Musical biographies can give us an insight into the lives of some of the world’s most popular musicians. Many musicians lead incredible, often troubled, lives and their stories can make for gripping reads. Musical biographies can also mean big business, as fans clamour to know more about their idols. These are a few musical biographies worth checking out.
As the front man for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Anthony Kiedis has been in the music business for a long time. This book follows his life from birth through to around 2004, when the book was released. It tackles his experiences with drug addiction as well as life with the RHCP. As far as modern musical biographies go it’s probably one of the most popular around.
‘Just Kids’ is a memoir by musician Patty Smith and documents her time with artist Robert Mapplethorpe. It takes place in the late sixties and seventies in the days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel. If you’re a fan of the “Godmother of Punk” then you’ll no doubt find this book an interesting read.
Bob Dylan is one of the most well known artists around and is a legend and icon in his own right. The book starts with his arrival in New York City in the sixties and occasionally flashes back to his childhood in Minnesota. Dylan is a natural story teller and this book offers us a window into his thoughts and influences.
Despite there being plenty of books about his life, this is the only autobiography written by Michael Jackson. The book was published in 1988, and discusses his rise to fame, family life, as well as his views on plastic surgery. For someone who was always in the media, this book offers an interesting insight into Jackson’s life.
‘The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band’ doesn’t beat around the bush. This book delivers exactly what the title states. This biography is a collaborative effort and is written by the members of Mötley Crüe, their managers, and New York Times writer Neil Strauss. It looks at the formation of the band, their rise to fame, their decadent lifestyles, and various highs and lows throughout their career.
While younger generations might be familiar with him in the reality TV series Meet The Osbournes, Ozzy Osbourne first gained fame as the vocalist for Black Sabbath. He was well known for his whacky antics and heavy drug use. This book discusses his upbringing and musical career and provides a detailed, sometimes humorous, look at his life.
She’s the outspoken front woman for The Gossip, and Beth Ditto isn’t afraid to share her life story in this book. She discusses life growing up in poverty in Arkansas and her eventual rise to fame. It’s a fairly brief book but still manages to cover a lot of topics.
This book shows that it’s not always musicians who get away with writing musical biographies. ‘I’m With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie’ is a memoir by former groupie Pamela Des Barres. It was published in 1987 and looks at her time spent with some of the most famous musicians and actors of the sixties and seventies.
It’s always interesting to read about the lives of the not-so-average human beings. These are just a few biographies that look at the lives of a range of musicians and the people that surround them. Have you read any of these? What musical biographies would you recommend?
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