No One Here Gets Out Alive
I’m an Australian author, staring down the barrel of middle age. I’ve been writing about music for the past 30 years. I’ve written 25 books; my subjects have included Keith Urban, the Bee Gees, Angus and Malcolm Young, Daniel Johns of Silverchair, among others. During my career, I’ve also had interesting encounters with such legends as Aretha Franklin, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan and Helen Reddy. I live (currently in lockdown, yet again) with my very tolerant wife, my two children, and a house full of animals. (Real animals, that is, not the kids.)
You’re not a fully-fledged music writer in Australia until you’ve had a crack at the Bon Scott story. Bon was the swaggering, hairy-chested frontman of rock legends AC/DC, and he died in 1980, just as the band was about to explode internationally. It may sound like a tragedy, and ultimately it is, but Bon squeezed more living into his 33 years than most of us will manage in our allotted three score and ten. When once asked if he was AC or DC, Bon smiled and replied: ‘Neither. I’m the lightning flash in the middle.’
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We think you will like Chuck Berry: The Autobiography, Who I Am: A Memoir, and Clapton: The Autobiography if you like this list.
From Peter's list on The best biographical reading from a biographer.
From Julian's list on The best books about rock and roll and rock and roll stars.
I found this to be one fo the best of the never-evening parade of rockstar autobiographies. Townshend is very honest about his complex personality and his shortcomings, and reading this, you can easily trace how this informed so much of The Who’s amazing music — and the stories of all the craziness of the early days of The Who are a blast, to boot.
From Larry's list on The best books of rock and roll romantic memoirs of the 60s and 70s.
All of his weaknesses rose to the top when he convinced Pattie Boyd to leave George Harrison and live with him in 1974. Pattie began traveling with Clapton as he began touring the U.S. In 1979, he and Pattie finally married, with Harrison present as an invited guest. While it seemed that Clapton had everything he had ever wanted, he was sinking into the depths of alcoholism and addiction. Though there is much more to this tangled web, Clapton seems to admit that much of Pattie's allure for him was more about her being George's wife than his single-minded obsession. In both Clapton's autobiography and Pattie Boyd's book, this affair is a glimpse into the incredible life these people lived in the fabulous rock years of the sixties and seventies. There must be a lesson for all of us in here somewhere.