Support us with Kachingle!
October 4, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Wage peace with Neil Young, get lucky with Kenny Rogers and figure out who Pete Townshend really is in three new memoirs by these influential musicians. Young has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. Rogers tangled with not one but five wives. And Townshend is nearly deaf from countless 100-plus decibel concerts over the years. Now all three legendary musicians are ready to tell the stories of their lives.
Author: Kenny Rogers
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: Now available
Kenny Rogers is one of the most successful country artists in history, but his book goes back to the beginning before he was The Gambler.
Rogers’ book reveals the odds were stacked against him early on; he spent his childhood in the Houston housing projects with his parents and seven siblings. From there, readers learn how his music career began with the success of his original band, The First Edition. You might recognize the group’s hit song, “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” from the trippy bowling scene in The Big Lebowski.
Luck or Something Like It lets readers tag along through more than 50 years on the road. Expect insights into his personal life, including his five marriages, with children from all but one; that alone would make for an interesting story.
But let’s not forget his music legacy. Country fans aren’t the only ones who will enjoy this book. Rogers has sold more than 120 million records and won three Grammy awards, which makes his memoir a must for music history buffs.
Author: Neil Young
Publisher: Blue Rider Press
Release Date: Now available
Neil Young compares his book to a diary rather than a memoir. This Canadian-born singer-songwriter is to Bob Dylan what The Rolling Stones are to The Beatles — stylistic cousins respected in their own right. His long-awaited autobiography will cover details from his early childhood, his marijuana-filled trips in the ’60s and his time in the bands Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.
The book looks into Young’s thought process. Readers will learn about his life and music, including what led to the writing of “Ohio,” his famous song about the deaths of four anti-war protestors at Kent State in 1970.
Young’s story is told in a nonlinear fashion; he occasionally takes an aside to complain about the fidelity of MP3s or to inform readers how his electric car project is coming.
If pictures are more your thing, there are plenty of unreleased ones here, making Young’s book a panoramic view of his life and creative process.
Author: Pete Townshend
Release Date: Oct. 8
Pete Townshend, guitarist and principal songwriter for The Who, is remembered by the rock ’n’ roll community as a fierce partier, a destroyer of guitars (and eardrums) and a music innovator. Who I Am begins with what could have been.
Townshend considered being a journalist, a graphic designer and a dancer before settling on rock star. Flip through a few pages to find out how he helped Jim Marshall create the Marshall Stack amplifier, the surprising tale of his first on-stage guitar smash and his numerous near-death experiences from partying too hard.
But Townshend’s book isn’t all about him. The musician recounts how he helped Eric Clapton break his addiction to heroin and Jimi Hendrix innovate on the guitar, along with countless other E! True Hollywood Story moments.
If you’ve ever wanted to live the life of a rock star vicariously, this would be a good place to do it.