Twelve Pop Music Titles, Including Kurt Cobain: The Last Session & Neil Young’s Special Deluxe | Nonfiction Previews, Oct. 2014, Pt. 2

Bockris, Victor. Transformer: The Complete Lou Reed Story. rev. ed. Harper. Oct. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780007581894. pap. $15.99. MUSIC
Written in the 1990s, this biography of iconic songwriter/guitarist Lou Reed has been updated since his death in 2013 with 100 extra pages that include extensive interviews with his wife, performance artist Laurie Anderson.

Clinton, George & Ben Greenman. Brothers be like, “George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kind of Hard on You?”: A Memoir. Atria. Oct. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9781476751078. $27. MUSIC
Writing with novelist, nonfiction author, and New Yorker staffer Greenman, the bandleader and hit maker supreme of Parliament Funkadelic tracks his rise from singing doo-wop with his barbershop buddies to revolutionizing rhythm and blues while creating more than 40 R&B hit singles.

Collen, Phil & Chris Epting. Photographs: My Life with Def Leppard. Atria. Oct. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9781476751658. $28. MUSIC
Def Leppard lead guitarist Collen offers the first memoir ever from a member of that gold-plated band, detailing his turbulent early days, the tough climb to the top, and his longtime focused lifestyle: as buff as you can get, he’s been a vegetarian for 28 years, alcohol-free for 25 years, and vegan for the last year. And he rocks!

Davies, Hunter. The Beatles Lyrics: The Original Handwritten Drafts of More Than 100 Classic Beatles Songs. Little, Brown. Oct. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780316247160. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780316247153. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316365635. MUSIC
The key phrase in the subtitle is “original handwritten drafts,” and indeed the lyrics presented here were scrawled on envelopes, hotel stationery, and more and have been collected from museums, universities, and private collections, as well as individual friends with whom the various scraps of paper landed. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Dylan, Bob. The Complete Annotated Lyrics. S. & S. Oct. 2014. 768p. ISBN 9781451648768. $49.95. MUSIC
All the lyrics from all of Dylan’s immortal songs, with commentary from distinguished literary critic and Dylanologist Christopher Ricks, so the price does not seem excessive.

Fleetwood, Mick & Anthony Bozza. Play On: Now, Then, and Fleetwood Mac. Little, Brown. Oct. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780316403429. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780316403405. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316294836. CD/downloadable: S. & S. Audio. MUSIC
Fleetwood shares his life in music as drummer and cofounder of the rock/blues band Fleetwood Mac, still going strong after all these years; the band sold out its biggest arena tour ever in 2013. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Frohman, Jesse & others. Kurt Cobain: The Last Session. Thames & Hudson. Oct. 2014. 144p. ISBN 9780500517642. $45. MUSICkurtcobain
On the 20th anniversary of his death, here is a moving testament to Kurt Cobain’s life—90 photographs that Frohman took in August 1993 for the London Observer‘s Sunday magazine when Nirvana was playing New York’s Roseland Ballroom. It turned out to be Cobain’s final formal photo shoot.

Jobling, John. U2: The Definitive Biography. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Oct. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9781250027894. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250027900. MUSIC
British film and music journalist Jobling offers an unauthorized biography of the celebrated Irish rockers, interviewing studio presidents, record label scouts, and music critics as well as childhood friends to cover the entire 35-year arc of the band’s career. Who knew that several band members worshipped at a Charismatic Christian church in their formative years?

Perry, Joe & David Ritz. Rocks: My Life in and out of Aerosmith. S. & S. Oct. 2014. 432p. ISBN 9781476714547. $27.99. MUSIC
Aerosmith cofounder Perry says it best; he’s written “the loner’s story, the band’s story, the recovery story, the cult story, the love story, the success story, the failure story, the rebirth story, the re-destruction story, the post-destructive rebirth story.” With a little help from Ritz, four-time winner of the Gleason Music Book Award.

Simmons, Gene. Me, Inc. Dey: Harper. Oct. 2014. 240p. ISBN 9780062322616. $25.99. ECONOMICS/MUSIC
Not a musical memoir, though music fans will pay attention, this book instead explains the business model that has allowed KISS to sell over 100 million CDs and DVDs worldwide and manages over 3,000 licensed merchandise items. It’s not just the makeup; with a 100,000-copy trynkapaulfirst printing.

Trynka, Paul. Brian Jones: The Making of a Rolling Stone. Viking. Oct. 2014. 432p. ISBN 9780670014743. $28.95. MUSIC
Famed music biographer Trynka takes on someone who cannot tell his own story: Brian Jones, founder of the Rolling Stones and essential to its distinctive sound but increasingly troubled and distant from the band and asked to leave it only a month before his tragic death at age 27.

Young, Neil. Special Deluxe. Blue Rider. Oct. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780399172083. $32. CD: Penguin Audio. MUSIC
Following Waging Heavy Peace, a New York Times best seller, this second set of memoirs from legendary musician Young takes a unique approach. Young recalls all the cars he has owned, describing both the memories associated with them and his current concerns about clean energy and the environment. His 2.6 million Facebook followers should like that.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.