My love of music books has been growing over the past several years. After nervously starting with a David Bowie biography, my music non-fiction book obsession has been growing and growing - I’ve read 3 rock star biographies so far this year and I’m constantly looking for more to read. My focus tends to be on the 1960’s (though there are a lot more books about 1970’s bands and stars). So here are a few books on 1960’s rock ‘n’ roll that I’m stoked to get around to:
- White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960’s by Joe Boyd - Boyd covers his interactions with many prominent musicians in the 1960’s. While reviews state that this book is more personal memoir rather than history of music, I’m excited to read more about the individuals behind the music and the people who knew them well.
- The Recording Angel: Music, Records and Culture from Aristotle to Zappa by Evan Eisenberg - Eisenberg covers music history from 1877 to 1977 and examines how both the music and the culture surrounding musical art changed in that time. While it doesn’t specifically focus on the 1960’s, it definitely looks like a fascinating focus on the music that influenced the 1960’s.
- Divided Soul: The Life of Marvin Gaye by David Ritz - While I don’t know as much of Gaye’s music as I’d like to, I’d love to learn more about him. This biography seems like the perfect way to cover his life and music better.
- How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music by Elijah Wald - This book has been showing up all over my Goodreads recommendations and I’ve seen lots of good things about it. Also, what a provocative title. While a lot of reviews say that this book doesn’t talk about the Beatles that much, I’m still excited to hear about a different side of this era.
- Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Legendary Neighborhood by Michael Walker - I’ve been eyeing this one at my local library for months. Following the bands who came in and out of Laurel Hill, this rock history tells the stories of what occurred in Hollywood in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.
- Where Did Our Love Go – the Rise and Fall of the Motown Sound by Nelson George - While Motown isn’t something I listen to a ton, I’m interested in seeing how it influenced the music around it.
- Woodstock: The Oral History by Joel Makower - Everything I’ve read says that this focuses far more on the event itself rather than the music, but I feel that a better idea of the event will lend itself to more understanding about the music and the culture behind Woodstock.
- There’s a Riot Going On: Revolutionaries, Rock Stars, and the Rise and Fall of the ’60s by Peter Doggett - This book (besides being GIGANTIC at 600 pages) is supposed to be incredibly in-depth while connecting the dots between the music and politics of the era.
- Cash by Johnny Cash - I’m a big fan of the Man in Black, so a 1960’s music list without mentioning him would be missing a lot. I can’t wait to learn more about him and how his life (and the era) influenced his music.
- Can't Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain, and America by Jonathan Gould - This has been on my Goodreads recommendations forever and I still haven’t managed to get around to it. I adore the Beatles and I’m a little nervous to start getting into reading books about them. I feel like this is a good place to start.
Are there any books I’m missing? Any eras you’d be more interested in reading about? Any artists or bands that you’re dying to learn more about?