time, were the ground not so well trodden. Outsize in talent, Beethoven was a difficult, ugly little man, uncomfortable with women (Immortal Beloved and a certain amount of "groupie" attention notwithstanding, he seems never to have had a successful romantic relationship), snobbish and a raving egotist. His seven-year legal battle with his sister-in-law over custody of her son assumed "manic proportions" and set him "drifting...


Cash
Johnny Cash
0061013579
Sept 1998
Paperback
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The New York Times Book Review, Tom Graves
Occasionally he lets his pompadour down, and then the stories sing. The narrative overall is insightful, relaxed and conversational.... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews
A humble, happy look back from the man in black. Johnny Cash answers to many names; he's JR to childhood friends and family, John to bandmates, and Johnny to fans. ``Cash'' is the name wife June Carter reserves for ``the star, the egomaniac.'' The star gets plenty of ink here, from the early days at Sun Records--with Elvis, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis--to his current status as a darling of the alternative rock set. But it's the private man who's most compelling and surprisingly complex. Cash writes candidly of his...


Shakey: Neil Young's Biography
James McDonough
0679750967
May 2003
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
Cantankerous and secretive, Neil Young has banished authors from his inner sanctum--until now. In Shakey, Jimmy McDonough distills more than 300 interviews (including guarded yet revealing interrogations of Young himself) into the definitive biography: the skyrocket success, willful disasters, health horrors and triumphs, stunning comebacks, and highly colorful scuffles with equally impossible characters like Stephen Stills, David Crosby, and the incompetent yet brilliant musicians of Crazy Horse. Young is not quite the noble soul some thought--he's an astounding control freak. But he is never less than fascinating. "As ruthless as I may seem to be," Young tells McDonough, "you gotta do what ya gotta do. Just like a f-----' vampire. Heh heh heh." --Tim Appelo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable...


Tommy Dorsey: Livin' in a Great Big Way--A Biography
Peter J. Levinson
0306811111
September 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Levinson, a former entertainment publicist, booking agent and personal manager, delivers a definitive biography of trombonist-bandleader Dorsey (1905–1956). As children in Pennsylvania coal mining country, brothers Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey practiced daily, and music became their ticket out. By 1930, their versatility was evident; they did 15 radio shows a week in New York, while also performing for movie soundtracks, dance dates and theater pit jobs. Hit records followed after the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra signed with Decca in 1934, but blow-ups between the brothers led Tommy to quit the following year. The split led to two bands, both successful, and in 1939, Tommy wisely hired Frank Sinatra away from Harry James. Reunited as the Fabulous Dorseys, the brothers introduced Elvis Presley to the national TV...


Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas
Michka Assayas
1573223093
April 2005
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
U2 vocalist, celebrity activist and one of the world's most outsized rock stars, Bono symbolically takes off his habitual shades to reveal the relatively normal guy behind the flashy (and occasionally bombastic) public persona in this series of wide-ranging conversations. Readers familiar with the Irish singer won't be surprised that he comes off as both earnest and quick minded, but the book's long-form q&a format also reveals an acerbic sense of humor and genuine humility. Topics shift and flow in a fairly nonlinear fashion; anecdotes jump around from 1979 to 1998, from Dublin to Africa, from music to father-son relationships. Presuming that most readers are intimate with U2's history and discography, interviewer Assayas gives little background information other than the dates and location of each...


Dream Boogie
Peter Guralnick
0316377945
Oct 2005
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. There's no real substitute for the sound of Sam Cooke's music, but the detailed descriptions of his recordings throughout this masterful biography are the next best thing to wearing headphones while you read. Guralnick's first book after a two-volume bio of Elvis honors Cooke's (1931–1964) musical genius, especially his ability to grasp the changing music scene of the late 1950s and early '60s. For those who only know the singer through his pop hits—"You Send Me"; "Twistin' the Night Away"—the extensive account of his childhood background in gospel music will prove fascinating, and the evocation of the harsh realities faced by African-American musicians touring the South a powerful reminder of just how explosive this music could be. Yet wide-ranging interviews reveal that...


John
Cynthia Lennon
030733855X
September 2005
Hardcover
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Book Review
This isn't Cynthia Lennon's first book about her legendary ex-husband. A Twist of Lennon--a slim volume that John tried to suppress on grounds of libel--came out in 1978. But now, 25 years after his death, she finally feels ready to tell the "full and truthful story" of their life together. Why? In his foreword, son Julian writes of their being "dismissed or at best treated as insignificant bit players" in the story of John's life; it's Cynthia's goal, with John, to set the record straight. She does make a case for being more than just "the impressionable young girl who fell for him, then trapped him into marriage," and it's moving to read, in his own words, of John's love for his son. And while there's nothing new in her account of the Fab Four's rise to fame, as the greatest success story of the rock era,...


O
Omari Grandberry
1416503285
Feb 2005
Paperback
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From Booklist
Can a contemporary music artist simultaneously be marketable, squeaky clean, and possessed of street cred? That seems to be the question underlying this glossy, profusely illustrated autobiography by hip-hop artist and former B2K member Grandberry. His is a rags-to-riches story that strives to show--what with all the colorful family pictures, publicity stills, and onstage action shots of Grandberry at work--that gangsta rappers are people, too. Not surprisingly, the engaging young star is contemplating a career move into films, and he delineates his motivations and goals in touching, if often cloying, fashion. As for his veracity, references like the one to the strawberry "tree" in his childhood backyard may throw off persnickety readers' suspension of disbelief, but all in all, this is a very nice, unfailingly upbeat...


The Long Hard Road Out of Hell
Marilyn Manson
0060987464
Apr 1999
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
One doesn't usually think of rock stars as insightful, but, against all odds, glam-trash superstar Marilyn Manson has written a book that is actually an intelligent look at growing up. This autobiographical bildungsroman brings out the creepiest aspects of childhood, conveying the terror and fascination that young Marilyn (then called Brian) felt when looking through his grandfather's pornography, getting his first French kiss, and being taunted by the girls he wanted to "date." Manson has the benefit of having grown up as an outcast and loser and then having become a star without forgetting what he went through. This gives him an incredibly broad perspective, which he brings to bear on his ordinary life in order to convey the more potent and frightening moments that shaped him into the pale-skinned weirdo that the Christian...


Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band
Motley Crue
0060989157
July 2002
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
In the beginning there was the Motley House, crawling with cockroaches and rats, beer cans piled on the porch so high they threatened to spill into the house every time you opened the door. "That place gave birth to Motley Crue," the band recalls in The Dirt: The Autobiography of Motley Crue. After the record contract, they write, "like a pack of mad dogs we abandoned the bitch, leaving with enough reckless, aggravated testosterone to spawn a million bastard embryo metal bands." Crue members Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, Vince Neil and Nikki Sixx also team up with New York Times music writer Neil Strauss to tell the story of their band's rise to phenomenal success: their tours, friendships, alcohol and drug problems, music, influence and, above all, girls. No heavy metal fan will want to be without this...

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