By the power of Kindle!
I've mentioned this before I'm sure - but I'm a total convert to the Kindle way of life; the Kindle way of reading. I still like books - it's not that you have to do away with one to embrace the other, it's not like you're cheating on your books - but I can't quite explain why I favour the convenience of the Kindle format for reading and yet I'm more interested in sitting down to play a record rather than switching entirely to an Mp3 library.
The Kindle became useful with having a child - needing a hand free for parenting. And it's that time in life where I'm streamlining the earlier hoarding, jettisoning books I'll never read again, some records too. But books are heavy to move and take up loads of room. We have heaps of books - some rooms in our house are full of books and that will always be the way, but I'm sold on the Kindle as the new way for reading.
And it's the easiest way to keep up with what's coming out - there are some pretty cool new release autobiographies and memoirs and other music-related books. And I'm even pre-ordering, you pay in advance and then one day - in a month or so, whenever the announced release date may be, the book just arrives, the text rather. It's there on your device. You're away, reading...
I've just pre-ordered George Benson's autobiography and Herbie Hancock's memoir, Possibilities. I'll get the Benson within a month - the Hancock won't be until late October, but since I have some credit I'm buying up now. I've just picked up the newly released posthumous Rick James autobio and new additions to the 33 1/3 series, books about Oasis' Definitely Maybe (celebrating its 20th birthday) and Kanye's big bloated silly fantasy - or whatever that album was called? Maybe reading the book will send me back to the music and I'll finally understand what everyone decided to rave about. Maybe not.
Reading music books has been a crucial part of writing this blog - finding topics, feeding the blog as it were. And the Kindle has been a revelation. There I am now at gigs reading a few pages in-between acts, it's those stolen moments you need to take; make...
George Benson was one of my favourite interviewees - so I'm hopeful that his autobio will deliver. And Herbie Hancock has been a pioneer - he'll surely have something interesting to say.
The book I'm most looking forward to though - and have pre-ordered already (delivery is September 9) is Instrumental by James Rhodes. Rhodes - I wrote a bit about him here - is an amazing musician but his memoir will tell about music as therapy, about the inspiration to dig deep and use music to help survive his demons. Rhodes is now a concert pianist, broadcaster, educator, columnist and advocate for music. He had been institutionalised following a mental breakdown, he has been a drug addict, he gave up playing the piano for years. His story of recovery would be fascinating without the incredible music. But then there's also that.
I can't wait.
But I'm going to have to. Meanwhile, I'll try find some time to get to the recently released Alex Chilton bio that's also on my Kindle, the Peter Gabriel bio and 20 or 30 others. Talking about addictions...
I wondered if any of you have found the Kindle great for music bio reading? And I'm curious to know who you still want to hear from, memoir-wise? What autobiography are you waiting for? I'd love a Peter Gabriel one. And a second volume of Bob Dylan's Chronicles wouldn't go a miss.
What are some of your recent music memoir picks and recommendations? And what ones are you waiting for?
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