Tag: metallica

Megadeth Co-Author Joel McIver: Writer Of A Million Books, And He’s Rocked Them All

Posted by on Aug.07, 2013, under Current Shows, Upcoming Releases No Comments

dave ellefson my life with deth book cover

Megadeth, Slayer, Motorhead, Glenn Hughes, Slipknot and more have all found their way into the capable writing hands of Joel McIver in one way or another. McIver has over twenty-two books to his credit as co-author or biographer, with a bunch more in the hopper.

Getting a look behind the curtain of the process of writing rock books is an interesting experience, and luckily Joel shares some of his insight with us here.His upcoming book My Life With Deth with Dave Ellefson will be out in October and is one of the many projects we discuss in this interview. Plus, there’s some news on his Rage Against The Machine book that is still in the works.

McIver also lets more secrets spill like what it was like to work with Max Cavalera (Sepultura, Soulfy) on his upcoming book, what artists he thinks should write a book, and who he wasn’t able to convince to write their book just yet.

Check out the complete Joel McIver canon and more on his website.  Follow Joel on Twitter. Friend him on Facebook.

Rush Illustrated History Interview With Martin Popoff

Posted by on Jun.27, 2013, under Current Shows No Comments

Rush Illustrated History Book Cover


Martin Popoff is the author of over forty rock books. He previously wrote the Rush biography Contents Under Pressure, and was a huge part of the Rush movie, Beyond The Lighted Stage.  You can also see him on VH1’s Metal Evolution.  While some might suffer Rush-fatigue after that, Popoff said it was the format of the illustrated history books that got him interested in doing this project ,and he didn’t have to look much further than his own extensive collection of Rush memorabilia for a jumping off point when putting this book together.  According to Popoff, his most prized possessions are his signed albums, and they’re featured in the introduction to the book.  “Rush fans are demanding,” said Popoff, and thoughtful care was taken to include a great deal of all-new material in the book, including new album reviews that will give fans much to debate.

In this interview, we talk about the process of putting the book together, how the recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction changed the ending of the book, and why Rush continues to be at the top of their game. Plus, Popoff talks about his upcoming Metallica, Art of Metal, and Iron Maiden books that will be out later this year, tips on getting an autograph from a rock star, and how he stays organized while writing rock books.

New And Future Releases From Questlove, Ray Davies, Metallica, And More

Posted by on Jun.19, 2013, under News, Upcoming Releases No Comments

In this super sized edition of the news, we look at new and recent releases from Questlove, Nathan Rabin, Darlene Love and Iron Maiden. Then we look at ten of the over 150 books coming out between now and New Year’s.

Best Rock Books 2012 As Picked By Some Of Our Guests

Posted by on Dec.14, 2012, under News No Comments


We asked some of our former guests what their favorite rock books were this year, and this is what they said:

Mike McPadden—(author, If You Like Metallica, Here Are Over 200 Bands, CDs, Movies And Other Oddities That You Will Love)

We Got Power: Hardcore Punk Scenes From Southern California- David Markey and Jordan Schwartz

David Markey directed two of my all time favorite rock movies: Desperate Teenage Lovedolls (1984) and Lovedolls Superstar (1986).Now, with We Got Power, he has co-authored my all-time favorite book
about my all-time favorite mode of punk: early ’80s Black Flag-Redd Kross-Circle Jerk-Germs SoCal. It’s an invaluable artifact of “you-are-there” zine reprints and never-before seen photos, with wise,
weird, and rib-tickling reflections from those who endure.

My Cross to BearGreg Allman with Alan Light

In 2012, I grew my hair long, quit trimming my beard, upped my barbecue intake, and set my Spotify playlists to (more or less) full-time southern rock. I also read Gregg Allman’s My Cross to Bear
on a trip to North Carolina last spring. Coincidence? I reckon not.

Eddie Trunk—(author, Eddie Trunk’s Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal)

Peter Criss’s From Makeup to Breakup

I feel it’s the best book on Kiss yet. Peter wears it on his sleeve so it was no surprise he was this forthcoming and he is as hard on himself as others. A great read for Kiss and non Kiss fans.

Scott Heim—(author, The First Time I Heard…(David Bowie, The Smiths, Cocteau Twins, Kate Bush, New Order/Joy Division, Cocteau Twins– E-Book Series) 

Talent Is An Asset: The Story Of Sparks- Daryl Easlea

The music book I read this year that I most enjoyed was TALENT IS AN ASSET: THE STORY OF SPARKS by Daryl Easlea.  I think the book was released in Europe prior to 2012, but it’s been pretty difficult to get over here, so when I was in the UK early this year, I made sure to head right to the music section at a Waterstone’s, and luckily, I found a copy.  I’ve loved Sparks for many, many years, in every one of their forever-changing incarnations; being a Sparks fan is like being in an exclusive club for eccentrics, and reading this book made me feel even cozier within that club.  Ron and Russell Mael have been making brilliant, weird, and thrilling music for over 40 years now, and the TALENT IS AN ASSET book helps give them a little bit of the recognition and respect they so deserve.

Caryn Rose—(author, Raise Your Hand: Adventures Of An American Springsteen Fan In Europe)

The One- RJ Smith

This is not only one of the best rock books of 2012, it’s one of the best rock books ever written, and is for some reason criminally ignored. This biography of James Brown is an astounding, lyrical piece of work that doesn’t just show and tell, it makes you feel the story. It candy colors nothing about Brown’s life, good or bad, but is still a story full of deep, deep respect for the man’s music, work and effect on history. It will not only teach you about James Brown, but about U.S. history, about early rock and roll, about the fledgling days of the music business, about the Civil Rights movement, and about rhythm and blues. If you consider yourself a serious fan of rock music you need to read this book.

Commando – The Autobiography of Johnny Ramone

At this point there are no secrets left in the Ramones camp, between all of the books, good and bad. I knew I had to read this but I was dreading doing so; it was bad enough that I already thought Johnny was a jerk, I wasn’t sure that I needed it confirmed by Johnny himself. I’m glad I persevered because this book helped me see him through different lenses. I still think he was more than a little bit of a jerk, but I also feel like he made no bones about that, ever. His life was fascinating and his perspective on life, rock and roll and his work was extraordinarily interesting. The other element is that Johnny is one of these figures in rock and roll who wrote everything down and kept track of absolutely everything. I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you what’s in the book as a result of that habit but you can imagine the results.

Earl Douglas-(author, Black Rock Volume 1)

Bettye LaVette – A Woman Like Me

Singer Bettye LaVette pens the ultimate story of how it took her over 40 years to become an overnight sensation.  Loaded with tales of sex, drugs, good times and bad (with or involving music’s biggest movers and shakers), ‘A Woman Like Me’ is THE rock n roll survivor’s tome.  A must read.

Pete Townshend – Who I Am

The long awaited memoir by The Who frontman is everything you would expect: Insightful, colorful, brutally honest and meticulously detailed.  This is a well rounded look at one of rock’s most beloved artists.

Marc Dolan—(author, Bruce Springsteen And The Promise Of Rock ‘N’ Roll)

How Music Works- David Byrne

Raise Your Hand:Adventures Of An American Springsteen Fan In Europe- Caryn Rose

So many great music books have come out this year, almost too many for one person to keep track of (except Kimberly, of course). Of the ones I have read, I would pick one from a performer’s perspective and one from an audience member’s perspective.The performer’s book is David Byrne’s How Music Works, which for me actually bags the brass ring after which Dylan, Richards, and Young were all grasping in their books. It’s not a book you read for the cameo appearances, the substance abuse, or the greatest hits. It uses the specifics of the author’s life to talk about music in general, which is a much harder trick to pull off than you’d think.

The audience member’s book is Caryn Rose’s Raise Your Hand. It’s an EP, not an LP, but it perfectly captures what intelligent fandom is like, how someone who may seem simply obsessed to an outsider is actually logical, critical, and just extremely well-informed. It also reminds me of Greil Marcus’ book on Van Morrison a few years back, about how ephemeral but glorious certain moments of art can be.

Both Byrne and Rose have strong points of view, and I don’t agree with either of them on everything, not by a longshot. But those two books do what all great works of criticism do–they make you want to pull the music down off the shelf and give it a fresh hearing.

Joe Bonomo—(editor, Conversations With Greil Marcus)

Every Day I Take A Wee: The Beastie Boys And The Untimely Death Of Suburban Folklore- Christopher R. Weingarten

Who I Am: A Memoir- Pete Townshend

Commando- The Autobiography Of Johnny Ramone

Every Day I Take A Wee: The Beastie Boys And The Untimely Death Of Suburban Folklore (Christopher R. Weingarten) and Who I Am: A Memoir (Pete Townshend). The former is part of Singles Notes, Rhino Records’ e-book series. Former SPIN editor Weingarten tells a funny tale of growing up white and suburban and navigating the sometimes tricky cultural landscape of hip-hop and geeky Beastie Boys fandom. Weingarten’s smart and doesn’t take himself too seriously, thoughtfully exploring NYC romance and the increasing divide between old-school record collectors and current downloading music fans. Townshend’s book sprawls, unsurprisingly from a man who speaks in paragraphs, but is a detailed, engrossing account of what it was like to be the cause of, and in many ways the victim of, the aural and cultural storm that was The Who. Townshend’s honest in the book about his shortcomings as a songwriter and a man, and at times his bafflement in the face of his own philandering and general ill behavior gets tiresome and predictable. But overall Who I Am is an idiosyncratic, valuable look at coming of age as a songwriter in the 1960s and 70s and of truly believing Rock’s promises for a better world.

Johnny Ramone’s autobiography Commando is exactly what I expected. His voice is dry and forthright (you can hear the Borough accent), lacking in self-interrogation but with the occasional self-criticism. Ramone’s not shy about exposing some bad decisions and poor judgement, especially in his reckless, aimless adolescence, but Commando is hardly his end-of-life mea culpa, an opportunity to sensitively, unsparingly essay his life for telling contradictions and graphic self-awareness. Essentially, what governs Commando is a late-life shrug: we did what we did as best we could. I’m a little surprised at—and a bit uneasy with—how appealing I find Ramone’s voice. I think that I would’ve loved talking to him; we could have discussed baseball and rock and roll all night long, and when the subject turned to politics I would’ve dodged the issues on which I knew we wouldn’t agree. But I would certainly have known where he stood. Our shared ground might have been broader than I would’ve guessed. Judging from people I’ve spoken with who knew Ramone, his stubbornness and narrow-mindedness could be wearing. Confined between book covers, his personality is appealing, if odious at times. Entertainingly predictable. I laughed a lot—you know what you’re getting, and what’s coming, with Ramone.

News Round Up: Signings, Readings and Rogers

Posted by on Oct.01, 2012, under News No Comments

-Insight Editions will release Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender on October 16th and it’s amazing.

-Betty LaVette’s A Woman Like Me is out now and it’s one wild ride.

- Mike Scott has added more readings after his first few dates sold out in NYC.

-Sean Yseult’s new band Star and Dagger wil have their official video release and listening party on October 8th in NYC and Sean will be signing her book I’m In The Band.

- Kenny Rogers’ Luck or Something Like It: A Memoir is out tomorrow.

- Legs McNeil is on the road reading from his new book and Please Kill Me.

-Kirk Hammett will be signing his book at New York Comic Con and The Chiller in New Jersey this month.


The Bermuda Quadrangle: New Releases This Week From Neil Young, John Taylor, Weird Al And Kirk Hammett

Posted by on Sep.27, 2012, under News No Comments

Something for everyone appeared in the week’s new releases.

-Neil Young’s memoir Waging Heavy Peace was called by Rolling Stone the “memoir only Young could write. Honest, moving and kind of all over the place.”


Weird Al released Weird Al: The Book, a comprehensive look at his thirty year career in pictures, tweets and so much more.


John Taylor’s In The Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran should please fans with tales about the excess of the 80’s.



-Metallica’s Kirk Hammett gives a rare view into his massive horror memorabilia collection with Too Much Horror Business.  Hammett spent two years working on the project and the result is stunning.

Metallica Meets Mr. Skin’s Mike McPadden In This New Book

Posted by on Jul.30, 2012, under Current Shows No Comments

Meet Mike McPadden; music writer for over twenty years and head writer for Mr.Skin.com.  McPadden’s new book is the latest in the Backbeat Books “If You Like” series,  If You Like Metallica…Here Are Over 200 Bands, CDs, Movies and Other Oddities That You Will Love.

For this interview, we caught up with Mike via Skype, and our conversation focused on Metallica…but we also found ourselves talking about encased meats and why “Call Me Maybe” is not your average pop song.

More Rock and Roll Books, More Interviews, More News. We’re Tweaking!

Posted by on Jul.27, 2012, under News No Comments


We’re improving the site and rolling out some new changes on Monday. It all starts with a great interview with Mike McPadden, author of  If You Like Metallica Here Are Over 200 Bands, CDs, Movies, and Other Oddities That You Will Love.

See you Monday!

NEWS ROUNDUP: Metallica, Buddy Guy, And More

Posted by on May.25, 2012, under Current Shows, News No Comments

Here’s the latest:

– Two books arrived in our mailbox this week. For Metallica fans, there’s If You Like Metallica Here Are Over 200 Bands, CDs, Movies, and Other Oddities That You Will Love. And, a new biography of Jazz great and music influencer Buddy Guy When I Left Home: My Story.

-Freddie Mercury gets a new bio  Mercury: An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury.

-Released a few years ago, but still awesome, Destroy All Movies!!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film.

-Music we love this week: Check out the OBN III’s now out on tour.

– Dee Snider’s memoir “Shut Up And Give Me The Mic” is a great weekend read. Check out our interview.

Finally, this hilarious video has been making the rounds this week. Who knew Huey Lewis was punk.

Interview: Chuck Eddy “Rock and Roll Always Forgets: A Quarter Century of Music Criticism”

Posted by on Aug.30, 2011, under Current Shows No Comments

There are probably not a lot of critics you’d want to hang with, but Chuck Eddy is a guy you’d want to hang with and have a beer with.  You’d want to try and figure out how his brain works, why he likes certain things and hear his stories.  Thousands of critics have come and gone, but after thirty years in the business, Eddy is still an important and enduring voice that music fans rely on.

“Rock and Roll Always Forgets: A Quarter Century of Music Criticism” is a collection of Chuck’s best reviews, interviews, columns and essays.  Each chapter, broken into themes, has an introduction written by Chuck to help guide you into what comes next.  The book runs the gamut from metal before Metallica, to Spoonie Gee, Brad Paisley and a whole lot of stuff in between.  To quote from the forward by Chuck Klosterman, “More than any other critic, Chuck Eddy showed how the experience of listening to music was both intellectually limitless and acutely personal. There was no “correct” way to hear a song”.

In this interview we talk about how Chuck put the book together, his endless curiosity about music, Bob Seger and the importance of Detroit, the rebirth of Creem Magazine, and how radio used to make finding music so magical.

Buy Rock and Roll Always Forgets: A Quarter Century of Music Criticism.  Find Chuck on Facebook.  Sorry, he’s not on Twitter right now.