Category Archives: Coveting

Rock Fiction Coveting: Frisky Business by Jill Edmondson

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Count on my friend Deena at e-Book Builders to bring me word that I’m falling further behind than ever when it comes to author Jill Edmondson’s rocking series, the Sasha Jackson Mysteries.

And that she got to format it? The only thing that would make me less jealous would be if I got to edit it. (If that happened, though, Jett couldn’t borrow my copy like she usually does.)

I still need to get started on this series, and I’d better get to that sooner rather than later because this is now the fourth.

Ahh, for more time to read…

And remember… even if your book has been published, if it needs a proofread by an eagle-eyed expert, I’m here. Not that I’m pointing fingers at Jill or anything. Nope. Not me.

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Rock Fiction Coveting: Rock the Heart by Michelle Valentine

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So as I was looking for better links to Gracen Miller’s Rockin’ the Heart for last week’s post, I came across a book that’s been on my radar for awhile now, but I’ve never blogged about. So… while I’m coveting Rock Fiction every Thursday, here’s another one to publicly drool over.

It’s Michelle Valentine, who has written an entire Rock Fiction series. The first is called Rock the Heart, and it has a twist that’s both familiar and fresh.

How can that be?

Easy. The familiar is that the character comes together because of a business arrangement between the bands. Here, the rock god has hired the marketing company the heroine works for. What’s fresh is that it’s a marketing company, and they send an intern out to seal the deal.

Now, this brings up immediate questions. Does this marketing company have music industry experience? If so, why doesn’t Lane know this? And why send an intern to do an executive’s job? Personally, I’d be offended, whether or not I already knew the person involved.

These two have a lot to overcome, our intern and our rock god. Notice how they aren’t even on equal footing? They’ve got this past history and, of course, Noel is into the groupie scene.

How author Valentine can pull it off… that’s the question, as it always is. Any book can have holes poked into it when you’re only going on the description. What matters, as always, is if the characters can transcend the cliche, if the music biz details are accurate, and how well the book captures the reader’s imagination and comes alive in our minds.

The pursuit of the books that do that make the occasional clunker worthwhile. I’ve seen more than one book rise above familiar tropes and be standouts. Here’s hoping this series does exactly that.

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Rock Fiction Coveting: Rockin’ the Heart by Gracen Miller

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I do way too much surfing some days. I think we all do, but when you’re a business owner, it can be a dicey proposition. There’s always something business-related that needs to get done and what am I doing? Not that!

But it pays off because Rock Fiction is an important genre — a claim reinforced by the number of books I covet around here. I’m hoping all these cool authors will join in for this year’s Rocktober.

Like this woman: Gracen Miller. She’s got a history as a paranormal writer, and she tips her hat to that by naming her lead character Fang.

But… like always, I have reservations. The problem with Rock Fiction (as most acquiring editors at publishing houses will tell you) is that their plotlines tend to be a bit cliche. Like here: Fang’s got it all except a woman. And what do you know, but the woman he wants is his best friend’s girl.

Ultimately, what it comes down to is execution, which is why I usually overlook the plot and read the book anyway. I mean, I adore romances and we all know that the plots in the end are the same: Boy and girl meet (or meet again). Things get in the way. They overcome and have a Happily Ever After. In fact, Rockin’ the Heart might very well be a romance first and Rock Fiction second. That’s not an uncommon thing in the Rock Fiction genre.

It’s what happens along the way that makes it worth reading. It’s how the author brings the characters to life, how authentic the rock and roll details. Like I said: it’s all about execution.

So I covet this and dread the day Jett will tease me because she’s got a copy and I don’t.

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Rock Fiction Coveting: The Truth about Diamonds by Nicole Richie

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I’ll let Jett have this one all to herself because I simply can’t come clean about my guilty pleasure love for rock star-penned books. Wynonna Judd’s Restless Heart? Loved it. Pamela Anderson’s Star? Pure trash of the absolute best beach read variety.

So I’ve got another one to add to the list: Nicole Richie’s recent release The Truth About Diamonds.

This is Ms. Richie’s first foray into fiction. It was released in 2006 and has actually been on my radar all that time. Why I’ve never drooled over it in a public forum is beyond me. I know it’s on various wishlists I’ve constructed over the years.

And it spawned a sequel! Priceless, it’s called.

Who cares what they are about (although the reviews — the professional reviews — are surprisingly positive)? It’s Nicole Richie, who ought to know firsthand what she writes about. And man, I want a fly-on-the-wall view of that life!

So there’s two for the price of one there. For you. And Jett. Because I have no guilty pleasures that I own up to.

Nope, not me.

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Rock Fiction Coveting: Stay with Me by Elyssa Patrick

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I could have sworn I’d blogged about this one. No?

Well, here ya go. Elyssa Patrick’s Stay With Me.

It’s a New Adult book, which is something we don’t see a lot of Rock Fiction making a home in (yet; the two genres are better than chocolate and peanut butter: two great tastes that taste great together!). The main character, Hailey, is some sort of star. She’s holding a guitar on the cover, but there’s nothing in the book description that points to rock and roll (have we been misled by a cover artist who didn’t get to read the book, or does the description not mention Rock Fiction on purpose?). Maybe it’s her love interest, Caleb.

I don’t know. But I do know one thing: I gotta find out!

You with me?

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Rock Fiction Coveting: The Ever After of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen

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It’s been awhile since I first heard about The Ever After of Ella and Micha, so I don’t remember where I first heard about it. Or second heard about it (and now I see why that’s not a phrase that’s generally used. Ugh.)

I’m not so sure about this one… it first comes off as a Christmas story, then it becomes a will-we-won’t-we-get-married story. So what is it?

I don’t know exactly. All I know is that Micha is offered a three-month stint touring with his favorite bands … doing what? Is he a roadie? A hired guitar?

And we know that Ella won’t necessarily wait for him or be happy that he’s leaving. But if he’s involved in the music business, extensive travel is part of what gets in our blood and won’t ever leave again.

So… jury’s out until Jett or I read this one. If you’ve had an experience with this one, let me know in the comments. I’m definitely curious, if a bit skeptical.

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Rock Fiction Coveting: Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin

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Count on Mary at Bookhounds to clue me in to some really good Rock Fiction. Or at least really good sounding Rock Fiction; we’ll know if it’s good or not once Jett or I read it. (Hopefully both)

This one is Tracey Martin’s Another Little Piece of my Heart. It’s a Rock Fiction retelling of a Jane Austen novel — would you guys believe that I have two degrees in English and I haven’t read a single Jane Austen novel?

In this case, I’ll be able to come to this book without knowing what to expect. I heard a rumor that Jett managed to get her slick hands on a copy, so keep your eyes out for a review.

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Monday Book Coveting: Out of Tune by Michelle D. Argyle

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Since I don’t have a Featured New Book for you today, I figured I’d still talk books. Today, it’s a book — well, it’s Rock Fiction — that’s set to be released in the near future.

And I want to read it.

Out of Tune, it’s called. It’s thee story of a daughter of country music stars who (might be the mailman’s kid because) she has no musicality. She has no voice, no rhythm.

And then her parents divorce, she has to move, she meets new people and … she finds it all. Her voice. Happiness. And all that.

Is anyone else concerned that this seems formulaic? There’s only one way to find out, and like always, I’m hoping to have my socks knocked off with this book. First, though, I need to get my hands on it.

Remember, I was cynical as anything about How the Mistakes Were Made, and it wound up being one of my top picks of the year. Brilliant, brilliant book.

Ms. Argyle, bring it on.

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We ran out of Rocktober, but the books keep coming!

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It’s November, and there’s still more to covet. Didn’t I do a good enough job coveting all Rocktober long?

Guess not. But in my defense, I spent the month trying to catch up and even get ahead a bit for my editing clients (which means NOW is a really good time to book me if you’d like an edit! I have dates at the end of November and beyond, but if you blink, you’ll miss them).

So here’s a roundup of celeb bios and memoirs and other stuff that’s all music-related.

Bruce, by Peter A. Carlin, is billed as being an intimate look at The Boss. Yeah, Springsteen, who was in my fair town recently. After being underwhelmed the last time I saw Bruce, I wasn’t sad I missed him this time. And I hate that I had to say that, but there ya go. Sometimes, you gotta.

Ke$ha, who I once saw on a New Year’s Eve special and was horrified by, is putting out an illustrated memoir called My Crazy Beautiful Life. I might have to read it, just to see what the fuss is about. Not only about the book, but its subject matter, as well. Maybe I’ve been wrong about her.

Slash has a new one out.

“Slash: An Intimate Portrait” (Insight Editions), a new 144-page hardcover book by Richard Bienstock, with photography by Robert Knight, was launched … October 4 at Mouche Gallery in Beverly Hills, California.

Joe Perry (yeah, THAT Joe Perry, you Aerosmith fans) apparently wrote the intro. Cool! But… didn’t Slash write a book of his own a few years back? Like…2008? And isn’t Joe writing one now?

The answer to both questions, friends, is YES.

And then there’s Phil Anselmo, the man who was once so very kind to me outside his tour bus and who filled me in on why my promised tickets and passes had just vanished. He’s working on his autobiography. He’s even got a deal for it, so now it’s a matter of him writing it and seeing if it can match up to his bluster. I bet it can. Phil won’t work well with an editor. Even me.

I gotta admit that I’m not a Danko Jones fan any more than I’m a Ke$ha fan. So this new book? Too Much Trouble – A Very Oral History of DANKO JONES. I’ll pass, thanks, unless a copy finds its way onto my nightstand…

This one hit my radar mid-month:

“Black Sabbath And Philosophy: Mastering Reality”, a philosophical look at heavy metal’s dark masters of reality, BLACK SABBATH, has just been published worldwide via The Blackwell Philosophy And Pop Culture Series.

Expanding beyond the world of books only (and the e-book is only 27 pages, at that), we have

A new one-dollar app and eBook tell the story of the making of BAD COMPANY’s 1979 album “Desolation Angels”.

The ebook is free! It’s apparently a chapter taken from another of the prolific Popoff’s books.

And, finally, more Van Halen, as well.

A new book, VAN HALEN: Exuberant California, Zen Rock ‘N’ Roll, by John Scanlan, is now available via Reaktion Books.

A book description states: “I hate the word maturing”, singer DAVID LEE ROTH once said. “I don’t like the word evolving – or any of that bullshit. The point is to keep it as simplistic, as unassuming, and as stupid as possible.” Examining Roth’s sentiment, Van Halen: Exuberant California, Zen Rock ‘N’ Roll follows the band’s pursuit of the art of artlessness, and describes how they characterize what historian Kevin Starr terms ‘Zen California’ – a state of mind and way of being that above all celebrates ‘the now’. In rock’n’ roll terms it stands for the unregulated expenditure of energy; for a youthful exuberance that seems destined to extinguish itself.

Yeah, that’s probably a year’s worth of reading. I haven’t seen any figures, but given the plethora of celeb bios and memoirs flooding the market right now, you gotta wonder if they’re making any money for their publishers. I remember six, seven years ago when they weren’t, and the publishers were all admitting it, too. They had to have the bragging rights of landing the celeb, and who cared if they lost money. It was all about those precious bragging rights.

And people ask what’s wrong with publishing? Why a climate was established in which so many self-published authors are now taking great advantage?

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A Rocktober-worthy Book Coveting

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You’d think the publishers are getting on board with this whole Rocktober thing, wouldn’t you? I’ve come across articles and press releases and blog posts about all sorts of celeb bios and memoirs. (Yes, they ARE different creatures, in case you didn’t know.)

First up is a book that actually came out near the end of September, but needs to be blogged about today. It’s from a man who appeared on this blog LAST Rocktober, with luxury guitar straps (and if he’s not a man who deserves luxury guitar straps, no one is).

Yep, it’s Kirk Hammett, the lead guitarist of Metallica, and he’s got a book out about his fixation with all things horror. It’s called Too Much Horror Business — the Kirk Hammett collection and I’m sure it’s filled with the usual never-before-seen pictures and insights. The difference this time is that this is stuff we truly haven’t seen ’cause it’s in Kirk’s house and all. And he talks about it, which he really hasn’t done before, at least not that I’ve seen.

People’s collections are always fascinating things — IF the stories behind them are well told.

I have faith in Kirk.

He’d better not let me down. His band’s been my favorite for WAY too long now. I don’t want to have to find another.

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Rocktober is NOT about feeling old

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I mean that, too, but man, it’s hard to avoid that when there’s a new book out talking about a band you pretty much grew up with — and the reason the book is out is to celebrate that band’s FORTIETH year together.

Yikes. They’re 40. I mean, Eddie and Alex, they’re more than 40. David Lee… I’m not sure how old he is, but he’s WAY older than 40. (42, maybe?)

(Nope. Mid-to-late 50s!!)

Here. I’ll let you read what I saw on Blabbermouth:

According to the Van Halen News Desk, the editors of Guitar World magazine have compiled a new book dedicated to one of the greatest rock bands the U.S. has ever produced: VAN HALEN. The book, “Van Halen: 40 Years Of The Great American Rock Band”, tells you everything you ever wanted to know about Eddie Van Halen, David Lee Roth, Michael Anthony, Alex Van Halen and Sammy Hagar.

The book is the ultimate collection of interviews with and stories about the mighty VAN HALEN — from their beginnings as a young rock act on the Sunset Strip through their critically acclaimed 2012 comeback album, “A Different Kind of Truth”.

You’ll learn everything there is to know about every era of VAN HALEN, including:

* The 50 greatest VAN HALEN songs of all time, from “Runnin’ With The Devil” to “Tattoo” and every classic song in between. Guitar World’s editors pick the best of the best.

* The complete history of VAN HALEN — their early struggles as an unknown rock outfit to their ascension to worldwide superstar status, as well as the revolving door of singers that fronted the band after the initial departure of David Lee Roth.

* The making of nearly every VAN HALEN record in the band’s extensive catalog, including “Van Halen”, “Van Halen II”, “Women And Children First”, “1984”, “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” and “A Different Kind Of Truth”.

* Revealing interviews with Eddie Van Halen in which he details his guitar playing on nearly every VAN HALEN album, the gear he used during recordings and onstage, his relationships with his bandmates past and present and his longtime battle with alcohol.

* A legendary roundtable discussion between Eddie Van Halen and his hero, guitar pioneer Les Paul.

* In his own words, Wolfgang Van Halen: the teenage son of Eddie who became VAN HALEN’s permanent bass player after Michael Anthony’s departure.

I admit to having had my Van Halen phase. I recall it being accompanied by a water bed, a Dodge Charger, and a crew who was really too old for me, but whatever. They were fun while it lasted.

My Van Halen phase ended at the Monsters of Rock show in 1988. Not only because it was my first Metallica show and we all know what happened to Susan when she saw Metallica live, but mostly because Van Halen, live… they sounded like their records. The solos were boring and went on forever.

Right there, in the old RFK stadium, I fell out of love with Van Halen.

But I’ll read the book. Books. Music. This is what Rocktober is all about, after all!

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Rocktober Book Coveting!

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Yes, there’s more to covet this Rocktober. Everyone’s jumping on the Rocktober bandwagon, and it’s an activity I heartily endorse and encourage.

Now it’s the legendary Peter Criss, who’s penned his own memoir, Makeup to Breakup.

Sounds ominous, no? Well, not if you know the story of Kiss and the fact that Criss left the band years ago and we’re all over it now, and Beth will never sound the same again. (Hey, wait. Didn’t I just say we’re all over it? Unlike Dave Mustaine and that first band of his. Oy. Time to move on, people! Nothing left to see; the bones haven’t merely been picked clean. They’ve been buried under drifting sediment.)

Today’s the scheduled release date for Makeup or Breakup, so head over to your favorite retailer (yes, I’m still giving bonus points if you go to an independent bookstore) and pick up a copy for me.

Or one for yourself.

Really. I won’t mind.

Much.

I’ll mind even less if you’d like to borrow this here blog to post your review!

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To Covet Nergal?

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I’ve been following this for awhile now, meaning to blog about it but always winding up with the tab in Firefox closed before I can. (How’s THAT for an excuse?)

Rocktober seems like the right time to talk about it.

Here. I’ll put it the way Brave Words did:

BEHEMOTH frontman Adam “Nergal” Darski is releasing his autobiography, Spowiedz Heretyka – Sacrum Profanum, on October 17th in Poland via Publisher G&J, with an english version to follow “if there’s interest,” he says. The book is being promoted through a series of trailers that feature Nergal reading portions of the book, as well as acting out portions of stories, which Nergal describes as “some funny, some sad, some evil…some related to the band, some not.”

Yeah, okay, so first there’s the issue that this will be published in Polish. There’s no English version, and my Polish… I’m not sure I could figure out how to say yes, no, or thank you. Even if I was on the Amazing Race.

Okay, I’m selling myself short. But you get the point. I sure am not going to be able to read the book without a translation.

Another thing holding me back… well, it’s stupid and shallow. But LOOK at the man.

That’s the book cover.

Like I said, it’s shallow.

There’s something about him that disturbs me. Like… I’m looking at a seriously disturbed person. The one trailer I watched didn’t help convince me of anything other than something strange going on… And I’m certainly not a fan of Behemoth or most other death metal — I simply don’t get it. Over the years, especially in its early days, when bands like Deicide and Cannibal Corpse and Death and Obituary and Sepultura and personalities like Scott Burns were defining the genre, its early fans tried to convince me how great it was.

I didn’t get it then, and I don’t get it now.

But back to Nergal and his book.

I’m facing the question, then: Would this book of his be a really cool Rock Nonfiction read, or would it be a frightening look into a disturbed mind?

I guess it’ll have to be translated into English for me to be able to tell.

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Rocktober Book Coveting

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Just in time for Rocktober!

(Well, unless it’s been delayed, which sorta ruins the plans)

The one, the only, the legendary Pete Townshend has finally written his memoirs. It’s only taken him something like 40 years to get around to this, but I think that’s a bonus — there’s more for him to include! It’s supposed to have been released yesterday, so scurry over to your favorite retailer (bonus points if you shop at an indie and no, Amazon’s not an indie!) and score your very own copy.

What do you mean, “Who’s Pete Townshend?”

WHO?

As in THE Who. As in Pinball Wizard and Roger Daltry and groundbreaking, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (From way back in 1990, even! They got in EARLY, and for good reason, too). As in, as in, as in…

You KNOW I need this one, and pronto. Yesterday. Back in September on the day I drafted this post, in fact…

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Treasures of AC/DC … Yup, I’m coveting

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Back in August, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to covet Dirty Deeds: My Life Inside/Outside AC/DC. I mean, I did … and I still do. I doubt it’ll turn me into some huge AC/DC fan, though.

I doubt this will, either. It’s another AC/DC book, so it’s got a fair shot of turning me into a fan of the band, just not their music — if THAT makes any sense. If you’re a music fan, it will.

This one is called Treasures of AC/DC and it was written by Jerry Ewing. I’ve never heard of Ewing, but that’s not surprising. I haven’t heard of most people (although I’d love to change that). I am sorry I haven’t heard of Ewing before, though. He’s got an impressive resume, which is good ’cause this book description? I’m hoping it doesn’t do the book any justice. It’s pretty bland.

But this is about the book, not the author (who is, however, free to stop in and change that fact). This is what I found about the book:

This book tells their story that spans five decades of the best rock ‘n’ roll. The book tells the story of the band and all members including the Young brothers and of course the late Bon Scott, and looks at every album the band has released, from 1974’s groundbreaking High Voltage to 2008’s hugely popular Black Ice. It also covers the major tours and more. All of it is accompanied by superb photography and rare items of removable facsimile memorabilia. Experience the most successful hard rock band ever with this box set.

It was supposed to be released in conjunction with the start of Rocktober, but it’s been pushed back to November 6. And people wonder what’s wrong with publishing? They’re ignoring Rocktober!

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A new Rock Fiction series to covet?

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By now, you should all know that my good friend Mary at Bookhounds is one of my top sources for finding new Rock Fiction. I need sources (why aren’t you one of them?); I’m so darn busy with editing and my own fiction and my own marketing and my own, my own, my own…

Yeah. Hard to look beyond oneself when scrabbling to make a living, you know?

But I’m trying. Rock Fiction is my passion, after all, and it deserves as much of my reading time as I can give it.

The author of the moment is Marlene Perez, whose Dead is Series apparently has seven books. Only two of them are on my radar over at the Rock Fiction page. Should the other five be?

Inquiring minds… want to know. Need to know.

If any of you manage to make the inquiries before I do, holler. While you’re at it, remind Ms. Perez (as well as yourself, if you’re an author) that I’d love to host her (you) for a Featured New Book spot here on Mondays.

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Susan’s Coveting … more fiction!

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I went to Amazon the other day to look up some information to go along with a review I had to write for the World’s Toughest Book Critics. Not that I hang out on my own book pages, but Trevor’s Song popped up, along with all those thumbnails for books others viewed when they looked at my buddy Trevor.

One of them was JP Grider’s Unplugged (A Portrait of a Rock Star).

Will this be just another notch in my quest to be the world’s leading expert in Rock Fiction, or will this be the newest book I rave about?

Once I get a copy and actually read it (oy, my TBR. Those Toughest Book Critics are keeping me busy like you would NOT believe), I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, I’ll keep coveting. And being a Toughest Book Critic. And your resident Rock Fiction expert.

(and someone who gives up sleep in the eternal quest to get things done!)

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Yeah, there’s been a shark sighting

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For you literary types, the shark I’m referring to isn’t the one you may be thinking of. Instead, I’m talking about mudsharks and 1970s lore.

C’mon, rock and roll fans. You get it.

Yep. Led Zeppelin.

Tomorrow, June 6, is the apparent release date (at least according to this press release I came across) for a new book about the Mighty Zep.

Here’s a cut-and-paste of it:

a September 6 release date for the “Trampled Under Foot: The Power And Excess Of Led Zeppelin” book by British music critic Barney Hoskyns.

The 624-page book is described as follows: “A unique look at the history, adventures, myths and realities of this most legendary and powerful of bands, it is a labor of love based on hours of first-hand and original interviews. What emerges is a compelling portrait of the four musicians themselves, as well as a fresh insight into the close-knit entourage that protected them, from Peter Grant to Richard Cole to Ahmet Ertegun, giant figures from the long-vanished world of 1970s rock. Featuring many rare and never-before-seen photographs, it is also the first book on LED ZEPPELIN to cover such recent events as their triumphant 2007 O2 Arena gig and Robert Plant’s Grammy-winning resurgence of recent years.”

Now THIS? Yeah. Bring it. Rocktober’s getting close, after all. This would make great autumn reading — and yes, there’s a shark reference, at least in the press release, which talks about how the mission of the book is to prove there’s more to Zep than mudsharks.

I sure hope there is… and that the book does.

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For real?

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So a feed showed up in my feedreader. Sin City Sinners, the Vegas band featuring ex-Faster Pussycat member Brent Muscat (among others who’ve been around the block at least once) had this to say:

SIN CITY SINNERS manager Jason Green is currently in the process of putting together a book to commemorate Sin City Sinners 5 year anniversary in August. It will include tons of rare never before seen pictures and everything you could want or don’t want to know about the band.

Here’s where I found that. Brave Words is quite reputable. They’ve never steered me wrong.

Except…

It’s the end of August. There’s no book title, you’ll notice. And when I go to the Sin City Sinners website, I’m not seeing mention of a book. I do see, under their bio page (odd spot for this) that it’s not uncommon for any sort of celebrity to jump onstage and jam with them. Wonder what they’d do if I showed up?

The bigger mystery, though, is this book. It’s celebrating five years; that’s not a huge amount of time. And … it seems sorta … generic. “Tons of rare never before seen pictures [sic].”

“Everything you could want or don’t want to know about the band.”

While it’s fun to know what sort of skivvies various rocker types wear, if they wear them at all, I’d rather not know how often those things get changed. Ya know?

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Maybe I’m Coveting… Dirty Deeds: My Life Inside/Outside AC/DC by Mark Evans

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Okay, I’ll come clean. I’m not the world’s biggest AC/DC fan. And… okay, fine. I’ll admit it. I’m not even the world’s littlest AC/DC fan. I simply don’t connect to the band’s music the way I do to so many other bands out there.

Okay! FINE!

When they come on the radio, I turn them off.

There. I said it. Happy now????

Sheesh. You guys are a tough audience.

It stands to reason, then, that my wanting to read Mark Evans’ new book, Dirty Deeds: My Life Inside/Outside AC/DC is a bit of a … paradox.

Except… I don’t have to like a band to respect them. And I don’t have to like a band’s music to read a book about them (Hello? Wynonna Judd? That was a great work of Rock Fiction!). Or be curious about them. Heck, I know there have been books that have made me respect a band or musician more, as well as books that proved I’ll never get it, so it’s time to move on.

That’s the fun of books.

This one has gotten some good reviews from important people.

TOTALLY on my wishlist.

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