Author Archives: HLPAPG

James Campion Speaks with journalist Ken Sharp!

In this exclusive interview excerpt, New York Times bestselling author and journalist Ken Sharp discusses KISS’s pre-Destroyer days with Shout It Out Loud author James Campion! Watch the video below to hear more, and let us know what are your thoughts on KISS’s pre-Destroyer days.


Shout It Out Loud: The Story of Kiss’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon

00141630How does an underground oddity become a cultural phenomenon?

For over 40 years, the rock band Kiss has galvanized the entertainment world with an unparalleled blitz of bravado, theatricality, and shameless merchandising, garnering generations of loyally rabid fans. But if not for a few crucial months in late 1975 and early 1976, Kiss may have ended up nothing more than a footnote.

Shout It Out Loud is a serious examination of the circumstance and serendipity that fused the creation of the band’s seminal work, Destroyer – including the band’s arduous ascent to the unexpected smash hit, Alive!, the ensuing lawsuits between its management and its label, the pursuit of the hot, young producer, a grueling musical “boot camp,” the wildly creative studio abandon, the origins behind an iconic cover, the era’s most outlandish tour, and the unlikely string of hit singles.

Extensive research from the period and insights into each song are enhanced by hundreds of archived materials and dozens of interviews surrounding the mid-’70s-era Kiss and its zeitgeist. New interviews with major principals in the making of an outrageously imaginative rock classic animate this engaging tale.

As Campion writes in his introduction, “Destroyer is the indisputable KISS mission statement—the realization of a dream that stridently reflects the extraordinary time from which it was fashioned. Destroyer is ’70s rock: loud, yes, and decadent, you bet, but mostly it is pompous, weird, and fantastical….It is a cartoon fantasy’s parody of excess. Its message is fun and doom all rolled up in a thunderous package of melodramatic farce.”

Shout It Out Loud is the story of how an underground rock and roll oddity became a cultural phenomenon.

In a Galaxy far, far away…

Star Wars has become well known in every generation and people everywhere have been quoting it ever since it first came out. What some people may not know is that they have been saying some of the lines wrong this whole time! Star Wars FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Trilogy That Changed the Movies, just published by Applause Books, looks at what was actually said and how some of it may have been lost in translation.  Take a look at an excerpt of the book below!


00122914Although seldom cited as a source of brilliant dialogue, the original Star Wars trilogy remains one of the most-quoted works of the twentieth century, full of instantly recognizable and frequently parodied catchphrases. To say that the language of Star Wars has entered the popular vernacular would be a major understatement. Metaphoric references to the Force, Jedi mind tricks, and hyperspace may be casually dropped without fear of misunderstanding. Some words and concepts, including the name Star Wars itself—co-opted, to George Lucas’ horror, to describe President Ronald Reagan’s proposed satellite-based missile defense system—have been widely adopted and accumulated additional definitions. All this speaks to the profound cultural impact of the movies, but it also reflects the steadfast devotion of fans. After all, these words, phrases, and ideas entered the language because fans watched these movies over and over again—in theaters and later on home video—memorizing the dialogue and quoting lines back and forth with one another. (If I say, “When I left you, I was but a learner; now I am the master,” you answer with . . . ?)
Given all this, a closer look at some of the films’ most famous quotes would seem to be in order.

“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away . . . ”
Every Star Wars film famously opens with these words, printed in blue type against a black background. They precede the title of the film itself. George Lucas’ self-conscious myth making is at its most obvious here, but the words are beautifully chosen and their impact is both powerful and elegant; they immediately set the fanciful tone for all that follows. The phrase is clearly intended as the equivalent of “Once upon a time. . . . ” The link is so self evident that decades later the writers of the DreamWorks animated Shrek film series set the adventures of the loveable ogre and his companions in a fairy-tale world referred to simply as “Far Far Away.” This is also one of the most instantly recognizable and durable Star Wars-isms. A comprehensive listing of all the various books, movies, TV shows, newspaper and magazine articles, and websites to co-opt the phrase “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away” in whole or in part, often for ironic or satirical purposes, would run on
for hundreds of pages (and would include this book).

“May the Force be with you.”
This phrase—Jedi-speak for “good luck” or often “goodbye and good luck”—quickly became (and remains) the emblematic catchphrase for Star Wars. It appears in every Star Wars film and in nearly every Star Wars book, comic, and video game. And it has been immortalized (after a fashion) on T-shirts, coffee mugs, key chains, bumper stickers, and every other sort
of ephemera imaginable, up to and including being tattooed onto fans’ bodies. “May the Force be with you” is spoken four times in the Original Trilogy: twice in Star Wars (once by General Dodonna and once by Han Solo), once in The Empire Strikes Back (by Luke Skywalker), and once (“May the Force be with us,” says Admiral Ackbar) in Return of the Jedi.

“I have a bad feeling about this.”
This catchphrase/running gag appears twice in Star Wars (on first sight of the Death Star, Luke says, “I have a very bad feeling about this;” later, in the trash compactor, Han says, “I got a bad feeling about this”), and it recurs in every subsequent Star Wars movie, as well as in countless Star Wars novels, comic books, video games, and other media. Leia has the line in The Empire Strikes Back (while the Millennium Falcon is hidden in the belly of the giant asteroid monster), and both C-3PO and Han say it in Return of the Jedi (C-3PO upon entering Jabba’s palace and Han when he and Luke are captured by Ewoks). Tellingly, the line does not appear in the ill-conceived Star Wars Holiday Special, but it was used in episodes of the Droids and Ewoks cartoon series of the 1980s, in the Clone Wars animated series, and, of course, in the Prequel Trilogy (presumably it will also be repeated in the Sequel Trilogy). The phrase “I have a bad feeling about this,” or some version of it, also appears in countless Star Wars novels, comics, video games, role-playing games, and the Star Tours attraction at Disneyland and Disney World. Like the call letters THX-1138 (the name of Lucas’ first feature film), the phrase “I have a bad feeling about this” also recurs in other Lucasfilm projects, including the movies Radioland Murders (1994) and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), and the Young Indiana Jones TV series. And it has been co-opted as an homage to Star Wars in numerous other works, including Star Wars jokes on TV series including The Big Bang Theory, Robot Chicken, Family Guy, and Phineas and Ferb.

“Luke, I am your father.”
This is a phantom phrase. Although often “quoted” or parodied, Darth Vader never actually says this—not in quite this construction, anyway—in The Empire Strikes Back or anywhere else. It’s a misquote much like “Beam me up, Scotty,” which no Star Trek character has ever spoken, or “Play it again, Sam,” which is never said in Casablanca, or “Elementary, my dear Watson,” which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle never wrote. The actual exchange from Empire:
Vader: Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.
Luke: He told me enough! He told me you killed him!
Vader: No. I am your father.


Do you have any other favorite quote from the movie? Let us know in the comments below!!

Today is Claude Debussy’s Birthday!

In honor of today being Claude Debussy’s birthday we would like to remember all of the wonderful music that he has made. Claude Debussy was a French composer who was well known for his impressionist music. He was one of the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and was the father of the modern era in classical music. Author Harvey Lee Snyder has written a book on Debussy titled, Afternoon of a Faun: How Debussy Created a New Music For the Modern World, that tells about his life and also his music. Below is an excerpt from chapter 1 about Debussy’s early life and background.


00123940Some historians tried to link Claude Debussy to the Burgundian aristocracy, but no—Claude’s father, Manuel de Bussy, was less nobly descended from peasant stock, men and women who in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were laborers and farmers, locksmiths, tradesmen, and carpenters. Claude’s maternal family too was of humble origin.
Manuel de Bussy enlisted at eighteen in the Second Infantry Regiment of Marines and served his seven-year term. He married Victorine Manoury in 1861, when both were twenty-five years old. The newlyweds moved into an old three-story house in Saint-Germaine-en-Laye, just west of Paris. Manuel ran the china shop on the ground floor, and upstairs, on August 22, 1862, their first child, Achille-Claude de Bussy, was born. Before his first birthday he had a baby sister, Adèle. Emmanuel was born in 1867, and Alfred followed three years later. Another son died in childhood.
The china shop failed after two years of Manuel’s management, and the de Bussys moved to Clichy to live with Victorine’s mother. In 1868, Manuel found work at a printing shop and moved his family to Paris. For most of his life Manuel struggled and repeatedly failed to earn enough to support his family in comfort and stability. He never held a job for very long, and Victorine sometimes worked as a seamstress to help make ends meet.
The eldest boy was called Achille (pronounced “ah-sheel”), but he was Chilo to his family. At his baptism his godparents were Manuel’s sister Clémentine and her lover, a rich financier named Achille Arosa. As a young adult, Chilo preferred to be called Claude, signed his name Claude-Achille, and modernized the family name to Debussy.
He was a quiet boy—“dreamy” was a word often used—who found refuge in solitude. Unlike his three siblings, he never went to school. His mother, who had little education herself, kept him at home and taught him to read and write. But Victorine had no enthusiasm for motherhood. More than once she sent Adèle to Cannes to be raised by Clémentine. Alfred was in Clémentine’s care until her death in 1882.
Clearly, the de Bussy clan was not an auspicious incubator of genius. Nothing in the historical record suggests that music was a significant part of the family life, or that the children were exposed to the ripe artistic and cultural climate of Paris. Manuel confidently believed Achille would follow in his footsteps: He’d be a sailor when he grew up. (Later in life, the composer of La Mer [The Sea] found this amusing.)

To read more Click Here and go to Closer look to get an inside look at the book!

Happy Birthday to Robert Plant!

Today is Robert Plant’s 67th birthday! While best known lead singer for Led Zeppelin, that wasn’t all that defined him. Two years after Led Zeppelin broke up, Plant went solo and has maintained an unbroken career ever since.  Author Dave Thompson’s book, Robert Plant The Voice That Sailed the Zeppelin, shines a light on Plant’s solo career.  Below is an excerpt of the book, check it out!


00120813 It is a rare talent indeed, then, that can sustain the initial impetus and spread
it over much more than four albums; a rarer one still that can keep it going
for four decades; and even Robert Plant will admit that there have been
times throughout his solo career when the roar of the crowd became more
of a murmur, and the plaudits that once popped like corks were suddenly
plopping instead.
On those occasions, it would have been the easiest thing in the world to
make a few phone calls, rehearse a few songs, reprise an old band name . . .
and once, that is precisely what he did. But when the headlines announced
back in 2012 that Robert Plant was re-forming the group he used to play
with, it was a revamped Strange Sensation that roared out of the garage,
and the slate was swept clean overnight.
Whether at the helm of Led Zeppelin, where it was generally Plant’s
lyrics that set the mood of the music; alone with his own band; or drifting through the welter of side projects that have occupied him throughout the intervening years, Plant has rarely stood still for any longer than he needed to—and on the occasions he has, he just leapt a little further the next time around. But it is not the dilettante shuffling of rock’s other shapeshifting skipjacks that sustains him. A straight line drawn from Plant’s first recording will always lead to his latest, no matter how many technical, sonic, or cultural advances might separate the sessions, and no matter what caliber of musician he may choose to work with next.

To read more about Robert Plant, you can buy the book here.

Anthrax’s Scott Ian speaks with author James Campion!

In researching his upcoming book, Shout It Out Loud, James Campion sat down with Scott Ian of Anthrax. In this exclusive interview excerpt Ian reminisces about KISS’s Destroyer and his obsession with the intro to Detroit Rock City. To hear more about what he had to say click on the link below and let us know your favorite KISS song!


Shout It Out Loud: The Story of Kiss’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon

00141630How does an underground oddity become a cultural phenomenon?

For over 40 years, the rock band Kiss has galvanized the entertainment world with an unparalleled blitz of bravado, theatricality, and shameless merchandising, garnering generations of loyally rabid fans. But if not for a few crucial months in late 1975 and early 1976, Kiss may have ended up nothing more than a footnote.

Shout It Out Loud is a serious examination of the circumstance and serendipity that fused the creation of the band’s seminal work, Destroyer – including the band’s arduous ascent to the unexpected smash hit, Alive!, the ensuing lawsuits between its management and its label, the pursuit of the hot, young producer, a grueling musical “boot camp,” the wildly creative studio abandon, the origins behind an iconic cover, the era’s most outlandish tour, and the unlikely string of hit singles.

Extensive research from the period and insights into each song are enhanced by hundreds of archived materials and dozens of interviews surrounding the mid-’70s-era Kiss and its zeitgeist. New interviews with major principals in the making of an outrageously imaginative rock classic animate this engaging tale.

As Campion writes in his introduction, “Destroyer is the indisputable KISS mission statement—the realization of a dream that stridently reflects the extraordinary time from which it was fashioned. Destroyer is ’70s rock: loud, yes, and decadent, you bet, but mostly it is pompous, weird, and fantastical….It is a cartoon fantasy’s parody of excess. Its message is fun and doom all rolled up in a thunderous package of melodramatic farce.”

Shout It Out Loud is the story of how an underground rock and roll oddity became a cultural phenomenon.

The Future of the Music Business: How to Succeed with New Digital Technologies

The Future of the Music Business
How to Succeed with New Digital Technologies
Fourth Edition

 by Steve Gordon

Website

New 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.

In The Future of the Music Business, Fourth Edition, distinguished entertainment attorney Steve Gordon 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. The 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.

The Future of the Music Business is divided into four parts:

•Part I provides an overview of the basic rules and business practices that apply to the record and music publishing business today. Gordon discusses how copyright law protects songs and recordings, standard contracts including management, label and producer deals and the most recent rules and business practices that apply to the new means of distributing music; downloading, streaming and webcasting, and how those rules differ in foreign countries.

•Part II is a guide for producers, filmmakers, and distributors on how to clear music for all kinds of projects, including movies, TV programs, ad campaigns, and stand-alone digital projects. And it explains how much it will cost!

•Part III presents new discussions on the hottest industry controversies, including net neutrality and the financial battles between the new digital music services, copyright owners, and artists.

•Part IV focuses on how to best use new technologies to succeed.

The book contains URLs linking to 2 on-line videos: Fundamentals of Music Business and Law, and Anatomy of a Copyright Infringement Case. Attorneys who view the videos can receive two CLE credits.

The book is continuously updated at  www.futurefothemusicbusiness.com

$29.99
7.25″ x 9.25″
404 pages
9781480360655
Hal Leonard Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Steve Gordon is an entertainment attorney with over 20 years of experience. He serve as an attorney at a law firm representing Atlantic and Elektra Records, as in-house counsel for a Hollywood movie studio, and has been Director of Business Affairs for Sony Music for more than 10 years. As an educator, Gordon is the recipient of two Fulbright Scholarships and has taught courses on music law and business at Tel Aviv University in Israel and Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.

00123126

Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die: James Dean’s Final Hours

Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die
James Dean’s Final Hours

 by Keith Elliot Greenberd

Website


Published to coincide with the 60th anniversary of James Dean’s Death


On September 30, 1955, James Dean was killed when his treasured Porsche Spyder was struck by an oncoming car, and from that moment on, the 24-year-old movie star was frozen in time as THE symbol of American Cool. As proven by the thousands of people who return to Dean’s grave each year to pay homage, James Dean’s legend lives on as a MAJOR influence on youth culture for myriad generations.

In TOO FAST TO LIVE, TOO YOUNG TO DIE: James Dean’s Final Hours (Applause Theatre & Cinema Books Trade Paperback Original; September 15, 2015), television producer and bestselling author of The Day John Lennon Died, Keith Elliot Greenberg, takes readers along on an evocative journey as he pieces together the puzzle of James Dean’s final day and its everlasting impact.

Juxtaposing a wistful look at Dean’s childhood years with a captivating account of the hours leading up to Dean’s fatal car crash, Greenberg offers penetrating insight into what drove Dean to live on the edge — the early loss of his mother and his relentless drive to explore for the sake of his craft. Dean once said, “Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.” He lived to experience, and the one passion that compared to his love of acting was his love of racing cars.

With fresh interviews with key insiders, poignant storytelling, and acute attention to details, Greenberg transports readers back in time, reflecting not only on Dean’s personal life, but also on the world in which he lived — the era after World War II, the end of the Korean War, the advent of rock and roll, with the sixties coming down the pike. From vehicle specs to Dean’s stops along the way (including for an ominous speeding ticket) to how the news reached the world, Greenberg delivers a riveting narrative of James Dean’s final hours.

A richly dimensional portrait of James Dean, TOO FAST TO LIVE, TOO YOUNG TO DIE breathtakingly chronicles the life and death of an icon whose image continues to resonate with people of all ages, decades after his premature death.

$24.99
6.0″ x 9.0″
288 pages
9781480360303
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Keith Elliot Greenberg is an author and journalist who has written about a variety of topics from wrestling to true crime. He has authored a number of bestselling books, including December 8, 1980: The Day John Lennon Died (Backbeat Books). Greenberg is also a television producer and has worked on several popular programs, including America’s Most Wanted.

00122929

Duo! The Best Scenes for Mature Actors

Duo!
The Best Scenes for Mature Actors

 edited by Stephen Fife

Website

While contemporary American culture may be fixated on youthful sex appeal, the truth is that the most complex and interesting characters in dramatic literature have been (and still are) those over 40 years old.

In Duo! The Best Scenes for Mature Actors (September 2015, Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, $19.99), Stephen Fife has delved into the deeply serious and deeply funny (sometimes at the same time) world of life after 40. The collection focuses primarily on scenes that depict the struggles of contemporary characters to come to terms with disappointment and obsolescence or to redeem their lives from mistakes or miscalculations of their youth.

Duo! draws heavily on American classics like Long Day’s Journey into Night, Death of a Salesman, The Price, The House of Blue Leaves, and Fences, as well as more recent classics-in-the-making like August: Osage County, Good People, and The Sisters Rosensweig. There is ample representation from such playwrights as Isreal Horovitz, Theresa Rebeck, Donald Margulies, Edward Albee, Joyce Carol Oates, Sam Shepard, Tina Howe, Eduardo Machado, Horton Foote, Marsha Norman, and David Henry Hwang, whose work also explains this territory of growing older in a society obsessed with youth.

$19.99
5.25″ x 7.75″
450 pages
9781480360204
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation

ABOUT THE EDITOR:

Stephen Fife is the editor of One on One: The Best Monologues for Mature Actors and the co-editor of One on One: Playing with a Purpose — Monologues for Kids 7-15, both published by Applause Books. He was the first literary manager for Primary Stages, and he founded the Young Actors Workshop in Venice, Calif. His plays include Break of Day, This Is Not What I Ordered, Savage World, Blue Kiss, Sizzle Sizzle, and Scattered Blossoms. He has written arts features for The New York Times, New Republic, Village Voice, and American Theatre, as well as a memoir, Best Revenge: How the Theater Saved My Life and Has Been Killing Me Ever Since. He lives in Santa Monica, Calif.

00122916

The Smiths FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Most Important British Band of the 1980s

The Smiths FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Most Important British Band of the 1980s

 by John D. Luerssen

Website


An in-depth and entertaining look at the godfathers of indie rock.


Revered and massively influential, the Smiths have been called the most important band of the fertile U.K. 1980s music scene. While the group was only active for five years (1982 to 1987), the cult of the Manchester-reared foursome has ballooned in the three decades since its dissolution. The Smiths have since influenced a who’s who of alternative music, including Death Cab for Cutie, Radiohead, the Killers, Jeff Buckley, Pete Yorn, the Decemberists, and Oasis.

Despite a $75 million offer to reunite for a two month tour in 2007, Morrissey and Johnny Marr, the group’s principals, refused, opting to leave their legend untainted.

Featuring a foreword by guitarist and “Fifth Smith” Craig Gannon, who played with the band in 1986, The Smiths FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Most Important British Band of the 1980s by John D. Luersson (September 2015, Backbeat Books, $24.99) traces the band’s history with clarity and detail, illuminating such questions as Who were the Nosebleeds? Why did Morrissey shun the Ramones? Who were the Paris Valentinos? What was Cult guitarist Billy Duffy’s connection to the band? How was Morrissey injured during the group’s U.S. debut performance? What Smiths single paid homage to T. Rex?

Luerssen, who has previously written Backbeat Books FAQ series titles about U2, Bruce Springsteen, and Nirvana, gathers the indispensable early facts, the legendary stories, and inimitable anecdotes that make this a must-own tome for all fans.

$24.99
6.0″ x 9.0″
328 pages
9781480394490
Backbeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JOHN D. LUERSSEN first discovered the Smiths in late 1984 when he heard “How Soon Is Now?” on the Jersey Shore’s long-defunct WHTG-FM. His first ever record review was of Meat Is Murder, which ran in his high school’s student newspaper the following spring. Luerssen has written several books, including Bruce Springsteen FAQ, U2 FAQ, and Nirvana FAQ, published by Backbeat Books, and has written for Rolling Stone, Billboard, AXS, AOL Music, and American Songwriter.

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Dave Thompson on The Tony Basilio Show on WJBE 99.7 FM

Dave Thompson, author of Hearts of Darkness, spoke with Tony Basilio on 99.7 FM, Knoxville, Tennessee’s very own Tony Basilio Show. They spoke about all things James Taylor, Jackson Browne, and Cat Stevens and how they launched the age of the singer-songwriter in the 1970s.

>>LISTEN HERE<<

00333163Hearts of Darkness is the story of a generation’s coming of age through the experiences of its three most atypical pop stars. James Taylor, Jackson Browne, and Cat Stevens could never have been considered your typical late-sixties songwriters – self-absorbed and self-composed, all three eschewed the traditional means of delivering their songs, instead turning its process inward. The result was a body of work that stands among the most profoundly personal art ever to translate into an international language, and a sequence of songs – from “Sweet Baby James” and “Carolina in My Mind,” to “Jamaica Say You Will” and “These Days,” to “Peace Train” and “Wild World” – that remain archetypes not only of what the critics called the singer-songwriter movement, but of the human condition itself.

Author Dave Thompson, himself a legend among rock biographers, takes on his subjects with his usual brio and candor, leaving no stone unturned in his quest to shine a light on the dark side of this profoundly earnest era in popular music. Penetrating, pointed, and laced with vivid insight and detail, Hearts of Darkness is the story of rock when it no longer felt the need to roll.

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