Good books about music/pop stars etc

Always been a massive New Order fan, and always been hugely disappointed with the many books about them, the Manchester scene, Hacienda etc.
Finally got round to reading Peter Hook’s Substance book on his New Order years - and have to say it’s miles better than Bernard Sumner’s autobiography. Lots of geeky details about how the records were made - really insightful. Sure he comes across as a bitter, self-absorb man, but he does it in a way that makes you want to read on!
I thought the Morrissey autobiography started off really good, but then descended into a boring, bitter tale by the time we reached the court case stuff, and it never recovered from there.
Any other great books out there? Just bought the Moby one (Porcelain) and the one by the former Bros, PSB manager, Tom Watkins.

‘Head On’ by Julian Cope is an excellent read.

The sequel ‘Re-possessed’ (which it is usually published with) isn’t quite as good, but worth getting anyway.


‘Trouble Boys’, The Story of the Replacements is incredible

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I second @richie’s suggestion - I can’t think of a better music writer than Julian Cope, and everything he does is fascinating.

Moby’s Porcelain is quite good.

Patti Smith’s Just Kids is beautiful.

Bob Dylan’s Chronicles is just weird.

One of my favourite books about music is by Sean Gibbon. It’s called Run Like an Antelope and it’s about a summer following Phish on tour. Most people hate their music, but this is a fascinating insight into a certain countercultural way of living that I found utterly absorbing. (Though I do quite like Phish. Quite a lot, actually.)


Have to say quite enjoyed how Moz’s book ended, the bitterness was what I expected and was not disappointed.

I wouldn’t have wanted his book any other way

Will check out the Hooky one

Revolution in the head


Get in the Van by Henry Rollins


Yeah I liked the whole thing too. If anything, I found the court scenes to be really sad, as they made it clear that these guys will never make music together ever again.

And yeah, band reunions aren’t always a good thing, but the first half of the book made it clear just how much he enjoyed working with the rest of The Smiths, and just how proud he was of everything they created together. The court chapters were basically chronicling the slow death of that partnership.

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. By Viv Albertine

@ninetyeightytwo have you read Patti Smith’s M Train?


Things The Grandchildren Should Know - Mark Oliver Everett

Probably helps that I am a big eels fan but this is one of my favourite books of all time never mind just music books. Beautifully written, heartbreaking in places but full of hope too. Also a great insight into his writing process


Giles Smith - Lost In Music


I have not! Should I?

I also quite enjoy Bill Drummond’s books (although there’s not a massive amount about the JAMs and KLF - 45 is your best bet from his if you want to read about his music).

Jim Bob from Carter USM actually is a novelist now. His touring memories are captured in “Goodnight Jimbob” and it’s a cracking read since he’s able to spin a good word or two. Guess it depends how much you like Carter USM (not sure how many people on here actually would).


Gonna read this next, it seems to have loads that the oral history lacked

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Simon Reynolds Rip it Up and Start Again is pretty great as an overview of the artists. I wasn’t quite able to get into Energy Flash because it’s so fucking huge and most of the music isn’t on spotify and without the music it’s just academic i guess


My copy of Energy Flash came with a CD stuck to the front. I knew most of it very well though.

Also wasn’t really sure where to start with it though - a behemoth of a tome.

Our Band Could Be Your Life


Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein is great.

Always recommend the 33 1/3 series. Think there’s a few duffers in the range (OK computer is meant to be gash), but for short reads about cult albums, it’s a really cool idea. All the volumes I’ve read have been good. Loved the one on Dilla’s Donuts. Wasn’t someone on the boards meant to be writing one?


I got it in an attempt to get into more dance orientated music, so I wasn’t familiar with any of the music. It just became a chore to read a few pages, search for it on spotify, then attempt to download the track elsewhere and then you’ve forgotten what was going on! Might give it another go…


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