Rock Stars on paper – new popular music biographies!

The new books on popular music this month range from tales of The Doors and Tom Waits to an autobiography of Duff McKagan. Have a browse!

Syndetics book coverThe Doors : a lifetime of listening to five mean years / Greil Marcus.
“The poetic lyrics and haunting melodies of the Doors created a distinctive sound in the 1960s, and the life and death of Jim Morrison, the charismatic, outrageous lead singer, have prompted numerous books and the Oliver Stone movie The Doors. Longtime fans will be excited to see new material written on the band but may be ultimately disappointed with this addition from well-known critic Marcus (Lipstick Traces; Invisible Republic). He attempts to focus solely on the music and present a new story, but his narrative is disjointed, as particular songs send him on rambling dissertations about everything from pop art exhibits to Charles Manson.” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverTom Waits on Tom Waits : interviews and encounters / edited by Paul Mahar.
“Tom Waits, even with his barnyard growl and urban hipster yawp, may just be what the Daily Telegraph calls him: “the greatest entertainer on Planet Earth.” Over a span of almost four decades, he has transformed his music and persona not to suit the times but his whims. But along with Bob Dylan, he stands as one of the last elder statesmen still capable of putting out music that matters. Tom Waits on Tom Waits is a selection of over fifty interviews from the more than five hundred available. Here Waits delivers prose as crafted, poetic, potent, and haunting as the lyrics of his best songs.” (description from

Syndetics book coverChasing the dragon : the life and death of Marc Hunter / Jeff Apter.
“This intimate and revealing portrait is the first biography of one of the original hard men of Australia rock. It has been written with full co-operation of Marc’s mother Voi and his brother and former bandmate Todd, as well contributions from many high-profile Australian music personalities.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIt’s so easy : and other lies / Duff McKagan.
“Fans of the fading rock band Guns N’ Roses (GN’R) will instantly identify McKagan as the group’s rowdy bass player during its 1980s and 1990s glory days. Since leaving GN’R in 1997, McKagan has been keeping busy strumming for other bands like Velvet Revolver, writing columns for,and penning this blunt but very readable confessional autobiography. Despite his witnessing many overdoses and going even deeper into drugs during his GN’R days, a case of severe pancreatitis eventually prodded him to find a unique path to recovery.” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverOn board Flight 666 / Iron Maiden ; photographs by John McMurtrie.
“IRON MAIDEN are a global phenomenon. On board their customised Boeing 757 plane named ED FORCE ONE, and piloted by lead singer and Airline Captain Bruce Dickinson, the band, crew and 12 tonnes of equipment traversed the planet and broke the mould of traditional touring forever by playing concerts in every continent except Antarctica! Throughout this mammoth and ground-breaking undertaking, the band’s official photographer John McMurtrie accompanied them and the exciting results of his fly-on-the-wall coverage are represented here in this unique, pictorial odyssey. John’s unrestricted access has allowed him to capture exclusive images and moments both onstage and off, in over 600 spectacular photographs annotated with individual insights and anecdotes.” (description from