100 books like Rock Concert

By Marc Myers,

Here are 100 books that Rock Concert fans have personally recommended if you like Rock Concert. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Lighters in the Sky: The All-Time Greatest Concerts, 1960-2016

Seth Mallios Author Of Let it Rock! Live From San Diego State

From my list on die-hard rockers.

Why am I passionate about this?

While it is tempting to insist that the reason we wrote a five-volume set on the history of local rock ‘n’ roll was as context for rescuing the famed 1976 “Backdoor Mural,” it’s not entirely true. Jaime and I love live music, mark major life events with important musical milestones, and delight in bizarre musical tangents. Music moves us, history matters, and the intersection of song and society is profound, elucidating, and eternally relevant.

Seth's book list on die-hard rockers

Seth Mallios Why did Seth love this book?

Lighters in the Sky: The All-Time Greatest Concerts takes on the tall task of trying to chronicle the greatest live popular music concerts in history. Corbin Reiff offers intricacies of the cultural and historical context for the legendary shows as well as details about the specific performances. Designed to entertain fans of all genres and certain to foment a bevy of arguments among die-hard fans, this book is delightful.

By Corbin Reiff,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Passionate, personal, and articulated from the lens of a masterful historian with a sharp interest in the topic. . . . A book that feels immersive without being stuffy, authoritative without being dismissive, and historical without being boring. It takes a rare writer to cover acts as disparate as Van Halen, The Dixie Chicks, and NWA with equal gravitas and knowledge, but in Lighters in the Sky Reiff has done just that..” ―UPROXX

“Veteran music critic Corbin Reiff catalogs a well-researched, year-by-year breakdown of the most seminal concerts in each of the last six decades.” ―Business Insider

“A first-rate tribute…


Book cover of Live Music in America: A History from Jenny Lind to Beyoncé

Seth Mallios Author Of Let it Rock! Live From San Diego State

From my list on die-hard rockers.

Why am I passionate about this?

While it is tempting to insist that the reason we wrote a five-volume set on the history of local rock ‘n’ roll was as context for rescuing the famed 1976 “Backdoor Mural,” it’s not entirely true. Jaime and I love live music, mark major life events with important musical milestones, and delight in bizarre musical tangents. Music moves us, history matters, and the intersection of song and society is profound, elucidating, and eternally relevant.

Seth's book list on die-hard rockers

Seth Mallios Why did Seth love this book?

Few books on popular music history include analysis of the evolving conditions of live concerts. Most inventory the top shows and offer quirky anecdotes, but Steve Waksman’s Live Music in America: A History from Jenny Lind to Beyoncé refuses to separate the actual performance from the numerous behind-the-scene individuals that shaped the shows. Readers will come to appreciate diverse influences over a turbulent 170-year history that have led to today’s modern music festival.

By Steve Waksman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When the Swedish concert singer Jenny Lind toured the U.S. in 1850, she became the prototype for the modern pop star. Meanwhile, her manager, P.T. Barnum, became the prototype for another figure of enduring significance: the pop culture impresario. Starting with Lind's fabled U.S. tour and winding all the way into the twenty-first century, Live Music in America surveys the ongoing impact and changing conditions of live music performance in the U.S. It covers
a range of historic performances, from the Fisk Jubilee Singers expanding the sphere of African American music in the 1870s, to Benny Goodman bringing swing to…


Book cover of Fillmore East: The Venue That Changed Rock Music Forever

Seth Mallios Author Of Let it Rock! Live From San Diego State

From my list on die-hard rockers.

Why am I passionate about this?

While it is tempting to insist that the reason we wrote a five-volume set on the history of local rock ‘n’ roll was as context for rescuing the famed 1976 “Backdoor Mural,” it’s not entirely true. Jaime and I love live music, mark major life events with important musical milestones, and delight in bizarre musical tangents. Music moves us, history matters, and the intersection of song and society is profound, elucidating, and eternally relevant.

Seth's book list on die-hard rockers

Seth Mallios Why did Seth love this book?

Frank Mastropolo gives ample justification for why Fillmore East was hailed as The Church of Rock ’n’ Roll in his book, Fillmore East: The Venue That Changed Rock Music Forever. The text brims with photographs, memorabilia, and first-hand accounts of the most legendary shows to occur at the legendary East Village (NYC) locale.

By Frank Mastropolo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fillmore East as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

ONE OF THE BEST MUSIC BOOKS OF THE YEAR! – BEST CLASSIC BANDS

"Fillmore East is the simply the best book on rock and R&B of 2021... a must-read for any fan of the music of the ’60s, ’70s and beyond." — Reel Urban News

"With interviewees including Taj Mahal, John Mayall, Dave Davies, Mark Farner, Roger McGuinn and many more, the story takes in a magical place at a magical time. There are heavy bills and many choice recollections." – MOJO magazine

"Mastropolo’s book will provide a boatload of memories for those lucky enough to have been there and…


Book cover of On the Road: Recording the Stars in a Golden Era of Live Music

Seth Mallios Author Of Let it Rock! Live From San Diego State

From my list on die-hard rockers.

Why am I passionate about this?

While it is tempting to insist that the reason we wrote a five-volume set on the history of local rock ‘n’ roll was as context for rescuing the famed 1976 “Backdoor Mural,” it’s not entirely true. Jaime and I love live music, mark major life events with important musical milestones, and delight in bizarre musical tangents. Music moves us, history matters, and the intersection of song and society is profound, elucidating, and eternally relevant.

Seth's book list on die-hard rockers

Seth Mallios Why did Seth love this book?

David Hewitt’s On the Road: Recording the Stars in a Golden Era of Live Music is an important contribution to the extensive annals of popular music history in that it focuses on the business of live recording that was an integral component to the explosion of rock ‘n’ roll from the 1960s through the 1980s. Hewitt was a top live recording engineer and his expertise permeates the pages of the richly detailed book.

By David W. Hewitt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On the Road as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book tells the story of a life spent on the road recording the rich diversity of music in America when it was a major part of our lives, not just digital background noise. For music fans, there was a golden era of live music, stretching from the 1960s through the 1980s, and even evolving into the 1990s, if you want to be generous.

In the pre-digital era, music fans spent a large part of their free time (and money) listening to their favorite artist’s recordings. It was an analog world so if they wanted to hear the music, they…


Book cover of Petty: The Biography

Mark Beal Author Of ZEO: Introducing Gen Z – The New Generation Of Leaders

From my list on inspiring creativity, transformation, and innovation.

Why am I passionate about this?

For more than 30 years I have been immersed in creative public relations and marketing from campaign development and activation to effectively engaging the primary consumer audiences. Me and my teams developed campaigns around such major sports and entertainment properties as the Olympic Games, Super Bowl, and The Rolling Stones. No matter your industry, inspiration for creativity, transformation, and innovation can come from many sources including the compelling storytelling featured in the books that I recommend.  

Mark's book list on inspiring creativity, transformation, and innovation

Mark Beal Why did Mark love this book?

Tom Petty is one of my favorite songwriters, musicians, and singers of all-time.

While I had the opportunity to see him in concert many times starting in the early 1980s, I never knew how he got there. This book shares Petty’s inspiring journey from his humble beginnings in Gainesville, Florida to becoming a rock & roll hall of fame.

His voice and looks may not have been immediately embraced by everyone when he first started, but his story of perseverance is inspiring as is his creative songwriting and storytelling.   

By Warren Zanes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The New York Times Bestseller

*One of Rolling Stone's 10 Best Music Books of 2015*

An exhilarating and intimate account of the life of music legend Tom Petty, by an accomplished writer and musician who toured with Petty.

No one other than Warren Zanes, rocker and writer and friend, could author a book about Tom Petty that is as honest and evocative of Petty's music and the remarkable rock and roll history he and his band helped to write.

Born in Gainesville, Florida, with more than a little hillbilly in his blood, Tom Petty was a Southern shit kicker, a…


Book cover of Clapton: The Autobiography

Larry J. Dunlap Author Of Night People

From my list on romantic rock and roll memoirs of the 60s and 70s.

Why am I passionate about this?

My Indiana singing group was transplanted and reformed into a popular rock band In mid-60s California. We survived San Francisco's East Bay dive bars, thrived in the City's North Beach topless clubs, appeared in several Hollywood rock clubs, opened a showroom/lounge at Caesars Palace, and performed for two years at the Flamingo Hotel. We were discovered by big-name managers, signed to a famous producer, recorded in the best studios, and released several records with a well-known record label. Though we didn't quite make it to the top rung, we checked all the boxes in our journey. In the 70s, I became a personal manager in Hollywood and eventually opened and operated a Sunset Boulevard recording studio. My two books are a passionate retelling of my musical journey. As I worked on them, I turned to memoirs of other musicians and singers for inspiration. These are a few of them.

Larry's book list on romantic rock and roll memoirs of the 60s and 70s

Larry J. Dunlap Why did Larry love this book?

Eric Clapton's early childhood was difficult. He'd been born illegitimately, complicating his relationship with his birth mother. His primary consolation came from playing the guitar. His fantastic talent as a young guitarist made him a cult favorite in the British nightclub scene until the entire world discovered him as a superstar in his first band, the short-lived, Cream. But his memberships in Blind Faith, Delaney and Bonnie, and Friends, and Derek and the Dominoes were also fleeting despite producing some of the most timeless songs in rock history.

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…

By Eric Clapton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Eric Clapton is far more than a rock star. Like Dylan and McCartney he is an icon and a living legend. He has sold tens of millions of records, played sell-out concerts all over the world and been central to the significant musical developments of his era. His guitar playing has seen him hailed as 'God'. Tracks such as "Layla", "Sunshine Of Your Love", "Wonderful Tonight" and "Tears In Heaven" have become anthems for generations of music fans. Now for the first time, Eric tells the story of his personal and professional journeys in this pungent, witty and painfully honest…


Book cover of Shock Mount

Barbara Kellyn Author Of Morning Man

From my list on romance if you’re a sucker for witty banter.

Why am I passionate about this?

Is there any better foreplay than great wordplay? Not in my book! After years of studying the romcom repartee gospel according to Nora Ephron and Nancy Meyers, I know this much is true: what’s said on the lips is first sparked in the hips! As a rom-com writer recently crowned “the Queen of Banter” by a reader (blush), I bow to the greats who taught me that witty banter is a symptom of unrealized or unsatisfied attraction. And as a lover of skillfully-written sparring, I squirm with delight whenever a sly remark, slick comeback, or sexy euphemism makes potential paramours pop. Want to enchant her? Use banter!

Barbara's book list on romance if you’re a sucker for witty banter

Barbara Kellyn Why did Barbara love this book?

Rock star romances have been my jam since back when my teen bedroom walls were filled with Tiger Beat pinups. The beautifully-orchestrated banter that keeps the beat of a rock and roll love affair fraught with hit and miss encounters helps build the tension towards a satisfying crescendo. (Full disclosure: I begged author Kelly Kay to disclose her real-life inspiration, and it was exactly who I’d pictured!) The hotel pool scene where Meg and rockstar Ian do nothing more than talk (fully clothed) lives rent free in my head as one of the steamiest scenes I’ve ever read. 

By Kelly Kay,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shock Mount as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

★★★★★"I LOVE this book."
A rockstar romance love triangle without crossover, and everyone gets a happily ever after. And it all begins with a spilled glass of wine and a broken watch.

If Meghan Hannah's not falling down, she's falling in love.

She's a mess of herself and always has been. She's an expert at putting her foot in her mouth, tripping over nothing, and being a very loyal friend but love, not so much. But she thinks she has finally got it all figured out. Until she spills her wine on the wrong Rock Star. Now Meg needs to…


Book cover of Chuck Berry: The Autobiography

Peter Guralnick Author Of Looking to Get Lost: Adventures in Music and Writing

From my list on biographical reading from a biographer.

Why am I passionate about this?

Peter Guralnick has been called "a national resource" by critic Nat Hentoff for work that has argued passionately and persuasively for the vitality of this country’s intertwined black and white musical traditions. His books include the prize-winning two-volume biography of Elvis Presley, Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love; Searching for Robert Johnson; Sweet Soul Music; and Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke. His 2015 biography, Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll, was a finalist for the Plutarch Award for Best Biography of the Year, awarded by the Biographers International Organization. His most recent book is Looking to Get Lost: Adventures in Music and Writing.

Peter's book list on biographical reading from a biographer

Peter Guralnick Why did Peter love this book?

Chuck Berry: The Autobiography is a primary clue to the Inner Chuck, if not the Facts of Chuck, an indisputable masterpiece, witty, elegant, and revealing, and (or perhaps but) ultimately elusive. Unlike so many music (and other) autobiographies, every word of this one was written by its author in a web of elegant, intricate connections that are both coded and transparent. Very much like the songs.

By Chuck Berry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chuck Berry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the original rock and rollers tells his own story, discussing his childhood in St. Louis, his first musical efforts and his subsequent stardom, and many of the controversial detours he has taken along the way


Book cover of Who I Am: A Memoir

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

From my list on rock and roll and rock and roll stars.

Why am I passionate about this?

Julian David Stone is an author, screenwriter, photographer, and filmmaker. He shot dozens of the 1980s greatest acts by sneaking his photography equipment into concerts such as Prince, U2, the Police, David Bowie, R.E.M., the Ramones, Elvis Costello, the Talking Heads, the Grateful Dead, Joan Jett, and many, many more. Other work include screenplays for Disney, Paramount, Sony, and MGM. He is also the writer and director of the hit cult comedy feature film, Follow the Bitch, which has played to packed houses all around the country and received numerous awards.

Julian's book list on rock and roll and rock and roll stars

Julian David Stone Why did Julian love 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.

By Pete Townshend,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Who I Am as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Raw and unsparing...as intimate and as painful as a therapy session, while chronicling the history of the band as it took shape in the Mod scene in 1960s London and became the very embodiment of adolescent rebellion and loud, anarchic rock ‘n’ roll.”   — Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

One of rock music's most intelligent and literary performers, Pete Townshend—guitarist, songwriter, editor—tells his closest-held stories about the origins of the preeminent twentieth-century band The Who, his own career as an artist and performer, and his restless life in and out of the public eye in this candid autobiography, Who I…


Book cover of Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung: The Work of a Legendary Critic: Rock'n'roll as Literature and Literature as Rock 'n'roll

Daniel de Visé Author Of King of the Blues: The Rise and Reign of B.B. King

From my list on music books to build a record collection.

Why am I passionate about this?

Music has obsessed me since I got my first record player, around age five, and learned how to play the stack of used Beatles records that seeded my collection. I could probably pick a favorite music book from every decade of my life, and this list isn’t far off.

Daniel's book list on music books to build a record collection

Daniel de Visé Why did Daniel love this book?

Lester Bangs ranks as one of the great music writers and as a high priest of gonzo, the new-journalism approach that posited the writer as the dominant character in rambling, straight-from-the-typewriter pop-cultural manifestos published in Rolling Stone and Creem and their ilk. I think Lester rivals Hunter Thompson and Joan Didion as the most potent and enduring voice of that era. He’s one of my favorite writers. I don’t think he wrote anything but record reviews.

By Lester Bangs,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Until his death aged thirty-three in 1982, Lester Bangs wrote wired, rock 'n' roll pieces on Iggy Pop, The Clash, John Lennon, Kraftwerk, Lou Reed. As a rock critic, he had an eagle-eye for distinguishing the pre-packaged imitation from the real thing; written in a conversational, wisecracking, erotically charged style, his hallucinatory hagiographies and excoriating take-downs reveal an iconoclast unafraid to tell it like it is. To his journalism he brought the talent of a great a renegade Beat poet, and his essays, reviews and scattered notes convey the electric thrill of a music junky indulging the habit of a…


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