The Christmas season is upon us, and just in time for that music geek in your life, a whole batch of rock biographies have recently hit the market. In the wake of Keith Richards’s staggeringly popular (and therefore best-selling) biography, Life, come a number of tomes from the elder statespersons of rock ‘n’roll myth. Neil Young, Rod Stewart, and Pete Townshend have been the highest profile autobiographers recently, and of the same vintage and venerability as Keef. But, Stones sax player Bobby Keys, bass-supremo Jerry Scheff (Elvis, Bob Dylan, The Doors, nearly everyone …), and Greg Allman, among others, all had books to flog this year.
Whatever music and musicians you’re into, the market is ripe for writers and readers alike.
But, what is it that drives the guitar-smashing, microphone-humping rock god into the study, hunched over his or her laptop (or ghostwriter) in a bid to catalog a life of creativity, success, betrayals, and excess? And further, what is it that drives us music obsessives to absorb these stories so readily, with the fervour of a religious acolyte, even if we’ve known many of the episodes by rote through various means even before they appeared between the pages of the latest hardcover?
Cultural critic, writer, novelist, and voracious reader in residence Geoff Moore is here to peruse the texts, and discover not only who wrote the Book of Love, but why in fact we still want to read it…