It's Only Rock 'n' Roll: Memoirs

April 30, 2015 | M. Elwood

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In 1977, Ian Dury and the Blockheads released a song called Sex and Drugs and Rock n Roll. This month I've written a blog post about sex (Birds Do It, Bees Do It: 5 Books about Animal Reproduction) and one about drugs (Pot of Gold: 5 Books for 420). So, in order to complete the trio here is a blog post about rock 'n' roll. 

These autobiographies have been published in the past couple of years. If you are a stickler for accuracy, you might point out that I have interpreted the term "rock 'n' roll" loosely. That's true but some of these books also contain sex and drugs, so that's kind of like bonus content. 

Clothes music boys Girl in a band I dreamed i was a very clean tramp Anger is an energy

Viv Albertine
Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys
eBook
She was the guitar player for The Slits and inspired The Clash song Train in Vain. After playing an important role in the British punk scene, she retired from public life for more than a decade, restarting her musical career when she was in her fifties.

Kim Gordon
Girl in a Band
Audiobook
eAudiobook
eBook
Co-founder, bass player and vocalist for the beloved alternative band Sonic Youth, Gordon released her autobiography in February 2015.

Richard Hell
I Dreamed I was a Very Clean Tramp
eBook
Richard Hell is an influential punk musician who was a member of Television and Richard Hell and the Voidoids. He has written several books including this memoir.

John Lydon
Anger is an Energy: My Life Uncensored
eBook
Lead singer of the Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd (PiL). Although the Sex Pistols initially horrified British society, he was recently offered an MBE for services to music. He turned the honour down.

Morrissey autobiography Rocks Mo meta blues Punk rock blitzkrieg

Morrissey
Autobiography
Audiobook
eBook
Talking Book: CD Format (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
Outspoken supporter of animal rights and critic of the British monarchy (among other things), this memoir covers his childhood, time with The Smiths and solo career.

Joe Perry
Rocks: My Life in and Out of Aerosmith
eAudiobook
eBook
Although his family hoped he would become a reputable member of society, Joe Perry dropped out of school, grew his hair and cofounded Aerosmith in 1970. In this memoir he describes the high and low points of his life and the band.

Questlove
Mo' Meta Blues: the World According to Questlove
eBook
The Roots' drummer Questlove shares his love of music and describes his evolution from childhood into a significant figure in hip hop. 

Marky Ramone
Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone
eBook
Marc Bell became Marky Ramone in 1978 when he joined the legendary punk band The Ramones. Although not an original member, Marky was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the band in 2002. He is the only surviving member.

Art of asking Life Just kids Who i am

Amanda Palmer
The Art of Asking, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help
Audiobook
eAudiobook
eBook
Talking Book: CD Format (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
The often controversial Palmer has worked as a solo artist and in the bands The Dresden Dolls, Evelyn Evelyn and Grand Theft Orchestra. This book about the successes and failures in her life grew out of her popular TED talk.

Keith Richards
Life
eBook
Large Print
Keith Richards documents his creative and frequently messed up life. I loved this book.

Patti Smith
Just Kids
Audiobook
eAudiobook
eBook
In this autobiography, poet, artist and musician Patti Smith celebrates her relationships with photographer Robert Mapplethrope and New York City. Winner of the National Book Award for Nonfiction.

Pete Townshend
Who I Am
Audiobook
eAudiobook
eBook
Talking Book: CD Format (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
The angst-ridden musician describes his unhappy childhood, rock stardom with The Who, and struggles with addiction in this memoir. 

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