Rock N Roll Librarian

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In this episode of the Rock n Roll librarian, Shelley and Christian chat about Go-Go’s bassist Kathy Valentine’s story of what it took to find success and find herself, in ALL I EVER WANTED: A ROCK ‘n’ ROLL MEMOIR. The Go-Go’s became the first multi-platinum-selling, all-female band to play instruments themselves, write and perform their own songs, and have a number one album. For Valentine, the band's success was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream―but it’s only part of her story.“Like a scorching guitar solo emerging from the prettiest pop song, Kathy Valentine’s All I Ever Wanted blows away every other music memoir out there. It’s the raw, real story of a Texas girl who raised herself and became a legend through sheer grit and talent, from raucous rocker to pop princess and back again. In prose that is powerful and relatable and unsentimental and funny and scary, Valentine takes readers from the depths of a dark childhood to the electric heights of superstardom. It’s a stunning journey, masterfully told.” —Augusten Burroughs, author of Running With Scissors and Toil & TroubleThis show is part of Pantheon Podcasts.
On this episode of the Rock n Roll Librarian, Shelley tells Christian all about the book RAGE TO SURVIVE: THE ETTA JAMES STORY. One of the great women of American music, Etta was equally at home singing blues, R&B, and jazz, and gave us such amazing songs as “I’d Rather Go Blind”, “Tell Mama”, and “At Last”. She regales us with riveting stories of her chaotic youth in Los Angeles, her teen years in San Francisco’s Fillmore district, and her troubled trip to stardom. From being discovered at age five singing in her church choir, to her first hit record, to her work and friendships with Sam Cooke, Little Richard, Aretha Franklin, and other stars of the Golden Age of Soul, Etta relates with brutal honesty her struggle with drugs, her childhood dealing with an elusive and unstable mother, and her lifelong trouble with brutal and controlling men. A riveting story told in Etta’s own unvarnished and humorously right-on words.By Etta James and David RitzDa Capo Press, 1995#EttaJames #ChessRecords #Rhythm&Blues #JohnnyOtis #JohnnyGuitarWatson #FillmoreDistrict #MarvinGaye #SamCooke #LittleRichard #JackieWilson #TheMoonglows #ArethaFranklin #TinaTurner #BillieHolliday #Jazz #Blues #SouthCentralThis show is part of Pantheon Podcasts.
In this episode of the Rock n Roll Librarian, Shelley and Christian discuss the life of Jim Morrison (The Doors), as told in the ground-breaking 1980 biography “No One Here Gets Out Alive”. Here is Morrison in all his complexity - singer, philosopher, poet, delinquent - the brilliant, charismatic, and obsessed seeker who rejected authority in any form, the explorer who probed "the bounds of reality to see what would happen..." Seven years in the writing, this definitive biography is the work of two men whose empathy and experience with Jim Morrison uniquely prepared them to recount this modern tragedy: Rolling Stone writer Jerry Hopkins, and Danny Sugerman, confidant of and aide to the Doors.Visit our sponsor Adam & Eve for 50% off almost any item, get tons of free gifts AND receive free shipping. Just go to adamandeve.com and type “ROCKLIB” at checkout.This show is part of Pantheon Podcasts.
On this episode Rock n Roll Librarian Shelley Sorenson and Rock n Roll Archaeologist Christian Swain explore a musician vital to the Stax Records and Southern Soul sounds, Booker T. Jones. As we discuss his memoir, “Time is Tight: My Life, Note By Note”, we play samples of many Stax hits and other important tracks that Booker wrote, produced, arranged and performed on, featuring Otis Redding, William Bell, Carla and Rufus Thomas, Albert King, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Rita Coolidge, Sam and Dave and, of course, Booker T. and the MGs.From Booker T. Jones's earliest years in segregated Memphis, music was the driving force in his life. While he worked paper routes and played gigs in local nightclubs to pay for lessons, Jones, on the side, was also recording sessions in what became the famous Stax Studios - all while still in high school. Not long after, he would form the genre-defining group Booker T. and the MGs, whose recordings went on to sell millions of copies, win a place in Rolling Stone's list of top 500 songs of all time, and help forge collaborations with some of the era's most influential artists.Nearly five decades later, Jones's influence continues to help define the music industry, but only now is he ready to tell his remarkable life story. Time is Tight is the deeply moving account of how Jones balanced the brutality of the segregationist South with the loving support of his family and community, all while transforming a burgeoning studio into a musical mecca.https://bookert.comCheck out all the great podcasts over on Pantheon!
Happy Holidays Diggers! Open up this present early! Shelley and Christian break down the new autobiography of one of the most beautiful punkers to ever hit the CBGB’s stage, Deborah Harry. The book is called, ‘Face It: A Memoir’ and it is a deep dig, warts and all of her life and times. It’s a great book, written by the Blondie singer herself and punctuated with expected pictures and unexpected fan art sent to her over the decades.Musician, actor, activist, and the iconic face of New York City cool, Debbie Harry is the frontwoman of Blondie, a band that forged a new sound that brought together the worlds of rock, punk, disco, reggae and hip-hop to create some of the most beloved pop songs of all time. As a muse, she collaborated with some of the boldest artists of the past four decades. The scope of Debbie Harry’s impact on our culture has been matched only by her reticence to reveal her rich inner life—until now.In an arresting mix of visceral, soulful storytelling and stunning visuals, Face It upends the standard music memoir while delivering a truly prismatic portrait. With all the grit, grime, and glory recounted in intimate detail, Face It re-creates the downtown scene of 1970s New York City, where Blondie played alongside the Ramones, Television, Talking Heads, Iggy Pop and David Bowie. Aesthetically dazzling, and including never-before-seen photographs, bespoke illustrations and fan art installations, Face It brings Debbie Harry’s world and artistic sensibilities to life.Following her path from glorious commercial success to heroin addiction, the near-death of partner Chris Stein, a heart-wrenching bankruptcy, and Blondie’s breakup as a band to her multifaceted acting career in more than thirty films, a stunning solo career and the triumphant return of her band, and her tireless advocacy for the environment and LGBTQ rights, Face It is a cinematic story of a woman who made her own path, and set the standard for a generation of artists who followed in her footsteps—a memoir as dynamic as its subject.The name Debbie Harry evokes many images: seminal rock-n-roll figure, complex songstress, incandescent front woman, actor and fashion icon. As a vibrant global force and a shaper of pop culture, Debbie’s chart-topping success, fearless spirit and rare longevity led to an induction into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame for Blondie in 2006. With more than 50 million albums sold worldwide and acclaimed solo projects, Debbie has also engaged in a successful acting career with over 30 film and television roles to her credit (including Videodrome, Hairspray, and Heavy to name a few). She has become and still remains a true national treasure, one whose influence continues to impact the worlds of music, fashion and art. With Blondie, undeniably one of the most trailblazing and influential bands of our time, she and co-founder Chris Stein brought the worlds of rock, punk, disco and Reggae together with “Heart of Glass” and “Call Me” and broke ground by combining hip-hop and pop on “Rapture.” As a solo artist, Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards co-produced her first release Koo Koo in 1981 and she continued to defy expectations with such genre-busting efforts as “French Kissing in the U.S.A.,” “Rush Rush,” “Rain,” and “The Jam Was Moving.” Best known as the face of Blondie, Debbie has also had a long running collaboration with the critically acclaimed American jazz group, The Jazz Passengers, stalwarts of New York's free-jazz scene. Her spectacular voice drips with a sophisticated elegance rarely heard in pop music and she continues to infuse her work with an exquisite artistic sensibility. From an irreverent Lower East Side punk goddess to a bona fide international ambassador of New York cool, Debbie Harry will forever be synonymous with that punk spirit that lives somewhere in all of us.https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Z9JJDJH/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1https://www.blondie.net/This show is part of Pantheon Podcasts.
This episode Rock N Roll Librarian Shelley Sorenson and Rock N Roll Archaeologist Christian Swain go down the big muddy river and deep into the delta to discuss Bruce Conforth and Gayle Dean Wardlow’s new book ‘Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson’.  This time, while on our Mississippi adventure, we will play many of the few Robert Johnson recordings and couple that with samples from famous acolytes throughout the rock n roll era to show just how influential this guy was to the latter music.Robert Johnson’s recordings, made in 1936 and 1937, have profoundly influenced generations of singers, guitarists, and songwriters. Yet until now, his short life—he was murdered at the age of 27—has been poorly documented. Gayle Dean Wardlow has been interviewing people who knew Johnson since the early 1960s, and he was the person who discovered Johnson’s death certificate in 1967. Bruce Conforth began his study of Johnson’s life and music in 1970 and made it his mission to fill in what was still unknown about him. In this definitive biography, the two authors relied on every interview, resource, and document, much of it material no one has seen before. This is the first book about Johnson that documents his lifelong relationship with family and friends in Memphis, details his trip to New York, uncovers where and when his wife Virginia died and the impact this had on him, fully portrays the other women Johnson was involved with, and tells exactly how and why he died and who gave him the poison that killed him. Up Jumped the Devil will astonish blues fans worldwide by painting a living, breathing portrait of a man who was heretofore little more than a legend.https://www.amazon.com/Up-Jumped-Devil-Robert-Johnson/dp/1641600942Diggers, you can support the show by wearing cool rock n roll gear from TeePublic: https://www.teepublic.com/stores/rocknroll?utm_campaign=rocknroll&utm_medium=4904&utm_source=affiliateCall us at 650-822-ROCK or email at: info@rocknrollarchaeology.com
Join the Rock N Roll Librarian Shelley Sorenson and the Rock N Roll Archaeologist Christian Swain as they discuss the definitive biography of singer-songwriter Nick Lowe, best-known for "Cruel to Be Kind" and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" Described as "Britain's greatest living songwriter," Nick Lowe has made his mark as a pioneer of pub rock, power-pop, and punk rock and as a producer of Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, the Damned, and the Pretenders. He has been a pop star with his bands Brinsley Schwarz and Rockpile, a stepson-in-law to Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, and is the writer behind hits including "Cruel to Be Kind" and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding." In the past decades, however, he has distinguished himself as an artist who is equally acclaimed for the second act of his career as a tender yet sharp-tongued acoustic balladeer.Biographer Will Birch, who in addition to being a music writer was a drummer and songwriter with The Records, has known Lowe for over forty years and melds Lowe's gift as a witty raconteur with his own authoritative analysis of Lowe's background and the cultural scenes he exemplifies. Lowe's parallel fame as one of the best interviews in the business will contribute to this first look into his life and work--and likely the closest thing fans will get to an autobiography by this notoriously charming cult figure.This is not an authorized biography, but Lowe has given it his spiritual blessing and his management and label are fully on board. Cruel to Be Kind will be the colorful yet serious account of one of the world's most talented and admired musicians.http://nicklowebiography.com
Shelley and Christian have a great time getting into the memoir from Bruce Dickinson, the larger-than-life, multifaceted lead vocalist of Iron Maiden, one of the most successful, influential and enduring rock bands ever.Pioneers of Britain’s nascent Rock & Metal scene back in the late 1970s, Iron Maiden smashed its way to the top, thanks in no small part to the high-octane performances, operatic singing style, and stage presence of its second, but twice-longest-serving, lead singer, Bruce Dickinson. As Iron Maiden’s front man—first from 1981 to 1993, and then from 1999 to the present—Dickinson has been, and remains, a man of legend.But OTT front man is just one of the many hats Bruce wears. In addition to being one of the world’s most storied and well-respected singers and songwriters, he is an airline captain, aviation entrepreneur, motivational speaker, beer brewer, novelist, radio presenter, and film scriptwriter. He has also competed as a world-class level fencer. Often credited as a genuine polymath Bruce, in his own words (and handwritten script in the first instance!), sets forth many personal observations guaranteed to inspire curious souls and hard-core fans alike.Dickinson turns his unbridled creativity, passion, and anarchic humour to reveal some fascinating stories from his life, including his thirty years with Maiden, his solo career, his childhood within the eccentric British school system, his early bands, fatherhood and family, and his recent battle with cancer.Bold, honest, intelligent and very funny, his memoir is an up-close look inside the life, heart, and mind of one of the most unique and interesting men in the world; a true icon of rock.What Does This Button Do?: An Autobiography by Bruce Dickinson is published by Dey Street Books October 31, 2017) Find it here on AmazonDiggers, you can support the show by wearing cool rock n roll gear from TeePublic: https://www.teepublic.com/stores/rocknrollDisclaimer: The views expressed here by Shelley Sorenson are made in her capacity as a private citizen, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the San Francisco Public Library or the City of San Francisco.Call us at 650-822-ROCK or email at: info@rocknrollarchaeology.com
Shelley and Christian dig deep into friend of the show Meredith Ochs' latest book, Aretha: The Queen of Soul - A Life in Photographs. Since the book is filled with photos, along with three essays by Ms. Ochs, we decide to play as many disparate songs by the Diva of divas to showcase just how amazing Aretha really was during her lifetime.Aretha Franklin’s voice was legendary, unforgettable: deeply rooted in gospel, yet versatile enough to brilliantly interpret R&B, rock, soul, pop, and jazz standards, it fueled a six-decade career. Her vocal wallop was a mix of preaching, rebuke, and elation. From the languorous “I Never Loved a Man (the Way That I Love You),” to the funky “Chain of Fools,” to the fiercely feminist “Think,” to the definitive, demanding version of Otis Redding’s “Respect,” Franklin’s songs played out against the tumultuous sociopolitical backdrop of the late ’60s like a soundtrack meant to set things right.Her accolades were many: she received the Kennedy Center honor in 1994, won 18 Grammys, was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and performed for presidents and the Pope. Illustrated with 85 photos, and with insightful text from noted radio personality and author Meredith Ochs, Aretha explores the diva’s life, from her formative years growing up in Detroit, to her singing and recording career from the 1950s until her untimely death in 2018, to her numerous honors, awards, and causes, including her advocacy for civil rights and the arts.Get the book hereDiggers, you can support the show by wearing cool rock n roll gear from TeePublic: https://www.teepublic.com/stores/rocknrollDisclaimer: The views expressed here by Shelley Sorenson are made in her capacity as a private citizen, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the San Francisco Public Library or the City of San Francisco.Call us at 650-822-ROCK or email at: info@rocknrollarchaeology.com
Shelley and Christian dive into Bruce's autobiography, 'Born to Run'.In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl’s halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That’s how this extraordinary autobiography began.Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs.He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as “The Big Bang”: seeing Elvis Presley’s debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work, and shows us why the song “Born to Run” reveals more than we previously realized.Born to Run will be revelatory for anyone who has ever enjoyed Bruce Springsteen, but this book is much more than a legendary rock star’s memoir. This is a book for workers and dreamers, parents and children, lovers and loners, artists, freaks, or anyone who has ever wanted to be baptized in the holy river of rock and roll.Rarely has a performer told his own story with such force and sweep. Like many of his songs (“Thunder Road,” “Badlands,” “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” “The River,” “Born in the U.S.A,” “The Rising,” and “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” to name just a few), Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography is written with the lyricism of a singular songwriter and the wisdom of a man who has thought deeply about his experiences. 
On October 7th, 2017 Tom Petty joined the rock n roll orchestra on the other side. He was 67 years young. For rockers around the world, like Prince a few months earlier, it was a shock coupled with immense sadness. Forever on we will not have Tom around with his Heartbreakers disposing easy wisdom in song or slyly telling off adversaries with Southern charm or that kick ass band that hummed like a stock car racer. It was a hard one to take.Join the Rock N Roll Librarian Shelley Sorenson and the Rock N Roll Archaeologist Christian Swain as they discuss Warren Zanes’ 2015 biography of the Gainesville born singer songwriter born in 1950 who found rock n roll as the only answer to his passions.No one other than Warren Zanes, rocker and writer and friend, could author a book about Tom Petty that is as honest and evocative of Petty's music and the remarkable rock and roll history he and his band helped to write.Born in Gainesville, Florida, with more than a little hillbilly in his blood, Tom Petty was a Southern shit kicker, a kid without a whole lot of promise. Rock and roll made it otherwise. From meeting Elvis, to seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, to producing Del Shannon, backing Bob Dylan, putting together a band with George Harrison, Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne, making records with Johnny Cash, and sending well more than a dozen of his own celebrated recordings high onto the charts, Tom Petty's story has all the drama of a rock and roll epic. Petty, known for his reclusive style, has shared with Warren Zanes his insights and arguments, his regrets and lasting ambitions, and the details of his life on and off the stage.This is a book for those who know and love the songs, from "American Girl" and "Refugee" to "Free Fallin'" and "Mary Jane's Last Dance," and for those who want to see the classic rock and roll era embodied in one man's remarkable story. Dark and mysterious, Petty manages to come back, again and again, showing us what the music can do and where it can take us.Petty: The BiographyDisclaimer: The views expressed here by Shelley Sorenson are made in her capacity as a private citizen, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the San Francisco Public Library or the City of San Francisco.
For more than fifty years, Paul Simon has spoken to us in songs about alienation, doubt, resilience, and empathy in ways that have established him as one of the most beloved artists in American pop music history. Songs like “The Sound of Silence,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Still Crazy After All These Years,” and “Graceland” have moved beyond the sales charts and into our cultural consciousness. But Simon is a deeply private person who has resisted speaking to us outside of his music. He has said he will not write an autobiography or memoir, and he has refused to talk to previous biographers.Finally, Simon has opened up—for more than one hundred hours of interviews—to Robert Hilburn, whose biography of Johnny Cash was named by Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times as one of her ten favorite books of 2013. The result is a landmark book that will take its place as the defining biography of one of America’s greatest artistsJoin Shelley and Christian as they dive into this amazing book and make sure you listen to our companion show, 'Deeper Digs in Rock: Robert Hilburn on Paul Simon' where the former LA Times music critic shares some incredible tales.'Paul Simon: The Life' was published by Simon & Schuster on May 8, 2018Disclaimer: The views expressed here by Shelley Sorenson are made in her capacity as a private citizen, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the San Francisco Public Library or the City of San Francisco.
This episode the Rock N Roll Librarian Shelley Sorensen and C Swain review ‘Hit So Hard’ by original drummer for the 90’s grunge band, Hole.Patty Schemel's story begins with a childhood surrounded by the AA meetings her parents hosted in the family living room. Their divorce triggered her first forays into drinking at age twelve and dovetailed with her passion for punk rock and playing the drums. Patty's struggles with her sexuality further drove her notoriously hard playing, and by the late '80s she had focused that anger, confusion, and drive into regular gigs with well-regarded bands in Tacoma, Seattle, and Olympia, Washington. She met a pre-Nirvana Kurt Cobain at a Melvins show, and less than five years later, was living with him and his wife, Hole front-woman Courtney Love, at the height of his fame and on the cusp of hers. As the platinum-selling band's new drummer, Schemel contributed memorable, driving beats to hits like "Beautiful Son," "Violet," "Doll Parts," and "Miss World." But the band was plagued by tragedy and heroin addiction, and by the time Hole went on tour in support of their ironically titled and critically-acclaimed album ‘Live Through This’ in 1994, both Cobain and Hole bassist Kristen Pfaff had died at the age of 27With surprising candor and wit, Schemel intimately documents the events surrounding her dramatic exit from the band in 1998 that led to a dark descent into a life of homelessness and crime on the streets of Los Angeles, and the difficult but rewarding path to lasting sobriety after more than twenty serious attempts to get clean. ‘Hit So Hard’ is a testament not only to the enduring power of the music Schemel helped create but an important document of the drug culture that threatened to destroy it.Our hosts also discuss the companion documentary film of the same name with previously unseen footage of Cobain and Love. This is some real rock n roll archaeology, so dig in with a listen and then tell us what you think!Support the shows by wearing cool rock n roll gear from TeePublic: https://www.teepublic.com/stores/rocknrollDisclaimer: The views expressed here by Shelley Sorenson are made in her capacity as a private citizen, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the San Francisco Public Library or the City of San Francisco.
This episode Shelley and Christian review “Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell” by Professor David Yaffe. Consider this a companion to our interview with Professor Yaffe on Deeper Digs in Rock.Joni Mitchell may be the most influential female recording artist and composer of the late twentieth century. In Reckless Daughter, the music critic David Yaffe tells the remarkable, heart-wrenching story of how the blond girl with the guitar became a superstar of folk music in the 1960s, a key figure in the Laurel Canyon music scene of the 1970s, and the songwriter who spoke resonantly to, and for, audiences across the country.In this intimate biography, drawing on dozens of unprecedented in-person interviews with Mitchell, her childhood friends, and a cast of famous characters, Yaffe reveals the backstory behind the famous songs—from Mitchell’s youth in Canada, her bout with polio at age nine, and her early marriage and the child she gave up for adoption, through the love affairs that inspired masterpieces, and up to the present—and shows us why Mitchell has so enthralled her listeners, her lovers, and her friends. Reckless Daughter is the story of an artist and an era that have left an indelible mark on American music.Published in 2017 by SaraCrichton Books.Diggers, you can support the show by wearing cool rock n roll gear from TeePublic: https://www.teepublic.com/stores/rocknrollPlease subscribe, rate and review and head over to Patreon to help support our network of rock based podcasts including Reel Rock, Vinyl Snob, Deeper Digs in Rock and The Rock N Roll Archaeology Project.Disclaimer: The views expressed here by Shelley Sorenson are made in her capacity as a private citizen, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the San Francisco Public Library or the City of San Francisco.Call us at 650-822-ROCK or email at: info@rocknrollarchaeology.com
This week Shelley and Christian review 'From Cradle to Stage: Stories from the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars' by Virginia Hanlon Grohl with forward by Dave Grohl. Published by Seal Press, April 2017.Written by Dave Grohl’s mom (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) to answer her own questions about the experiences of other mothers who had raised rock stars, and based on interviews with women who had done just that. She was curious about whether they were as surprised as she was about their children's fame; whether they worried about their children's well-being in an industry fraught with drugs and other dangers; whether or not they had actively encouraged their children's passions despite the odds against success; and whether they were raised in musical households. During her two year journey she interviewed a several moms of musicians covering a range of genres and generations, such as the moms of Dr. Dre; Amy Winehouse and Geddy Lee.With exclusive family photographs and a foreword by Dave Grohl, From Cradle to Stage will appeal to mothers and rock fans everywhere.Disclaimer: The views expressed here by Shelley Sorenson are made in her capacity as a private citizen, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the San Francisco Public Library or the City of San Francisco.
One of the four Monkees was actually a futurist.Did you know that he helped birth MTV?Did you know he put together one of the first country rock outfits of the late 1960's early '70's?How about the fact he wrote 'Different Drum' famously covered by Linda Ronstadt.Did you know that Mike Nesmith's mother invented Liquid Paper?  Shelly and Christian discuss this extremely interesting autobiography, 'Infinite Tuesdays: An Autobiographical Riff by Mike Nesmith.'Michael Nesmith’s eclectic, electric life spans his star-making role on The Monkees, his invention of the music video, and his critical contributions to movies, comedy, and the world of virtual reality. Above all, his is a seeker’s story, a pilgrimage in search of a set of principles to live by. That search took Nesmith from a childhood in Dallas, where his single mother Bette invented Liquid Paper, to the set of The Monkees in Los Angeles; to the heart of swinging London with John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix; and to an unexpected oasis of brilliance in the Santa Fe desert, where his friendships with Douglas Adams and Los Alamos scientists would point him toward the power of the infinite and the endless possibilities of human connection. This funny, thoughtful, self-aware book is a window onto an unexpected life, inflected at every turn by the surprising candor and absurdist humor of an American original.Opening Infinite Tuesday is like stepping into the world of Michael Nesmith, where something curious is always unfolding, and where riffs on everything from bands to dogs to the nature of reality make for an endlessly engaging journey."Beautifully written." —New York Times“Nesmith is an artist, adventurer and thinker whose nimble creativity soared far above the appellation he was given: “The smart Monkee.” In Infinite Tuesday, he details the inner forces, from personal to spiritual, that kept him forging ahead –and that created stumbling blocks as well. Unsparing and revealing, this book is an unusual, unforgettable read.” —Ben Fong-TorresDisclaimer: The views expressed here by Shelley Sorenson are made in her capacity as a private citizen, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the San Francisco Public Library or the City of San Francisco.
As a companion piece to Rock N Roll Archaeology EP14: I'd Love to Turn You On, Shelley and Christian discuss this book on the making of The Beatles Sgt. Pepper by George Martin & William PearsonMartin, writing with freelancer Pearson, describes in detail the creative processes-both artistic and technical-that went into making one of the most acclaimed Beatles albums, the 1967 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, `a musical fragmentation grenade, exploding with a force that is still being felt.'Tracing each song on the record from its genesis in the mind of one of the Fab Four, Martin explains how each fragment or idea evolved, with input from the entire band and from the engineering team, into a final track, and how the album broke new ground. Fans hoping for an inside scoop on some of the more sensational aspects of the bandmembers' lives will be disappointed, but admirers of the Beatles' music and those who take an interest in the technical aspects of record production will find this book engrossing.Published by Little Brown in 1994.Please subscribe, rate and review and head over to Patreon to help support our network of rock based podcastsDisclaimer: The views expressed here by Shelley Sorenson are made in her capacity as a private citizen, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the San Francisco Public Library or the City of San Francisco.
As a companion piece to Rock N Roll Archaeology EP13: Hard to Handle, Shelley and Christian discuss this all too-short of the life story of Otis Redding, written by Scott Freeman.Scott gives his take on Otis' life coming from Macon Georgia, the same town where Little Richard and James Brown were born. Otis grew up on the streets. His father was preacher and had been a sharecropper. They lived in tough neighborhoods until Otis got money.Otis loved to be around his family and friends from home, although towards the end his life got very hectic and ended tragically.Published by St. Martin's Press - December 11, 2001.Please subscribe, rate and review and head over to Patreon to help support our network of rock based podcastsDisclaimer: The views expressed here by Shelley Sorenson are made in her capacity as a private citizen, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the San Francisco Public Library or the City of San Francisco.
Shelley and Christian discuss this captivating memoir, written over five years of reflection, where Robbie Robertson employs his unique storyteller’s voice to weave together the journey that led him to some of the most pivotal events in music history.He recounts the adventures of his half-Jewish, half-Mohawk upbringing on the Six Nations Indian Reserve and on the gritty streets of Toronto; his odyssey at sixteen to the Mississippi Delta, the fountainhead of American music; the wild early years on the road with rockabilly legend Ronnie Hawkins and The Hawks; his unexpected ties to the Cosa Nostra underworld; the gripping trial-by-fire “going electric” with Bob Dylan on his 1966 world tour, and their ensuing celebrated collaborations; the formation of the Band and the forging of their unique sound,  culminating with history's most famous farewell concert, brought to life for all time in Martin Scorsese's great movie The Last Waltz.Disclaimer: The views expressed here by Shelley Sorenson are made in her capacity as a private citizen, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the San Francisco Public Library or the City of San Francisco.
They say there are no second acts in American lives, and third acts are almost unheard of. That's part of what makes Brian Wilson's story so astonishing.As a co-founding member of the Beach Boys in the 1960s, Wilson created some of the most groundbreaking and timeless popular music ever recorded. With intricate harmonies, symphonic structures, and wide-eyed lyrics that explored life's most transcendent joys and deepest sorrows, songs like "In My Room," "God Only Knows," and "Good Vibrations" forever expanded the possibilities of pop songwriting. Derailed in the 1970s by mental illness, drug use, and the shifting fortunes of the band, Wilson came back again and again over the next few decades, surviving and-finally-thriving. Now, for the first time, he weighs in on the sources of his creative inspiration and on his struggles, the exhilarating highs and the debilitating lows.Published by DeCapo Press on October 16th, 2016 and written with Ben Greenman.Disclaimer: The views expressed here by Shelley Sorenson are made in her capacity as a private citizen, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the San Francisco Public Library or the City of San Francisco.
This week Shelley and Christian discuss Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir. The legendary and iconic singer, songwriter, actress and activist offers a personal account of the journey that led her to become an international superstar.After leaving her childhood home at seventeen, Cyndi took on a series of jobs: racetrack hot walker, IHOP waitress, and, as she puts it, “gal Friday the thirteenth,” as she pursued her passion for music. She worked her way up playing small gigs and broke out in 1983 with She’s So Unusual, which earned her a Grammy for Best New Artist and made her the first female artist in history to have four top-five singles on a debut album. And while global fame wasn’t always what she expected, she has remained focused on what matters most.Cyndi is a gutsy real-life heroine who has never been afraid to speak her mind and stick up for a cause—whether it’s women’s rights, gay rights, or fighting against HIV/AIDS.Published by Simon and Schuster on September 18th, 2012 and written with Jancee Dunn.Disclaimer: The views expressed here by Shelley Sorenson are made in her capacity as a private citizen, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the San Francisco Public Library or the City of San Francisco.
This week Shelley and Christian discuss Metallica: Nothing Else Matters The Graphic Novel. Brian Williamson’s stunning artwork and Jim McCarthy’s incisive script perfectly capture the rollercoaster tale of Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, Cliff Burton, Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujillo and the many others who have passed through the Metallica story. Published by Overlook-Omnibus on October 14, 2014.Please subscribe, rate and review and head over to Patreon patreon.com/rocknrollpodcast to help support our network of rock based podcastsDisclaimer: The views expressed here by Shelley Sorenson are made in her capacity as a private citizen, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the San Francisco Public Library or the City of San Francisco.
This week Shelley and Christian get into Trouble Boys: The True Story of The Replacements by Bob Mehr. Written with the participation of the group's key members, including reclusive singer-songwriter Paul Westerberg, bassist Tommy Stinson, and the family of late guitarist Bob Stinson, Trouble Boys is a deeply intimate and nuanced portrait, exposing the primal factors and forces—addiction, abuse, fear—that would shape one of the most brilliant and notoriously self-destructive groups of all time.
This week the rock n roll librarian does something a bit different we know you all will enjoy, she actually reads the amazing kid's book 'Little Stevie Wonder'.It is the true story of a boy who lost his sight shortly after birth, grew up in Detroit, Michigan, and became one of the twentieth century’s most creative and influential musicians—an instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, musical innovator, and cultural activist.As always -please subscribe, rate and review our podcasts in iTunes!
Shelley & Christian dive into this memoir by Rita Coolidge, a muse to some of the twentieth century’s most influential rock musicians, she broke hearts, and broke up bands. Her relationship with drummer Jim Gordon took a violent turn during the legendary 1970 Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour; David Crosby maintained that her triangle with Stills and Graham Nash was the last straw for the group. Her volatile six-year marriage to Kris Kristofferson yielded two Grammys, a daughter, and one of the Baby Boom generation’s epic love stories. Throughout it all, her strength, resilience, and inner and outer beauty—along with her strong sense of heritage and devotion to her family—helped her to not only survive, but thrive.Co-written with best-selling author Michael Walker, Delta Lady is a rich, deeply personal memoir that offers a front row seat to an iconic era, and illuminates the life of an artist whose career has helped shape modern American culture.
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Podcast Details

Created by
Pantheon
Podcast Status
Active
Started
Feb 9th, 2016
Latest Episode
Aug 30th, 2020
Release Period
Monthly
Episodes
30
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour
Explicit
No
Order
Episodic

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