TamTam Books News

Sunday, February 05, 2006:

Simon Napier-Bell has to be one of the great Rock n' Roll memorist in the world. He managed Marc Bolan, Yardbirds, Japan and of course Wham! His last book "I'm Coming to Take You To Lunch" is hysterical. It is his story in how he got Wham! to play in China. Very much recommended!

This is his top ten rock n' roll books"

1. Rock and the Pop Narcotic by Joe Carducci
Joe Carducci loves rock and disapproves of pop, dance, soul and almost every other type of popular music. I disagree with nearly everything he writes, yet he's the most convincingly brilliant propagandist of his own views I've ever read.

2. England's Dreaming: The Sex Pistols and Punk Rock by Jon Savage
Like Simon Frith, Jon usually writes in a style that's too intellectual to be easily understood and therefore requires too much effort for a lazy reader like me. In this book he totally changes his style and writes brilliantly and succinctly.

3. Wonderland Avenue by Danny Sugerman
This is an autobiography of Jim Morrison's protege and one-time manager of The Doors and Iggy Pop. It provides an account of a period in American music that simply cannot be better learnt about or assimilated from any other book.

4. Freakshow: Misadventures in the Counterculture, 1959-1971 by Albert Goldman
Albert Goldman is the king of music writing - provocative, outrageous, indecently politically incorrect. He writes like a Who finale, like Iggy Pop shooting up onstage.

5. Waiting for the Man: The Story of Drugs and Popular Music by Harry Shapiro
If Harry had only called his own book Black Vinyl White Powder, I'd have been out of a title. This is the REAL book on the subject.

6. Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now by Barry Miles
Probably the most important period in the history of pop, through the eyes of one of its most important musicians, perfectly captured.

7. Altered State by Mathew Collin and John Gregory
The late 80s was the period in which the groundwork was laid for the day when leisure drugs will finally be legalised, yet many adults lived through this period without a clue what was going on all around them.

8. Ball the Wall by Nik Cohn
Nik Cohn is one of the best ever British feature writers on pop music. This is a compilation of his best.

9. Shots From the Hip by Charles Shaar Murray
Charles Murray Shaar is another of the best British writers on pop music, and this is a compilation of HIS best.

10. Hear Me Talkin' to Ya by Nat Shapiro and Nat Hentoff
This is a book compiled from interviews with all the greats of jazz from the 1890s to the late 1950s and it's 'the story of jazz by the men who made it'. It was my bible from the age of 12 until, at the age of 17, I actually went to America and started playing jazz there. It's still the best book ever written about jazz.

Tosh // 11:10 PM

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