Marky Ramone Gabba Gabbas Away in New Memoir

Ventura Mendoza via Flickr
Marky Ramone in 2008
In his Band of Bruddahs, Marky Ramone's primary role was that of drummer, the pounding heartbeat and engine of so many of the legendary punk-rock group's numbers. But over many years in meetings, rehearsals, recording studios, concert stages and countless miles on the road in their trustworthy van, he also had another occupation: constant mediator between his lead singer and guitarist.

Acrimony had always been thick between Joey and Johnny Ramone, a pair that was on opposite of ends of the spectrum in politics, temperament, hygiene and punctuality. Not to mention musical direction. Oh, and Joey's girlfriend also left him for Johnny; the couple later married.

So Joey and Johnny Ramone had not spoken a word directly to each other in nearly 15 years. And when they needed to communicate with each other, they did it through Marky.

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Groundbreaking Stones Book Delivers Hard Truths of 1969 Tour

This album, Beggar's Banquet, was relatively new when author Stanley Booth began following the Rolling Stones on the band's 1969 tour.
The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones
By Stanley Booth
Chicago Review Press, 416 pp., $18.95

Reissued for its 30th anniversary -- though it chronicled events that took place 15 years before that -- The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones is, simply put, one of those essential texts of music journalism.

Groundbreaking, insightful, funny and tragic, it's a piece of reporting that could never take place today. And from a journalist whose level of access to the band seems shocking in a time when the norm today to interview rock stars is a 15-minute phoner, scrunched in among a dozen other journo talks and with a publicist listening in on the other end of the line.

Georgia-bred music scribe Booth first met and talked to the Stones in 1968 while on assignment, some months before the death of founding member Brian Jones.

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#GamerGate Journalist Milo Yiannopoulos's Self-Published Poetry Book Contains Unattributed Tori Amos Lyrics

Categories: Get Lit

A screencap from the official music video for Tori Amos's "Crucify"
Brietbart journalist Milo Yiannopoulos has been one of the more prominent names in the #GamerGate movement, writing numerous articles regarding "SJW types ruining every platform they touch". He also self-published a book of poetry in 2007 called Eskimo Papoose under the name Milo Andreas Wagner, but it turns out that it may not be so much a work of poetry as a bizarre mix tape of Tori Amos lyrics.

The contents of the book were shared by former football punter Chris Kluwe, a noted opponent of #GamerGate, via Storify with supplemental commentary. Reading through the pages a dedicated Tori fan will notice some of her more famous lines appearing in the poems.

In the second chapter of "Nympholepsy, Part 1" appears the line "I was looking for a Saviour / Beneath these dirty sheets", which is a misquoted part of the chorus from Tori's "Crucify" from Little Earthquakes. In "Sword of Vengeance" he uses the line "Muhammad my friend / I'm getting very scared" from Boys for Pele. Other poems pull lyrics from "Sparks" and "Blood Roses", all without attribution.

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Gil Scott-Heron's Legacy May Not Be Televised...But It's Written Down

Categories: Get Lit

Courtesy of Gary Price/St. Martin's Press
Musical visionary Gil Scott-Heron (right) and friend/collaborator Brian Jackson hanging out in the early '70s.

Gil Scott-Heron: Pieces of a Man
By Marcus Baram
320 pp.
St. Martin's Press

Like pretty much every other musical genre, rap and hip-hop have many musical "fathers," with various groups and individuals claiming full (or partial) paternity. DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Melle Mel, Afrika Bambaataa, and the Sugar Hill Gang are often listed on the birth certificate.

But others point to Gil Scott-Heron as the Baby Daddy, as the R&B/soul/jazz vocalist, spoken-word poet, journalist and novelist's albums of the '70s featured a lot of sonic themes and rhythms that would find their way into rap and hip-hop. Along with decidedly familiar themes and lyrics of black empowerment, disenfranchisement and culture.

Pieces of a Man tells the roller-coaster life and music journey of a fresh-voiced musical pioneer and cultural soldier who made a huge impact with his early work. Only then to fritter away much of the last few decades of his life in the grip of cocaine and crack addiction, erratic behavior and concert no-shows before dying in 2011 at the age of 62.

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Carlos Santana Searches for the "Universal Tone" in Life and Music


The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story to Light
By Carlos Santana with Ashley Kahn and Hal Miller
544 pp.
Little, Brown

Legendary guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Carlos Santana vividly remembers when he realized a particular power of the instrument in his hands.

It was when he was a teenager playing backup music to the main attractions in a strip club and one patron's girlfriend - overpowered by the tones - began taking off her own clothes in the audience.

"That's when I realized," he writes in this memoir, "that a guitar could talk to a woman."

From the profane to the sacred, he also believes in the power of music - and in particular the "Universal Tone" of the title - to mystically bring people together and show them a higher level and power.

"I used my guitar to invite people to recognize the divinity and light that is in their DNA," he continues. The Universal Tone being the "music inside the music" and "one note to communicate with all hearts," bringing a slice of heaven to the mortal flesh.

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The Man Who Knows All the Classic-Rock Greats' Secrets

Photo by Ethan Russell/Courtesy of Blue Rider Press
Glyn Johns and the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger contemplate a song at Olympic Studios in 1970.
Sound Man
By Glyn Johns
Blue Rider Press, 320 pp., $27.95

Imagine that this is your work schedule for a few days in 1969: Meeting up with the Beatles, who are recording Abbey Road at the studio of the same name. Then slipping over to Olympic Studios to work with the Rolling Stones on Let It Bleed. Then back to Abbey for more time with the Fabs, before wrapping things up that night recording a live Jimi Hendrix concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

That was the real-life drill once for Glyn Johns, the sound engineer/mixer/producer whose name is well-known to classic-rock liner-note readers. Johns has also helped to craft some of the genre's best-known hits from other acts including Led Zeppelin, the Who; the Eagles; Bob Dylan; Neil Young; Eric Clapton; Joe Cocker; Humble Pie; Steve Miller; and Crosby, Stills and Nash, to name a few.

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Fab New Book Examines The Beatles' Magical Lyrical Tour

Photo by Mirrorpix/ Courtesy of Little, Brown
The Beatles with Hunter Davies (left) and the Maharishi on a train to Bangor, India during their 1967 pilgrimage.

The Beatles Lyrics
Edited by Hunter Davies
Little, Brown, 384 pp., $35

As Beatles author, scholar and personal friend Hunter Davies recently told CBS Sunday Morning in a segment about this book, for being multimillionaires who made their fortunes from writing songs, the band members never seemed to actually have any paper around.

So whenever and wherever inspiration struck, John, Paul, George and Ringo would scribble words on whatever surfaces were available: hotel stationary, napkins, the backs of envelopes and business correspondence, and in one case, a child's birthday card.

Davies -- who wrote the band's only authorized biography and became a friend -- has collected more than 100 of these precious remaining handwritten working and final drafts from museums, collectors, band associates and sources all over the world. They are reproduced here, along with printed lyrics and his analysis of the 182 total original songs the band released in its original lifespan.

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This Is Your Life, Billy Joel

Photo by Kevin Mazur/Crown Archetype
Billy Joel helped say goodbye to Shea Stadium with two massive shows in 2008.
Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography
By Fred Schruers
Crown Archetype, 400 pp. $29.

Hardcore fans of the Piano Man (including this writer) were severely bummed in 2011 when he decided to pull the plug on his autobiography, The Book of Joel, less than two months before it was slated to appear in stores. While he had be the subject of a handful of books before, some of them clip jobs, this would have been the chance to hear one of rock's most popular and lasting entertainers to tell his own story in his own words.

But Joel had some deadline-nearing misgivings about what he wanted versus the desires of publisher HarperCollins.

"They said to Fred [Schruers, co-writer for The Book of Joel], 'We need more of the sex and the wives and the girlfriends and drinking and divorce and the depression,'" Joel told The New York Times. "I covered it all. But I didn't go into detail about my personal life."

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New Books Explore Fleetwood Mac's Vast Appetites

CBS News/Warner Brothers
Classic Mac then -- Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, John McVie, Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham
Play On: Now, Then and Fleetwood Mac
By Mick Fleetwood with Anthony Bozza
Little, Brown; 352 pp.; $30.

Before the Beginning: A Personal and Opinionated History of Fleetwood Mac
By Sam Graham
eBook (iTunes only); 42 pp.; $4.99.

Mick Fleetwood used to love cocaine. I mean, love cocaine. At one point, the mathematician in him figured that if he added up all the white powder he'd sent up his nose over 20 years, the "King of Toot's" line would stretch for seven miles.

As the band's leader, he also became the drug holder, overseeing distribution of the specially-prepared packets to band members and crew which were given out on tour like food per-diem money.

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Neil Young Firmly in the Driver's Seat on Special Deluxe

Neil Young's lifelong fascination with classic cars comes to the page in "Special Deluxe; this shot is from his recent road movie/documentary "Neil Young Journeys."
Special Deluxe: A Memoir of Life & Cars
By Neil Young
Blue Rider Press, 384 pp., $32.

Fans of Canada's Greatest Musical Export were happy to hear that he would be delivering a second, meaty memoir just two years after the well-received Waging Heavy Peace. Take that, Dylan! We've been waiting over a decade for the promised follow-up to the slim Chronicles, Vol. 1.

However, the news that Young's second volume would be recollections of the noted gearhead's large collection of cars he has owned, did not seem so enticing. Fortunately the book's 40 chapters, each illustrated with Young's own hand-colored vehicle drawings, use cars and his adventures with and in them simply as a jumping off-point. He weaves tales of his music, life, and famed collaborators within.

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