The Library has an incredible selection of “780.92’s and beyond,” as I like to refer to the music section. The nonfiction call number 780.92 is “musician biography”-- a section that the Peter White Public Library is exceedingly proud of. I will preview a few of the new additions to the collection.
In 2002, rock star Ronnie Wood visited Marquette with his Rolling Stones bandmates Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The reason for the trip was to eulogize the Stones’ beloved stage technician Chuch Magee, who passed away of a heart attack during a tour rehearsal. Wood dedicates an entire chapter to his friend Chuch. Originally published in 2007, Peter White Public Library recently obtained a new edition of Ronnie’s autobiography, after our original copy went missing. Wood, the “new boy” of the Stones (meaning he’s only been in the band since the early 70s), conveys stories of The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, Jimi Hendrix, and many more. Wood’s humor makes the book an exceedingly fun read, as he recounts his drugs and rock ‘n’ roll life and his art pursuits.
DJ Rupture, aka Jace Clayton, takes the reader on an excursion to examine music styles East and West. In Uproot: Travels in Twenty-First-Century Music and Digital Culture his writing has a pleasant, amusing flow, like an unending music festival where the sound systems never rest. Between descriptions of diverse music scenes of Africa and Eastern Europe, electronic and indie rock acts in the West, and the embrace of technological innovations by everyone involved with music for the past two decades, Clayton merges the travelogue and music writing genres for an exciting volume of cultural connections. One hilarious example: Clayton flies to Morocco to examine the proliferation of the dreaded Auto-Tune vocal effect in traditional North African folk music! How are folk musical forms evolving with the encroachment of modernity? In interesting, unexpected, occasionally hilarious, and eternally interesting ways according to Clayton excellent book.
“Writing about yourself is a funny business…But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind.” writes Bruce Springsteen, in Born to Run. Read the stories from the Boss’s upbringing, his early rock ‘n roll bands, his struggles with depression, and how his tenacity ultimately led to fame, critical acceptance, and sold-out sports stadiums. “In my 20s,” Springsteen writes, “as my song and my story began to take shape, I searched for the voice I would blend with mine to do the telling. It is a moment when through creativity and will you can rework, repossess and rebirth the conflicting voices of your childhood, to turn them into something alive, powerful and seeking light.” Born to Run would make a compelling movie, and the soundtrack would rock.
Haruki Murakami is a Japanese author of bestsellers such as Norwegian Wood, 1Q84, and Kafka on the Shore. Absolutely on Music is a compilation of two years of discussions between Murakami and his good friend Seiji Ozawa, conductor of the Boston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Vienna State Opera. The majority of the talks center around the sublime details they each notice in specific classical music performances. Ozawa discusses the criticism he’s received from numerous critics in the fickle classical music community. Ozawa frequented Blues and Jazz clubs of Chicago, so these music styles are praised as well. This book is clearly for an obsessive classical music audience, and would certainly read best while listening to the pieces being discussed.
This massive, 8 ½ x 11-inch, 700-page collection of the stories behind every Rolling Stones album in their 55-year career is a wonder for fans of the band. Authors Philippe Margotin and Jean-Michel Guesdon published All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release and Bob Dylan All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track in recent years. Every single song gets a full page. One random example: “Mick Jagger’s inspiration for ‘It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It)’ may have come from “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide” by David Bowie. In this case the suicide is said to reference the stage act of the glam star Marc Bolan (T.Rex).”
--Jeremy Morelock, Reference Department