The best books about music, mayhem, drugs, and sex

Richard Boch Author Of The Mudd Club
By Richard Boch

Who am I?

I was a Brooklyn kid who grew up on Long Island. I started hitting the bars and clubs in NYC when I was still a teenager. I found my way to CBGB in 1975, moved to Bleecker St in 1976, and in a right place/right time moment I found myself working the Mudd Club door in early 1979. That moment was a life changer. The Mudd Club book tells the story.


I wrote...

The Mudd Club

By Richard Boch,

Book cover of The Mudd Club

What is my book about?

A memoir and history of the legendary Mudd Club as told by the club’s longtime doorman. Opening on Halloween 1978, Mudd Club became an underground mecca for artists, musicians, filmmakers, and assorted troublemakers. Whether it was Bowie or Johnny Thunders, Basquiat, Rauschenberg, Nan Goldin, or the Hells Angels, it was the place to drink and drug, dance, and hook-up. It was a golden time and there were no rules.    

The books I picked & why

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The Family: The Story of Charles Manson's Dune Buggy Attack Battalion

By Ed Sanders,

Book cover of The Family: The Story of Charles Manson's Dune Buggy Attack Battalion

Why this book?

The best book written about 1960’s Pop-Culture madness and mayhem. As founding member of The Fugs and a unique literary voice, Ed Sanders tells this tale brilliantly. The warning signs, the goosebumps, and knowing when it’s time to stop are all there in The Family.

The Family: The Story of Charles Manson's Dune Buggy Attack Battalion

By Ed Sanders,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Family as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

extremely rare,very good condition


Just Kids

By Patti Smith,

Book cover of Just Kids

Why this book?

Or Just Kidding as friends like to call it, is a classic, a fast read, and a romanticized and fantasized rewrite of a unique and incredible love affair. 

It inspired me to write my own book. More straightforward than her 1975 groundbreaking record Horses but with the same ability to make you cry and laugh out loud at the same time.

Just Kids

By Patti Smith,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Just Kids as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

“Reading rocker Smith’s account of her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, it’s hard not to believe in fate. How else to explain the chance encounter that threw them together, allowing both to blossom? Quirky and spellbinding.” -- People

It was the summer Coltrane died, the summer of love and riots, and the summer when a chance encounter in Brooklyn led two young people on a path of art, devotion, and initiation.

Patti Smith would evolve as a poet and performer, and Robert Mapplethorpe would direct his highly provocative style toward photography. Bound in innocence…


The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

By Tom Wolfe,

Book cover of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

Why this book?

I read Acid Test as a child and it showed me and told me about everything I wanted or thought I wanted—and some of it I actually did. The book took me from a Junior High School dream of being cool and dropped me off at Punk’s front door nearly a decade later.

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

By Tom Wolfe,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

I looked around and people's faces were distorted...lights were flashing everywhere...the screen at the end of the room had three or four different films on it at once, and the strobe light was flashing faster than it had been...the band was playing but I couldn't hear the music...people were dancing...someone came up to me and I shut my eyes and with a machine he projected images on the back of my eye-lids...I sought out a person I trusted and he laughed and told me that the Kool-Aid had been spiked and that I was beginning my first LSD experience...


Life

By Keith Richards, James Fox,

Book cover of Life

Why this book?

I fell for the whole package when I was 12 years old and listening to High Tide and Green Grass, the Rolling Stones' 1966 Big Hits album. As for Life, I don’t really care if Keith just spoke it all into a tape recorder and someone else transcribed it and wrote it. He’s an icon, a survivor, and one of the greatest faces of Pop Culture and Rock ‘n’ Roll. Between the songs, the guitar, the sense of style, and his enduring relationships with Mick Jagger, Anita Pallenberg, and Patti Hansen, Life is a story like no other.  

Life

By Keith Richards, James Fox,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards created the riffs, the lyrics, and the songs that roused the world. A true and towering original, he has always walked his own path, spoken his mind, and done things his own way.Now at last Richards pauses to tell his story in the most anticipated autobiography in decades. And what a story! Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records in a coldwater flat with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, building a sound and a band out of music they loved. Finding fame and success as a bad-boy band, only…


Remain in Love: Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Tina

By Chris Frantz,

Book cover of Remain in Love: Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Tina

Why this book?

Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth are one of the great rhythm sections and one of the great love affairs in modern music. Chris lives large in my own book and the music of Talking Heads was making me dance and cheer way back in 1976. Remain in Love is the real story, beautifully told and written by Chris Frantz. 

Remain in Love: Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Tina

By Chris Frantz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Remain in Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

'As the Brits say: I'm gobsmacked. I devoured this book... one of the most potent examples of living the dream' DEBBIE HARRY

'A great drummer who has written a great book' BILL MURRAY

'A revealing inside account of the highs and lows of a band who looked and sounded like nobody else' OLIVIA LAING, Guardian

Chris Frantz's memoir tells the story of his life with Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club and his life-long love affair with Tina Weymouth. He remembers the early performances at CBGB alongside the Ramones, Patti Smith, Television and Blondie and recording the…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in rock music, counterculture, and The Rolling Stones?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about rock music, counterculture, and The Rolling Stones.

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