Inside look!

Elliott Landy has compiled a book filled with photographs of the Band. It’s a fantastic book and we’re glad to be able to give you a look inside the book. Click below to look inside and preview the first couple of pages!

The Band Photographs 1968-1969

00146104On rare exalted occasions, a photographer gains the trust of a performer or band, and his work fuses with theirs in such a way that the two entities become “married” in the public consciousness. One can think of David Duncan’s pictures of Picasso at work or Alfred Wertheimer’s pictures of Elvis backstage in 1956.

The Band Photographs, 1968-1969, Elliott Landy’s chronicle of the Band from 1968 to 1969, is of such importance. The mutual trust and collaborative partnership was so deep that this collection of photographs forms an intimate portrait of a group of musicians not only engaged in their craft, but captured as they created a new genre of music.

Originally crowdfunded by what would become Kickstarter’s highest funded campaign for a photography book, The Band Photographs, 1968-1969 features more than 200 photographs documenting the making of the Band’s first two albums, Music from Big Pink and The Band. More than half of the photos, drawn from Landy’s archive of more than 12,000 images, have never been published before.

“I designed and created this book entirely in my own studio, with complete creative control,” Landy explained. “Because of this, I was able to lay out the photos as I wanted, in order to create the most harmonious visual book experience and communicate what was going on in front of the camera.

The book also features commentary from John Simon, who produced the Band’s first two albums and was considered the Band’s sixth member, and an introduction by Jonathan Taplin, tour manager for the Band from 1969 to 1972. As Taplin writes in his foreword, “In a sense, these pictures are the photographic analogue of The Band’s song, ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down’—harkening back to the formal portraiture of Matthew Brady and other late 19th Century photographers. But these pictures are honest and true. They live in the photographic tradition of Robert Frank’s The Americans. Elliott’s images are a record of a wonderfully creative period in America that won’t come again.”

Rita Lakin interview!

Author of the book, The Only Woman in the Room, Rita Lakin was interviewed by The Globe and Mail. Lakin talked about being a female screenwriter  in a man’s Hollywood and about the slight increase in women writers. Read an excerpt of the interview below!

00143141After her husband died in 1961, leaving her with three young children to support, Rita Lakin found a secretarial job at Universal Studios. When the English-lit grad realized screenwriting paid more than the steno pool, she started reading scripts and made her way into the business with a sample script for Dr. Kildare. Over 30 years she worked her way to executive producer, writing hundreds of television episodes, miniseries and movies. Lakin, now 85, has a new memoir, The Only Woman in the Room, that reflects on her Hollywood career during a time when there were few top female writers. The Globe and Mail talked with Lakin by phone from her home in California’s Marin County.

After all this time out of Hollywood, why did you want to write about it?

Somebody said to me I should, because I had such incredible adventures. And to reach out to the women of today, that they should continue to push for equality. I saved everything. Every script I ever wrote. All the TV Guides, reviews, story revisions, back-and-forth memos. … I still have my kiss-off letter from Aaron Spelling, which I had found on my front step in a rain puddle. That’s how it was delivered. And when I started reading that three years ago, it all came back to me.

What do you watch these days?

It runs a gamut – Breaking Bad was an absolute masterpiece. Ray Donovan is one of my favourite shows – it’s Ann Biderman and I wonder how the hell she ever got it made, and that it’s a show I would watch because it’s so filled with unpleasantness. … I used to say that I’m not going to a movie to watch people that I would walk across the street to avoid. That was my rule of thumb, but so many things in television are [unpleasant] now. I see the credits on some of these really tough, tough shows, and women are writing them! They’re not being written as the women of my era – they’re as able to handle an uzi as men. They aren’t just the little wife sitting at home, like I did and every other wife in America did with a cocktail in our hand when he walked in the door.

Streaming and other distribution methods have made it easier for challenging shows and films to find an audience and make it to the screen intact, unlike some of your–

No – oh God, what Aaron Spelling would have done to Ray Donovan! He would have made him handsome and cute and the women would be sexy and gorgeous, and there wouldn’t be anything interesting. But to give the devil his due, he did do a show called Family. It was very un-Aaron Spelling.

Read the entire interview over at The Globe and Mail


Sinister Urge

Sinister Urge
The Life and Times of Rob Zombie

By Joel McIver


The definitive biography of Renaissance man Rob Zombie – the King of Macabre

“Nobody knows anything about me, which is kind of good. I keep it that way. Everybody thinks that they know everything, but they don’t know anything, and that’s the way to be.”

That’s what Rob Zombie told an interviewer from Aquarian Weekly in 2012. As an attempt to remedy this, Sinister Urge by Joel McIver (November 2015, Backbeat Books, $29.99) is the first in-depth, career-spanning biography of the heavy-metal musician and filmmaker.

Born Robert Cummings in Massachusetts in 1965, Zombie is now as well known for his movies as he is for his music, which he has released and performed both as a solo artist and as part of his early band White Zombie. In both fields, he imbues his art with the vivid sense of macabre theater that has thrilled his millions of disciples since he and his band first emerged with Soul-Crusher in 1987.

Although he has sold millions of albums and generated many more millions of dollars at the box office, Zombie has never taken the easy option or the predictable route. Indeed, while the music industry—and many of his peers—have fallen to their knees in the last decade or so, Zombie has found a new edge, his work undiluted by success or middle age.

Drawing on original research and new interviews with bandmates and associates, Sinister Urge takes a detailed look at Zombie’s challenging oeuvre, offering close analysis of his albums and films alongside tales of his life and work on and offstage.

As McIver writes in his foreword, “Whether you appreciate Rob for his music, his films, or—as I have strived to summarize—his overall aesthetic vision, you’ll enjoy this curious tale….Rob is a modern everyman: a Goethe for the modern world. The fact that he chooses to express his talents through the medium of horror makes his story even more compelling.”

6.0″ x 9.0″
288 pages
Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation


Joel McIver is the author of 26 books on music. In addition to writing biographies of leading figures in rock and metal music, he co-writes musicians’ memoirs, including those for members of Megadeth, Deep Purple, Soulfly, and the Sex Pistols. He contributes regularly to magazines and newspapers, such as Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, the Guardian, and the Daily Telegraph. He lives in London.

Michael Jackson FAQ

Michael Jackson FAQ
All That’s Left to Know About the King of Pop

 by Kit O’Toole


Michael Jackson was the undisputed King of Pop, but his influence extends much further. From his childhood years with the Jackson 5 through his astonishing solo career, he consistently broke sales record, pioneered the modern music video, and infused dance into rock and pop.

In Michael Jackson FAQ (November 2015, Backbeat Books, $19.99) Kit O’Toole takes a fresh look at Jackson’s four-decade career, covering his work in three acts – the Jackson 5, the Jacksons, and his solo years. Along the way, O’Toole reveals details such as Michael’s earliest musical influences; the Jackson 5’s start on the Steeltown label; the key players truly involved in the group’s discovery; Michael’s transformation in to a prolific songwriter; his explorations of genres, from soul to disco to pop and hip hop; the tours, videos, and notable television appearances; his best-selling albums (Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad, Dangerous); outtakes and obscure tracks; and more.

Michael Jackson FAQ also takes a long look at Michael’s work in films (The Wiz, Captain EO); his guest vocal appearances; and his collaborations with such music makers as Quincy Jones, Bruce Swedien, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, and Diana Ross.

And there’s more! O’Toole covers the tumultuous, but successful, Victory album and tour of 1984; Michael’s major dance influences, including Bob Fosse, Gene Kelly, and Fred Astaire; the recurrent themes in Michael’s songs; and the posthumous releases through 2015, including Michael Jackson’s This Is It (1009) and Xscape (2014).

Finally, Michael Jackson FAQ celebrates Michael’s legacy – his influence on countless artists from New Edition to Justin Timberlake, as well as his widespread impact on artistry across many media, from music to choreography to videography to fashion.

Packed with detail and keen insight, Michael Jackson FAQ is essential reading for devoted fans and pop culture buffs alike.

6.0″ x 9.0″
464 pages
BackBeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation


KIT O’TOOLE is a freelance writer who has written about rock, jazz, and R&B for more than 20 years. Her work has appeared in print publications including Showcase Chicago and Goldmine, and she is a contributing editor for Beatlefan magazine. As a blogger, O’Toole writes for Something Else Reviews, Blinded by Sound, and Cinema Sentries, and previously served as a music editor for BlogCritics. She lives in Chicago.


Business Basics for Musicians by Bobby Borg

Bobby Borg, author of Business Basics for Musicians, discusses another key point that can be found in his book. In the video below you will hear him talk about business relationships with Aaron Mercier of the band, Kings of Carnage.Click play and let us know thoughts in the comments below!

00139915There has never been a greater need for musicians to understand the music business than now, when emerging technologies make it possible for artists to act as their own record labels, and new contracts are structured to grab the biggest slice of an artist’s revenue pie. But in a digital age overflowing with confusing and ever-changing information, musicians need trusted business advice from a veteran artist who can break down the basics in a language they understand.

The book not only covers legal aspects such as copyright and record contracts, it also shows to how to deal with the people involved along the way: band members, managers, attorneys, talent agents, and producers. Business Basics for Musicians will help musicians to faster navigate to success.

TV Finales FAQ

TV Finales FAQ

All That’s Left to Know About the Endings of Your Favorite Shows

 by Stephen Tropiano and Holly Van Buren


The first book  dedicated exclusively to television’s most memorable series finales, from the 1960s to today!

From Mary Richards’ heartfelt goodbye to the WJM-TV newsroom in the classic finale of The Mary Tyler Moore Show to the puzzling conclusion of the enigmatic adventure series, Lost, to the tumultuous final hours in the life of Breaking Bad‘s Walter White, TV Finales FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Endings to Your Favorite Shows by Stephen Tropiano and Holly Van Buren (December 2105, Applause Books, $19.99) takes an up-close, insightful, and entertaining look at the most memorable final episodes of television’s most popular prime time, daytime, and late night series.

Crafting the final episode to a long-running television series can be challenging for producers and writers who want to remain faithful to the show’s characters and history, yet, at the same time, satisfy the high expectations of its loyal fan base. TV Finales FAQ offers television viewers the inside story on the creation, broadcast, and aftermath of the most famous (and infamous) final episodes of more than 50 television series from the 1960s through the present day.

In TV Finales FAQ, Tropiano and Van Buren dissect the final episodes that broke ratings records, like The Fugitive and M*A*S*H; those that left us scratching our heads, like Roseanne and The Sopranos; and the ones that propelled characters into the future – successfully or not – like Dawson’s Creek and Will & Grace. The book also looks at soap operas, daytime and late-night talk show finales, and, in a section called “Saying Goodbye,” looks a series finales that presented their main characters with only one option: close up shop and move on. Finally, the authors make their case for the best series finales, the ones that left critics thrilled, fans satiated, and television history changed.

The closing acts of Mad Men, Cheers, Seinfeld, Friends, Dark Shadows, Donahue, Sex and the City, All My Children, and dozens more shows can be found in TV Finales FAQ. Packed with details about casts and guest stars, airdates, ratings, production, and episode plots, it is a delectable read for any TV buff.

6″ x 9″
424 pages
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation


STEPHEN TROPIANO is the author of Saturday Night Live FAQ, The Prime Time Closet: A History of Gays and Lesbians on Television, and books on the film musicals Grease and Cabaret for Limelight Editions’ “Music on Film” series. He is the director of the Ithaca College Los Angeles Program, where he teaches courses in film and television theory and criticism. He lives in Los Angeles.

HOLLY VAN BUREN earned her master’s in critical studies of film and television at the University of Southern California and teaches film studies at Wagner College. She has collaborated with Stephen Tropiano as a researcher for several of his books for Hal Leonard, including Obscene, Indecent, Immoral and Offensive: 100+ Years of Censored, Banned, and Controversial Films; Saturday Night Live FAQ; and Cabaret for the “Music on Film” Series. She lives is Staten Island.


Steve Gordon and The Future of the Music Business

In the video below watch as Steve Gordon talks about his book, The Future of the Music Business, and how he keeps his book up to date thanks to his website. Click play and let us know your thoughts!

Visit Steve Gordon’s website HERE.

00123126New technologies have revolutionized the music business. While these technologies have wreaked havoc on traditional business models, they’ve also provided new opportunities for music business entrepreneurs, as well as new challenges for musicians, recording artists, songwriters, record labels and music publishers.
The Future of the Music Business provides a road map for success by explaining legal fundamentals including copyright law’s application to the music business, basic forms of agreement such as recording, songwriting and management contracts, PLUS the rules pertaining to digital streaming, downloading and Internet radio. This book also shows exactly how much money is generated by each of these models, and details how the money flows to the principal stakeholders: artists, record labels, songwriters and music publishers.

Dracula FAQ

Dracula FAQ

All That’s Left to Know About the Count from Transylvania

 by Bruce Scivally


In the 15th century, warlord Vlad III, known as Vlad the Impaler and Dracula (son of the Dragon), became a legendary figure in his native Wallachia. Four hundred years later, Irish author Bram Stoker appropriated Dracula’s name for a vampire novel he spent seven years researching and writing. Considered one of the classics of Gothic literatures, Dracula went on to inspire numerous stage plays, musicals, movies, and television adaptations. The character Dracula is a permanent fixture in pop culture.

In Dracula FAQ (October 2015, Backbeat Books, $19.99), author Bruce Scivally unearths little-known facts about both the historical and literary Dracula, covering a abundance of topics along the way, including ancient vampire myths from various cultures; Hamilton Dean, the man who first brought Dracula to the stage in England, and Horace Liveright, the publisher who brought Dracula to Broadway; Dracula in opera and ballet; and Dracula in the comics.

And, of course, Scivally covers the movies, detailing a host of vampire films, from low-budget B-movies from the 60s to documentaries such as In Search of Dracula and box-office hits such as Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 Dracula. He also looks at Anne Rice’s book series, The Vampire Chronicles, and the film version of Interview with a Vampire (1994), and at Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series – the best-selling books and the top-grossing film.

Dracula FAQ also features a gallery of rare images, from film stills to vintage ads, looks at Dracula tourist attractions and merchandise, vampire societies, and real-life vampires. Scavilly also includes lengthy biographies of some of the most iconic Draculas, including Bela Lugosi, John Carradine, Christopher Lee, Jack Palance, Frank Langella, Louis Jourdan, Gary Oldman, and Gerard Butler.

Dracula FAQ is an amazing journey through centuries of vampire history!

6″ x 9″

BackBeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation


BRUCE SCIVALLY is the author of several books on film history, including James Bond: The Legacy, Superman on Film, Television, Radio & Broadway, and Billion Dollar Batman. After spending 22 years working in the film industry in Los Angeles, he moved to Chicago, where he teaches scriptwriting and film history classes at the Illinois Institute of Art—Chicago and Columbia College.


The Beat Generation FAQ

The Beat Generation FAQ

All That’s Left to Know About the Angelheaded Hipsters

 by Rich Weidman


The Beat Generation FAQ (September 2015, Backbeat Books, $24.99), the latest in a series of pop culture FAQ titles from Backbeat Books, is an informative and entertaining look at the enigmatic authors and cutting-edge works that shaped this fascinating cultural and literary movement. Disillusioned with the repression and conformity encompassing post-World War II life in the United States, the Beat writers sought creative alternatives to the mind-numbing banality of modern culture.

Beat Generation writers were no strangers to controversy: Both Allen Ginsberg’s prophetic, William Blakean-style poem “Howl” (1956) and William S. Burroughs’ groundbreaking novel Naked Lunch (1959) led to obscenity trials, while Jack Kerouac’s highly influential novel On the Road (1957) was blamed by the establishment for corrupting the nation’s youth and continues to this day to serve as a beacon of hipster culture and the bohemian lifestyle.

The Beat writers shared a vision for a new type of literature, one that escaped the boundaries of academia and employed an organic use of language, inspired by the spontaneity and improvisational nature of jazz music and abstract expressionism (Kerouac coined this writing style “spontaneous prose”). In search of deeper meaning, Beat Generation writers experimented not only with language but also with spirituality, art, drugs, sexuality, and unconventional lifestyles. Although the movement as a whole flamed out quickly in the early 1960s, replaced by the onset of the hippie counterculture, the Beats made an indelible mark on the nation’s consciousness and left a long-lasting influence on its art and culture.

With chapters covering the Beats’ major figures, their influences, their haunts, their critics, and much, much more, The Beat Generation FAQ opens a window to the movement that, for a time, defined cool and inspired generations.

6″ x 9″
400 pages
BackBeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group


Rich Weidman is a writer and editor whose work includes The Doors FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Kings of Acid Rock, published by Backbeat Books, and several regional travel guides. He serves as editor of two pop culture and movie-themed websites: Alternative Reel and Forgotten Movie Classics. He lives in Ocoee, Fla.


Your chance to win!

We over at Applause Books have partnered  with Erie Gay News to give away a copy two of our books. From November 17 to December 8 you have a chance to enter to win Mark Clark’s book, Star Wars FAQ. And starting today you can enter for a chance to win A Chorus Line FAQ by Tom Rowan! The contest for A Chorus Line FAQ ends on Friday, December 11, 2015 so make sure to enter before it’s too late!

>>Enter Here<<

00124221The ultimate treasure trove of information, A Chorus Line FAQ presents history and fun facts, including: the unique workshop process through which the show was developed and written, the stories of its creators, the record-breaking Broadway run and numerous touring productions, and the captivating movie version. The book also features all-new chapters on the Broadway revival, the two London productions, and notable regional productions around the country. In addition to a chapter on A Chorus Line cultural history – with a guide to all the pop cultural references in the show – the book includes extensive photos as well as biographical information on the casts of the major productions. There are also chapters on recordings, previous books on the topic, and the landmark show’s influence on subsequent Broadway musicals and films.


>>Enter Here<<

00122914In his foreword to Star Wars FAQ Everything Left to Know About the Trilogy That Changed the Movies, Alan Dean Foster, critically acclaimed author of more than a hundred science fiction and fantasy novels, sums up what the Star Wars FAQ is all about: “Reading a book like Star Wars FAQ is a bit like strolling the streets of London without a guidebook. You know where Big Ben is, but stumbling across the first public drinking fountain in Britain is apt, in its own more modest way, to be even more enchanting.”

Star Wars FAQ offers an original analysis of the series’ enduring appeal and cultural impact. In the process, author Mark Clark tells a story as thrilling and action-packed as the movies themselves, with bold characters facing apparently insurmountable odds.


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