My Ten Favorite Rock Biographies
For all of the amazing technological advances we have seen in our lifetime, there is still nothing that can beat getting lost in a great book. I try to read about 40-50 books per year with my favorite genre being rock biographies.
By the way, did you know your FREE Great River Regional Library membership gives you access to e-books on its app? Not only that, your GRRL membership can also be used to gain access to other libraries like the Metropolitan Library system in Minneapolis/St. Paul.
Using the library has quite literally saved me THOUSANDS of dollars that I would have spent to buy books individually. It's a really great resource that many people don't know about.
Below are ten of my favorite rock bios. Please feel free to leave a comment on our Facebook page and let me know which ones I still need to check out!
TROUBLE BOYS: THE TRUE STORY OF THE REPLACEMENTS
by Bob Mehr
Bob Mehr tells the story of the Replacements.. from their promising beginning to their early demise and everything in between. Despite only being a casual fan of the band when I first cracked the book, I devoured it in just a few days because of the great writing and content. Highly recommended for all fans of rock and roll.
BEASTIE BOYS BOOK
By Michael Diamond and Adam Horowitz
This book chronicles Beastie Boys' rise from a hard core punk band to hip hop royalty with vignettes, interviews and celebrity interventions. The audiobook is amazing as well.
NIRVANA THE BIOGRAPHY
By Everett True
Melody Maker's Everett True was in on Nirvana from the beginning. While his writing style can come off a bit self-absorbed, this Nirvana bio feels closer to the truth than other biographies of the band. I definitely learned a lot about the band by reading this book even though I have read the others as well.
RUNNIN' WITH THE DEVIL
By Noel E. Monk
In 1978, Noel Monk was hired on as Van Halen's road manager and it wasn't long until he was promoted to band manager for a run that lasted until 1985. From an up-and-coming Los Angeles band to superstardom, Monk gives an insider look at what made-and eventually broke up- one of the 1980's most prolific groups.
SET THE NIGHT ON FIRE
By Robby Krieger
The Doors guitarist is the third member of the Doors to release a book and it feels more level-headed than John Densmore or Ray Manzarek's books, not to mention No One Here Gets Out Alive or the bats*it Oliver Stone movie. Krieger not only tells some epic stories, he also dispels a lot of rumors started by the other sources on the band's legacy.
By Dave Mustaine
There are some rock biographies that keep everything close to the vest (*cough* Dave Grohl *cough*) but this is not one of them. The Megadeth front man gives ALL the details on Metallica, Megadeth and everything in between.
I have been trying to put into words how to describe this book about 90's/2000's punk gods NOFX. The best I can do is to say it's like reading a book describing the show Jackass. Disgusting pranks, wild stories and anecdotes abound in this book and you will never look at pasta strainers the same.
MAN ON THE RUN
By Tom Doyle
As someone who has read a TON of books about the Beatles, it was really neat to read about Macca's journey when the Fab Four's trip came to an end. Plus, Wings kicks ass and RAM is an amazing album!
I AM BRIAN WILSON
By Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson tells his own story on the heels of the disastrous "Wouldn't It Be Nice" book that was released during his conservatorship. Wilson is open and honest about his time in the Beach Boys, his drug use and his subsequent long road to recovery. It's a bit all over the place but is told in Wilson's voice, which makes it all worthwhile.
By Mike Love
This book almost feels like a response to Wilson's book, an attempt to 'set the record' straight from the man who, right or wrong, has been vilified over the years by Beach Boys fans. Yes, Mike Love has a huge ego. Yes, it is on full display in this book. But it is well written and tells a cohesive story from beginning to end.