As you start compiling your wish list for the holidays, make sure to add your favorite rock and roll memoirs to the list. In the last few weeks, Pete Townshend, Neil Young and Cyndi Lauper have all published books detailing their real life stories. Even Bruce Springsteen cooperated with Peter A. Carlin for a new biography. Here are some of the recent best:
“Who I Am” by Pete Townshend
Pete Townshend, lead guitarist and songwriter for the legendary band, The Who, has written a brutally honest look at his life from childhood to today. The book includes sixteen pages of photos, many previously unseen. Townshend’s story include the sexual abuse he suffered as a child, the band’s shaping during London’s 1960 Mod period, the death of drummer Keith Moon, and Townshend’s own issues with drugs. Townshend’s book is marked by a vulnerability and a willingness to expose his own insecurities.
“Waging Heavy Peace” by Neil Young
Legendary performer and songwriter Neil Young presents an unfiltered look at his personal life and musical journey. Young takes the reader along to examine his Ontario childhood, his move to Los Angeles and his brief stint with Buffalo Springfield. The story addresses his solo career, his band Crazy Horse and his time with Crosby, Stills & Nash. He tells of his drug life and his love life with his long time wife Pegi. The book is chock full of odd moments, from the massive train set he had built for his son to his obsession with old school cars. The book structure rambles as one would expect from Mr. Young.
“Bruce” by Peter A. Carlin
Carlin is an old hand at music bios – he’s written works on both Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson. His take on Bruce Springsteen was released October 31, 2012. Carlin was granted extraordinary access to Springsteen’s closest friends and relatives. This included interviews with Springsteen’s mother, sisters, members of his early bands, and high-school buddies. The book tells the story of Springsteen’s rise from lower-working class life in Freehold New Jersey to music superstardom. This intimate portrait details the depression that afflicted both Springsteen and his father. For a close look at the loner who became a performer holding thousands spellbound, pick up a copy of Bruce.
“Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir” by Cyndi Lauper
Few women rockers are as iconic as Cyndi Lauper. Her memoir shares the story of life as an activist and superstar. Lauper also shares her journey from her early life in Queens, New York through a series of odd jobs before finally finding her voice with her mega-hit “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” Lauper is a strong, opinionated woman willing to fight for causes. Her book is as fearless as she is.
Books make fabulous gifts. Be sure to buy one today.