With sales of over 200 million albums, AC/DC is not just the biggest rock band in the world. It’s a family business built by three brothers: George, Malcolm and Angus Young. And, as with any business, some people prospered while others got hurt along the way. The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC is unlike any AC/DC book you’ve read before.
Less a biography, more a critical appreciation, it tells the story of the trio through 11 classic songs and reveals some of the personal and creative secrets that went into their making. Important figures from AC/DC’s long way to the top open up for the very first time, while unsung heroes behind the band’s success are given the credit they are due. Accepted accounts of events are challenged while sensational new details emerge to cast a whole new light on the band’s history – especially their early years with Atlantic Records in the United States. Continue reading Book | The Youngs – The Brothers Who Built AC/DC→
Review By Dominic Feain
Photo credit Kurt Petersen The Church were greeted to a nostalgic roar last night as a jam-packed Mullumbimby High gym leapt to it’s collective feet in near 40-degree heat to welcome the Eighties legends to town.
In this original memoir following Billy Idol from his childhood in England to his fame at the height of the punk-pop revolution, the iconic superstar tells the real story behind the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll that he is famous for.
A member of the punk rock revolution whose music crossed over into the pop mainstream during the 1980s, Billy Idol is a rock ‘n’ roll legend. Dancing with Myself will cover the events and the people who shaped his life, his music and his career, including accounts of his childhood both in England and the U.S., his year at Sussex University, his membership in the Bromley Contingent, his period spent hanging out with the Sex Pistols, his time in Siouxsie and the Banshees, Chelsea and Generation X. Idol also tackles his successful solo career, which involved collaboration with Steve Stevens and, ultimately, some of the most influential, ground-breaking music videos ever seen on MTV. In Dancing with Myself , Idol renders detailed accounts of his life’s highs and lows with the unapologetically in-your-face attitude and exuberance that made him famous. In part a survivor’s story,Dancing with Myself is equally a very funny and always riveting account of one man’s creative drive. Continue reading Bestselling Autobiography | Billy Idol – Dancing with Myself→
An intimate account of life with AC/DC’s Bon Scott, featuring 15 never-before-published letters by Australia’s greatest frontman.
In 1971 Adelaide girl Irene Thornton meets Bon Scott, the singer for local band Fraternity. He is a larrikin showman with a smile that rules the world. Between Bon and Irene, there is a unique spark; they marry in 1972. For the next few years, with Irene by his side, Bon Scott continues a driven but difficult journey towards AC/DC and rock ‘n’ roll fame.
Irene gives us the scene without the airbrushing: the bitter winters in London with Fraternity, the drinking and drugs, the group living and frayed tempers, and the broken dreams and inner demons. But she also shares details of her incredible bond with this extraordinary man, watching Bon create and perform the music that put him and AC/DC on the world stage. Continue reading Book | My Bon Scott→
Discover the man behind the myth in this new biography of one of the most pioneering and influential performers of our time-David Bowie.
David Bowie-the iconic superstar of rock, fashion, art, design, and the quintessential sexual liberator-is a living legend. However, for the past five decades, he has managed to retain his Hollywood star mystique. Now, New York Times bestselling author Wendy Leigh reveals the real man behind the mythology. Through scores of interviews with Bowie’s lovers (both male and female), his girlfriends, business associates, groupies, and band members, Leigh, who grew up just a mile from where Bowie was born and went to school, has written an intimate biography of rock’s greatest enigma.
In an unexpurgated exploration of Bowie’s kaleidoscopic personal life, she reveals his star-crossed inheritance-his mother was once an acolyte of the British Fascist party; his father, the PR genius who masterminded his early career-in a dramatic contrast to those family members grappling with mental illness, fears that would haunt Bowie for most of his life. Continue reading Book | Bowie – The Biography→
The much-anticipated second volume of former Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam’s biography.
Gough Whitlam, Australia’s twenty-first prime minister, swept to power in December 1972, ending twenty-three years of conservative rule. It was an ascendancy bitterly resented by some, never accepted by others, and ended with dismissal by the Governor-General barely three years later—an outcome that polarised debate and left many believing the full story had not been told.
With some 37 years in the music industry, Steve Kilbey has some stories to tell. Best known as the lead singer and enigmatic front man, songwriter, bassist of The Church, Steve has experienced both amazing international success and all the excesses that go with it, as well as a well known heroin addiction that delivered some very dark times. The Church has been a significant and constant influence on the Australian music industry and readers will be keen to hear from one of the industry’s most successful, creative and long-standing key protagonists. Continue reading Biography | Something Quite Peculiar : The Church. The Music. The Mayhem – Steve Kilbey→
From the author of the bestselling biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein, this is the exclusive biography of Steve Jobs.
Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. Continue reading Biography – Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson→
• Ben Lee has been making albums since he was 14 years old.
• Recordings by his first band, Noise Addict, were released in the US by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth and Mike D of the Beastie Boys.
• The Re-Birth of Venus is his seventh solo album and his fifth collaboration with Chicago-based producer, Brad Wood.
• Ben has been nominated for thirteen ARIA Awards and has won six, including Best Male Artist in 2005. In that year, ‘Catch My Disease’ was the most played song on Australian Radio.
• Ben has collaborated with a vast array of artists including Liz Phair, Evan Dando, Ben Kweller, Ben Folds, Jason Schwartzman and Kylie Minogue.
• He has also starred in a film, The Rage in Placid Lake, and composed the ARIA and AFI-nominated soundtrack to the new Australian movie, The Sqaure.
• Ben lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Ione Skye, and his stepdaugher, Kate.
• New single ‘I Love Pop Music’ points out how pop music can also provide a serious message.
• ‘I Love Pop Music’ will be released digitally on December 20th.
• Missy Higgins and Patience Hodgson join Ben on ‘I Love Pop Music’.
• New album, “The Rebirth of Venus” is out through Dew Process/UMA on February 7th 2009.
• The inspiration for ‘The Rebirth Of Venus” is to celebrate feminine qualities such as creativity and compassion, hence the title.
• The new album was recorded with Brad Wood (Awake Is the New Sleep)
• Ben Lee will be touring in March 2009
This year Mick Hucknall celebrates 25 years of unbroken service with the band he founded, fronted and named. Simply Red emerged out of the streets and clubs of Manchester in the post-punk era of 1984 and within 12 months were riding in the British charts.
The original line-up of singer Hucknall, bassist Tony Bowers, drummer Chris Joyce, guitarist Dave Fryman, keyboardist/singer Fritz McIntyre and horn player Tim Kellet became regulars on the thriving club circuit and soon caught the attention of record company scouts on the hunt for new talent.
Executives at the UK arm of renowned US label Elektra were the most persistent – and most generous – and Simply Red found
15 years ago, Lamb of God began their ascent to the forefront of modern heavy metal. A self-described “pure American metal” quintet from Richmond, VA, took deliberate steps, paid the dues and withstood the knocks as an underground, un-commercial metal act. Beloved by a rabid, grass roots cult of underground thrash fanatics thanks to brutal and technical albums like 2000’s New American Gospel and 2003’s As the Palaces Burn, the band toured North America relentlessly and began their international career overseas in support of the latter. Entering 2004, 10 years after inception, the band had risen to the top of the independent metal scene. Their uncommon work ethic, uncompromising musicianship and intellectual lyrics set them apart – and into un-chartered territory.
Five years ago, Lamb of God surprised the hell out of everyone — including themselves — by attracting the attention of and soon after inking a deal with Epic Records. “How does an extreme band like us even exist at this kind of upper-echelon major label?” remembers guitarist Mark Morton.
Far more commercially oriented bands have buckled under the strain of similar indie-to-major leaps. Skeptical of the outcome of such a relationship, the band took the opportunity to push even harder and in 2004 released the ferocious and technical ‘Ashes of the Wake’ and in 2006 the dark and unrelenting, ‘Sacrament.’ These albums proved that the major label pairing had no negative side effects. Fans and critics alike celebrated both albums, receiving respective album of the year awards from major metal and hard rock publications around the world and the latter landing in the top 10 of the Billboard charts, becoming the top selling metal album of 2006, and a Grammy nomination. Now entering 2009, Lamb of God – guitarist Willie Adler, Willie’s drummer brother Chris Adler, bassist John Campbell, guitarist Mark Morton and vocalist Randy Blythe — have recaptured the attention of the heavy metal world, toting a vicious new album they call Wrath.
Thumping bass lines, tapping melodies, and slapping percussion on her guitar, Kaki King is a one-woman force sent to wreak acoustic havoc. She’s a riveting performer, combining jaw-dropping technique with unique compositions. Her playing has a passion and an edge that keeps her tenuously balanced, one foot in the acoustic world, the other in rock’n’roll.
For King, the guitar isn’t just a reverie machine; it’s a percussion instrument, just like the drums she played with her high school band…
“When I was about four years old my parents wanted me to take music lessons, and I chose the guitar,” she says. “But I didn’t enjoy it, so when I was five I put it aside. Then I started playing drums when I was nine or 10. I still play them. That was how I got into playing pop music, and that feel was a big influence when I did go back to guitar.”
Using intricate tunings and neck tapping, Kaki became focused on writing instrumental music. In 1999, Kaki moved up to New York to attend NYU, and emerged three years later with a humanities degree that allowed her to complete only the feeblest of crossword puzzles. “I want to be either a vagabond street performer or a sassy bar rat,” she told a professor inquiring about her future plans, to which the professor replied, “With your handsome looks and ragamuffin charm, I’m sure you’ll be able to do both.” And so she did…
Brian Setzer has made a career of bucking trends, going against the grain, ignoring popular culture, discarding rational thought, and, all the while, blowing people away. In a pop music era dominated by twenty-something contest winners and angst-ridden suburban kids, his latest project couldn’t be any further removed from the mainstream. Recording centuries-old music with his 18-piece Rockin’ Big Band and enlisting the help of a long-retired octogenarian, Setzer has achieved what is surely his finest musical hour with his upcoming Surfdog Records release, “Wolfgang’s Big Night Out.”
As a teenager, Brian Setzer drew inspiration from 50’s rockabilly, fused it with new wave punk, and created a phenomenon with his band Stray Cats. During the 1990’s (when grunge ruled the charts), he assembled his monstrous big band complete with a 13-piece horn section that ignited an international modern swing explosion, sold millions of albums, and racked up 3 Grammy wins. If that wasn’t enough, Setzer found tremendous success in redefining Christmas music for a generation desperately desiring something new and exciting around the holidays. Continue reading Brian Setzer→
Since the release of his Alligator Records debut Racin’ The Devil, bassist/vocalist/songwriter (and Stray Cats co-founder) Lee Rocker’s solo career has been skyrocketing. Publications from USA Today to Billboard and The New York Times raved about the undeniable power and foot-stomping fun of Rocker’s Americana-based roots rock. OffBeat declared, “What’s most satisfying about Lee Rocker is his ability to graft classic Sun licks and shuffles onto Americana. He bridges the gap between Bruce Springsteen and Hank Williams, Sr.” Bass Player magazine simply said, “He absolutely kills.” Lee’s live shows, fueled by his barnstorming, rocking band, grow wilder each night out. And now, on the heels of the national Stray Cats 2007 summer reunion tour, Lee Rocker is back with his second Alligator album, Black Cat Bone.
The Chicago Tribune describes Rocker’s playing as “muscular and passionate.” The Washington Post says his music consists of “impressive, catchy, driving original songs, frantic romps, finger-snapping swing and brooding slow blues.” Rolling Stone declares, “Lee Rocker’s singing naturally captures the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll. His catchy, well-written songs are very difficult to get out of your head.”
As the legendary drummer for the Stray Cats Phantom, alongside band mates Brian Setzer and Lee Rocker, spearheaded the neo-rockabilly movement of the early 80s. With a love for 50s rock n roll the Stray Cats took inspiration from the bygone era and mixed with their youthful energy and aggression produced the updated hard-edged rockabilly sound that saw them conquer London, Europe and later the US, gaining fans among the likes of Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Robert Plant along the way.