Category Archives: Music

Rolling Stoner Bill Wyman shows how his music has given him so much satisfaction

Throughout his three-decade career as a founding member of and bassist for The Rolling Stones, Bill Wyman was known to the world as the band’s “quiet one”. Now, in The Quiet One (IFC Films), the famously private music legend speaks out about his extraordinary life and experiences as part of “the greatest rock and roll band in the world.”

Opening up his vast personal archive—a lifetime’s worth of previously unseen home movies, photographs and memorabilia— Wyman reflects on his early years with The Stones, the band’s meteoric rise to fame, and his search for a sense of “normalcy” amid the whirlwind of sex, drugs, and rebellion. Endearingly humble and down to earth, Wyman pulls back the curtain to offer a one-of-a-kind perspective on life as a reluctant rock star who let his pulsating bass do all the talking on “Brown Sugar,” “Gimme Shelter,” “Paint It Black” and countless other Stones classics.
 
The Quiet One also includes interviews with Eric Clapton, Bob Geldof, and Stones record producer Andrew Oldham and engineer Glyn Johns. The San Francisco Chronicle‘s Joel Selvin said, “After umpteen previous documentaries, concert films and video biographies, that this film consists almost entirely of previously unseen footage of the band qualifies as something of a minor miracle.”

Paul Stanley gives fans a KISS and a tour of his life, from the kitchen to the stage

Wanna go backstage at a KISS concert? We cab guarantee fans one thing: In Backstage Pass, (HarperOne, $27.99) Paul Stanley, legendary frontman and rhythm guitarist of the group, offers grants fans an all-access backstage pass to his personal life, and shows them how to pursue a royal rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle of their own offering hard-won advice and rules to live by from a rock n’ roll legend.

Backstage PassIn this follow-up to his popular bestseller Face the Music, Paul takes us deeper into his personal life and his home life on and off the stage, revealing what he eats, drinks, and does with his friends and family, he’s learned from a lifetime at the frontman of the iconic band KISS, and how he brings his unique sensibility not only to his superstar music career but to every area of his life—from the business to parenting to health and happiness, to the kitchen and the bar to the gym and the office.

Showcasing his unique lifestyle, Backstage Pass is a rare look at the man beneath the modern rock god persona. Paul shares fascinating details about his life—his fitness routine, philosophy, business principles, how he finds inspiration, passion, and joy after nearly 50 years filling arenas and selling out shows, and even his favorite meals, and includes recipes from friends such as Anthony Bourdain, Rocco DiSpirito and Mario Batali.

Backstage Pass divulges more true stories of the rock legend’s relationships, hardships, and wild nights, contains intimate four-color never-before-seen photos from Paul’s personal collection, and offers surprising lessons on the discipline and hard work that have made him one of the healthiest and most successful rock n’ roll frontmen in history—and a model superstar for the modern age.
This is the book for fans who love living large, but also want to kick ass at everyday life. From doing shots at the bar to enjoying a glass of red on the patio, Paul shows you how you can rock n’ roll all night and party every day—without missing a beat or looking like you do.

“Sammy Davis , Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me” chronicles the career of the one-eyed wonder

Finally. PBS Distribution has released the new American Masters program, Sammy Davis , Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me,  the first major film documentary to examine the performer’s vast career and his journey for identity through the shifting tides of civil rights and racial progress during 20th-century America. Sammy Davis, Jr. had the kind of career that was indisputably legendary, vast in scope and scale.

And yet, his life was complex, complicated and contradictory. Davis strove to achieve the American Dream in a time of racial prejudice and shifting political territory. He was a veteran of increasingly outdated show business traditions and worked tirelessly to stay relevant, even as he frequently found himself bracketed by the bigotry of white America and the distaste of black America. Davis was the most public black figure to embrace Judaism, thereby yoking his identity to that of another persecuted minority. In Duke Ellington’s words, he was “beyond category.”

Featuring interviews with such luminaries as Billy Crystal, Norman Lear, Jerry Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg and Kim Novak, with never-before-seen photographs from Davis’ vast personal collection and footage of his electric performances, this film explores the life and art of a uniquely gifted entertainer whose trajectory highlighted the major flashpoints of American society from the Depression through the ’80s.

You ain’t seen nothing yet, until you catch the hot new doc “Bachman”

Guess who? Guess who is the subject of a hot new DVD? Randy Bachman. As a member of The Guess Who,  he was part of the first- ever No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 by a Canadian band with “American Woman/No Sugar Tonight,” and then topped the Hot 100 again in 1974 with another band, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, with “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.”
“That’s a pretty rare thing for a recording artist who gets two No. 1s with two different bands,” notes John Einarson,” biographer and music historian, at the start of the new documentary, Bachman (FilmRise).
The documentary chronicling the life of this 74-year-old who is still regularly making music and performing. The film follows Bachman as he looks to the past for inspiration from rarely seen footage, pictures and documents that have been stored at the National Archives in Ottawa for decades.

Among the other hits Bachman has written or co-written are “These Eyes,” “No Time,” “New Mother Nature,” “Takin’ Care of Business,” “Let It Ride,” and “Roll On Down The Highway.”

“He was like my biggest influence when I was a kid,” says Neil Young in the film. “Watching him play guitar, he had an amazing sense about the way he played. And the feeling that you got when you listened to him. It was more than just chops.”

Young, who has known Bachman for about 55 years, addsed, “I hear Randy – when I see him, I hear him, and I feel him.”

The documentary made its world premiere in Toronto at Hot Docs 2018 before a festival run, and eventual airing in Canada on CBC’s Documentary Channel. Incorporating numerous present-day interviews with family, management and fellow musicians, director John Barnard touches on everything from Bachman’s childhood to his various rock bands—The Guess Who, Brave Belt, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Bachman-Turner—as well as his solo work.

Olivia Newton-John never stops believin’ in love, courage and compassion

Have you ever been mellow?
We often are, especially when we hear the scrumptious, soothing vocals of Olivia Newton-John. (Yes, even “Xanadu” soothes us in a certain way.)
That’s good news.
Really good news.
More really good news: With candor, humor and warmth, Olivia writes about her life and career and cancer in the must-have Don’t Stop Believin’ (Gallery Books, $28). Available for the first time in the United States, this edition includes a new afterword by Olivia.
She speaks about her childhood, her father’s role in breaking German Enigma codes during World War II,  her feeling about about stardom,her beloved daughter Chloe, meeting the love of her life, and her passion and unwavering advocacy for health and wellness.
“I hope this story of my life from my early years up to today will bring some inspiration and positivity to the reader,” Olivia says. “We all share so many experiences in our own unique way.”
We share, we savor, we pray.

For more than five decades, Olivia Newton-John has been one of our most successful and adored entertainers. A four-time Grammy Award winner, she is one of the world’s bestselling recording artists of all time, with more than 100 million albums sold; numerous Country Music, American Music, Billboard and People’s Choice Awards; an Emmy Award; 10 No. 1 hits and more than 15 Top 10 singles among her successes. Her unforgettable role in Grease catapulted her into super-stardom. In addition to her music and screen successes, Olivia is perhaps best known for her strength, courage and grace.
After her own personal journeys with cancer, she has thrived and become an inspiration for millions around the world. A tireless advocate for countless charities, her true passion is as the founding champion of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Center in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia.  Olivia was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992; the diagnosis “came the same weekend my father died of cancer, so you can imagine the shock”, she remembers. Learn more @ onjcancercentre.org.
Olivia has always radiated joy, hope and compassionate.
She continues to be a force for love, for goodness, for strength, throughout the world.
“I also  believe that when you go through something difficult, even something as dramatic as cancer, that something positive will come of it,” she says.
Don’t stop believin’.

Have no fear of the dark with “Iron Maiden: Album By Album”

Required reading for all Iron Maiden fans, Album By Album is a compendium of in-depth, entertaining and profusely illustrated conversations about all sixteen of the legendary metal band’s studio albums.

Now ready: Iron Maiden: Album By Album (Voyageur Press, $30), from prolific rock journalist Martin Popoff, pays tribute to the Iron Maiden’s studio discography through a series of in-depth, frank, and entertaining conversations about all 16 of the legendary heavy metal band’s studio albums. Inside, the author gathers together metal journalists, authors, and musicians, who offer insights, opinions and anecdotes about every release.

http://cloud.firebrandtech.com/api/v2/img/111/9780760360873/XL

Maiden’s fan base is large, diverse and enduring, and that goes for the line-up Popoff assembled to break down each Maiden studio release. Among those weighing in are musicians Marty Friedman, Mike Portnoy, Matt Heafy, Nita Strauss, Ahmet Zappa and former Maiden singer Blaze Bayley. Rocker and pro wrestler Chris Jericho is here, along with journalists “Metal” Tim Henderson, Rich Davenport, Jimmy Kay and other metal and Iron Maiden experts.

Together, the conversations comprise a unique historical overview of the band, covering everything from early albums with original lead singer Paul Di’Anno; the songwriting of founder and bassist Steve Harris; the impeccable talents of drummer Nicko McBrain and guitarists Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, and Janick Gers; mega tours undertaken in support of the albumss; fights and drama within the band; and much more.

The resulting insights, opinions and anecdotes explore it all, starting with the band’s debut at the vanguard of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal to breakthrough iconic releases like The Number of the Beast and Powerslave. Popoff also includes loads of sidebars that provide complete track listings, details on album personnel, and information on where and when the albums were recorded. Every page is illustrated with thoughtfully curated performance and offstage photography, as well as rare memorabilia.

“HELP!: The Beatles, Duke Ellington, and the Magic of Collaboration” is the fascinating story of how creative cooperation inspired two of the world’s most celebrated musical acts

The Beatles and Duke Ellington’s Orchestra stand as the two greatest examples of collaboration in music history. Now, Duke University musicologist Thomas Brothers delivers music to our ears (and eyes):  HELP!: The Beatles, Duke Ellington, and the Magic of Collaboration (W. W. Norton & Company, $27.95), the fascinating story of how creative cooperation inspired two of the world’s most celebrated musical acts. It’s a portrait of the creative process at work, demonstrating that the cooperative method at the foundation of these two artist-groups was the primary reason for their unmatched musical success.

While clarifying the historical record of who wrote what, with whom, and how, Brothers brings the past to life with photos, anecdotes, and more than thirty years of musical knowledge that reverberates through every page, and analysis of songs from Lennon and McCartney’s “Strawberry Fields Forever” to Billy Strayhorn’s “Chelsea Bridge.” HELP! describes in rich detail the music and master of two cultural leaders whose popularity has never dimmed, and the process of collaboration that allowed them to achieve an artistic vision greater than the sum of their parts.

What was really behind The Beatles’ “White Album”? Read “Maharishi & Me: Seeking Enlightenment with the Beatles’ Guru”

Susan Shumsky spent 20 years travelling the world with The Beatles’ spiritual guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (who inspired many of the songs) and lived in the Indian Ashram where The Beatles wrote the White Album.

With The White Album’s 50thanniversary approaching, it’s also time to welcome Shumsky’s Maharishi & Me: Seeking Enlightenment with the Beatles’ Guru. The book not also reveals the unknown meanings and inspiration behind the album’s lyrics, but is bursting with new material on the scandals, rows and breakdowns that erupted during this dramatic episode.

Maharishi & Me is a strikingly candid memoir of a young girl’s journey to an Indian ashram, where she became part of the spiritual movement led by famous Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Shumsky exposes the fascinating, at times disturbing, truth behind the Transcendental Meditation movement–one of the most famous spiritual movements of the twentieth century–and its leader, spiritual guru to the stars, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Maharishi first set foot in America in 1959, kick starting the spiritual revolution that brought meditation to the West. By 1968, the world’s press were at the gates of his Indian ashram, hunting the ultimate scoop on the Beatles’ spiritual adventure there.

Shumsky reveals the inside truth behind the sex scandals, drug smuggling and mental breakdowns that were reported in one of the most dramatic episodes in the Beatles’ history.

From staying in spooky, abandoned Nazi hotels to dealing with fellow meditators’ suicidal episodes, rumors of the great “celibate” leader’s sex scandals, and accusations that Maharishi poisoned his own guru, Shumsky exposes the truth. She also offers a hard-hitting glimpse into the impact of the often bullying, intimidating and threatening behavior of the movement.

In a moving, highly insightful way, the book depicts how it feels to enter yourself into a master-disciple relationship–the ecstasy and the dangers–as well as what eventually made her decide to break away from this.

 

An early holiday gift comes from MPI Home Media: “Pat Boone and Family: Christmas & Thanksgiving Specials”

We love Pat Boone! he looks great (he’s 84) and an early holiday gift comes from MPI: Pat Boone and Family: Christmas & Thanksgiving Specials. Boone, one of the top 10 recording artists of all time, brings us into his home to be entertained by him, wife Shirley and his four singing daughters—Debby, Cherry, Lindy and Laurie– in these music and comedy specials that first aired on ABC in 1978 and 1979.

The Christmas show includes classic holiday songs and comedic moments with the hyper-charged Hudson Brothers plus stars from ABC’s Three’s Company, Happy Days and The Love Boat, as well as appearances by songbirds Dinah Shore and Rosemary Clooney. And Yogi Bear!

The Thanksgiving special features Bob Hope and the Hudson Brothers, who join the Boone girls for a disco dance floor showcase. Among the heart-warming songs performed by Pat, Debby and the sisters are “Can’t Smile Without You,” “You Needed Me” and “Bless This House.” The DVD is packed with bonus material, including The Pat Boone Family: Christmas in Bethlehem, Christmas carols and a Boone family photo album.

We lights up our life!

“Queen: Song By Song” proves why the music and magic lives on

There must be more to life than this. There is. Welcome Queen: Song By Song ( Voyageur Press, $30), the thoughtfully curated and gloriously illustrated retrospective of Queen’s studio releases, with a diverse cast of musicians, journalists and more, discussing and dissecting the making of each album. Perfect timing indeed: The book is hits shelves just in time for the 45th anniversary of their debut LP and the upcoming feature film biopic.

Queen Album by Album

Formed in 1970, Queen went on to become one of the most popular—and most successful—rock bands of all time. Even following the untimely death of beloved and magnetic frontman Freddie Mercury, and nearly 50 years after their formation, interest in the band has continued, evidenced by scores of reissues, arena tours with surviving members, and the upcoming feature-film biopic.

In this new installment in Voyageur Press’s Album by Album series,  Martin Popoff convenes a cast of 19 Queen experts and superfans to discuss all 15 of the band’s studio albums (including their soundtrack for the 1980 film Flash Gordon). Among the cast of musicians, journalists and music industry pros exploring Queen’s recorded output are Paul McCartney, Dee Snider, Dave Ellefson, Queen producer Mack, Derek Shulman, Jeb Wright, Daniel Nester and many other experts. The results are freewheeling discussions delving into the individual songs, the circumstances that surrounded the recording of each album, the band and contemporary rock contexts into which they were released.

The engaging text of this beautifully designed book is illustrated throughout with rare live performance and candid offstage photography, as well as scads of rare Queen ephemera.

The Album by Album series is a unique approach to the rock bio, injecting the varied voices of several contributors. The results have even the most diehard fans rushing back to their MP3 players (or turntables) to confirm the details and opinions expressed.