Rock ‘n Read: New Music Memoirs

As both a book lover and a music fanatic, this Fall has a lot to offer me. I’m a big fan of memoirs by popular music artists, and there are Girl in a Bandseveral coming into our library in the next couple months.I’m always especially interested in reading about their early years, how they became interested in performing and what led up to their “big break.”

The flood of music memoirs began early in 2015. Kim Gordon released her memoir, Girl In a Band, in February.

A longtime member of Sonic Youth, she has been involved in many facets of the wider arts community throughout the years. Anger is an EnergyIn April, former Sex Pistols frontman and current Public Image Ltd. visionary John Lydon (“Johnny Rotten”) published his aptly titled Anger Is An Energy: My Life Uncensored. 

More recently, Pretenders singer and songwriter Chrissie Hynde sheds some light on her rocky journey to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall Of Fame in Reckless: My Life As a Pretender. Folk, pop and country singer Jewel looks back on her early years as a struggling performer in Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story (also check out her brand new CD in our music collection: Picking Up the Pieces).


Never Broken
Arriving soon, Carrie Brownstein is the female half of the duo behind the quirky TV series Portlandia. She’s also a longtime contributor to the seminal indie rock trio Sleater-Kinney. Her new memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girluses humor to tell the story of how she found her way into the Seattle music scene. Iconic rocker Patti Smith’s first book, Just Kids, earned her a
n armload of awards and accolades. Her companion book, M Train, will arrive in October.

Also due in October, classic rocker John Fogerty fronted Creedence Clearwater Revival prior to launching his successful solo career. His Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music gives a rare behind the scenes glimpse from his formative years to his more recent status as an elder musical statesman. Elvis Costello’s long and eclectic career found him playing punk to pop, jazz and blues to classical music. Unfaithful MusicUnfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink tells his tale, as well as telling the story behind some of Costello’s most famous tunes.

Finally, another eagerly awaited memoir arrives in November (not yet in our system, but keep your eyes peeled!). Carly Simon’s Boys In the Trees might not reveal the subject of “You’re So Vain”, but it promises to tell Simon’s story of growing up in Greenwich Village, her relationship with James Taylor and her later career as a Grammy and Golden Globe Award winner.

You’ll find these and many more music memoirs in our Biography section. You can check out the artists’ CDs in our Music collection.

-Reviewed by Scott

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