New Books on Popular Music in April

A wide variety of books, from Rock guitar and drum heroes, to iconic rock photographs capturing 60s San Francisco, and fantastic biographies on George Harrison, Peter Tosh and more have all been added to our collection. Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon’s highly-anticipated first memoir gives a great read for both her fans and those who don’t know her. Also, the ever popular For Dummies musical instruction series offers interesting lessons on banjo, fiddle and more. Have a go!

Syndetics book coverThe Haight : love, rock, and revolution : the photography of Jim Marshall / written by Joel Selvin ; preface by Donovan ; foreword by Jorma Kaukonen ; afterword by John Poppy.
“Covering one of the most unforgettable moments in modern history – including images of The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Allen Ginsburg, and more – The Haight is an indispensable gallery of legendary photographer Jim Marshall’s Sixties-era San Francisco photography. In this one-of-a-kind book, the full extent of Marshall’s Haight-Ashbury photography is stunningly displayed. Written by bestselling music journalist Joel Selvin, the story behind each of these incomparable images is disclosed through a revealing narrative, lending the images a fascinating context and prospective.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRock guitar heroes : the illustrated encyclopedia of artists, guitars and great riffs / foreword by Brian May ; consultant editor Rusty Cutchin ; contributing authors Rusty Cutchin [and 4 others].
“Featuring over 180 of the world’s greatest guitar superstars, Rock Guitar Heroes is a definitive guide to those guitarists whose talents helped change the face of music forever and touched the lives of millions. From the heroes of classic blues rock with the likes of Hendrix, Clapton, Page and Beck to modern artists such as Jack White and Matt Bellamy, this comprehensive catalogue of guitarists covers a wide range of musical styles… this is the ideal book for any aspiring guitar hero, and will satisfy even the most die-hard of music fans.”(Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBorn to drum : the truth about the world’s greatest drummers–from John Bonham and Keith Moon to Sheila E. and Dave Grohl / Tony Barrell.
“”What do you call the guy who hangs out with a group of musicians? The drummer.” There are lots of jokes about drummers, but drummers are no joke. They are often the hardest-working members of a band, maintaining the fundamental rhythm upon which the rest of the music depends. The author tries to find common traits these musicians may share, and how those characteristics influence other parts of their lives. He speaks with such luminaries as Phil Collins, Ginger Baker, and Butch Vig and discusses at length legends such as John Bonham, Keith Moon, and Ringo Starr.” (adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverGirl in a band / Kim Gordon.
“Kim Gordon, founding member of Sonic Youth, fashion icon, and role model for a generation of women, now tells her story—a memoir of life as an artist, of music, marriage, motherhood, independence, and as one of the first women of rock and roll. Gordon takes us back to the lost New York of the 1980s and ’90s that gave rise to Sonic Youth, and the Alternative revolution in popular music. But at its core, Girl in a Band examines the route from girl to woman in uncharted territory, music, art career, what partnership means—and what happens when that identity dissolves.” (adapted from

Syndetics book coverGeorge Harrison : behind the locked door / Graeme Thomson.
“Published to co-incide with what would have been the 70th anniversary of George Harrison’s birth. Explores Harrison’s work both within and without the Beatles and at the same time examining in detail his private and public passions, from Eastern spiritualism to horticulture, from comedy to film-making, from fast cars to working with UNICEF. His career renaissance in the 80s with the Travelling Wilburys. His last few years which were scarred by two bouts of cancer and a knife attack which almost killed him. His legacy, including his final album and memorial concert.” (adapted from

Syndetics book coverDream weaver : a memoir : music, meditation, and my friendship with George Harrison / Gary Wright.
“Music legend Gary Wright reflects on his professional collaboration, friendship, and spiritual journey with “quiet Beatle” George Harrison, and releases for the first time a recording of a song they wrote together. Best known for his multiplatinum hits “Dream Weaver” and “Love is Alive,” Gary Wright came to prominence as a singer and songwriter during the golden age of rock in the 1970s. At the heart of this memoir is the spiritual conversion and journey that Wright experienced alongside his close friend George Harrison. Also available is a deluxe e-book featuring an audio recording of “To Discover Yourself”.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe life of Peter Tosh : steppin’ razor / John Masouri.
“One of reggae’s most extraordinary stories, the life of Peter Tosh came to an end when he was brutally murdered in 1987. Now revered second only to Bob Marley among reggae audiences worldwide, Tosh was awarded the Order of Merit as Jamaica celebrated 50 years of independence. Tracing his recording career, we learn of his encounters with Eric Clapton and Joe Cocker, and volatile relationships with Bob Marley and Lee “Scratch” Perry. Tosh’s darker side is also revealed in tales of the singer’s fascination with the occult and in unprecedented detail, his untimely and tragic demise.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJohnny Cash : walking on fire / Helen Akitt ; foreword by Paul du Noyer.
“Johnny Cash cuts an iconic figure in music history. With his humble demeanour, sombre outfits and that distinctive deep voice, he crossed multiple genres with great success – gospel, rock and roll and of course country. Known for legendary songs about regret and redemption, such as ‘I Walk the Line’ and ‘Ring of Fire’, his life was a whirlwind of music, passion, addiction and absolution. This book takes an in depth look at the enthralling life of one of America’s most influential artists.” (adapted from

Syndetics book coverJerry Lee Lewis : his own story / Rick Bragg.
“Award-winning author Bragg could probably write about nearly anything, in his gorgeous and evocative prose, and readers would swoon. Here he writes about musician Jerry Lee Lewis, who made women swoon but also storm the stage and rip off his clothes, and who made men riot and swear and drink. Rocker Lewis was (with Elvis and a few notable others) the naughtily provocative face of rock ‘n’ roll from the 1950s onward, and, in a literary almost-conversation with Bragg, Fans of Lewis’ music will snap this up, but those seeking an unstinting exploration of a true phenomenon of American culture will find it a fine read as well.” (adapted from Booklist)

Syndetics book coverFacing the music : and living to talk about it / Nick Carter.
“The author shares his experiences as a member of the boy band Backstreet Boys, the health and substance abuse problems that followed, his road to recovery, and the untimely death of his younger sister, as well what he learned from it all.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDrums for dummies / by Jeff Strong.
“Whether you’re dreaming of starting a band, striking the snares, or simply playing a hand drum, this interactive book-and-CD package makes it easy to pick up the basics. Complete with new information on contemporary rock styles and beats as well as rhythms from around the world, this guide is all you need to become a talented, versatile drummer. Book jacket.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPiano & keyboard all-in-one for dummies / by Holly Day, Jerry Kovarsky, Blake Neely, David Pearl, and Michael Pilhofer.
“Piano & Keyboard All-in-One For Dummies makes it easier and more fun than ever to make music! If you don’t know how to read music, this book explains in friendly, uncomplicated language all the basics of music theory, and applies it to playing the piano and keyboard. And if you’ve been playing for awhile?or took lessons when you were a child but haven’t played since?you can pick up some valuable tips to improve your playing, or use the book as a refresher course.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEasy piano songs for dummies / performance notes by Adam Perlmutter.
“Want to learn to play easy popular hits? Then this is the book for you! It’s an easy-to-use resource for the casual hobbyist or working musician. It includes 40 easy piano arrangements with guitar chords and lyrics plus performance notes for each song detailing the wheres, whats, and hows all in plain English! Songs include: Back to December * California Girls * Candle in the Wind * Defying Gravity * Fever * God Only Knows * Hey, Soul Sister * If I Were a Carpenter * Layla * Leaving on a Jet Plane * Let It Be” (adapted from

Syndetics book coverFiddle for dummies / by Michael Sanchez.
“Tackling a new instrument can be intimidating, but with this easy-to-use guide, you’ll have no trouble at all! From selecting, tuning, and caring for your fiddle to mastering various music styles, Fiddle For Dummies walks you step-by-step through everything you need to start playing the fiddle like a pro. The fiddle is a popular instrument across many continents, and is a favorite for many because it is small and portable. Playing the fiddle can expose you to a range of musical styles from all over the world, such as Irish, Scottish, Celtic/Cape Breton, country, folk, bluegrass, and more.”(Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBanjo for dummies / by Bill Evans.
“Whether you’re a new picker or an experienced player looking for new ideas and styles, this guide have everything you need. From choosing a banjo that’s right for you to advanced right- and left-hand techniques, you’ll find advice and examples to help you enhance your playing.”(Syndetics summary)