The 10 best books of 2015
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Every rock star has enough stories to fill a small library. Some of them are suitable to print as well. Here then, is our round-up of the best 10 memoirs of the year...
Corey Taylor – You're Making Me Hate You: A Cantankerous Look at the Common Misconception That Humans Have Any Common Sense Left
This book is worth buying for the title alone, but it’s actually an incisively written indictment on the vapidity of modern culture and society and the way most people worship the false and hollow idols of, among other things, celebrity, consumerism and fashion. We already knew that Slipknot’s Corey Taylor is a very intelligent human being, but who’d have thought he’d give Noam Chomsky a run for his money?
D. Randall Blythe – Dark Days: A Memoir
This is one book that couldn’t have a more appropriate title. A memoir detailing the Lamb Of God frontman’s arrest, trial and acquittal for the manslaughter of the fan who died after their gig in the Czech Republic in 2010. As we know, the verdict exonerated him, but that doesn’t make reading his account of all that happened any less harrowing.
Travis Barker – Can I Say: Living Large, Cheating Death and Drums, Drums, Drums
When you – somehow – survive a plane crash, it’s going to have a profound impact on your life. Unsurprisingly, then, that’s exactly what happened to Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, and this book details that incident – and a whole other bunch of often dark and depressing life experiences – in vivid detail.
Kim Gordon – Girl In A Band
When Sonic Youth went on hiatus/broke up in 2011, it soon became clear that Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon’s marriage had also fallen apart. Moore has yet to officially comment on what happened, but Gordon wasn’t so silent, revealing her side of the story in this tell-all memoir that also contains a comprehensive history of the seminal New York band.
Marky Ramone – Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life As A Ramone
No band helped shape American punk more than the Ramones, and their influence is still clearly visible today. This is a heart-on-sleeve, bare bones account of Marky Ramones time in the band, and is an honest snapshot of life in the rock’n’roll scene of New York when there was nothing else like it in the world.
Peter Guralnick – Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock'n'Roll
Without Sun Records, there would have been no Elvis. No Johnny Cash. No Jerry Lee Lewis. No Howlin’ Wolf. So while the title of this enthralling history of the recording studio and the man who ran it might seem hyperbolic, it’s actually not too far from the truth.
Patti Smith - M Train
While Just Kids chronicled Patti Smith’s early years in New York with her friend/lover/muse Robert Mapplethorpe, M Train is less a straightforward narrative and more a collection of her ideas and philosophies set within the context of her life. Pretentious? Well, yes – this is Patti Smith, after all – but no less moving or inspiring.
Phil Collen – Adrenalized: Life, Def Leppard And Beyond
Co-written with Chris Epting, this book does exactly what it says in the subtitle and sees the Def Leppard guitarist ruminate on his life in music and his life general as a member of one of Britain’s most successful and enduring rock acts.
Rick Buckler – That's Entertainment
While it might be Paul Weller who got most of the spotlight, The Jam were most definitely a band. Here, founding member and original drummer gives his take on the influential mod band’s history. He’s the first member of the band to do so, so it’s bound to be eclipsed when Weller finally puts pen to paper, but this is a fine story about a fascinating time in British music history.
Ronnie Wood – How Can It Be? A Rock & Roll Diary
Ronnie Wood has spent 50 years on the road, most notably with the Rolling Stones. This fascinating book reproduces diary entries, old photographs and memorabilia from his time on the road, along with new annotations and commentary. Which means this is pretty much as close as you can get to actually being Ronnie Wood without being Ronnie Wood.