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    $17.13 $12.95 list($25.95)
    1. Searching for the Sound:My Life
    $16.47 $15.18 list($24.95)
    2. Elvis by the Presleys
    $17.79 $13.49 list($26.95)
    3. Sinatra : The Life
    $16.29 $14.69 list($23.95)
    4. Bono: In Conversation with Michka
    $16.29 list($23.95)
    5. Tori Amos:Piece by Piece
    $11.16 $9.46 list($15.95)
    6. The Dirt : Confessions of the
    $14.99 list($50.00)
    7. Rolling with the Stones
    $16.47 $14.90 list($24.95)
    8. Scar Tissue
    $29.99 $21.94 list($38.20)
    9. Chopin: Pianist and Teacher :
    $16.47 $15.83 list($24.95)
    10. Magical Mystery Tours : My Life
    $16.29 $16.28 list($23.95)
    11. Into the Heart: The Stories Behind
    $14.40 $13.14 list($24.00)
    12. Chronicles, Vol. 1
    $16.97 $15.55 list($24.95)
    13. Jimi Hendrix : The Man, the Magic,
    $24.00 $7.77
    14. Why Sinatra Matters
    $17.16 $0.94 list($26.00)
    15. Broken Music: A Memoir
    $16.50 list($25.00)
    16. With Billie
    $7.19 $3.79 list($7.99)
    17. A Pirate Looks at Fifty
    $37.80 $34.94 list($60.00)
    18. The Beatles Anthology
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    19. The Fabulous Sylvester : The Legend,
    $10.46 $7.47 list($13.95)
    20. The Piano Shop on the Left Bank:

    1. Searching for the Sound:My Life with the Grateful Dead
    by Phil Lesh
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316009989
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-18)
    Publisher: Little, Brown
    Sales Rank: 631
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Right in time for the Grateful Dead's 40th anniversary, eccentric bass player extraordinaire Phil Lesh has delivered fans a most welcome gift: his autobiography. There are many books out there about the Dead told from the perspective of roadies, journalists, third party observers, and fans.However, with the exceptions of Jerry Garcia's ramblings in Garcia: A Signpost to New Space and Conversations With the Dead, Lesh's Searching for the Sound is the first time a founding member of America's favorite band tells their own story of what it was like inside the Grateful Dead. And what a wonderful, strange tale it is.

    Phil Lesh, considered the most academic of the group due to his avant-garde classical composition training, literate mind, and passion for the arts, decided to write his story himself. Written without the crutch of a ghostwriter, Searching for the Sound might be considered disjointed in places, but overall it comes across as conversational, intimate, informative, and candid (particularly regarding topics of drug use and death). If you are familiar with the band and their extended family, their history, the sixties' musical milestones and influences and all the band's famous tales (the Garcia/ Lesh "silent" confrontation, being busted on Bourbon Street, the Wall of Sound), you may be a little disgruntled there is not much new here in the way of content. However, what is "new" and totally satisfying is Phil's warm, optimistic perspective on the many events that helped shape his life. As described by Lesh, his life's journey, much like the Dead's music, is "a [series] of recurring themes, transpositions, repetitions, unexpected developments, all converging to define form that is not necessarily apparent until it's ending has come and gone." For the many fans who enjoyed the fruits of his life pursuit of sonic explorations,Searching for the Sound isa welcome addition to their Dead library. --Rob Bracco ... Read more

    Reviews (19)

    5-0 out of 5 stars What the professor, er I mean, the bass player is thinking
    I'm so full of music and nostalgia, having just finished this book. I didn't want it to end. I'm exhausted--feeling like I just danced my way through a weekend of shows--and yet, so high on the memories, I'm thrilled and honored to write this review. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Phil, for writing "Searching For The Sound." It's a wonderful book. The best I've read about the Dead. Thank you for sharing everything behind that omnipresent smile you always seemed to have on stage.

    Our intimate circle of Deadhead cohorts--best friends, pals, passing and long-term acquaintances that began in Southern Illinois (particularly along with the fabulous and memorable cover group, "Uncle Jon's Band,") through our crew called "East Bay Deadheads For Peace" formed during one of many Berkeley Greek Theater shows, always called Phil "The Professor." I confess I never knew why until I read this book. Wow. Phil brings an intellectual integrity to the story of his own musical education and, of course, to the band--to the history of the music driving The Grateful Dead, and to all of us who continually flocked to see them play for us and for each other. Phil lets us in. Tells us what it was REALLY like. Even when I knew what was coming, I experienced the pains (and the joys) through a different and certainly wiser set of eyes. This book is written with true love and deep respect for all members of the band and above all, for THE MUSIC.

    What amazes me most about his book is the clarity of Phil's memory. He recounts (particularly the early days) with such detail that I can't help but believe this is transcribed from personal journals. Passages like: "the whole urban symphony of Industrial Man, coming from near and far, high and low, finally weaving a shimmering web of discontinuous rhythm, and in the longest slow fade ever, subsiding over hours to a dull roar, felt rather than heard, only to rouse itself anew as the sky brightened with the light of another day." Whew! This amazing, true, brutally honest, funny, insightful memoir is full of such . . . such . . . stuff! And it's not just trippy memory-packed description that blew me away. When he describes the "dark and stormy night" that defined their Woodstock experience, he describes the faltering sound-system as an electrical edifice with "a saber-toothed crotch cricket of a hum."

    To anyone who not only experienced the phenomenon that was (is) the Grateful Dead, and particularly to those who appreciate the value of music, I highly, highly recommend this read. I haven't felt this emotional over a book in a long, long time. I love you, Phil.

    From the author of "I'm Living Your Dream Life," and "The Things I Wish I'd Said," McKenna Publishing Group.

    4-0 out of 5 stars It's all about the MUSIC
    It is so refreshing to read a book by a musician who is in it for the MUSIC.I knew some background on Mr. Lesh.I'm not a rabid Deadhead...never quit my job and followed them on tour or anything, but I have seen them at least six times.I've read the books by Hank Harrison, Blair Jackson and Rock Scully and enjoyed them all, and have many of their CDs.But Lesh's book is a well-written memoir of what it was like being on that wonderous ride through that unique time in history.If you want to hear stories about shagging endless lines of groupies, or snorting endless lines of cocaine, go elsewhere.Lesh touches on the drug element in the band, but doesn't dwell on it....except for maybe the LSD experimentation which was so crucial the the development of the band. And I've honestly never read such a "dead-on" (sorry) description of the effects of mind-altering drugs.Lesh is obviously an intelligent man, and to be honest, he loses me occasionally when talking about electronics/sound/acoustics, but I knew enough about him to expect that.

    It's rare you get to read a book by a dedicated musician, and not a *ROCKSTAR*.Listening to the Grateful Dead taught me a lot about listening to music in general. After appreciating the dynamic between Garcia, Lesh and Weir, I was able to move on to Coltrane, Garrison, Jones and Tyner and many more great combinations after that.I've always admired Lesh as a musician, but now I also admire him as a writer, a husband and a father.Go in peace, Mr. Lesh! Thanks for the great read!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, a great book on the Dead
    Searching for the Sound is a great book for any GD fan.

    Written by an insider, this is the definitive work on the Dead.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply the best book on the Dead
    I have been on the bus since the sixties in the bay area, when liking the Dead defined yourself to your peers as an uncool nerd and a bit of a weird-o.Nice to hear Phil's journey from the inside.He comes across as warm, human, honest and of course, brilliant.This dude can write...nearly as well as he can play.My wife, who isn't a head, loved reading it, just for the literate writing and the anecdotes.

    The funniest part of it for me was when I caught Phil in two or three errors of chronology or fact, especially about the business side of the Dead, mostly in the seventies.But he explains how that could have happened, especially during that dark time.

    He reminds me a bit of John McCain...having been at death's door, he now has his priorities and values clearly defined and doesn't so much care what you or I (or Mickey, Bill and Bob) think.

    A great read, a spiritual quest.Warm-hearted and full of hope.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Love Will See You Through
    Phil Lesh was the oldest member of the Grateful Dead and the member with the most college education - he studied music and classical composition at several Bay Area universities. Thus, it's not surprising that he is the first member of the band to write a book about his Grateful Dead experiences.

    "Searching for the Sound" is enjoyable for Deadheads. All the band milestones you know about, both positive and negative, are included: the Acid Tests, Altamont, the New Orleans bust, the Canadian train trip, the Bozo and Bolo Buses, the Wall of Sound, Pigpen's deterioration and Jerry Garcia's drug use. But Phil also throws in a few other interesting tidbits, such as:

    *Phil's first instrument was the violin, then he took up the trumpet to play jazz. He learned the bass on his own after Jerry showed him which strings corresponded to which notes.
    *He moved out of 710 Ashbury in part because of Jerry's loud snoring.
    *After the Lenny Hart money fiasco, Mickey Hart didn't officially quit the band; essentially, he took a long leave of absence and still socialized with band members.
    *Jerry showed up for a performance of Wagner's Ring cycle wearing sweats, and fell asleep during the opera.
    *Due to the high cost of constant touring, the band members never made more than a general cost-of-living wage until "In the Dark" in 1987.

    The book is well-written and for the most part easy to read. (His description of his visions during an accidental onstage LSD overdose must be read to be believed. You'll see the notes, too!) Its only real flaw is that Phil includes several very technical passages describing electronic equipment set-ups that mean nothing to the amateur. But those can be skipped over. Put on a Dick's Picks (or Ives' Fourth Symphony) and enjoy this insider's look at the Dead. ... Read more


    2. Elvis by the Presleys
    by Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0307237419
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-03)
    Publisher: Crown
    Sales Rank: 440
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Think of Elvis by the Presleys as the ultimate souvenir guide from your tour of Graceland. The 256 pages are packed with family photos, reminisces, and still-life photography of Elvis's possessions. The book is also a companion volume to the multimdedia event that brings the personal side of Elvis to the masses from the recollections of just six family members: wife Priscilla; daughter Lisa Marie; cousin Patsy; along with Priscilla's mom, dad, and sister. Many of the words written here were not in the TV show but one assumes what will make this a keeper are the photos. Along with candid shots, there are stills of the home movies seen on the CBS special (and subsequent--and expanded--DVD), and the still life shots by Henry Leutwyler get your mind racing. Here one can dwell on Elvis's guitar and think of all the music that came out of it. You can spy his phonograph with the record that was on it when he died, his wallet, an autographed Bible, his first contract, a hand-drawn football play, even his FBI badge along with pristine views inside Graceland. Some shots seem like filler (a boot, "with the original mud," Lisa Marie's crayons), but the overall impression is you are viewing pieces from the Museum of Cool, circa 1970. Several of Pricilla's passages and some of the images allude to Elvis's dark side: the massive reference book on pills and three guns are shown (plus the TV Elvis shot) looking like items from a murder investigation. Ultimately, do we really learn anything new about Elvis? Perhaps not, but there are several segments where Priscilla (the main voice) draws us in with her emotional recollections. The book (and program) is never better than telling the courtship in Germany when a homesick solider found an older-than-her-age 9th grader. Elvis by the Presleys does not try to be compressive; it succeeds as a warmer, more heartfelt tribute to The King. --Doug Thomas ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars For The First Time, The Inside Story by Elvis's Family
    Elvis's wife, daughter, and others in the immediate family tell the story of Elvis Presley from the inside looking out. It is very interesting to have this new perspective on the life of Elvis Presley. In addition, there are some wonderful photos included in the book. Enjoy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars New Discoveries
    Reading through this book I realized that a lot of what the media said was untrue.This book gave a different insight to the values Elvis kept close to his heart. It tells about his complex personality, but at the same time the sensitive side to Elvis that he hid from the public.The book told how generous he was and at times to perfect strangers.He loved to make people happy.He loved his family life. I recommend this book because it tells the truth about Elvis from the people who were closest to him.This book is truly a must read for an Elvis fan.

    4-0 out of 5 stars great pictures
    I gave this book 4 stars because it does not have a lot to read in it. but it does have some really good pictures. the few stories init were good but just wish there was more text. anyone looking for a good picture book of elvis this is the one for you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible
    Even though i'm only 14 i've been an elvis fan from a very early age and have collected numerous items, books, DVd's etc... but this seemed to give you an inside look to his personal choice. Priscilla and other Presley family members have been lucky to share their life with him and now they're letting us have an insight. Excellant!
    Helen, 14, New York ... Read more


    3. Sinatra : The Life
    by ANTHONY SUMMERS, ROBBYN SWAN
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $17.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375414002
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-17)
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 296
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (5)

    1-0 out of 5 stars The Age of Sinatra
    We know Frank Sinatra - we don't know Summers and wife.

    "They buried a man in California on May 14, 1998, but they didn't bury Frank Sinatra. Rock 'n' roll couldn't bury him, disco and rap couldn't. Elvis and the Beatles couldn't." What makes you feel you can, Summers?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book on Ole Blue Eyes
    Frank Sinatra was a Man of many faces,but He had a Persona about Him that you would never soon forget.I've read so many books about him&this One truly captures another side of him.nothing changes my mind of Him as a Artist because I always say that you have to seperate the person from there craft they are two totally different beings.Sinatra is One of the Music Worlds Greatest Treasures period. Sinatra did His thing as He wanted to.like He sang"My Way"&He never strayed from that&You can always respect a stand up Cat.very interesting reading&Details.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This Latest Sinatra Book is a Winner
    This new book on Sinatra is a great read and most people reading the book will find it difficult to put the book down. It deserves to be a best seller. In short, it is a highly entertaining page turner with many photographs that show Sinatra at most stages of his life, and has an excellent free flowing writing style like a magazine article. Furthermore, the authors did a good job and it eclipses prior books - it is a substantial book about 590 pages long with 200 pages of notes.

    Most people, especilally older ones, know the Frank Sinatra success story. The present book gives the rest of the story, the not so pleasant but possibly more fascinating hidden side of the Sinatra story - what was going on behind the scenes. Since many parts will be controversial, the authors have been very cautious and very conservative with the details of their story. In any case, I suspect it is probably close to 100% correct - that is my guess. Out of the total of about 590 pages, the authors have an impressive 200 pages dedicated to backing up the facts of their story including many sources, references, public information, etc. and they give much detail on where they got all their information. Fortunately for the reader, all those 200 pages of notes are neatly placed at the back of the book, and the text itself, just under 400 pages, is a free flowing and easy read with many photographs.

    The story starts with the family immigration from Italy to America, and then continues with his youth and his parents living in Hoboken, NJ, right across the river from New York city. It is one of a number of New Jersey ocean port towns in the area that had strong mob ties- and Hoboken was made famous by the 1954 Marlon Brando movie On The Waterfront. The story continues through his start as a singer, his breaks in show business, the movies, his wives including first wife Nancy and their children then on to Ava Gardner and the other marriages. Ava Gardner was an obsession that lasted until her death according to the book. Then it is on to the numerous girlfriends including Bogart's wife Lauren Bacall. The authors take us through the criminal charges for assault on a reporter, assault against a 20 years old actress, the days in Las Vegas, his connections with Marilyn Monroe, his numerous contacts with politicians including the Kennedy family and more.

    The reason that some will not like this book is that some of the details are not pretty, and they are linked to organized crime. This can be traced to Sinatra's father who comes from the same small town in Sicily as some of the most famous mob leaders of his time; the mob link was previously widely known and it is not new to this present book. Frank had ongoing and continuous contacts with these people as did his father. His parents ran an illegal bar during prohibition using mob supplied liquor, supplied by their Sicilian connections.

    It is claimed that he got his singing start with these connections, and later in his career he got his part in the movie From Here to Eternity, in a style similar to that depicted in the Godfather movie, i.e.: serious and credible death threats aimed at the movie producers if they failed to hire Sinatra. However, once he became famous he continued a strong interaction with many mob figures including Sam Giancana in Chicago. According to the book, Sam Giancana was not an isolated incident - there were many. One or a few incidents like Giancana might have been considered an error of judgement, but the authors detail perhaps dozens of other crime figures, many with photographs and notes and other information. They even claim that Sinatra transported cash for the mob. Sinatra would deny all of this in public, even years later after many of the other people were dead, but there are too many references to come to any conclusion other than what is described in the book.

    The other not so pretty part of the story involves his famous temper, impatience, and similar behaviour with women and associates, and even beating a reporter. With his fame and success came sex appeal and power. He was diverted from his first marriage to Nancy by many women including Ava Gardner and others, many being the most famous and most beautiful of the day, and sometimes many decades younger than himself such as Mia Farrow. But he was unable to maintain the relationships and marriages, due largely to his temper, his expectations, and his manner or life style.

    This is a fascinating read, and I highly recommend the book. It is similar to some prior biographies on Sinatra but refined and expanded. It has a lot of back up material and an excellent collection of photographs. My opinion of him did not change from reading the book. I already new he was a fairly independent and strong headed guy who did things his own way oblivious to the social norms - as per his song "My Way". Maybe this tough guy connection percolated through to his public image and that is one reason why he was famous?

    Fascinating book, this is a buy: 5 stars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Book on Sinatra So Far
    We have had the records. We have the CDs and Videos.And finally we have THE BOOK! The most carefully researched and factually presented document on Sinatra the man. It tells the complete story, for the first time, of the twentieth century legend who thrilled us with his wonderful gift of story telling in music. It is simply the best book on Sinatra so far.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Whose "Life" Is It Anyway
    Frank Sinatra is generally regarded as the finest popular singer of his time so it seems logical that any book entitled "Sinatra-The Life" would have to take off from the music.

    Without the music there would be no "Mob", no starlets, no movie roles,no bodyguards...none of the egocentric trivia the Sinatra biographers generally like to focus on.

    Kitty Kelley in her 1986 hatchet job spent so little time on Sinatra's artistry one would be hard put to realize she was writing about a musician.

    Anthony Summers and Robin Swann, authors of "Sinatra The Life" are not quite as mean spirited in their tone as Kelley was, but they spend so much time dwelling in the gutter, it's almost as if it was an inconvenience for them to touch upon the music (some of which they get wrong--there was no "recitation" on the "Watertown" album


    Summers and Swan devote a huge portion of the book trying to finally cement Sinatra's connection to the Mob....

    Does anyone really care at this point if the "Mob" helped get Sinatra the role of Private Maggio?....did the "Mob" give Sinatra's terrific Oscar winning performance--did the "Mob" record a body of musical work that remains unparalled in the history of American popular culture?Did the "Mob" make worldwide standards out of obscure showtunes such as "Lady Is A Tramp" and "I've Got You Under My Skin?"...Is the "Mob" responsible for the fact that millions can date the events of their lives by what Sinatra album was in release at the time.

    An artist of Sinatra's stature and longevity deserves at least the same sort of 2 volume treatment that Elvis received from the excellent Peter Guralnick.


    Suffice it to say that amazingly enough the definitive biography of Frank Sinatra has yet to be written...

    "Sinatra-The Life" ain't it........................


    ... Read more


    4. Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas
    by Michka Assayas
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $16.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1573223093
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-21)
    Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover
    Sales Rank: 160
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    For the first time ever, Bono--the biggest rock star in the world--tells his life story.

    Bono's career is unlike any other in rock history. As the lead singer of U2, Bono has sold 130 million albums, won fourteen Grammys, and played numerous sold-out world tours, but he has also lobbied and worked with world leaders from Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to Nelson Mandela on debt relief, AIDS, and other critical global issues. He has collaborated with the same musicians for nearly three decades and has been married to his childhood sweetheart since 1982. His life, at all turns, resists the rock star clichés.

    In a series of intimate conversations with his friend Michka Assayas, a music journalist who has been with the band since the very beginning, Bono reflects on his transformation from the extrovert singer of a small Irish post-punk band into one of the most famous individuals in the world; and from an international celebrity to an influential spokesperson for the Third World. He speaks candidly about his faith, family, commitment, influences, service, and passion. Bono: A Self-Portrait in Conversationis the closest we will come, for now, to a memoir from the iconic frontman of U2.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Conversations Between Friends
    If you wanted to ask Bono a question, what would it be?

    Would it be about the music?

    Would it be about his personal life? Perhaps the deaths of his parents?

    Would you ask about the formation of the most successful band in history?

    Perhaps you'd want to know more about his work in support of AIDS and hunger releif.

    All of these questions, and many, many more are asked and answered in this book. In fact, almost the whole book is a series of questions that ramble from subject to subject with no pattern. These questions and answers are like a normal conversation flows between friends.

    Because they are friends, a true respect exists between the two men and it comes out in the book. This means that there is great insight shown into how Bono thinks. And it comes out that he thinks very well indeed.

    This is a fascinating book, not just because of the fascination with the singer, but because of the insight he brings to us about places like Africa and the Soviet Union.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Trip inside Bono's head
    U2 is the greatest band of my lifetime.How could I resist 323 pages of Bono pontificating?Obviously, I couldn't.Is Bono a little self-indulgent?You bet.Does he avoid dishing the dirt?Absolutely.But he does provide quite a bit of insight into what makes him tick.He is a remarkable human being.

    This is by no means a "tell all" book.The book briefly mentions Adam's problems with addiction, which were so bad at one point that he actually just didn't show up for a show in Sydney, a show that was being filmed for TV!But there aren't any details.There's some lip service paid to the group's (minus Adam) involvement with Shalom Christianity (a group devoted to understanding the Scriptures), but again, no real details.The details we get in this book are the little ones that make up day-to-day family life, past and present..., and ALOT about Africa.6500 Africans die each day of a preventable, treatable disease.It's hard to argue when Bono suggests that deep down we don't really believe in their equality. Bono's trip to Africa after the Live Aid concert seems to be a real turning-point in his life, and there are many pages devoted to his time there and his efforts to bring Africa's problems to the world's attention.

    But it's not all heavy seriousness.There's alot of poking fun at Bono's admittedly giant ego.Naturally, there are more than a few great quotes:"I can do the high-life; I can do the low-life; it's the in-between that gives me trouble."I'm paraphrasing.I've started using the line myself, and have kind of made it my own, as I did with, "The God I believe in isn't short of cash, mister...."Back to the heavy stuff, there's some interesting commentary on the Sandinistas and the events that inspired "Bullet the Blue Sky".Bono saw things first-hand.

    Naturally, there's some talk about other musicians.Bono clearly loves Prince.Oddly, it appears that Bono thinks The Rolling Stones (the only band I can think of with the longevity and enduring creativity of U2) as almost fluffy pop musicians.He doesn't come out and say it, but it's between the lines.

    In short, the book is a must-read for the U2 fan, and a great read for people curious about the life of a very unique individual who might very well one day win the Nobel Peace Prize.It's missing the stories of sex and drugs, but it's clear, despite what Bono might have said on God Part II, that rock and roll can really change the world.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A humbling perspective of a man in power....
    I must admit that when I saw this book, I was hesitant at first to read it.I thought it was going to be another "entertainment book" about U2 and their career.Little did I realize that this book is very in-depth about "the man behind the shades".Bono shares his joys, his struggles, and his adventure in this book.It covers anything from his family, his inadequacy as a celebrity, the workings of U2, his activism, faith, and other topics.This book is definitely a must read for anyone who loves U2's music and wants to gain a better understanding of Bono.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating look into Bono's character
    A long-time fan of U2's music and impressed by Bono's activisim, I was anxious to read this new book. And I loved it! I couldn't put it down!

    Written in a coversational style, I at first thought it may be difficult to follow. Instead, I pleasantly realized that it made me feel as if I was listening to Bono talk to a group of which I was part. Because we are actually reading his words, I thinkwe really get a look into Bono's mind - or even his soul.

    Every topic I could want to hear Bono talk about is covered - his music, the band, his family, his belief in God, and his activism. It had it all.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more about what makes Bono tick. It confirmed to me that he has a very big heart, a great intellect, and incredible talent.

    Enjoy! ... Read more


    5. Tori Amos:Piece by Piece
    by TORI AMOS, ANN POWERS
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $16.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 076791676X
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-08)
    Publisher: Broadway
    Sales Rank: 18383
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    6. The Dirt : Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band
    by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars, Nikki Sixx, Neil Strauss
    list price: $15.95
    our price: $11.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060989157
    Catlog: Book (2002-07-01)
    Publisher: Regan Books
    Sales Rank: 1003
    Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Whiskey and porn stars, hot reds and car crashes, black leather and high heels, overdoses and death. This is the life of MÖtley CrÜe, the heaviest drinking, hardest fighting, most oversexed and arrogant band in the world. Their unbelievable exploits are the stuff of rock 'n' roll legend. They nailed the hottest chicks, started the bloodiest fights, partied with the biggest drug dealers, and got to know the inside of every jail cell from California to Japan. They have dedicated an entire career to living life to its extreme, from the greatest fantasies to the darkest tragedies. Tommy married two international sex symbols; Vince killed a man and lost a daughter to cancer; Nikki overdosed, rose from the dead, and then OD'd again the next day; and Wick shot a woman and tried to hang his own brother. But that's just the beginning. Fueled by every drug they could get their hands on and obscene amounts of alcohol, driven by fury and headed straight for hell, MÖtley CrÜe raged through two decades, leaving behind a trail of debauched women, trashed hotel rooms, crashed cars, psychotic managers, and broken bones that has left the music industry cringing to this day. All these unspeakable acts, not to mention their dire consequences, are laid bare in The Dirt.

    Here -- directly from Nikki, Vince, Tommy, and Mick -- is the unexpurgated version of the whole glorious, gut-wrenching story. In these pages, published for the first time anywhere, are Tommy Lee's letters to Pamela Anderson from prison: Mick's confession to having an incurable disease that is slowly killing him; Vince's experience burying his own daughter -- and the train wreck that his life became afterward; and Nikki's anguished struggle to deal with an entire life fueled by anger over his childhood abandonment, his discovery of the family he never knew he had -- and his subsequent loss of them. And all of it accompanied by scores of rare, never-before-published photographs, mug shots, and handwritten lyrics. No one is spared. Not David Lee Roth, Ozzy Osbourne, Vanity, Aerosmith, Heather Locklear, AC/DC, Lita Ford, Iron Maiden, Pamela Anderson, Guns N' Roses, Donna D'Errico, RATT, or those two girls from Dallas, Texas.

    Make no mistake about it: these guys are geniuses. They invented glam metal and then left it in the dust; sold more than forty million albums from Shout at the Devil to Dr. Feelgood; toured the world dozen times and have the scars to prove it it; and maintained a rabid following in an era of throwaway pop stars. MÖtley CrÜe has done nothing less than tattoo the psyche of the entire MTV generation. They are the ultimate rock 'n' roll band. And if you don't believe it, read The Dirt. You don't know what decadence is...

    ... Read more

    Reviews (211)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Rock's Bad Boys Tell All...
    I've followed the Crue since 1982 and have read so much about the band, listened to interviews, and watched them on TV. Knowing all I know about them, I could not put this book down once I started reading it. It's amazing to actually hear how the band was consumed by drugs and alcohol.

    The book follows each member from childhood. It gives you a sense of each member's personality and shows you a different side of them not seen by the public. While each member's tales of their upbringing were interesting, Nikki's childhood stories are the most interesting and moving. Moving past childhood and adolescence, the member's chronicle their way into music and Motley Crue.

    From their wild nights and endless days of partying while making a name for themselves in L.A., see how the band promoted themselves, and snagged a record deal with Elektra Records. It amazing that they got signed after reading just how wild they were before they hit the big time. At that point, the party had only begun.

    The Dirt allows you to see the real people behind the Bad Boy Rock Star Images of the Motley members. While they are one of the wildest bands to walk the face of this earth, they are in fact human and have faced more problems and turmoil than most of us combined will ever know. Some of their problems may have been self inflicted but none the less, real problems. With all the good and bad they went through, they made it out alive and left their mark in rock and roll.

    This book covers everything Motley. The wild tours, fights, arrests, deaths, recording sessions, parties, groupies and more. Motley Crue lived the Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll life style like no other band. VH1's "Behind The Music" only scratched the surface of the bad boys story. If you want it all, pick up "The Dirt" and I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars THEATRE OF PAIN...INDEED!
    I'm not a fan of Motley Crue (the people or their music) but this book came to my attention through all of the stories I have heard over the years. As far as rock biographies go, it's a fast paced read. Motley Crue epitomizes the message of "Sex, Drugs, and Rock N' Roll!" So since there are so many other reviews I think I'll just share what I have learned about the band members through their 430 page opus.

    Vince Neil has the most penultimate tear-jerker in the chapter that deals with the death of his daughter. In a book made to shock and astonish, this was as touching a moment as anything I have read. Beyond his love and loss, he comes off like a stand-up guy who enjoys the life style and isn't making excuses.

    Nikki Sixx had a rough childhood and has so many father-son issues it's not even funny. While I respect the fact that he's been through more turmoil than I'll ever know...get over it. There's nothing more pathetic than listening to rock star millionaires pining away about how sad they are. I guess money can't buy happiness.

    Mick Mars has the least to say in this book and this left me the most intrigued. He has battled rough times from personal illness to divorce to just plain being the victim of emotional abuse. I'm amazed he stayed with the band as long as he has. His is the true sad story in The Dirt.

    Tommy Lee...moron. Here is the epitome of a millionaire jerk who just never learns. How a guy like this managed to bag babes like Heather Locklear, Pamela Anderson, and Carmen Electra...is beyond me. Don't expect to learn anything from his chapters except to see a spoiled baby who is used to getting anything he wants, and if he doesn't then the tantrums start...then and now.

    It's a testament to this book that I enjoyed reading it. The chapters flow quickly telling each band member's story and author Neil Strauss never slows down. And unlike biographies by other rock groups, these characters actually have some bizarre stories to tell...and how they survived is beyond me. While I may not be racing out to buy any Crue music, I'm very happy that I read this biography.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for hard core Motley Crue fans!
    This was a great book......great pictures and the stories of these guys is just amazing. The fact that it is so in detail about each band member and how they told each of thier stories is amazing. The fact that they are all clean and sober is just as great. This band is amazing and I do feel that the music will live on forever. Don't ever judge a book by its cover. Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a wild ride
    "The Dirt" is impossible to describe. The stories Motley Crue tell are hard to believe, yet you know it's all true. Struggling in Hollywood living together in a roach infested apartment, the wild parties, the girls, girls, girls. Of course, they become a huge famous band and their drugs and girls get huge too.

    The chapters Nikki Sixx wrote were my favorites. He comes across as very intellligent and is a great storyteller. Mick Mars' chapters are very insightful, as he always seemed to shy away from media attention and I never knew all that much about him. Tommy Lee's chapters make him sound like a spoiled child. He was always my favorite member of the Crue, but his chapters got harder and harder to read (ending with letters he wrote to Pamela from prison that were so juvenille it hurt to read them).

    All in all, this is a fantastic book that I've read three times since purchasing. It's hard to put down, hard to believe and a totally wild ride.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Unadulterated Realism
    In my opinion, this is the most gut renching, unadulterated truth that I have ever read. From laughing out loud, to being completely disgusted, the boys of Motley Crue cover all basis and pulled no stop when it came to this autobiography of their lives as they lived it.

    They had drugs on tap, sex on tap, and a boat load of trouble that followed them everywhere they went. The fact that some people dislike this book because of their "Hedonistic actions", they must realize that this IS life as it was and still is today. I highly recommend that people read this book just so they can know what is out there and what really happened/happens in the world of rock as we know it. ... Read more


    7. Rolling with the Stones
    by Bill Wyman, Richard Havers
    list price: $50.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0789489678
    Catlog: Book
    Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing
    Sales Rank: 39935
    Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Of his own choosing, Bill Wyman's career as a founding member of the Rolling Stones has achieved a perspective that his legendary bandmates don't yet enjoy: a beginning, middle, and end. Indeed, the musicians once hailed as the greatest rock & roll band in the world have become more like the band that wouldn't die. But history can't be denied, and the man born William Perks of Lower Sydenham, London, has lovingly assembled this over-500-page book, equal parts memoir and lavishly illustrated coffee-table tome, with a winning mix of clear-eyed reportage (based on his own voluminous diaries) and an eye for colorful detail and ephemera worthy of a proud family scrapbook. Which, in many ways, Rolling with the Stones most resembles: family--and musical--trees are acknowledged, career moves dissected, deaths mourned, and triumphs and foibles alike are dispensed with equal candor. Wyman deflates the myth of the Stones as rock's preternatural bad boys (a conservative, sensationalist press made it all too easy to live down to expectations) yet allows the tragic legend of band founder Brian Jones to assume its proper perspective. A half-decade older than his bandmates, the retired Stone has few illusions about the band's true cultural impact and creative arc, devoting nearly three-quarters of the book to the Stones' first, turbulent decade. What is more gratifying is that he avoids the myopic constraints of the similarly sized Beatles Anthology, generously weaving the recollections of band members, associates, family, reporters, and even fan letters into a narrative whose outline is epic, but whose viewpoint has a decidedly human scale. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

    Reviews (19)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Get this book on the Rolling Stones if you only get one!
    I'm also prejudiced as I'm a very strong and longtime Stones fan, e.g. I've got all the new SACD albums and have seen them 6 times on the 2002 US tour! This book is a superb summary of both their off and on stage escapades with lots of details too. Designed as a high end coffee book it is more than its 2,000 photos, 45 two page tour spreads (yes - each tour and every date is listed up to 1993 - when Bill Wyman had left). Plus their are lots of quotes from many who were there and so much more! It literaly starts with where they were born and goes on from there. Definitely easy to dip in to, say for your favorite album or tour, or to read through in one very long sitting. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Holy Grail for the Rolling Stones fan
    So much has been written about the Rolling Stones over the years, but as shown in his autobiography Stone Alone, Bill Wyman's accounts carry much weight because he was there. This massive book is a huge collage of trivia, photos and memorabilia of the band's long reign. Still, the written content is just as valuable, and Wyman packs every page with inside information and personal observations which makes this priceless.

    All the famous and not so famous moments of the Rolling Stones' career are highlighted, and the reader is spared the pretensions of the boring rock critics who usually suck the life out of their subjects. Particularly enjoyable (as in Stone Alone) are the anecdotes about the early Stones and their unlikely rise to fame.

    Lots of tidbits all over; for example, Wyman still seems pissed 30 years later about Keith Richards overdubbing the bass on "Happy". There's trivia, like the story behind the cover shoot of Get Your Ya-Yas out and Andy Warhol's disapproval of the Love You Live cover, as well as detail like the typical set lists from all the tours. Ticket stubs and concert posters are everywhere, now if only I could find my 1979 Oshawa concert ticket that's pictured in the book!

    Wyman still manages to convey the excitement of the whole experience, and its obvious that he loves being an integral part of the Rolling Stones' legacy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If you love the Stones, run--don't walk--to buy this!
    Let me begin by tempering my comments with the fact that I've long been a fan of the Stones (going back to my garage-band days in the late 60's), so I began this book with a sincere interest in understanding the "phenomenon" we know as "The Rolling Stones". After just a short while, I was absolutely blown away by Bill Wyman's thorough, loving, and fantasically annotated effort. Here it is ladies and gentlemen, the complete history (warts and all) of one of the world's great rock bands. I am amazed that the book comes across as objective, and Wyman never sounds as if he's boasting or bragging...he just lays out the history of the group, song-by-song and performance-by-performance. Information is presented in somewhat of a scrapbook format, but this quickly grows on you, as it allows you to skip over items you might not care to view (lists of each forum where the Stones played on each tour), and savor the tidbits of information that are so insightful. Each page holds an incredible amount of information: photographs, background information, side notes, copies of contracts, mini-biographies, discographies, and so on. Very interesting tidbits of information are found almost everywhere....did you know that the famous "Jumping Jack Flash" riff was NOT a Jagger/Richard idea? Lots of clippings from newspapers and other media of the day, in turn condemning or praising the Stones as a group and as individuals. It's almost like being allowed to view Wyman's day-by-day scrapbook/diary of what happened as the band went from a bunch of school boys to the greatest rock band left standing. The amazing thing is that I never found myself bored with this volume. Maybe that's because I've always been amazed by the Stones, and perhaps that's natural for someone who "grew up" with them. So my advice is aimed at those who are sincere Stones fans or those who have a deep interest in the history of the band. This book should pretty much answer all your questions and provide MANY hours of entertainment as you "roll" with the Stones.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An absolute "must have".
    If you're gonna buy one book about the Rolling Stones, this is the one. When it came out, I remembered reading a long time ago that Bill Wyman was "the band's archivist". He did one helluva job!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!!
    I highly recommend this book to every music fan. Contains old journal entries, rare pictures, and memorabilia, this book takes you back in time when the Stones were really rolling. ... Read more


    8. Scar Tissue
    by Anthony Kiedis, Larry Sloman
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1401301010
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-06)
    Publisher: Hyperion
    Sales Rank: 309
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    Book Description

    As lead singer and songwriter for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Anthony Kiedis has lived life on the razor's edge. So much has been written about him, but until now, we've only had Kiedis's songs as clues to his experience from the inside. In Scar Tissue, Kiedis proves himself to be as compelling a memoirist as he is a lyricist, giving us a searingly honest account of the life from which his music has evolved.

    The Red Hot Chili Peppers are that rare breed of rock band. Critically lauded and popularly embraced by millions of fans, their albums consistently sell into the stratosphere -- their CD Californication sold over 13 million copies alone.

    Now in Scar Tissue, Anthony Kiedis defies the rock star clichés. In his telling, we can see everything he has done has been part of a passionate journey. Kiedis is a man "in love with everything" -- the darkness, the death, the disease. Even his descent into drug addition was a part of that journey, another element that he has transformed into art. ... Read more


    9. Chopin: Pianist and Teacher : As Seen by his Pupils
    list price: $38.20
    our price: $29.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0521367093
    Catlog: Book (1988-12-01)
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Sales Rank: 52531
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The accounts of Chopin's pupils, acquaintances and contemporaries, together with his own writing, provide valuable insights into the musician's pianistic and stylistic practice, his teaching methods and his aesthetic beliefs.This unique collection of documents, edited and annotated by Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger, reveals Chopin as teacher and interpreter of his own music.Included in this study is extensive appendix material that presents annotated scores, and personal accounts of Chopin's playing by pupils, writers, and critics. ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars You need this if you play Chopin
    You need this book if you play Chopin. There is a wealth of information on playing Chopin's music directly from the composer and his pupils. It has answered many questions and cleared up some misconceptions I had about this music.

    5-0 out of 5 stars great book on how to play Chopin
    For those of us who bungle at the keyboard and can always use more guidance, this book offers a great start in understanding Chopin's music. Probably the most difficult piece to play in public is Chopin Ballade No. 4, and Chopin offers some incredible insight into how he wanted it played. As you know, the music notation on the sheet cannot cover every intention of the composer, much like writing cannot capture everything, but most of what we want to say. This book supplements your understanding of the music. I would not be surprised if your great piano teacher pulls material out of this book in order to advise you on how to play Chopin.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Historical Document
    This book is wonderful for understanding Chopin's philosophies on technique and musicianship. One important thing you learn in reading this book, however, is that the piano has changed dramatically since Chopin's time. My main reason for reading this book was to gain valuable information about how to improve my technique for playing Chopin. Although I definitely learned a lot by reading this book, the issues relating to Chopin's advice about technique are unfortunately not as relevant on pianos today as I was hoping. In short, it's a great read, but will not solve all your Chopin technique problems.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must for Chopin fans
    This is an excellent and well documented work. Anyone who tries to play Chopin or has an amibition to do so, should read this. It goes straight to the heart of Chopins entire musical philisophy, and gives not only insight into the artist himself, but solid and sound advice on practicing, technique, and interpretation. Strongly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Indispensible to anyone interested in Chopin
    When I went to university, I devoured almost all books on Chopin from the library. None was nearly as informative. Through his pupils, friends, associates, colleagues, you'll know exactly what the master was like when he played and taught, his stylistic requirements, his temperament and the magic he evoked.

    I just can't stress this enough - this is a must-buy! If you still have your doubts, get your hands on a copy and have a browse - what you can learn from it is priceless. ... Read more


    10. Magical Mystery Tours : My Life with the Beatles
    by Tony Bramwell, Rosemary Kingsland
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 031233043X
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
    Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
    Sales Rank: 4018
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    "If you want to know anything about the Beatles, ask Tony Bramwell. He remembers more than I do."- Sir Paul McCartney to Donovan in a January 2002 interview

    Tony Bramwell's remarkable life began in a postwar Liverpool suburb, where he was childhood friends with three of the Beatles long before they were famous. And by the time he caught up with George Harrison on the top of a bus going to check out "The Beatles, direct from Hamburg"--one of whom George turned out to be--Tony was well on his way to staying by them for every step of their meteoric rise.

    If anything needed taking care of, Tony Bramwell was the man the Beatles called, the man they knew they could trust. His story has been sought after for years, and now, here it is, full of untold stories and detailing with an insider's shrewd eye the Apple empire's incomparable rise, Brian Epstein's frolics, Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters, Phil Spector's eccentric behavior, and new stories about Yoko Ono, the Stones, and the life--his life.

    From developing the first Beatle music videos to heading Apple Films, and from riding bikes and trading records with George Harrison to working and partying with everyone from the Beatles to Hendrix, Ray Charles, and The Who, Tony's life really did (and does) encompass a who's who of rock.

    His story reveals fresh insights into the Beatles' childhoods and families, their early recordings and songwriting, the politics at Apple, and Yoko's pursuit of John and her growing influence over the Beatles' lives. And it uncovers new information about the Shea Stadium concert footage, John Lennon's late-night "escapes," and more. From the Cavern Club to the rooftop concert, from the first number one to the last, and from scraps of song lyrics to the discovery of the famous Mr. Kite circus poster, Tony Bramwell really did see it all.

    Conversational, direct, and honest, the ultimate Beatles insider finally shares his own version of the frantic and glorious ascent of four boys from Liverpool lads to rock and roll kings.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Really?!!
    First-hand stories of legends (living or not) from half a century ago are usually just that: stories. I'm sure most of them are true, but they don't have to be to sell books. And who's memory is that good, or has not been diluted or rearranged many times during one's life, to be able to note specifics of conversations or events pertaining to somebody else?

    We all know that Yoko was the black widow that ate the Beatles heart, but we also should know that John desperately needed a "mommy" figure because he lost his mother twice as a child. People have been alot more screwed up from alot less trauma.

    It is also been well known for quite a while that the Beatles re-recorded parts of the Shea Stadium concert soundtrack. Mark Lewisohn also details this (secret? Come on!) episode in The Complete Beatles Chronicles, although with plenty of inaccuracies as well. There are many bootleg copies of the concert, some with the original Shea audio, and some with the re-dubbed audio, and it's fairly easy to tell which is which, once you've seen it a few times. And hardly everything was touched-up anyway. Many of the original vocals remained with some of the instruments re-dubbed on a given track, but some songs were never touched at all. I guess it came as a shock to me, when I first saw the "Rain" video on Ed Sullivan, that they weren't really singing or playing; just miming, but I'm not 10 years old anymore, and they didn't invent lip-syncing, either.

    So, I guess my point is that even historical documents often bear false information, so don't take somebody's "I was there" book as Gospel. It is, after all, just entertainment!

    4-0 out of 5 stars One Big Suprise-true or false?
    This is an enjoyable romp thru the Beatles history marred only by some suprising inaccuricies.They can mostly be overlooked as so much time has passed and a lot of alcohol has gone over the dam since then.

    HOWEVER-there is a claim made in the book that I have never heard before and am really wondering about.Bramwell states the entire Shea Stadium concert of 1965 was re-recorded in the studio and dubbed onto the film shown on CBS the following year.With the exception of "Act Naturally", the studio version of which is used in the film, it appears the Beatles are playing and singing live. Has anyone heard of this, or has it been confirmed thru another source?Just wondering.

    One last thought.This book is not likely to make Yoko Ono's end of the year top ten list.She has to be one of the most annoying people of the last century.What the hell was John Lennon thinking?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Rare Gem of a Beatle Book - Advanced Beatle History
    I love this book.This is a refreshing Beatle biography, from the standpoint of someone who literally grew up with the Beatles and socialized with them from boyhood.A gifted raconteur, Bramwell draws readers into a "sense" of each Beatle as a boy; what it was like to have George Harrison have dinner at your table; to witness George pulling a very dangerous stunt as a boy and being warned about John's questionable influence on his peers.

    Bramwell does a stellar job of portraying a part of musical/artistic/cultural history that will no doubt delight inveterate Beatle fans, but attract the attention of those either becoming familiar with the Beatles or who have an interest in history in general.This book is really geared for all ranging from the "advanced" Beatle fan; that is, one who has a strong background in Beatle knowledge to people wanting to learn more about them and bring them to a high level of Beatle information.

    This inveterate, avid Beatles' fan gives this work a hearty endorsement and a yeah, yeah, yeah!



    3-0 out of 5 stars Hatred of Yoko Spoils What Could Have Been Something Special
    Mr. Bramwell really did know the Beatles in Liverpool and the beginning sections of this book are excellent.Unfortunately Mr. Bramwell's blinding hatred of Yoko Ono really spoils the latter half.Mr. Bramwell puts an anti-Yoko, pro-Paul statement on practically every page and and some of his ommissions and misstatements are really egregious. Once Yoko enters the picture, Paul can do no wrong, and John's contributions are constantly minimized. Perhaps Yoko really was as loathsome to Mr. Bramwell as he claims when he worked for Apple.But his description of the complex Paul/John/Yoko dynamic is simply too vitrolic to be taken seriously.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good insider's view of the Beatles
    Tony Bramwell, assisted by Rosemary Kingsland, writes a commendable overview of his years with the Beatles.Bramwell was the "go to" guy when members of the band or their management needed something done.

    His early years with the group were the most interesting to me.He makes the reader feel that they are along for the ride when Tony and the group go on an exhausting van trip across England.The reader can tagalong as Tony assists John in escaping suburban imprisonment and embarking on a drunken night on the town in swingin' '60's London.

    Bramwell is affecting when describing the trials and tribulations of Brian Epstein, the genius who made the Beatles "bigger than Elvis," but who succumbed to his own inner demons.

    Yoko Ono is portrayed as the crazed "stalker" who calculatingly seduces John and evetually lures his interests away from the group.Sadly, Tony's account of her calculated pursuit of the vulnerable Lennon rings tragically true.

    The reason I didn't give the book five stars is due to its occasional lapse in historical accuracy and misspellings.Bela Lugosi, who is described as a friend and dinner guest of Phil Spector, died in 1956, two years before Spector even wrote his first number one hit, "To Know Him is to Love Him."Bryan Ferry is rechristened "Brian" Ferry.

    Still, overall, I recommend Tony Bramwell's book to all Beatles fans.Reading the book is like sitting in a cozy pub with a man who was one of the Beatles' closet friends and confidantes. ... Read more


    11. Into the Heart: The Stories Behind Every U2 Song
    by Niall Stokes
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $16.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1560253142
    Catlog: Book (2001-07)
    Publisher: Thunder's Mouth Press
    Sales Rank: 1867
    Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Into the Heart examines the behind-the-scenes influences that shaped U2’s internationally popular and critically acclaimed music. Included are original and revealing interviews with band members and the key people close to U2. The band’s rich cultural and social context is fully explored, providing a colorful backdrop to the songs. Into the Heart traces U2’s meteoric rise from the early days of their career with Boy, their first album, to the spanning success of The Joshua Tree, Rattle and Hum, Achtung Baby, and Pop. U2 is a group that has become a world-class rock ’n’ roll band; a band that continues to invent themselves and is not afraid to take chances with their craft—as well as make a unique impact in the world of music with their raw, emotional energy. This edition includes over 100 black and white and color photos, provides a complete chronology and discography, and covers the band's newest CD, All That You Can’t Leave Behind. ... Read more

    Reviews (23)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Book if you're a U2 Fanatic. . .
    This book is a very entertaining read provided that you're approaching a fanatical level of U2-ness. It's wonderful in that nearly all of their songs are written about -- from the beginnings to All That You Can't Leave Behind -- another reviewer said it's only for songs before Zooropa, but this is most definitely not true. Furthermore, it has shorter narratives on many of their B-side tracks as well.

    That being said, the actual writing could be better -- it seems that Mr. Stokes had unprecendented access to Bono, Edge, Larry and Adam and while his interviewing must have been extensive, his writing style leaves much to be desired. He leaves things purposely vague and his attempts at sounding profound actually confuse and make things more opaque than they need be; U2 are excellent song-writers but the meanings behind their songs are much simpler than Mr. Stokes wants to let on -- his writing would benefit tremendously from increased lucidity. Nonetheless, the book makes for entertaining reading and allows for new insight into one of the greatest rock bands ever. . .

    4-0 out of 5 stars U2: Exegesis
    Niall Stokes has written one of the definitive books on U2 (along with Bill Flanagan's "U2 At the End of the World") with this massive, song-by-song exegesis of the U2 canon. Maybe not for the casual fan, "Into the Heart" is a must-own for the hardcore U2 fanatic. Stokes devotes at least a page to every song on every U2 album, and the writing isn't press-releasy fan worship, but a loving and critical analysis joined with commentary from the band members and such U2 cohorts as Brian Eno, Flood and Daniel Lanois (the fifth, sixth and seventh members of the band, by all accounts).

    For the most part, the book is insightful, informative and was no doubt exhaustively researched. It is beautifully designed and packed with never-before-seen photos of the band. Not only are all the albums dissected, but there's plenty of material covering the B-sides and "extra-curricular activities" of the band members. Fascinating stuff.

    Of course, U2 songs aren't terribly easy to pin down, and to my mind it's impossible to say definitively what "Bad" is all about, or "Wire," or "Promenade," or "With Or Without You." Mystery is a huge part of the music's allure, and while I appreciate Stokes' examination of Bono's sometimes incomprehensible lyrics, the mystery and magic of the band's music remains -- blessedly -- intact.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Have Book of Inspiring Insight into U2's Storytelling
    Upon reading this book, even the casual U2 listener will experience listening to U2 albums in a new light; and even better, experience the live versions with much more emotional investment.
    The book, offers insights, inspirations, influences and passions that drive U2 to write songs, many that take on a gospel-like quality. When read cover to cover, the book is a fascinating look into the various depths in the emotional and intellectual journey U2 experiences from their beginning to their fascination with electronica in "Pop," to their recent stripped-down sense of soul in "All You Can't Leave Behind."
    My favorite example of the book's impact is reading about New Year's Day, then listening to the song as the lyrics take on a more lucid and emotionally powerful dimension about the turmoil in the world -espeically in Ireland and in Poland. To top it off, hearing "New Years day" live during the 2001 Slane Castle performance, in which Bono raises the Irish flag and rejoices with over 100,000 fans singing along, the song generates anthem-like electricity. It is quite unmistakable that Bono is indeed, moved as well, as the song takes on a fresh meaning on that night at Slane Castle.
    "Into the Heart" is an architectural insight into the creation of each U2 song and will undoubtedly inspire you to spend nights locked up in your room listening to the all the U2 albums again in one sitting.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I like U2. I like the book about U2.
    It was extremely good.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Nice, but.....
    A lot of this book was interesting, especially when Stokes would go into the story behind writing and recording the song... but a lot of the book is speculation, and not tremendously in-depth at that. Its a good read for big U2 fans, but not a must-have. ... Read more


    12. Chronicles, Vol. 1
    by Bob Dylan
    list price: $24.00
    our price: $14.40
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743228154
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-05)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Sales Rank: 3
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    Amazon.com

    One would not anticipate a conventional memoir from Bob Dylan--indeed, one would not have foreseen an autobiography at all from the pen of the notoriously private legend. What Chronicles: Volume 1 delivers is an odd but ultimately illuminating memoir that is as impulsive, eccentric, and inspired as Dylan's greatest music.

    Eschewing chronology and skipping over most of the "highlights" that his many biographers have assigned him, Dylan drifts and rambles through his tale, amplifying a series of major and minor epiphanies. If you're interested in a behind-the-scenes look at his encounters with the Beatles, look elsewhere. Dylan describes the sensation of hearing the group's "Do You Want to Know a Secret" on the radio, but devotes far more ink to a Louisiana shopkeeper named Sun Pie, who tells him, "I think all the good in the world might already been done" and sells him a World's Greatest Grandpa bumper sticker. Dylan certainly sticks to his own agenda--a newspaper article about journeymen heavyweights Jerry Quarry and Jimmy Ellis and soul singer Joe Tex's appearance on The Tonight Show inspire heartfelt musings, and yet the 1963 assassination of John Kennedy prompts nary a word from the era's greatest protest singer.

    For all the small revelations (it turns out he's been a big fan of Barry Goldwater, Mickey Rourke, and Ice-T), there are eye-opening disclosures, including his confession that a large portion of his recorded output was designed to alienate his audience and free him from the burden of being a "the voice of a generation."

    Off the beaten path as it is, Chronicles is nevertheless an astonishing achievement. As revelatory in its own way as Blonde on Blonde or Highway 61 Revisited, it provides ephemeral insights into the mind one of the most significant artistic voices of the 20th century while creating a completely new set of mysteries. --Steven Stolder ... Read more


    13. Jimi Hendrix : The Man, the Magic, the Truth
    by Sharon Lawrence
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060562994
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
    Publisher: HarperEntertainment
    Sales Rank: 46137
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The Jimi Hendrix legend has lived on longer than the man, who died in 1970 at the age of twenty-seven. More than thirty years later, what the world knows about him has become deeply distorted. Now Sharon Lawrence, a trusted friend of Jimi's in the final years of his astonishing life, has written a serious exploration of his life, death, and enduring legacy, based partly on the author's never-before-heard recorded interviews with the late musician.

    Jimi Hendrix: The Man, The Magic, The Truth contains new and rare material about Hendrix, with major insights from sources who have previously kept their silence -- from childhood neighbors to rock stars and musicians, to music-industry insiders. This book corrects years of false information, reveals key truths, and supplies facts previously known to only a precious few. It also chronicles the years of mind-boggling legal battles over his estate and legacy.

    This is the definitive account of Jimi Hendrix, the young man from a pathetic poverty-stricken childhood who invented himself into something rare and special, the man who radiated genius and a bold yet charming personality when he picked up a guitar. It revisits the glory of Hendrix's talent, giving new insight into his sensitive persona, imagination, musical standards, and far-reaching impact.

    Iluminating, honest, and bracing, Jimi Hendrix will forever change how we view one of rock and roll's greatest icons.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Another fan of this bio
    I won't repeat all of the praises of the previous reviewers. Just wanted to add my "2 cents" that I also found the book well written, compassionate, and eye opening.Thanks to Ms. Lawrence for her decision to re-visit some painful memories and share her perspective and information with us.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Et Tu, Al ... and Janie, to Boot!
    For years, I've been a Jim Morrison fanatic, in fact, having corresponded with Ray Manzarek, the keyboard player of the fabled band The Doors, in reference to an adaptation of Manzarek's book on his experiences in the band.While I searched for sources at my local library for my proposed screenplay on the last days of Jim Morrison, I happened upon Sharon Lawrence's new book on Hendrix.Suffice it to say, my curiosity prohibited me from passing up the opportunity to read up on a musician whose imagination, both lyrically and musically, have captivated me for over twenty years.

    Having read David Henderson's "'Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky" Jimi bio in 1985, I thought I possessed some discriminating knowledge, although not some connoisseur's discernment, of Hendrix.I do have to admit that only in the last six years have I begun to replace my Hendrix tapes with remastered CDs, with that all-too-familiar sticker, "Authorized by Experience Hendrix."Well, after reading Lawrence's book and her all-too candid impressions of Jimi's father, Al, and step-sister Janie--who has attempted to pass herself as Jimi's full-blooded sister--I wanted to burn each new CD.

    My only other response: If Instant Karma hits both Al and Janie, they'll either admit their greed and perform contrition or burn in some eternal afterworld for urinating on the legacy of a great musician.Too bad Jimi had to be so naive when it came to business dealings.

    Buy or check out the book.You owe it to Jimi.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, Informative, Insightful
    Wow, what can I say, the first 2/3 of the book were amazing. It was amazing to see Jimi from the perspective of someone so close to him. But I can honestly say that after the point at which Jimi Hendrix died, it seemed to me to be pages upon pages of law-related platitude and obituary-like talk. Other than that though, it was a very well written book that would sit well with any Hendrix fan.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Touching and long Overdue!
    I just finished Ms. Lawrence's compelling, honest, heartbreaking and touching biography of Jimi. I could not put it down.I have been a fan since I was 13 years old and while not a maniac had a curiosity about this musician who came and left all to quickly, but left an endelible mark on the music of his generation and many more to come.

    This book tells the story of Hendrix through the eyes of someone who cared about him, who had an honest relationship with him and this has allowed her to descibe this man in a way no other really could. She describes him in such a way that I was almost in tears by the time Sept 18th rolled around.Such a loss for all of us, one that I had not really comprehended before or for that matter mourned at the time.

    2 months prior to his death he played at New Yorks Randalls stadium.I begged my mother to allow me to go and after hours
    of pleading she relented.I went early that morning in July because the radio station was looking for volunteers.For whatever reason I was selected to sit on stage and make sure people did not climb up during the shows.

    There were many acts that night, Tull, Grand Funk, John Sebastian and of course Jimi.

    I could not have been more than 6 feet away from him during that 60 minute set, virtually at his feat, watching in awe, the man whose records I listened to over and over again.I think back to that time every so often and after reading Ms. Lawarence's book much of the dynamics of that night started to come back to me.
    Now if I could only find a copy of the video, I could die a happy man!

    Any way read this book, even if your not a Hendrix fan. He was a good man who treated people fairly and who really got a raw deal in life.I never would have known many of the things that I learned in this book and I'm a better person for having been a fan and been able to sit at the masters feet all those years ago!

    JOHN HOVING
    NYC

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you, Ms. Lawrence
    I too have read many biographies of Jimi Hendrix. But when I saw this one was being published I felt that I had to read it because many of the other biographies about Jimi were penned by individuals who were too involved in Jimi's business (either while he was alive and after his death). For instance John McDermott's (with Eddie Kramer) biography is very interesting but may be somewhat suspect as Mr. McDermott is now an employee of Experience Hendrix.

    But I have to say thank you to Ms. Lawrence both for her touching and poignant biography but also for being Jimi's friend when he did indeed desperately need a friend who was not interested in his business and who wanted nothing from him but his friendship. And from Ms. Lawrence's book, it is apparent she cherished Jimi and their friendship. So I have to thank her for sharing this part of her life with Jimi's fans. She portrays Jimi as a very polite, very giving, and very unassuming person...someone who did not think of himself as a genius, even though now it is apparent that he was. All Jimi wanted was to make music, the way he wanted to make it, no matter the cost and apparently it cost him his life. It is very tragic that Jimi did not have better management who actually cared about him and his talent, as it is apparent that Michael Jeffrey only cared about Michael Jeffrey and only cared about Jimi as long as he was making money for him. Unfortunately, as Ms. Lawrence points out, Jimi has not fared much better after his death. His image and his music are still being exploited so that persons who claim to be his family can make money and live off of his great legacy.

    All I can say is that we miss you Jimi, and wish you were still around making "truth and emotion" as you called it. Unfortunately you are not, and that is a tragedy for the entire world and for those of us loved your music 35 years ago and still love it to this day.

    If you are a Jimi Hendrix fan, you will definitely enjoy Ms. Lawrence's book. I recommend it. ... Read more


    14. Why Sinatra Matters
    by Pete Hamill
    list price: $24.00
    our price: $24.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316347965
    Catlog: Book (1998-10-01)
    Publisher: Little Brown and Company
    Sales Rank: 117492
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    As products of the same urban landscape, Pete Hamill and Frank Sinatra have both been credited with giving the American city a voice. In this widely acclaimed and bestselling appreciation--now available in paperback for the first time--Hamill draws on his intimate experience of the man and the music to evoke the essence of Sinatra, illuminating the singer's art and his legend from the point of view of a confidant and a fan. ... Read more

    Reviews (23)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read--like an old song
    Pete Hamill, beyond a doubt, is an excellent writer. He does a wonderful job here. The book is part bio, part history of immigrants in America, and part memoir. It works on all levels. Hamill treats Frank with the respect he deserves. The book is not a gossipy memoir--Kitty Kelly fans should look elsewhere. Instead, he makes the important arguement that Sinatra gave voice to first, a generation, and then an entire country. His artisty is what matters. The myth of the man is fun and gets most the attention, but that is besides the point for Hamill. And he is right. We all talk about the "Sinatra in a hat" (as Hamill dubs him) and the Rat Pack--but the music endures. It is, argues Hamill, what matters in the Wee Small Hours of the Morning. It is what will stand the test of time and give voice to a thousand broken dreams, hearts, and help us--like Frank after the Fall--get back up and start all over again. Thanks, Pete Hamill for getting it right.

    5-0 out of 5 stars There will never be another...
    I only saw my hero, Frank Sinatra, perform once. It was at the end of his career - and his life. It was a strange evening; he was obviously at the end - he couldn't remember the words to his songs or read the teleprompter. Few people left however - the evening soon became about us - his fans - letting him know that we still loved him. "I LOVE YOU FRANK!" a huge, middle-aged, rough-looking man yelled out during a pause. Sinatra, taken aback by the violence of the outburst, chuckled and replied, "I love you too, pal." As Pete Hamill once pointed out, "Seeing Sinatra in ruins is like seeing the Coliseum in ruins - it's still magnificent."

    Why Sinatra Matters is a must-read for any Sinatra-phile. In the Overture, Hamill cites Sinatra's death as the impetus for writing this book. He saw all these young reporters from MTV and VH1 doing stories on Sinatra (obviously prepared in advance) telling the world Sinatra was important, without really understanding why. It certainly wasn't just because he did it "his way."

    This is a very short book. As Hamill points out it is not a "definitive biography" - although once he was in talks with Sinatra to write just that. It is, as the title plainly states, an explanation of why Sinatra matters - artistically and culturally - and why he always will. In terms of Culture, Hamill reminds the reader of a time when America felt it was morally obligated to persecute Italians - Sinatra helped change all that. Musically, the reasons are more complex. To put it succinctly, no one ever sounded like Sinatra before.

    The book is great because it also sheds light on Sinatra the man, who is often lost in the obscurity of his own public image. He was not just some gruff tough guy - a kind of idiot savant who could churn out a great recording in one take. He was a fiercely intelligent, well-read, well-cultured, self-educated man who worked hard at his craft. The most enjoyable parts of the book are the conversations Hamill recounts between himself and Sinatra. Most shocking of all - to me at least - was to imagine Sinatra using the F-word!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book, horrible book-on-tape
    Do not buy the book on tape! Get it in hardcover or paperback.

    This is a fine little book, but it's the first book on tape I have had to turn off because the narrator's voice was too grating (and I've listened to tons of books on tape). Had it been read by the author himself, certainly allowances could be made. Instead, the publisher went out to find a professional reader and chose someone who speaks in an harsh, barking monotone, one part Howard Cosell, one part Rain Man, one part the guy who does the Moviephone listings. When the voice first came on, reading the copyright information and other technical details, I assumed that, well, that's just the preliminaries, surely someone else will narrate the rest of the tape. Nope. Amazing.
    I have switched to the print version, which is excellent.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "It's a quarter to three and there' s no one in the place...
    I've read several books on Sinatra;But this one is really different.Hamill is an excellent writer and shows us why Sinatra matters;this was not done in other books.He has also shown what made Sinatra so popular,what influenced the changes in his audiences and without coming right out and saying so;why there won't nor can't ever be another one like him.He also reveals the art form that Sinatra perfected in his voice.
    As great as Sinatra's music was;it was Sinatra as a man,and all that he represented, as well as the use of the microphone like a painter uses a brush;that made him so great.
    Read this book;it will give you a deeper appreciation of Sinatra.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Why Sinatra Matters is a fine book.
    Pete Hamill is a fine reporter who knew Frank Sinatra as a friend. Sinatra was an enigmatic, charismatic and complex singer of the American soul. Perhaps no singer in 20th century America popular song could get inside a lyric and make it his own like the great "ole blue eyes."
    Hamill's opening chapter in which we sit beside Sinatra and his cronies in a Brooklyn bar in 1970 is like something out of Hemingway in its description of a man, era and city.
    Hamill points out that it was Sinatra in music, Laguardia in politics and Joe Dimaggio in sports who raised the immigrant Italian ethnic group to greatness in insular, xenophobic America of the 1940s.
    Sinatrta could be obnoxious and cruel but he could also be
    generous and kind,
    This book reminds me of the Penguin Lives series as it is a good starting place for anyone who wants to learn more about Sinatra, his women, his era and most importantly his music. The music will live forever in the American soul.
    Sinatra did it his way and Hamill does a fine job of writing in this interesting little book. A good read to take on vacation or a long flight. I recommend it. ... Read more


    15. Broken Music: A Memoir
    by Sting
    list price: $26.00
    our price: $17.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385336780
    Catlog: Book (2003-10)
    Publisher: The Dial Press
    Sales Rank: 2704
    Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Having been a songwriter most of my life, condensing my ideas and emotions into short rhyming couplets and setting them to music, I had never really considered writing a book. But upon arriving at the reflective age of fifty, I found myself drawn, for the first time, to write long passages that were as stimulating and intriguing to me as any songwriting I had ever done.

    And so Broken Music began to take shape. It is a book about the early part of my life, from childhood through adolescence, right up to the eve of my success with the Police. It is a story very few people know.

    I had no interest in writing a traditional autobiographical recitation of everything that’s ever happened to me. Instead I found myself drawn to exploring specific moments, certain people and relationships, and particular events which still resonate powerfully for me as I try to understand the child I was, and the man I became.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (52)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very articulate writing, Mr. Sumner!
    I was very impressed with Sting's writing ability and this captivating book. At times, I could not put this book down and was very tired the next morning at work! This book is a MUST for any Sting fan and also for those who grew up in Wallsend and Newcastle. My mother was born and raised not too far from where Sting grew up and she wants the book when I'm done.

    The only reason why I gave the book 4 stars instead of 5 was because of the first 15 pages. I was getting turned off in the beginning because it didn't seem like it started where it should, which was on page 16. As I read further, it was starting to make a little more sense why he wrote the beginning the way he did, but it may turn off some readers at first. I urge people to read further if they start feeling the way I did in the beginning...it is well worth it!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Broken Memory?
    I love the music of Sting and was looking forward to hearing about the man who created it and how the music was created. Unfortunately, the readers get some interesting information, but they do not get the whole story.

    The book begins with Sting and his wife, Trudie, in Brazil taking part of a religious ceremony where some kind of psychedelic plant has been taken. In taking this plant, Sting is taking back into his memories, which leads the reader into Sting's past. As a literary tool, this is interesting.

    We learn about Sting's troubled childhood as well as his journeyman years as a musician. This was very enlightening and really gave me an idea of who the musician is. However, as a fan since the 80s, I would like to have read more about his time with The Police. This part doesn't come until the last pages of the book and is not particularly enlightening. This part reads as the climax of his career, although I know his career doesn't end there.

    Although the book talks of Sting's first marriage and the first meeting with Trudie, the book does not go into the end of the first or the beginning of the second. As this fits with the time of The Police, maybe we will get this in another book down the line.

    Still, I would recommend this book for people who want to understand the man behind the musician and the musician behind the man.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Nice Effort, Greedy Editor
    I read this book on Christmas Day and finally feel like I can give it a fair review (6 months later.) My problem is that I have enjoyed Sting's music and lyrics from the days of the police, and now I'm amazed at his drive to become a better human being even in light of his wealth and fame. Not everyone would do that...and we have plenty of examples of those who don't. I admire Sting as an artist and a person.

    However, I did not admire this book. For those who know Sting's lyrics it's obvious he's a deep thinker and knows the artistry of words. However, writing song lyrics is different than writing a book, and memoir seems to be a difficult genre. Not everything happens when narratively convenient, nor progresses in tension or hangs together perfectly. Such is Sting's book.

    There are moments I was captivated...no matter that it was Sting's life, just that it was someone's life was fascinating. And, quite frankly, there were sections I was bored to sleep. I'm still not sure if some events are in the book or daydreamed by me.

    Honestly, I think Sting's effort was monumental and I'm irritated at his editor. There are problems, easy to fix that would have made this book a work of art instead of a simple memoir of a famous personality. With a little coaching, Sting may have had a classic book to add to his great works but, as it is, I feel those in the know let him down. He did better than most of us would striving to write down the moments of our lives, but not as well as his editor should have helped him to do.

    So, I recommend it, but don't expect "Fragile" or "Synchronicity" or anything as artistic as his mesmerizing bass lines. Read it as pop lit by a great artist pushed out by an editor trying to make a Christmas deadline. Than pray for another volume and for Sting to get serious about a writing class or two.

    Curse that greedy editor.

    2-0 out of 5 stars A great musician who needs an editor
    I was a rabid Police fan starting back in 1980 and have admired Sting ever since. I knew when I bought this book that it would discuss his life before the Police, and that was fine. I was interested to learn more about Last Exit and Frances and his childhood, so I have no complaints with the content.

    But his writing style stands in the way of the story. It is pompous and egotistical with pretentious metaphors and a really annoying habit of switching between past and present tense. I could just picture him sitting there with a thesaurus trying to find the most intellectual-sounding way to say each thing he wanted to say.

    The foreshadowing "teasers" started getting to me, too: "Little did I know then that this person [or moment or event] would change my life forever." Over and over and over. Ugh.

    He really needed somebody to reign him in on this one.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good, dry read....
    I have to admit it-I wasn't sure that I'd enjoy reading a memoir by an international music idol, and I certainly wasn't expecting much out of Sting in creating this work. His diction is very particular and precise. I used this book as my before bedtime wind-down, but found myself struggling to keep into it, as the language and general approach was extremely dry. I could only read a few sections of each chapter/unit and then had to put it down.

    Not terribly exciting, but it held my interest because I'm such a fan of Sting's music. ... Read more


    16. With Billie
    by JULIA BLACKBURN
    list price: $25.00
    our price: $16.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375406107
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
    Publisher: Pantheon
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    17. A Pirate Looks at Fifty
    by JIMMY BUFFETT
    list price: $7.99
    our price: $7.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0449223345
    Catlog: Book (1999-05-01)
    Publisher: Fawcett
    Sales Rank: 1340
    Average Customer Review: 3.84 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    For the millions of fans of Jimmy Buffett's music as well as his bestselling books, Tales from Margaritaville and Where Is Joe Merchant?, here is the ultimate Jimmy Buffett philosophy on life and how to live it.As hard as it is to believe, the irrepressible Jimmy Buffett has hit the half-century mark and, in A Pirate Looks at 50, he brings us along on the remarkable journey which he took through the Southern hemisphere to celebrate this landmark birthday.
            
    Jimmy takes us from the legendary pirate coves of the Florida Keys to the ruins of ancient Cartegena.Along the way, we hear a tale or two of how he got his start in New Orleans, how he discovered his passion for flying planes, and how he almost died in a watery crash in Nantucket harbor.We follow Jimmy to jungle outposts in Costa Rica and on a meandering trip down the Amazon, through hair-raising negotiations with gun-toting customsofficials and a 3-year-old aspiring copilot.And he is the inimitable Jimmy Buffett through it all.
            
    For Parrotheads, for armchair adventurers, and for anyone who appreciates a good yarn and a hearty laugh, here is the ultimate backstage pass--you'll read the kind of stories Jimmy usually reserves for his closest friends and you'll see a wonderful, wacky life through eyes of the man who's lived it. A Pirate Looks at 50 is a breath of fresh air and a ingenious manual for getting to 50 ... and beyond.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (224)

    4-0 out of 5 stars I gotta go where it's warm!
    This is an unassuming book that sneaks up to you with a warm enjoyable feeling. I've always wanted to know what Jimmy Buffett is like when he's not on stage, and I'm happy to find out that he's a genuine person with enough flaws to make him interesting.

    I was particularly pleased to see that Jimmy didn't do a Jerry Springer spill yer guts kind of tale, but instead just related stories as they came to mind. Jimmy comes across as a man who's found his niche. You have to have respect for a guy who hasn't had more than 1 or 2 top ten records and still manages to sell out every concert.

    Some people may not enjoy all the fly fishing stories and the flying descriptions. I did, but I'm one of those types who reads everything including the back of cereal boxes. (Sick I know, but hey there's probably a 12-step program for it somewhere!).

    This book is like a comfortable afternoon in the hammock...not much gets accomplished, but it's a wonderful way to spend the day.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Typically Unique Buffett Experience!
    This was a typically unique Jimmy Buffett experience whereby he weaves his personal "songline" into an entertaining narrative to be enjoyed by Parrotheads, fishermen, "flying boat captains", and anybody with an adventurous spirit! I gave this 5 stars for the sheer entertainment value...it may not be a literary masterpiece, but it's a lot of fun!

    I especially enjoyed the vivid explanations of Caribbean history. As a high school social studies teacher, I think some of Jimmy's descriptions would be very motivating for some of my students and I plan to incorporate some of them into my Global Studies lesson plans.

    In an earlier review, I read that this is more of a man's book since most women wouldn't be interested in fishing or seaplanes. As a woman, I found these sections very interesting. Granted, flying planes and fishing aren't my hobbies, but learning something new is always fun. I don't think gender should influence one's decision to read this book - just keep an open mind!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A big kid's fantasy
    Each time I read this book, I pick up previously missed "words of wisdom", and am transported along with him to all the adventures he describes so intimately, all over the world. Here is a man who went for his dreams, freely admits when he screwed up, and made it in a way we can only imagine. I absolutely loved this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Another Caribbean Soul
    I first read this book on my honeymoon on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and it has truly inspired me. A fellow sailor from childhood, I had lost touch with my ties to Mother Ocean as I pursued a career in engineering that was successful by conventional standards but left me feeling like something was missing. This book reminded me what it was. Jimmy Buffett is an incredible storyteller, and has lived a life many (like me) only dream of. He makes you want to visit each and every place he describes. Some may claim that this book does not deserve 5 stars because it is not a literary masterpiece, and if you want a literary masterpiece, this book is not for you. If you are looking for an enjoyable vacation read, or for inspiration to truly live life instead of following the status quo, then this is a 5-star book for you!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The man behind Margaritaville
    Playing on his classic song "A Pirate Turns Forty", Jimmy Buffett weaves an autobiographical tale that takes you to that mystical place in our minds called Margaritaville.

    The book is long on facts, going through Jimmy's life as a youngster, covering the famous story of how he picked up the guitar to meet girls, and through the life as a family man and musician.

    An interesting point that comes across is that Jimmy Buffett is not just this carefree guy who sings on stage all day long. He has his own nuances, such as a need to overpack. How does that fit into the life of the troubador? It doesn't, and that peek behind the illusion makes this journey a personal one.

    The one downside is that if you're not a Parrothead, the book is probably not for you. If you are a Parrothead, get out the blender, set the chair just right on the deck, and enjoy the book on a lazy sunny afternoon. ... Read more


    18. The Beatles Anthology
    by Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon
    list price: $60.00
    our price: $37.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0811826848
    Catlog: Book (2000-10-05)
    Publisher: Chronicle Books
    Sales Rank: 10012
    Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Created with their full cooperation, The Beatles Anthology is, in effect, The Beatles' autobiography. Like their music, which has been a part of so many of our lives, this landmark release is warm, frank, funny, poignant and bold. At last, here is The Beatles' own story. Each page is brimming with personal stories and rare, vintage images. Includes over 340,000 words and over 1300 images, including unseen photographs and personal memorabilia. ... Read more

    Reviews (203)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!
    I was going to give this book 4 stars, until half-way through I was struck by the pure genius of it all. Why? It's like a cover song - when someone else plays a Beatles song, does it ever really sound as good as the original? Rarely. "Anthology" is a huge tome of a book comprised entirely of interviews and snippets from the Fab Four themselves, with a very few extras from their manager, studio producer, etc. It seems like a coffee table book, but it certainly isn't - over 350 large pages of fine print.

    The reason why this book ALMOST got 4 stars is because of the inherent nature of a book made entirely of quotes - natural conversation doesn't translate well onto the printed page, especially when so many people are quoted from different periods in their lives. The book never says "In 1964, the Beatles recorded Rubber Soul" or anything like that. Instead, the quotes gradually roll around to telling you, until you realize "Oh, we're in the studio again". Often this book is disjointed and hard to follow, especially if you don't anything about the Beatles.

    However, few people know nothing about the Beatles! After the first 30 pages, you get used to the style of presentation, and later on you realize the beauty of it all - these boys are down-right inspiring. Worked in with all the tours and stories and pranks and bad rumors and other nonsense are wonderful descriptions of their music and how it was written, what its inspiration was, and the trials that were faced to create it. The Beatles didn't idolize themselves, not like their fans do, so the words just flow out effortlessly and pure, just like their music did. This was their lives, no big deal, this is what they did. The creativity is catchy.

    If you are a die-hard Beatles historian, I'm positive that nothing new is said in this book. There is no "myth-making" in these pages - their fights and disagreements are very bluntly presented - but you can see a "No Big Deal" kind of attitude formed. It's is only natural, the survivors are turning 60, after all. Like the video series and the CDs, this version of Anthology is a warm revisit of a wonderful little rock'n'roll band. Check it out.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Chronicle At Last
    Hundreds of books have been written about The Beatles, but it is
    crushingly obvious when reading this Anthology volume that by far the
    best one would naturally come from the bandmembers themselves. [The
    price] seems like an incredible bargain considering the size and
    quality of this work, which covers the years 1940 (the birth of Ringo
    and John) to the breakup in 1970. At 368 coffee-table sized pages
    it's already huge, but the small print makes it almost double that
    size.

    The book would be worth it just for the photos alone, which
    are beautifully reprinted--many from the early years are actually in
    color--chronicling dozens of previously unpublished, intimate moments
    taken straight from the group's personal archives. But what really
    makes this one essential is the text itself, which is taken from
    interviews conducted with Paul, George and Ringo in the 90s and an
    exhaustive compilation of Lennon quotes from all points in his life (I
    recognized many, but there were also some I've never seen before).
    Even after the dozens upon dozens of biographies which have recounted
    the group's earth-shattering tale ad nauseum, you feel like you're
    reading it for the first time. All four bandmembers speak with a
    thousand times more wit, frankness and detail than all of their
    previous biographers combined; in fact, they manage to offer up
    juicier tales, and more interesting spins on already known events,
    than anything you've read before even in the most gossipy bios--and
    you get it this time knowing that it's honest (you know it's honest
    when you hear conflicting memories about certain events!).

    "Anthology" is especially revealing when it comes to the
    childhoods and Hamburg era: you get to hear about the first time
    George got laid (right in front of the other three bandmembers!), or
    when Ringo was a member of the Dingle gang, or what they did at
    teenage parties. The detail is so thorough and vividly recalled for
    the early years (and butressed by the photos) that you feel like
    you're living it as it actually happened. No stone is left unturned
    about the famous years, either: George and Ringo philosophize about
    their first LSD trips and the meaning of "Tomorrow Never
    Knows", the Maharishi controversy is finally put to rest (hint:
    he never made a pass at anybody), and new insight is shed on the
    evolution of the friendships between John and the other three. More
    is made about the breakup than was on the "Anthology"
    videos, including Yoko's presence and the business hassles, as well as
    the making of "Abbey Road". Finally, all of this is told
    with such an elegant sense of Beatle humor that even the heaviest
    moments are a joy to read. Also included are excerpts from Stu
    Sutcliffe and Brian Epstein's personal diaries. With this volume now
    finally released, the only other essential Beatle books to get are
    Lewishon's "Beatles Chronicle" and Miles' "The Beatles:
    A Diary", both of which give exact reference dates and
    descriptions for every live show, radio, recording and filming session
    (as well as more great photos).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Magical mystery tour through the Beatles' career
    This book purports to tell the Beatles's story in their own words (though augmented by memories from people close to them like Brian Epstein, producer George Martin, roadies Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans, and publicist Derek Taylor), and does the job quite well.

    I would estimate that at least 80% of the information contained in this book is already old hat for die-hard Beatlemaniacs who have memorized Mark Lewisohn's "Complete Beatles Chronicle" and read every Beatle book out there. But it's not so much the substance of the information as the way in which it is told--it's great to be able read about these events from the Beatles' point of view, even as seen through the prism of the thirty to forty years that have passed. And I am grateful that George was able to participate in the whole Anthology project before his untimely death in 2001.

    The modern-day comments from Paul, George, and Ringo were apparently taken from the interviews from the Beatles Anthology circa 94-95 (if you watch the entire video/DVD and compare it to the text in the book it's pretty obvious). Hard-core fans will be able to recognize where many of the other quotes came from, although they aren't sourced, unfortunately--after each such quote there's merely a superscript such as "64" or "70" showing the year it was said, with no reference to the publication or interview it was taken from. That said, the editors had an incredible job piecing this thing together; they could almost be listed as co-writers!

    There's a great deal of eye-candy (photographs, memos, handwritten notes, drawings, etc.), which are fascinating to look at. Sometimes, though, the arrangement of text, typeface, and photographs on the page seems rather random and thrown together, and even can make it difficult to read (for example, page 177, which tells about George and John's first LSD trip is printed on a background of garish red with magenta and orange text that all but obliterates the actual text). But it's never dull.

    Despite the fact that it may be a bit of a chore to read, since it's large and heavy (even in paperback), it is a joy to read and I heartily recommend it to all Beatle fans.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Beatles!
    This book transcends its overt purpose of being an anthology of the Beatles.

    Anyone who loves the music the Beatles gave us will find much rewarding material here. Those who want to know about how success can be accomplished in popular music will be riveted. Those who like to look back on popular culture in times past will have a happy trip. If you just love exciting photography, there is much to attract you to this volume. I found myself singing the Beatles' songs to myself as I read the text and looked at the illustrations. That was the best part!

    To me, the most thought-provoking part of this book was its rags-to-genius quality. The Beatles were unlikely candidates to become leading musical innovators. Most of them were so poor that their families lacked indoor bathrooms when they were growing up. None of them could read music. The combined number of music lessons they had was less than ten in total. They could not afford musical instruments. Their families could not afford to subsidize their careers. Yet they were observant about the new, in contact with what moved their hearts, listened intently for better music, and worked with a never-ending frenzy to fulfill their passion for the music. It's vastly more heartwarming and fascinating than any rags-to-riches story ever can be.

    I had never understood John Lennon's complaints about the "packaged, predictable" Beatles until I read in this book about the type of band they were while evolving their style. Particularly in the Hamburg gigs, they were more like a jazz combo that played rock and roll. The music was free form, and they stretched some songs into being as long as an hour and a half.

    In fact, their commercial success was a tremendous tragedy for their artistic success because they were probably at the edge of developing a whole new musical genre that would have become the dominant one today. I'm sorry it never happened. I feel even more sorry for them, in realizing that they knew what they lost and must feel it very deeply.

    I was also moved by the story of their tempestuous friendship. These guys went through tremendous stresses, strains, and deprivations together. They fought, they disagreed, they slugged each other, and they appreciated each other. Yet, there was a strong enough pull towards each other that allowed the group to continue through its amazing journey, despite the difficulties. To have had such friendships, even if they are eventually lost, must be an amazing experience. Few will know this closeness in their lives.

    I came away from this book with a new appreciation for the Beatles. Before this book, the Beatles were all about (for me) how they sounded and looked, and how I reacted to that. Now, I see them as being role models for important aspects of human experience that we should all appreciate.

    Before closing, I do have two words of caution. This book is very open about the major and minor vices of life. As such, this book could make the wrong impression on adolescents. They don't need too many new ideas about how to rebel, and this book could be read that way. That's not what the Beatles were doing, but a 13 year old could see it that way.

    Second, as revealing as the book is, more is ultimately still hidden below the surface than is revealed. These young men knew a lot of pain, and that pain was an important source of their brilliance. Don't be offended that they did not share more. It was probably very painful to share as much as they did.

    I would like to give the editors major credit for developing a successful dialogue style in the book that included quotes from John Lennon. It must have been the dickens to read through all of his many quotes, and to weave them into material comparable to what can be developed in a simple interview where the others could be aware of what each other said.

    "Take a sad song, and make it better."

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent production.
    I thought the book was excellently produced, but would have liked more input from non-Beatles and from sacked drummers (nudge nudge wink wink). For instance, Lennon and McCartney recount the time they finished up "I Wanna Be Your Man" for the Rolling Stones; I'd like to have had a word from Mick Jagger and Keith Richards about that experience as well.

    To the reviewer who complained that they were still slamming Pete Best's drumming ability and mental acuity, or lack thereof, forty years on--that's not strictly true. Pretty much all the statements in the book on that subject are at least 35 years old. But I'd still like to have seen some more input from Pete, as well as a page or two regarding his post
    Beatles musical career. He did actually have one, and did fairly well for a couple of years. But, as this book presents him, he was basically a non-entity, just the last in a long line of drummers who occupied the Beatles' drum stool before Ringo came along.

    There have been some conflicting reports on the musical skills of the various members of the band, ca. 1962. McCartney's own brother said of the group at that time, none of them was a rocket scientist, musically speaking, and it could have been any one of them fate could have chosen to go. Granted that statement was a bit disingenuous in retrospect, but wrt Pete Best it seems as if there was always an official policy in the Beatles' organization to purge his memory. For instance, when the BBC tapes were put on CD, the first two shows, with Pete Best, were omitted due to problems with the 'sound quality'. I've heard some of those performances, and the sound was fine. The drumming wasn't fantastic, but seemed more than adequate in the context. ... Read more


    19. The Fabulous Sylvester : The Legend, the Music, the 70s in San Francisco
    by Joshua Gamson
    list price: $26.00
    our price: $17.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0805072500
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
    Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
    Sales Rank: 591461
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    A journey back through the music, madness, and unparalleled freedom of an era of change-the '70s-as told through the life of ultra-fabulous superstar Sylvester

    Imagine a pied piper singing in a dazzling falsetto, wearing glittering sequins, and leading the young people of the nation to San Francisco and on to liberation where nothing was straight-laced or old-fashioned. And everyone, finally, was welcome-to come as themselves. This is not a fairy tale. This was real, mighty real, and disco sensation Sylvester was the piper. Joshua Gamson-a Yale-trained pop culture expert-uses him, a boy who would be fabulous, to lead us through the story of the '70s when a new era of change liberated us from conformity and boredom. Gamson captures the exuberant life, feeling, energy, and fun of a generation's wonderful, magical waking up-from the parties to the dancing and music.

    The story begins with a little black boy who started with nothing buta really big voice. We follow him from the Gospel chorus to the glory days in the Castro where a generation shook off its shame asSylvester sang and began his rise as part of a now-notorious theatrical troup called the Cockettes. Celebrity, sociology, and music history mingle and merge around this endlessly entertaining story of a singer who embodied the freedom, spirit, and flamboyance of a golden moment in American culture.
    ... Read more

    20. The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier
    by THAD CARHART
    list price: $13.95
    our price: $10.46
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375758623
    Catlog: Book (2002-03-12)
    Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
    Sales Rank: 4361
    Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Walking his two young children to school every morning, Thad Carhart passes an unassuming little storefront in his Paris neighborhood. Intrigued by its simple sign—Desforges Pianos—he enters, only to have his way barred by the shop’s imperious owner. Unable to stifle his curiosity, he finally lands the proper introduction, and a world previously hidden is brought into view. Luc, the atelier’s master, proves an indispensable guide to the history and art of the piano. Intertwined with the story of a musical friendship are reflections on how pianos work, their glorious history, and stories of the people who care for them, from amateur pianists to the craftsmen who make the mechanism sing. The Piano Shop on the Left Bank is at once a beguiling portrait of a Paris not found on any map and a tender account of the awakening of a lost childhood passion. ... Read more

    Reviews (46)

    5-0 out of 5 stars For lovers of music, piano, travel and life
    This is a wonderful book for anyone who loves music, and in particular, piano, as well as traveling, even if not particularly in France. The author gives a genuine and sincere account of his feelings about his life in Paris, as well as the realities of living in a foreign country, of foreign ways of doing business, forming relationships, and of course, his love of music and the piano.

    These loves of music and the piano are so evident, so full of life. Some people might be bored or distracted by Carhart's details regarding pianos, however, as a music lover, but one who do not even play piano, I loved reading about the details involved with the instrument.

    As a lover of travel, and a person who has spent considerable amounts of time in a number of foreign countries (although France is not one of them), partially so that I could learn others' ways of living, I also thoroughly enjoyed reading about real-life details of living in another country.

    I also enjoyed that unlike "A Year in Provence," "Under the Tuscan Sky," "A Cottage in Portugal" and many other books such as these, Carhart does not spend the entire book writing of the difficulties of getting anything done in these countries (even though it's true!). It was nice to read about other aspects of living abroad.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves music, piano and other culture's and their idiosyncracies.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A lazy read for piano lovers
    Thad Carhart's The Piano Shop on the Left Bank is a disarmingly simple book on the surface that will appeal to piano dreamers -- anyone who has either owned or enjoyed playing a piano. The book is slow in the unwinding of its story, and you can easily put it down and pick it back up at your leisure.

    The story focuses on the growing relationship between the author, an American in Paris, and Luc, the very French owner of a piano shop tucked away in Paris' Latin Quarter. As the author spends time in the piano shop, his love, interest, and knowledge for this instrument reawaken after years of lying dormant. He realizes his dream to own a piano and begins taking lessons again.

    The friendly piano shop owner, Luc, has a passion for pianos from all eras. He brings every piano to life as though each large, cumbersome instrument that passes through his shop were a special person. He wants to match up pianos with the right owner. The most shameful treatment is to leave a piano sitting in a corner, unused and unloved.

    The book also weaves in the beautiful history of the piano, from the piano's origins in Italy to its heyday at the turn of the 20th century. The piano, one of the most popular and revered musical instruments, was at the center of Americans' social life before the invention of radio and TV. There is a sadness as you realize that the golden age of the piano has passed. All piano makers of the early 20th century are in decline, with only Steinway surviving as an independent company.

    The author leaves us with hope as he describes a new piano maker on the scene -- Fizoli. Fizoli had a dream to build the best piano, challenging the way all pianos were built and starting over from scratch in his development of them. Today, his dream has become a reality as he builds pianos world-renowned for their special soundboards and rich, melodic tone. Ironically, the best piano company is in Italy, home of the piano. And with piano shops like Luc's reviving and fixing up old pianos, the piano will continue to be the world's best-loved instrument. The dreams will live on.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Find
    My piano teacher recommended that I get this book. I had seen it on Amazon's website, but I didn't feel that I wanted to order it. I am so glad that I did. As others have said-it is an easy read. However, Thad Carhart captures the joy that I , and I'm sure others, have felt regarding pianos,music,composers,music history, and taking piano lessons.

    If you love playing the piano as much as I do you will enjoy this book. I even put a quote from the book on the back of the recital program for my students. -"I was again struck with how deeply satisfying it was to play any kind of music at all on my piano. Emotionally, physically, intellectually, spiritually; its satisfactions were limitless, its impact on my life profound."
    I can't say it any better than that. Lovely book!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars A warm Paris read
    Thad Carhart has written a breezy and easily readable book about pianos, Paris and people. It's the kind of book you might consider taking in on a rainy day (if you're "down") or better yet, on a warm day sitting in the sun.

    I'm a pianist who found the nicest parts of "The Piano Shop" had to do with the people the author encountered.... my favorite was Jos, the overly-boozed piano tuner, though I did appreciate Carhart's insights into piano construction, reconstruction and the musical elements that are essential in completing the package of what goes into making a fine piano. He introduced me to a term I had never encountered..."fall board" (the piano key lid).

    My one objection is the author's continued "over fascination" with pianos. It really sounds more like a fetish and if he had been able to tone down that part of the book he would have had a more compelling story. Still, it's a book to be recommended, as I heartily do.

    5-0 out of 5 stars For the love of the piano
    Thank you, Thad, for so beautifully capturing the vast range of emotions that pianos stir in their aficionados. What a gem! This book will become a classic, just like the classic pianos that mysteriously show up and pass through Luc's atelier. I greatly enjoyed Thad's command of language, his keen and affectionate observations of his French collegues (only in France would Thad be viewed as an American, in any other culture a person with such an in-depth understanding of the culture and fluency of language would have been adopted as a local), and the manner in which he conveys the feelings pianos evoke in him. I also enjoyed the growing familiarity between Thad and Luc and the evolution of humour in their discourses. And despite the tragedy of the situation, had to laugh when Thad - with utmost sensitivity - points out how the unfortunate alcoholic Jos would wake up in train stations across France.
    My preferred piano is the Sauter - I love the warmth and richness of its song - and most generously my mother gave me the piano that once brought much joy to dad. Just like Thad observes so well, one is often greatly attached to a particular instrument because a loved one who has since passed on used to play it. And hearing music come alive again, music that was once played by someone who no longer is alive, can cause strong emotions to surface. Shortly after my father passed on I attended an Evgeny Kissin (sp?) concert, and when EK started playing one of my father's favorite Chopin pieces, I could no longer control myself ... (I guess in a quiet concert hall you just try and quietly blow into a handkerchief). I also remember piano lessons I took as a child in France, and reading Thad's desciptions brought back memories. The teacher I had back then was not as gifted as some other ones in other countries at drawing out my enthusiasm for this wonderful instrument. Thad's logic when looking for an appropriate teacher for his children made a lot of sense.
    The Piano Shop on the Left Bank is a most evocative book and a must-have for anyone who is affected by the sounds of a piano as well as the beauty of language. ... Read more


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