Showing posts with label Book Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Book Reviews. Show all posts

9/05/2021

Book Review: Rainbow In The Dark- Ronnie James Dio

Amazon Hardcover Link
Publisher: Permuted Press (July 27, 2021)
Hardcover: 264 pages
ISBN: 978-1-64293-974-3
ISBN (eBook): 978-1-64293-975-0

Ronnie James Dio, is a name synonymous with heavy metal. If you have any interest in the history of music or the pioneers and influencers of the genre, then Rainbow In The Dark is a must-read.

I read this fascinating account of a life and career in short order. I tend to do that with books I get absorbed with. It also helps to have a genuine interest in the subject matter and being one of your favorite vocalists. Other than that, it is just a very entertaining read for anyone.

From his humble beginnings in upstate New York and on to some of the largest stages in the world, Dio climbed the ladder to the top of the mountain.

You will get a detailed account from Dio how it all began, from being a trumpet player to a lead singer to the band ELF, then to Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and his ultimate success Dio, his amazing band showcasing his voice and writing talents.

What touched me the most was Dio’s dedication to his fans and the importance of acknowledging them. He understood and appreciated that without the audience he would not have had the success he enjoyed.

The music industry can be brutal and there are plenty of accounts of those instances and some of the bad luck Dio and his bands experienced along the way. The stories of Ritchie Blackmore and his unpredictability and Tony Iommi’s paranoid episodes leading to Dio exiting the bands then eventually having full artistic control and the great successes that brought him, his wife Wendy, and the band members.

Ronnie James Dio was a good man, an honorable individual, that was fair and honest with everyone he dealt with. His serious and sometimes funny take on situations and the characters he was involved with gave his story plenty of color. Your interest will never wane while reading this book and with 264 pages it is not overkilling nor will you find any ramblings and anything that did not apply to this true story of rock stardom.

It was not an easy road but persistence and determination proved to be his greatest asset. We only wish you were still here making your music Ronnie.

I loved this book and feel I got to know the man behind the music like never before.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-MuzikMan.net Founder
September 5, 2021




8/08/2020

Book Review: A Genesis In My Bed – Steve Hackett The Autobiography

 

 
https://store.hackettsongs.com/products/a-genesis-in-my-bed-book


https://www.amazon.com/Genesis-My-Bed-Steve-Hackett/dp/1912782383

Hardcover: 210 pages
Publisher: Wymer UK (July 24, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1912782383
ISBN-13: 978-1912782383
Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches

After many years Steve Hackett has released his autobiography. This version was the hardcover. A Genesis In My Bed – Steve Hackett The Autobiography was an easy rather quick read in large print and small pages.

I was glad to receive the copy for review and waited in anticipation for it to arrive. The one thing that surprised me as it will many other fans, was the brevity of it all. It seemed like he skimmed over things and quickly moved on to another subject. Even so, it was still an enjoyable read and appreciated the opportunity.

I found it an interesting read and felt he handled his relationships with the other Genesis members very diplomatically and lovingly actually. Most people were probably waiting for some juicy infighting stories, not in this book. Maybe another member will release an entirely different kind of viewpoint but don’t hold your breath these are proper English gentleman and they handle things differently than we do here in America.

So, I have to give Steve credit for keeping a lid on all the details of his relationships and how he tried to focus more on his childhood and development as an artist. You learn how he truly felt going through all the changes and taking the big step of leaving the band after Peter Gabriel’s exit to start his solo career (remember ...And Then There Were Three...).

An artist needs to fully express themselves with no boundaries, influence, or control from outside forces. This is the one fact that I think drives every creative individual, music or otherwise. It certainly seems to be a commonality amongst the arts community and the individuals that take chances, find their way and reap all the benefits of having the courage get past all the what if’s and naysayers. This is what typified Steve Hackett’s path to success.


Steve Hackett is a very busy man and a successful one at that and he has stood tall amongst his peers as one of the best guitar players in the world with a loyal following. When and if he ever hangs up his six-string, maybe then he will sit down and write a more detailed offering of his life in and out of music.

Until then fans have to take what they can get with A Genesis In My Bed – Steve Hackett The Autobiography which gives readers a lot more to know about the man and his music. So, look at it as a nice overview of an amazing career and be grateful he was willing to share what he did. I would have never had this kind of insight about Steve and his music without reading this book and I have gained more appreciation and respect for his accomplishments and what it took to get there.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
August 6, 2020


12/04/2019

Book Review: The Ballad of Jethro Tull

Product Details
Title: The Ballad of Jethro Tull (Hardcover)
Release Date: November 15, 2019
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Rocket 88
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1910978426
ISBN-13: 978-1910978429
Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 1 x 11.3 inches


The iconic prog-rock band Jethro Tull is immortalized through their music. There are other ways to achieve that status if you have been around for over 50 years. One way is to provide your fan base with a lavishly bounded hardcover book covering the history of the band. 

We now have The Ballad of Jethro Tull. It is quite an overview from Ian Anderson the band’s originator and leader, and other members of the band over the years.

I had the opportunity to speak to Ian about the book but unfortunately, the audio for my podcast did not transfer over. It was a sad day for this music fan and lifetime JT fan. But such is life and I did retain what was said. What I garnered from our conversation was that Ian was approached by the folks at Rocket 88. It was not his idea nor was he thinking of such a project. 

It all turned out wonderfully as the book is a beautiful documentation of the band with some colorful commentary from Ian and the band members that were involved with the albums that were covered to the point when Ian cut his ties with band and went solo then subsequently got a lineup capable of covering all of the JT catalog and his solo projects. I was amongst the many that saw him and that band on the 2018 50th anniversary tour.

I have to say I have never received anything quite like this book covering a band. The quality of the cover and all the pages and photos are superb! And it is definitely worth the price of $50 on the book’s website. It is going for $70 on Amazon so the choice is yours depending on what shipping costs add up to. Now that is for the classic version. If you want to go with signature version at $350 and claim one of the 500 limited edition copies, Ian’s autograph, a 7” single created by Ian for the book’s title b/w “Marmion,” original art prints by cover illustrator Peter Klucik, all in a clamshell box, then go for it. But you better make your move now as I am sure it will sell out quite quickly. That is quite the gift to put under the tree for your Jethro Tull superfan. 

I had a lot of fun reading all the stories and viewing all the pictures. If you are a fan you will go through this book quickly compared to others you may have hanging around in a box somewhere collecting dust. I admit I am one of those people. If I find a book I have a great interest in like this one, then it is a complete joy taking in every visual and every word and varying viewpoints of all the different band members.

The Ballad of Jethro Tull is an up-close look inside one of the most successful band’s in the world. I think what is so incredible was how it all started and where it all went. It is an amazing story of determination, wit, and persistence getting to the top of the heap in the world of prog-rock and music in general. From the humblest beginnings to superstardom and multi-millionaires is always a great story!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
December 3, 2019

Founder of:

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

Book Review: The Ballad of Jethro Tull

Product Details
Title: The Ballad of Jethro Tull (Hardcover)
Release Date: November 15, 2019
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Rocket 88
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1910978426
ISBN-13: 978-1910978429
Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 1 x 11.3 inches


The iconic prog-rock band Jethro Tull is immortalized through their music. There are other ways to achieve that status if you have been around for over 50 years. One way is to provide your fan base with a lavishly bounded hardcover book covering the history of the band. 

We now have The Ballad of Jethro Tull. It is quite an overview from Ian Anderson the band’s originator and leader, and other members of the band over the years.

I had the opportunity to speak to Ian about the book but unfortunately, the audio for my podcast did not transfer over. It was a sad day for this music fan and lifetime JT fan. But such is life and I did retain what was said. What I garnered from our conversation was that Ian was approached by the folks at Rocket 88. It was not his idea nor was he thinking of such a project. 

It all turned out wonderfully as the book is a beautiful documentation of the band with some colorful commentary from Ian and the band members that were involved with the albums that were covered to the point when Ian cut his ties with band and went solo then subsequently got a lineup capable of covering all of the JT catalog and his solo projects. I was amongst the many that saw him and that band on the 2018 50th anniversary tour.

I have to say I have never received anything quite like this book covering a band. The quality of the cover and all the pages and photos are superb! And it is definitely worth the price of $50 on the book’s website. It is going for $70 on Amazon so the choice is yours depending on what shipping costs add up to. Now that is for the classic version. If you want to go with signature version at $350 and claim one of the 500 limited edition copies, Ian’s autograph, a 7” single created by Ian for the book’s title b/w “Marmion,” original art prints by cover illustrator Peter Klucik, all in a clamshell box, then go for it. But you better make your move now as I am sure it will sell out quite quickly. That is quite the gift to put under the tree for your Jethro Tull superfan. 

I had a lot of fun reading all the stories and viewing all the pictures. If you are a fan you will go through this book quickly compared to others you may have hanging around in a box somewhere collecting dust. I admit I am one of those people. If I find a book I have a great interest in like this one, then it is a complete joy taking in every visual and every word and varying viewpoints of all the different band members.

The Ballad of Jethro Tull is an up-close look inside one of the most successful band’s in the world. I think what is so incredible was how it all started and where it all went. It is an amazing story of determination, wit, and persistence getting to the top of the heap in the world of prog-rock and music in general. From the humblest beginnings to superstardom and multi-millionaires is always a great story!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
December 3, 2019

Founder of:

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

11/11/2019

Book Review: Tom Petty and Me by Jon Scott

Publisher: Chickasaw Buddy Publishing, INC. (2018)
ASIN: 069209119X
Website: https://tompettyandme.com/



 
Some of the best rock music you will ever hear was recorded by the late great Tom Petty. To reach that elusive plateau where you become a legitimate superstar, a household name, and all of your songs are instantly recognizable around the world, is for the few not the many.

There has to be at least one person to believe in you and dedicate their time and energy to get other people to follow. That is where it starts and hopefully grows exponentially. Things today are a world away from the days of DJs and A&R men to play music and push out to a listening public.

Jon Scott was one of those people that entered the life of Tom Petty that helped to get his music heard. The book by Jon titled Tom Petty and Me tells the trials and tribulations of making those important things happen for an artist back in the 70s. Against all the naysayers, negativity and the dreaded music consultants, Scott broke Petty, big time. Their first meeting was a bit rough due to ABC Records blowing off Tom’s first album, but things would change with time. Once Scott got Petty to believe in him it was like a fairy tale come to life.

I have enjoyed Petty’s music, particularly the first two albums. I did not know the back story of Petty and thanks to Jon Scott and the interview I had with him (included here) and reading his book, I know what happened and what it took to make things happen.

The book is an easy read, to the point, and very entertaining. It is not too long either so when you look at it, you’re not faced with a daunting task like reading something that may take you weeks or even months. This is the way a book about rock music should be written, short and sweet and to the point. And every chapter is like that, it does not drag and never once did I wonder when a chapter was finally going to end.

I have read my share of books about music over the years and Tom Petty and Me was one of the best and most memorable. Thanks to the interview that Jon so graciously provided, I was able to get to know him better, and while I was reading, find some of the missing pieces and details, he did not cover. The experience for this reader is now complete.

Tom Petty and Me is a must-have for any Petty fan or music lover that is interested in how things worked in the industry before the internet and Spotify. This is when people mattered the most and their influence was paramount in breaking an artist. The author’s account is heartfelt and honest, and there is no other way to slice it. I loved the book and how it shed the truth on all the people that played their part in the making of a superstar we will never forget.

Tom Petty was the real deal, a down to earth matter of fact Southern boy that found his way to stardom through a brother he did not know but came to know, Jon Scott.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
November 11, 2019


Review Provided By MuzikMan Reviews



11/26/2014

Book Review: 108 Rock Star Guitars

Book Title: 108 Rock Star Guitars
Photographer/Author:Lisa S. Johnson
Paperback: 396 pages
Publisher: Hal Leonard Books; Reprint edition (November 11, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1480391476
ISBN-13: 978-1480391475
Product Dimensions: 9 x 1.1 x 10.5 inches

At this time last year I had the pleasure of receiving, reading and reviewing the coffee table book 108 Rock Star Guitars by Lisa Johnson. The hardcover version is gorgeous and a real keeper. Now it is available in a beautiful paperback edition. The list price is $54.00 however Amazon.com has it for $34.56 currently and that is steal for what you get in return.

One question about this book that may arise the first time you see it is why 108 Rock Star Guitars? The belief in numbers and combinations of numbers has a long history back to the early times of mankind. They hold spiritual and cosmic meaning. Dependent on your own beliefs or research you may have done this may or may not apply in your life.

To get to the point, this is a book about guitar players in the world of rock. The author and photographer isLisa S. Johnson, who spent the last 17 years compiling all the intimate photos and stories behind each musician and their six strings. The pictures presented are jaw dropping accounts of well-known performers in the industry.

With these detailed and striking photographs each guitar becomes an extension of every individual musician’s body and soul. The end result of the images and words gives a unique personality not to only the musician but the guitar itself. The beauty in the pictures is all the nicks, scratches, and wear and tear. With all the warts you get the story of how the instruments matured into what you are witnessing. 

This is a work of commitment, love and devotion beyond compare. It is a book about music that should not be missed. If you play guitar or are thinking about it, this will inspire and fascinate you endlessly.

From legends like Eric Clapton to Slash, you get much more than the visuals you get the story in their own words on some of the most famous guitars to ever grace a stage. 

Tis’ the season and I you now have a reason to give the gift of music.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Founder Write A Music Review, Prog Rock Music Talk, New Age Music Reviews, Rate The Tracks

November 25, 2014

Book Review: 108 Rock Star Guitars

Book Title: 108 Rock Star Guitars
Photographer/Author:Lisa S. Johnson
Paperback: 396 pages
Publisher: Hal Leonard Books; Reprint edition (November 11, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1480391476
ISBN-13: 978-1480391475
Product Dimensions: 9 x 1.1 x 10.5 inches

At this time last year I had the pleasure of receiving, reading and reviewing the coffee table book 108 Rock Star Guitars by Lisa Johnson. The hardcover version is gorgeous and a real keeper. Now it is available in a beautiful paperback edition. The list price is $54.00 however Amazon.com has it for $34.56 currently and that is steal for what you get in return.

One question about this book that may arise the first time you see it is why 108 Rock Star Guitars? The belief in numbers and combinations of numbers has a long history back to the early times of mankind. They hold spiritual and cosmic meaning. Dependent on your own beliefs or research you may have done this may or may not apply in your life.

To get to the point, this is a book about guitar players in the world of rock. The author and photographer isLisa S. Johnson, who spent the last 17 years compiling all the intimate photos and stories behind each musician and their six strings. The pictures presented are jaw dropping accounts of well-known performers in the industry.

With these detailed and striking photographs each guitar becomes an extension of every individual musician’s body and soul. The end result of the images and words gives a unique personality not to only the musician but the guitar itself. The beauty in the pictures is all the nicks, scratches, and wear and tear. With all the warts you get the story of how the instruments matured into what you are witnessing. 

This is a work of commitment, love and devotion beyond compare. It is a book about music that should not be missed. If you play guitar or are thinking about it, this will inspire and fascinate you endlessly.

From legends like Eric Clapton to Slash, you get much more than the visuals you get the story in their own words on some of the most famous guitars to ever grace a stage. 

Tis’ the season and I you now have a reason to give the gift of music.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Founder Write A Music Review, Prog Rock Music Talk, New Age Music Reviews, Rate The Tracks

November 25, 2014

3/23/2014

Book Review: Supplement No. 1 to Connecticut Rocks! The History of Connecticut Rock 'N' Roll

Title: Supplement No. 1 to Connecticut Rocks! The History of Connecticut Rock 'N' Roll
Author:  Paul Bezanker
Details: 257 Page Supplement to 1998 Connecticut Rocks! Publication


Author Paul Bezanker is a music historian and author. He published Connecticut Rocks! – The History of Connecticut Rock ‘N” Roll In 1998 and most recently he has released the first volume of supplements to the reference guide of bands located in Connecticut.
The significance of these volumes is that no author has ever documented a half century of the recorded works of an entire state before.

I never had the opportunity to check out the first volume however while looking through this supplement I found it to be jam packed with facts, notations, dates, label names and reviews, to mention a few points.

It did not come across as just a reference guide because of all the different information offered in the 257 pages. I was impressed with the scope and breadth of this guide.

I think every state should have their own official music guide such as this and would be well advised to consider this as a guide or template for creating something similar for their own states.

It was long time between the first volume and supplement but I am sure there must be many hours of research and fact finding to put together information for one label never mind hundreds.

This supplement cannot be found on a website or Amazon, your typical outlets, you will have to send your in order in via the U.S. Postal Service or email the author to get more information.

Details For Purchasing: To U.S. addresses: $54.95; Canada: $59.95; Overseas: $69.95. Prices include postage. Send check/money order with your book order (U.S. funds only) (payable to: PAUL BEZANKER) & mail to: Paul Bezanker, 2603 Kim Miller Rd., Lake Toxaway, NC 28747 or send him an email at PBezanker@aol.com for any inquiries.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Write A Music Review Founder
March 23, 2014

Book Review: Supplement No. 1 to Connecticut Rocks! The History of Connecticut Rock 'N' Roll

Title: Supplement No. 1 to Connecticut Rocks! The History of Connecticut Rock 'N' Roll
Author:  Paul Bezanker
Details: 257 Page Supplement to 1998 Connecticut Rocks! Publication

Author Paul Bezanker is a music historian and author. He published Connecticut Rocks! – The History of Connecticut Rock ‘N” Roll In 1998 and most recently he has released the first volume of supplements to the reference guide of bands located in Connecticut.
The significance of these volumes is that no author has ever documented a half century of the recorded works of an entire state before.

I never had the opportunity to check out the first volume however while looking through this supplement I found it to be jam packed with facts, notations, dates, label names and reviews, to mention a few points.

It did not come across as just a reference guide because of all the different information offered in the 257 pages. I was impressed with the scope and breadth of this guide.

I think every state should have their own official music guide such as this and would be well advised to consider this as a guide or template for creating something similar for their own states.

It was long time between the first volume and supplement but I am sure there must be many hours of research and fact finding to put together information for one label never mind hundreds.

This supplement cannot be found on a website or Amazon, your typical outlets, you will have to send your in order in via the U.S. Postal Service or email the author to get more information.

Details For Purchasing: To U.S. addresses: $54.95; Canada: $59.95; Overseas: $69.95. Prices include postage. Send check/money order with your book order (U.S. funds only) (payable to: PAUL BEZANKER) & mail to: Paul Bezanker, 2603 Kim Miller Rd., Lake Toxaway, NC 28747 or send him an email at PBezanker@aol.com for any inquiries.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Write A Music Review Founder
March 23, 2014

2/08/2014

Book Review: A Passion Play: The Story Of Ian Anderson And Jethro Tull

Author:Brian Rabey
Paperback: 288 pages
Release Date:December 1, 2013
Publisher:Soundcheck Books LLP
ISBN-10:0957144245
ISBN-13:978-0957144248
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches

A Passion Play The Story Of Ian Anderson And Jethro Tull by Brian Rabey hit my desk prior to the winter holidays last year and I could not think of a better early Christmas gift. I was getting ready to review the latest incarnation of reissues for Benefit and then hoping to see the Around The World Live 4 DVD set underneath the tree. I did get it and have most recently made my way through the extensive concert footage and interviews. Being immersed in the world of Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull is a choice that has led to tremendous enjoyment for this music fan.

When I had the chance to read a comprehensive story based on the career of the band and their colorful leader I of course, jumped at the chance. 

The book allows fans insight into the band members from the early days forward. It is an interesting take on their personalities and own views on how they felt about being in the band at the time and how their relationships worked inside the JT community. What I found enlightening is how the author brings forth the brilliance of Ian Anderson as a writer, musician and all around leader and businessman. The business side was an aspect that gradually became part of Anderson’s responsibilities in order to preserve their catalog and insure everyone was taken care of from a financial standpoint. These are areas that most music fans generally do not care about but it was interesting to watch the development of the band and Anderson as the rock steady leader throughout their career up to present day. I do not think Jethro Tull would have existed beyond a few albums without the music and business sense of someone like Anderson. 

As all Jethro Tull fans know there have been two constant members throughout the years, Ian Anderson and Martin Barre. Barre was not on the recent TAAB2 (Thick As A Brick 2)release which surprised many of us however as usual Anderson was able to carry on with some fine musicians and keep the Jethro Tull trademark sound alive and well. This is something that was always counted upon throughout the years and due credit must be given for that kind of consistency, hindsight and vision.

Anderson revolutionized the use of the flute in rock music and it must be noted even though he is famous for that, and one of the few names that come up when addressing flute players in rock music, the fact remains that he is a fine guitar player as well. This point is clarified in the book.

Many things come to light while reading this book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. My appreciation for Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull continues to grow every year. If you are looking for something more than the “The Making Of” footage from the reissued back catalog by the band, this book will give you great insight into how it all came together and what transpired to make them international stars.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

February 7, 2014

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

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