The best books on rock and roll

Julian David Stone Author Of No Cameras Allowed: My Career as an Outlaw Rock and Roll Photographer
By Julian David Stone

The Books I Picked & Why

Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years

By Mark Lewisohn

Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years

Why this book?

The ultimate book about the ultimate band. As any Beatles fantastic can attest to, part of Beatles fanaticism is the quest to discover anything new about the band. Certainly as the most written about rock and roll band, there is a lot to choose from, but nothing comes close to the breath and detail of this magnificent piece of work. Clocking in at over 2000 pages (which gloriously covers only up to December, 1962!), the story is told in mesmerizing detail. Lewisohn also imploys a technique that I really love, he writes this biography in the moment, with none of the outcomes certain - This puts you in the moment at every turn of this incredible story. I can not wait for the next volume to come out!


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Comfortably Numb: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd

By Mark Blake

Comfortably Numb: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd

Why this book?

Of all the legendary bands that are part of the history of Rock and Roll, Pink Floyd is the one that appears to have the least amount written about them. That is why this book is so important and so good. Other books had touched on their history, but none of them went as deep and thorough as this one.


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Who I Am: A Memoir

By Pete Townshend

Who I Am: A Memoir

Why this book?

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.


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The Rolling Stone Album Guide: Completely New Reviews: Every Essential Album, Every Essential Artist

By Rolling Stone Magazine

The Rolling Stone Album Guide: Completely New Reviews: Every Essential Album, Every Essential Artist

Why this book?

The Bible as far as I am concerned. As I was becoming a rock and roll fantastic in the early 80s, this was my go to source whenever encountering a new act that I hadn’t heard of. I would look up the new act, get an overview of their career and then dive in. It was always fun to see how they reviewed each album, using a scale of 1 to 5 stars. I bought every edition of this book (and will continue to do so, if they keep publishing them) and it was also interesting, and great feature of these books, that in each subsequent edition they would revisit their reviews and often change them, along with their star ratings.


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Annie Leibovitz: Photographs

By Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz: Photographs

Why this book?

As a teenager and aspiring Rock and Roll Photographer, I poured through this book over and over again. Annie Leibowitz's work is always stunning, but this period in particular is my favorite. Her use of color and the clean, crisp, powerful images were exactly what I wanted to do with my own work. And it didn’t hurt that most of this work was for Rolling Stone Magazine!


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