Author Archives: HLPAPG

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.

Mark Clark talks Star Wars FAQ with Mr. Media!

Mark Clark, author of Star Wars FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Trilogy That Changed the Movies, with Mr. Media recently to talk about “the trilogy that changed the movies.” Check out the video below to see more of what they had to say! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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.

Featuring 38 chapters, such as Echo Base: Homage in Star Wars, New Hope: Assessing Episode IV, and Far, Far Away: Production of Star Wars, Star Wars FAQ introduces the reader to early screenplays drafts that were never filmed and to short biographies of many people who made key contributions to the movies’ success. Star Wars FAQ details every aspect of the original Star Wars Trilogy (Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi). Along the way it unearths under-reported stories and illuminating minutiae often skimmed over or completely ignored in other histories of the legendary film series.

Visit Mr.Media’s webpage here to learn more about this interview.

The X-Files FAQ

The X-Files FAQ

All That’s Left to Know About Global Conspiracy, Aliens, Lazarus Species, and Monsters of the Week

 by John Kenneth Muir


The X-Files FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Global Conspiracy, Aliens, Lazarus Species, and Monsters of the Week explores Chris Carter’s popular 1990s science-fiction TV series, which aired on Fox for nine seasons and inspired spin-offs, including feature films, TV shows, toys, novels, and comic books. The book explores the series in terms of its historical context and analyzes how many of the episodes tackle the events of their time: the Clinton era. The X-Files FAQ also tallies the episodes that are based on true stories, selects touchstone moments from the almost decade-long run, and organizes the series by its fantastic subject matter – from serial killers to aliens, from prehistoric menaces to ethnic and religious-based horrors.

The X-Files FAQ also features a foreword written by screenwriter Chris Carter who credits John Muir for his impressive and thoughtful musings. In the book you’ll read that the writing on the show, X-Files, was only half what made the show what it is today. The people who worked on the show were working in a visual medium, and as Chris Carter states in the foreword “the show somehow managed to turn that rectangle box we all viewed each week into something special and often unexpected.”

         In addition, the book recalls the TV antecedents (Kolchak: The Night Stalker) and descendants (Fringe) of The X-Files, examines the two feature films, and investigates Chris Carter’s other creations, including Millennium, The Lone Gunmen, Harsh Realm, and The After. Featuring numerous stills and the show’s most prominent writers and directors, The X-Files FAQ allows readers to relive the “Mytharc” conspiracy and the unforgettable monsters of the week – from the Fluke Man to the Peacocks. 

6.0″ x 9″
400 pages
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group


John Kenneth Muir is the author of 25 reference books, including Horror Films of the 1970s and Horror Films FAQ. John’s blog, Reflections on Cult Movies and Classic TV, was selected as one of the Internet’s “100 top Film Study” sites in 2010. In 2009, John appeared in the documentary Nightmares in Red, White and Blue with John Carpenter and Joe Dante. Muir is a communications and journalism teacher at South Piedmont Community College.


Alan Parsons discusses his Abbey Road lecture series at MusicRadar!

In advance of his lecture series at Abbey Road Studio, Alan Parsons author of, Alan Parsons’ Art & Science of Sound Recording, sat down with Tim Cant of MusicRadar.  Alan talked about his book (and the DVD set of the same name) and why he avoids using compression.

00333735Let’s get straight down to brass tacks. Tell us about your favourite desks!

“I think I’ve had the best luck with Neve, but having said that my biggest claim to fame, Pink Floyd’s //Dark Side of the Moon// was actually done on an EMI desk. I recently did an album with Stephen Wilson of Porcupine Tree, I did an album with him called The Raven That Refused to Sing and that was on a vintage Neve [RCA Custom 8028] Console at a studio here in California called EastWest, the same people that do the orchestral samples.”

Was there anything you particularly liked about that desk?

“Well, the opportunity is there to use external mic pre’s, that seems to be the way of the world right now, but I was perfectly happy to use the onboard pres most of the time. I’m a great believer in simplicity. It just complicates matters when you choose one mic pre for the kick drum, another one for the snare, a different one for the overheads…

“I just like to keep things simple. Having said that, my favourite mic pre which is also a limiter/compressor is the Universal Audio 6176… I’m looking at it right now. I’m also a big fan of the original dbx 160.”

Have you used the Universal Audio plugins?

“I use them all the time, I love their plugins, particularly their EMT plates! I use them on everything, any time I need reverb that would be my go-to.”

What about their range of compressors?

“I prefer to use external compressors and limiters. I tend to avoid compression and limiting, I never compress mixes, and I only ever usually limit two things: vocals and bass.”

Records are mastered very loud these days, so if you’re not compressing at the mixing stage the mastering engineer…

“I resist even letting the mastering engineer limit or compress. I mean, maybe just a dB of brickwall limiting for the peaks but otherwise no, I’d much rather leave it alone. If the consumer says it isn’t loud enough, turn it up! Do you think records sound as good as they used to?”


“Absolutely. The level war is the worst thing to happen to audio in years. Interestingly though there has always been a level war, even on vinyl.”

Read the rest of the interview over at MusicRadar!


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