Memoirs written by musicians

Life stories of musicians who created magic with sound, now do that with words.
Just Kids
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Just Kids

by Patti Smith

About the book:  In Just Kids, Patti Smith’s first book of prose, the legendary American artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the late sixties and seventies.  An honest and moving story of youth and friendship, Smith brings the same unique, lyrical quality to Just Kids as she has to the rest of her formidable body of work—from her influential 1975 album Horses to her visual art and poetry.


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Chronicles
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Chronicles

by Bob Dylan

About the book:  The celebrated first memoir from arguably the most influential singer-songwriter in the country, Bob Dylan."I'd come from a long ways off and had started a long ways down. But now destiny was about to manifest itself. I felt like it was looking right at me and nobody else." So writes Bob Dylan in Chronicles: Volume One, his remarkable book exploring critical junctures in his life and career. Through Dylan's eyes and open mind, we see Greenwich Village, circa 1961, when he first arrives in Manhattan. Dylan's New York is a magical city of possibilities -- smoky, nightlong parties; literary awakenings; transient loves and unbreakable friendships. Elegiac observations are punctuated by jabs of memories, penetrating and tough. With the book's side trips to New Orleans, Woodstock, Minnesota and points west, Chronicles: Volume One is an intimate and intensely personal recollection of extraordinary times. By turns revealing, poetical, passionate and witty, Chronicles: Volume One is a mesmerizing window on Bob Dylan's thoughts and influences. Dylan's voice is distinctively American: generous of spirit, engaged, fanciful and rhythmic. Utilizing his unparalleled gifts of storytelling and the exquisite expressiveness that are the hallmarks of his music, Bob Dylan turns Chronicles: Volume One into a poignant reflection on life, and the people and places that helped shape the man and the art.


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Cash: The Autobiography
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Cash: The Autobiography

by Johnny Cash

About the book:  He was the "Man in Black," a country music legend, and the quintessential American troubadour. He was an icon of rugged individualism who had been to hell and back, telling the tale as never before. In his unforgettable autobiography, Johnny Cash tells the truth about the highs and lows, the struggles and hard-won triumphs, and the people who shaped him.In his own words, Cash set the record straight -- and dispelled a few myths -- as he looked unsparingly at his remarkable life: from the joys of his boyhood in Dyess, Arkansas to superstardom in Nashville, Tennessee, the road of Cash's life has been anything but smooth. Cash writes of the thrill of playing with Elvis, the comfort of praying with Billy Graham; of his battles with addiction and of the devotion of his wife, June; of his gratitude for life, and of his thoughts on what the afterlife may bring. Here, too, are the friends of a lifetime, including Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, and Kris Kristofferson. As powerful and memorable as one of his classic songs, Cash is filled with the candor, wit, and wisdom of a man who truly "walked the line."


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Yes I Can: The Story of Sammy Davis, Jr.
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Yes I Can: The Story of Sammy Davis, Jr.

by Sammy Davis Jr.,Jane Boyar,Burt Boyar

About the book:  YES I CAN is the self-portrait of one of the extraordinary men of our time, who became a figure of controversy because he dared to live his life not as a Negro but as a man. "I've got to be a star like another man has to breathe," write Sammy Davis. "I've got to get so big, so powerful, so famous that the day will come when they'll look at me and see a man, and then somewhere along the way they'll notice he's a Negro." YES I CAN is: "...one of the most candid, engrossing and important American autobiographies of our time," wrote the N.Y. Herald Tribune Book Editor and Critic Maurice Dolbier. "One of the really great autobiographies ever written." Brother Judd . Audible.com


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Life
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Life

by Keith Richards

About the book:  The long-awaited autobiography of the guitarist, songwriter, singer, and founding member of the Rolling Stones. Ladies and gentlemen: Keith Richards.With The Rolling Stones, Keith Richards created the songs that roused the world, and he lived the original rock and roll life. Now, at last, the man himself tells his story of life in the crossfire hurricane. Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records, learning guitar and forming a band with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones. The Rolling Stones's first fame and the notorious drug busts that led to his enduring image as an outlaw folk hero. Creating immortal riffs like the ones in "Jumping Jack Flash" and "Honky Tonk Women." His relationship with Anita Pallenberg and the death of Brian Jones. Tax exile in France, wildfire tours of the U.S., isolation and addiction. Falling in love with Patti Hansen. Estrangement from Jagger and subsequent reconciliation. Marriage, family, solo albums and Xpensive Winos, and the road that goes on forever.With his trademark disarming honesty, Keith Richard brings us the story of a life we have all longed to know more of, unfettered, fearless, and true.


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Satchmo (Da Capo Paperback)
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Satchmo (Da Capo Paperback)

by Louis Armstrong

About the book:  ”In all my whole career the Brick House was one of the toughest joints I ever played in. It was the honky-tonk where levee workers would congregate every Saturday night and trade with the gals who’d stroll up and down the floor and the bar. Those guys would drink and fight one another like circle saws. Bottles would come flying over the bandstand like crazy, and there was lots of just plain common shooting and cutting. But somehow all that jive didn’t faze me at all, I was so happy to have some place to blow my horn.” So says Louis Armstrong, a tough kid who just happened to be a musical genius, about one of the places where he performed and grew up. This raucous, rich tale of his early days in New Orleans concludes with his departure to Chicago at twenty-one to play with his boyhood idol King Oliver, and tells the story of a life that began, mythically, on July 4, 1900, in the city that sowed the seeds of jazz.


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Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now
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Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now

by Barry Miles

About the book:  During the past year Paul McCartney has been in the public's eye more than at any time since the peak of Beatlemania over thirty years ago. His fans have been treated to the best-selling Flaming Pie and Standing Stone albums, a full hour of Paul on "Oprah," and this thoughtful and comprehensive biography that brings us closer to the man than ever before. Based on hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews over a period of five years, and with complete access to Paul's own archives, Barry Miles has succeeded in letting Paul tell the story of his life as a Beatle in his own words. It includes Paul's recollection of the genesis of every song that he wrote with John Lennon and the fascinating details about their remarkable collaboration.


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Bound for Glory (Plume)
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Bound for Glory (Plume)

by Woody Guthrie

About the book:  First published in 1943, this autobiography is also a superb portrait of America's Depression years, by the folk singer, activist, and man who saw it all.Woody Guthrie was born in Oklahoma and traveled this whole country over—not by jet or motorcycle, but by boxcar, thumb, and foot. During the journey of discovery that was his life, he composed and sang words and music that have become a national heritage. His songs, however, are but part of his legacy. Behind him Woody Guthrie left a remarkable autobiography that vividly brings to life both his vibrant personality and a vision of America we cannot afford to let die. “Even readers who never heard Woody or his songs will understand the current esteem in which he’s held after reading just a few pages… Always shockingly immediate and real, as if Woody were telling it out loud… A book to make novelists and sociologists jealous.”—The Nation


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Miles
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Miles

by KB Winters,Audra Cole

About the book:  Universally acclaimed as a musical genius, Miles Davis was one of the most important and influential musicians in the world. Here, Miles speaks out about his extraordinary life.Miles: The Autobiography, like Miles himself, holds nothing back. He speaks frankly and openly about his drug problem and how he overcame it. He condemns the racism he encountered in the music business and in American society generally. And he discusses the women in his life. But above all, Miles talks about music and musicians, including the legends he has played with over the years: Bird, Dizzy, Monk, Trane, Mingus, and many others. The man who gave us some of the most exciting music of the twentieth century here gives us a compelling and fascinating autobiography, featuring a concise discography and thirty-two pages of photographs.


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Slash
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Slash

by Slash

About the book:  From one of the greatest rock guitarists of our era comes a memoir that redefines sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll.For the first time ever, Slash tells the tale that has yet to be told from the inside: how the legendary band Guns N' Roses came together, how they wrote the music that defined an era, how they survived insane, never-ending tours, how they survived themselves, and, ultimately, how it all fell apart. Slash is a window into the world of the notoriously private guitarist and a front seat on the roller-coaster ride that was one of history's greatest rock 'n' roll machines, always on the edge of self-destruction, even at the pinnacle of its success. Slash is everything Slash is: funny, honest, ingenious, inspiring, jaw-dropping . . . and, in a word, excessive.


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