As I gear up for the fast approaching 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love, I will be highlighting some very cool new books to add to your library.

Today marks exactly fifty years that one of the most seminal rock albums in history was released (in the U.S.), Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles. Many events around the world are celebrating the fact and books are being published examining the cultural aspects that the album seemingly ushered in that Summer. The just released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: The Album, The Beatles and the World in 1967 via Carlton Books is another one that takes a look at various aspects surrounding The Beatles’ masterpiece. Lavishly illustrated, the book goes into detail not only the making of the album, but also the seismic shift in pop music and fashion it stirred. Relive the magical Summer of Love fifty years later with this detailed book.

Order below:Amazon / Barnes & Noble.

As I gear up for the fast approaching 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love, I will be highlighting some very cool new books to add to your library.

Today marks exactly fifty years that one of the most seminal rock albums in history was released (in the UK), Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles. Many events around the world are celebrating the fact and books are being published examining the cultural aspects that the album seemingly ushered in that Summer. The just released Sgt. Pepper at Fifty via Sterling Publishing is one that takes a look at various aspects surrounding The Beatles’ masterpiece through sections as explained in it’s subtitle The Mood, the Look, the Sound, and the Legacy. Lavishly illustrated, the book goes into detail not only the making of the album, but also the seismic shift in pop music and fashion it stirred. Relive the magical Summer of Love fifty years later with this detailed book.

Order below:Amazon / Barnes & Noble.

As I gear up for the fast approaching 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love, I will be highlighting some very cool new books to add to your library.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a fascination with the year 1967. On June 18th, at the apex of the Summer of Love, Jimi Hendrix culturally ‘defined’ that year when he burned his guitar onstage at the Monterey Pop Festival in California. As far as I can calculate, adjusting for time zone, I came into this world at that exact moment. I could never prove this fact but I am going to run with it.

A new book, 1967: A Complete Rock Music History of the Summer of Love, via Sterling Publishing chronologically by month documents that famous festival and many other happenings, bands, and releases of one of the most pivotal years in music. Like it’s equally excellent companion book Psychedelia, this coffee table sized offering is generously illustrated to help tell the narrative of 1967, where first hand accounts from the people who were actually there bring the events in focus.

What’s the famous quote about the Sixties? “If you remember, you really weren’t there?” This book goes a long way to help dispel that. Luckily for us who weren’t there (well, technically I was), we can now ‘remember.’

Order below: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

As I gear up for the fast approaching 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love, I will be highlighting some very cool new books to add to your library.

O.K., true story… I was hanging out one night in the mid-eighties when my brother called me up to ask if I wanted to catch a blues guitarist at The Decade. I snobbishly (and stupidly) said, “Blues? The only good music is psychedelic music!” You see, I was obviously going through a phase and was really into anything remotely psych and blues wasn’t it. That musician was Stevie Ray Vaughan and I blew the chance to see him in a small club at the start of his career. I will never forget my brother’s reaction, “You’re an idiot.”

As right as he was, I eventually calmed my passion for psychedelic music but still have an affection for it to this day. This new book by Sunbeam Records co-founder Richard Morton Jack via Sterling Publishing simply called Psychedelia, details 101 essential albums from the Sixties with background information and contemporary observations on how they fit into the times for each. By limiting one album for each artist, you get a wealth of material to explore by noting many obvious choices (Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, and Anthem of the Sun) along with many more rarities (Begin, Ptooff!, and Autosalvage) that can be discovered thanks to modern day technology (YouTube is your friend, as implied by the author.)

Along with a detailed timeline of all things Psychedelic in culture, notable singles from U.S., Britain and European bands, a list of notable rock festivals, and more, this lavishly illustrated coffee table sized tome is the perfect appetizer to get you ready for the next couple of months.

Order below: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

I have been a huge fan of Struzen’s work for many years. Being a portrait artist myself, I can appreciate the skill and conceptual ideas he brings to his art as it conveys the idea of an entire movie in one single image. As a casual fan, anyone can enjoy the incredible artistry he has to offer.

The two books chronicling his career are similar but very much different. The just released Oeuvre is a gorgeous presentation and overview of the art itself, presented with little commentary and without all the lettering needed for movie posters. It also includes his work outside the film industry and with over 250 images, there’s a ton of material here to marvel at.

His other book, revised in 2010, singles out many of his iconic film posters and includes rough ideas that didn’t make the cut, early and alternative versions and commentary on each project that is both revealing and often times quite funny. His close and trusted relationship with many filmmakers such as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Benicio Del Toro and Frank Darabont is a unique factor in that they depend on each other in their collaboration to achieve the success they have.

I simply love these books. Being a sucker for art and movies, they both present a visual artists’ work that for over 30 years, is unsurpassed.

John Carpenter’s The Thing, 1982

Back to the Future, 1985

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, 1989

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, 2005

Cowboys & Aliens, 2011

This is a music photography blog, I know but I am spotlighting a couple books leading up to Christmas that may give you an idea or two of what to get someone on your list who may be a movie fan. I love movies and I love art so this collection is right up my alley. Gathering together over 150 artists’ visually interpreting famous cult movies, the array and diversity of images is impressive. Movies such as Harold & Maude, Edward Scissorhands, The Shining, Pulp Fiction and dozens more are represented and as exciting as the movies may be, what is so much fun about this book is the different styles amongst the works. From simple to elaborate, the works are presented in full color and with no set chronology, this is basically a program for the four years of Gallery1988 shows it is based on. Perfect for any movie lover geek in your life.

‘The Jesus’ by Carlos Ramos

‘Wonka’ by Rich Pellegrino

‘The McFlys’ by Kirk Demarais

‘Sweets for the Sweet’ by Julian Callos

‘Self-Respecting Consumers’ by Laz Marquez

Tony Mott is a rock photographer based out of Australia. This collection gathers Mott’s work from the last 30 years shooting almost anyone you can think of in music. What I really love about this book is the way in which Mott comments on his images. Similar to my style, he isn’t interested in the music as much as the circumstances surrounding the photo.

As an example, speaking on the Johnny Rotten picture below, he mentions that 10 punks were on top of him the whole time due to no barrier between the audience and stage. He goes on to mention, “Too much fun.” This revised and updated edition from 2010 comes out this December, perfect for gift giving, wouldn’t you say?

PiL, 1984

Björk, 1994

Divinyls, Mott’s first image ever sold for $20, 1982

The Drones, 2008

Mott The Hoople, 2009

I was lucky enough to receive this book a scant few days before all the twittering and Facebookin’ of everyone I didn’t know was gearing up this past week to watch the doc on HBO. I thought to myself it was awesomely peculiar that I can’t afford HBO but I had in my hands this incredibly beautiful edition that is overflowing with photos from George Harrison himself (or his camera) that I couldn’t believe existed. There are ten pages alone that show the height of Beatlemania from his point of view that the Scorsese version barely (or really cannot) show in the film.

Included here are the rare pictures, notes, letters, lyrics and quotes that not only enhance the man’s Art but give the fan a personal glimpse into his life. As for the documentary, I came away moved by watching Ringo’s recollection of seeing him for the last time, or Dhani’s explanation of schooling from his father, or Olivia’s harrowing account of the attack in ’99 which the book doesn’t touch on at all. That’s what makes this tome all the more impressive. My favorite aspects of the film aren’t even mentioned in the book and I could not miss them any less.

George, late 1940’s

George and Roy Orbison backstage in England, 1963

Three of The Beatles at the Isle of Wight Festival, 1969. George’s photo of Dylan from that night.

George’s notes for the Concert for Bangladesh, 1971

Harrison family portrait, 1997

Every Sunday in the month of ‘Rocktober’, I will be introducing you to a book dedicated to the work of a celebrated photographer who, like myself, specializes in shooting musicians. I start with legendary photographer Bob Gruen and his fantastic new book, “Rock Seen”. Starting out in New York in the late sixties, Gruen has shot some of the biggest names in music, many of them as they were starting out as unknowns, including such bands as Kiss, The New York Dolls and The Ramones.

Often becoming friends with his subjects, he had access that many would never dream of and thus coming away with some remarkably intimate and iconic images. This collection gathers more than 500 of Gruen’s black and white and color photos over the last 40+ years within the 288 pages, often with Gruen’s own personal captions included. As a music photographer, I found myself relating to Gruen’s story and anecdotes on a personal level but anyone can appreciate the beautifully magnificent and historic document this volume offers.

As the season comes to a close, I will remember my Summer of 2011 as the time I ‘rediscovered’ the brilliance of The Kinks. Absorbing their music courtesy of the incredible recently released deluxe reissues of their first six albums, there was a lot to discover. Making it easier was this exhaustive volume of anything and everything about the band. Using press clippings, reviews, setlists and interviews, Hinman gives a literal day-by-day account of when, where, how but not always why The Kinks became one of the greatest rock and roll bands in history. This isn’t a book you read straight through. Instead, I jumped around to specific dates to coincide with what I was listening to at the time. I have read a few of these detailed accounts of musicians and while some are really good, some fall short. This book falls into the former category that compliments the music with an easy to read and detailed history. What a coincidence that just yesterday it was announced that Ray Davies will be playing Pittsburgh for the first time in several years this fall and for me, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

As described in the title, this is the illustrated history of the band. Knowing that going in I was expecting lots of photos but was surprised at the massive literary content to go along with the visuals. Not only are there vintage commentary from the band members themselves but current recollections from rock music royalty including Joe Perry, Ray Davies, Ian Hunter, Steve Earle and Ann & Nancy Wilson. Also included are album synopsis’, tour dates, and band history. Extensively covering the band’s inception in the sixties all the way to the London reunion show of 2007 this edition is beautifully presented with tons of memorabilia such as posters, handbills, obscure bootleg covers, backstage passes and live photos. Bottom line, this is an essential addition to any fan’s collection. I was really overwhelmed how great this book turned out to be.

While there have been countless books published on arguably the greatest band in popular music, none is quite as unique as this one. Presenting artifacts and reproduced facsimiles surrounding the band’s mainly early history, the book gives collectors a different perspective of the group. Included in the material is a hand-written setlist from 1963, tour program covers, postcards, contracts and ticket stubs. There are also photos of other documents throughout the book, like Paul’s handwritten lyrics to ‘Sgt.

Pepper’, which could have been reproduced as well but surprisingly are not. In fact, my only quibble with the book is that there is almost nothing represented past the year 1966, save for an invitation to a ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ party. There is also a brief history of the group with each album and song given a short description but that’s pretty much beside the point for a volume like this. I did enjoy this book but then again I am a sucker for music memorabilia. I am sure any Beatle nut will geek out to this but for the casual fan it might be perused through once and left on the shelf for awhile.

This book is basically what the title says. Technically covering sixty years, the book touches on all facets and genres of promoting rock music in England. Sections include Early Rock, the Mod Era, Psychedelia, Glam, Punk, Rave and current Retro styles. I also appreciate the author giving individual artists their own chapters to showcase examples of their groundbreaking work. Utilizing more than 350 illustrations, the book captures the dynamic history of rock and roll through the extremely talented people who visualized it for us.

This book chronicles the two photo sessions that a young British photographer had in 1967 with The Jimi Hendrix Experience in a section of London named Masons Yard. With a recollection from Gered Mankowitz himself and essays from original Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman and music writer Richie Unterberger, this book attempts to capture the essence of the times. It is ultimately the incredible photos that convey a sense of the brilliance that Hendrix possessed. I was highly impressed with how these now iconic photos are beautifully presented and although there were two sessions months apart, the first group of photos are undeniably the best of the bunch. As a bonus, all 96 images that Mankowitz took of the group are included in the appendices.

Any fan of Hendrix will no doubt enjoy this book and the wonderful layout will please even the casual fan of rock music as well.

This beautiful book details the component of concert going most fans take for granted, lighting design, concentrating on the work and art of Andi Watson. He is best associated with his decade long collaboration with Radiohead and their increasingly innovative tours, from ‘Kid A’ to the ‘In Rainbows’ shows of 2010, which are very well represented here. Among the other bands that Watson has worked with and are generously covered in the book are Counting Crows, Lenny Kravitz, Oasis, Dido, and Arctic Monkeys.

This is a very specific aspect of live music not usually given it’s due and the three narrative essays are highly informative, albeit extremely technical, almost textbook-like in their language. What you do get as a casual fan is an amazingly designed book with literally hundreds of photos and schematics that showcase the art and history of modern day lighting design. The pictures included are gorgeous and any fan of Radiohead would love to have this impressive book in their collection.

Radiohead World Tour 2006

In 2009, musician and renowned photographer Graham Nash was asked to curate an exhibit for the Experience Music Project of rock and roll photography. The results have been compiled into this magnificent coffee table book that would satisfy any fan of music. With no guidelines set, Nash has chosen images that are iconic and many that are somewhat obscure. There is a CD included that has Nash himself giving brief descriptions of each of the 80 images included in the book. While I personally would have liked more technical information, it is cool that you get to hear some of why he chose the picture.

Among the photos chosen:

Elvis Presley by Roger Marshutz (1956)

Bob Marley by Dennis Morris (1975)

Buddy Holly by Lew Allen (1958)

John Lennon by Annie Leibovitz (1980)

Johnny Cash by Jim Marshall (1969) FTC Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on a link, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. The links helps to support this site and will allow me to keep writing about local music.

When I first stumbled upon this book, I was immediately under the impression that it would be a take on the whole ‘family tree’ concept of musicians who either played or recorded music together in some sort of collaborative way. I was sort of right. This book offers a history of rock by pointing out influences and how almost any band is affected by the groups who came before them. Under categories such as Artists, Bands, Labels, Producers, Clubs and Festivals, the author takes a somewhat encyclopedic approach of how they are all related in ways big and small. You won’t get complete discographies and in depth minutiae here, just a smattering of interesting factoids taken as an artists’ general overview. and Almost every major band is represented from Sam Cooke to Coldplay, with a few glaring omissions (The Grateful Dead, Simon & Garfunkel among them). Using a loose timeline, biographies are emphasized with easily cross referenced highlights that shed new light on a musician’s work.

A few anecdotes I discovered from this book are:

U2 and Bruce Springsteen’s relationship began when The Boss attended an early show by the Irish rockers in 1981 with Pete Townshend.

Before she was the household name she is today, Lady Ga Ga played the obscurity of the second stage of Lollapalooza in 2007.

Dave Grohl has seemingly played with everybody.I would highly recommend this book to any fan of music. It’s not to be read straight through but to be appreciated over time in a casually presented form.

I have read many of the titles in this series. They range from the o.k. to the unreadable. This particular one is very good. It explains in detail the short, fabled history of the band, the making of the landmark album, subsequent tours and eventual dissolution and mythic influence they had on a generation of musicians. Even if you are a casual fan as I am, you will come away with an appreciation for the band and Jeff Mangum in particular, which I haven’t seen explained anywhere else.

With a slow reemergence and almost hopefully inevitable comeback seeming to be taking place this winter, this book is more relevant now than ever before. When I was lucky enough to see Mangum play in 2008, I couldn’t understand the chaos that ended the Elephant 6 show I was at. After reading of their history here, it all made perfect sense.

I am a sucker for coffee table picture books. When there is interesting text to go along with the images, I am sold. Such is the case with this beautifully illustrated and informative book that focuses on the varied and historical aspects of album cover art. It’s impossible to be completely thorough when dealing with a subject such as this but the authors use a wide array of examples to demonstrate the good and bad in designing an album’s visual representation.

Included are some obvious and iconic covers but what’s really fascinating are some of the obscure albums that have been produced that attempt to convey the musicians work. There are over 350 entries included and they are divided into ten ‘chapters’, which focus on themes such as Rock and Roll, Politics, Ego, and Sex. I recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in music and art, and how the blending of the two is so crucial to the final product.