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  • An open book with musical notes floating above it

Leah, Queen’s Square | January 1, 2020

Why are we so drawn to rock and roll biographies? Is it the scandal and excess? The proverbial sex, drugs and rock n’ roll? Or is it like a car crash where you know you should look away but you just can’t?

With the recent spate of movies based on the lives on rock stars, it seems like there’s no end to our appetite for their riotous lives of ups and downs. Luckily, there are many interesting new books just waiting to give us an all-access pass into the lives of our favourite musicians.

Me by Elton John Me by Elton John.   If you think Rocketman gave you the whole story, think again!  Told in John’s own irrepressible voice, even the low parts of his life are related with good humour and a sense of "I've-seen-it-all-and-am-still-alive!".
 
Face it by Debbie HarryFace it by Debbie Harry.   Whew! This no-holds-barred memoir full of energy and honesty blows the lid off of the life of Blondie front-woman Debbie Harry.  Between bouts of musical success, she also experienced violence, a crippling heroin addiction and bankruptcy to emerge as a battered icon and activist
 
 
The beautiful ones by Prince The Beautiful Ones by Prince.   Luckily for us, The Purple One started writing a memoir before his untimely death and this is that book.  With never-before-published photos, scrapbooks and lyrics, this feels like a walk-through musical genius Prince's mind.
 
Janis : her life and music by Holly George-WarrenJanis: Her Life and Music by Holly George-Warren.   Longlisted for the 2020 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence, this fascinating biography of Joplin has been called "blazingly intimate".  With unprecedented access to long-buried archives and to Joplin’s friends, family and fellow artists, the author paints a portrait of a complex woman, who was, in many ways, ahead of her time.
 
 Wham!, George Michael & me : a memoir by Andrew RidgeleyWham!, George Michael and Me by Andrew Ridgeley.    If you love 80s’ pop music and all things George Michael, check out this biography written by Andrew Ridgeley (also known as "the other half of Wham!").  For the first time in his own words, Ridgeley weaves a tale of two childhood friends who became the hottest band around and all the tears, scrapes, loves and highs that went with that.
 
Serving the servant : remembering Kurt Cobain by Danny GoldbergServing the Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain by Danny Goldberg.   Nirvana’s former manager has crafted a loving remembrance of Kurt Cobain. Starting from the birth of Nirvana to Cobain’s sad end, this insider’s perspective offers us new details and analysis into the life of a troubled, beautiful soul.