Category Archives: Music Fans
Roger Waters of Pink Floyd and the muse behind Dave Thompson’s, Roger Waters:The Man Behind the Wall, will be hitting the road in Spring 2017 for a solo tour. This is perfect timing with the paperback release of Thompson’s book in the Spring
To some, Roger Waters is the face behind classic Pink Floyd. To others, he is the temperament behind some of the greatest albums of the rock era. And to others still, he is one of the most original songwriters of a generation that overflows with notable talent. To all, he is an enigma: a rock star who not only eschewed stardom but also spent much of his career railing against it.
Roger’s tour, Us + Them, was named after one of the songs he wrote for Pink Floyd’s 1973 album, Dark Side of the Moon. The 40+ date tour will kick off in Kansas City on May 26th and wrap up in Vancouver on October 28th.
“We are going to take a new show on the road, the content is very secret,” Waters says. “It’ll be a mixture of stuff from my long career, stuff from my years with Pink Floyd, some new things. Probably 75 percent of it will be old material and 25 percent will be new, but it will be all connected by a general theme. It will be a cool show, I promise you. It’ll be spectacular like all my shows have been.”
Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall traces Waters’ life from war-torn suburbia to the multitude of wars he has fought since then – with his bandmates, with his audience, and most of all with himself. Packed with insight and exclusive interviews with friends and associates, Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall dismantles the wall brick by brick, revealing the man who built it in all his glory.
Just in time for the tour the book will be rereleased in paperback. Tickets for the tour are now available for presale.
Norman Harris, co-author of Confessions of a Vintage Guitar Dealer, sat down with Music Connection to discuss his latest book and adventures. Confessions of a Vintage Guitar Dealer is an intriguing memoir from a man who has spent a lifetime getting extraordinary instruments into the hands of extraordinary artists.
The thrill never goes away. There’s always something, a rare custom guitar or a hard-to-find model, that still excites me.
Why write a book?
Well, I published a book about 10 years ago, Norman’s Rare Guitars, but it was a picture book. I could have included stories, but I didn’t think anyone cared. Then I discovered that people liked to hear the stories and even asked about them. So, I decided to tell my story and the stories behind the guitars.
You came to Los Angeles to be a musician.
Little Richard brought my band out here and we were signed to a small deal. Plan A was to become a professional musician. Plan B was selling guitars for extra money. Although I did well as a player, Plan B took off and became Plan A.
You got a shout-out in the movie This is Spinal Tap. How did that happen?
Christopher Guest (who played Nigel) is a regular customer. He told me about the film and wanted to use the store in a few scenes. He also wore one of my T-shirts in the movie. I watched them shoot and it was total fun.
Do you get involved with a lot of films?
It never occurred to me to do that, but then I was asked to and it was great PR and brought in additional income. The first film I did was Bound for Glory. David Carradine (who played Woody Guthrie) wanted a period correct guitar. Now, I supply guitars and accessories for films and videos whenever needed.
Why aren’t you located in Hollywood where all the action is?
I didn’t want to be in the middle of all the craziness. Besides, the store is close to my house and it’s a place where professional musicians, rock stars and celebrities can browse without being bothered by paparazzi.
In your book you describe guitars, ones that you had never seen, in exquisite detail. How did you acquire that knowledge years before the Internet?
A lot of it was word-of-mouth. I established friendships with old players and picked their brains. I also nurtured relationships with people who worked at guitar companies. I just talked, listened and learned.
Read the rest of the interview here.
Maynard James Keenan, co-author of A Perfect Union of Contrary Things, sat down with Rolling Stone to discuss his upcoming biography. The interview covered Keenan’s Army days, his Joni Mitchell obsession, his fateful encounter with early Tool adopter Johnny Depp, what Green Jellö taught him and much more during an in-depth chat.
Did you watch last night’s debate
No, I didn’t. I just don’t know what the point would be – 2016 sucks, in general. Loss of life, family members, artists, professionals. It’s a strange fucking year.
Agreed. So Trump is getting you down?
No, just the polarizing of people in general. And the bipartisan politics. It’s divisive. There’s so many things on the horizon; there’s so many things happening in the universe in general and in our nation and just in people … that I just feel like all this is a divisive distraction.
Moving on to the book, it seems like this is your attempt to say, “OK, there’s this thing that everyone knows me best for doing, but there’s all this other stuff that’s gone on in my life that carries just as much weight in terms of my overall story.” Were you trying to reclaim your narrative in a way?
Not necessarily. I’m just trying to tell a story and just show that there’s a process that I feel like has been lost. Just kind of trusting that inner voice and making decisions that bring you places. There’s also an overall broad stroke of kind of getting back to what matters. That connection, where you are and how you relate to that environment and your community. I feel like that shit’s a really important message for now.
I feel like there have been conscious and unconscious decisions throughout the years that I’ve made. And if there’s any kind of benefit to those, if I can actually map some of those out. … I’m no Deepak Chopra; I’m not Tony Robbins by any stretch. But I have seen a few things in my day, and if I can just kind of map some of them out and then have somebody else tell that story in their voice like a third party, maybe I can recognize some of those milestones. Or maybe somebody who’s in a weird place can recognize them and use them to kind of move forward.
As the book depicts, you’ve been involved in, and excelled at, an amazing number of things. Obviously the military was a key one. The book suggests that seeing the movie Stripes influenced you to join – is that really how it went down?
Does that sound like a better story than, “I just needed the money?” ‘Cause again, at the end of the day I’m an entertainer so I’m gonna tell you the story that sounds a little bit more entertaining. If that inspires you, that’s great. Was Stripes part of that decision? Absolutely. Was it the only part of that decision? Probably not. It’s not in my nature to just map it out for you.
It seems like for the time you were there, despite needing the money, you were obviously invested in it. I remember seeing a speech you gave at a show where you said you’d gotten some flak over expressing what some had perceived as pro-military sentiment. Is there a specific message you’re trying to send in this book regarding your feelings about the military in general?
Not necessarily. I feel like from an artist perspective there is that warrior’s perspective and I feel like that’s in each one of us. And if you can embrace it in some way and understand … even in terms of martial arts, when you step into that ring, on that mat, you have to kind of embrace that warrior side of you. You’re competing against yourself more than you’re actually competing against your opponent across from you.
Of course, you know the big pick-up we usually see when it comes to military is of course the entire globalization and our invasion of other areas for our own interests. That’s not really what I embraced about the military. What I embraced about the military is that that warrior’s mindset that you’re competing against yourself and just understanding that you have to be able to get into that mindset in certain situations. But at the end of the day, you’re competing against yourself.
Deke Sharon, author of The Heart of Vocal Harmony, shares his insight on a cappella and how groups need to feel instead of constantly focusing on the technicality of it all. He is a world-renowned arranger and producer with television credit’s Pitch Slapped and The Sing Off in addition to movie credits for Pitch Perfect, Pitch Perfect 2.
Deke Sharon has been heralded “The Father of Contemporary A Capella” and he is passionate about music. The goal with tis latest book is to inspire groups to take that extra step with their vocals. It goes beyond being a great singer and sounding ‘pretty.’ What emotions an you exude to your audience? What can you do to make a difference in their lives?
He has said that the difference between a rehearsal sounding great on one day and then horrible on the next has to do with emotion. Most rehearsals spend time focusing on notes, rhythms, and precision. There is too much focus on the musical and vocal techniques and not enough on the emotional technique.
This book is like no other a cappella book that has been released. Most of the other a cappella books have been about teaching people how to sing technically well. The Heart of Vocal Harmony focuses on the process of delivering an emotionally compelling performance. His previous book A Cappella Arranging was instructive, providing insight on how to create the music, this book turns those notes into passion.
The Heart of Vocal Harmony is not just for a cappella groups –
it is also for vocal harmony groups, ensembles, and choirs atall levels, with or without instruments. In addition to the process, the book features discussions with some of the biggest luminaries in vocal harmony: composers, arrangers, directors, singers, and groups – including Eric Whitacre, Pentatonix, the Manhattan Transfer, and more!
Figure out how can we consistently create music on stage that inspires and transforms an audience.
Dave will be the vocal orchestrator for the first ever a cappella Broadway musical, In Transit, debuting this November.
Bobby Borg and Michael Eames, two of the authors of Five Star Music Makeover: The Independent Artist’s Guide for Singers, Songwriters, Bands, Producers, and Self Publishers, sat down with Taxi TV Live to talk music publishing, promotion, and more. Taxi TV Live provides interviews with songwriting tips and music business information along with special interviews with industry guests, and more. Be sure to take a listen below.
I didn’t think a book with five authors would be this good.
Interviewer, Michael Laskow, had an amazing conversation with both Bobby and Michael who provided deep insight and tips to the music industry, promotion, and for all those up-and-coming artists out there, how to survive.
Five Star Music Makeover is an engaging all-in-one guide designed specifically for aspiring artists. Written by five experts with over 100 years of collective experience, both on and off the stage, this unique book covers five key skills every musician needs to succeed: (1) improving vocal production/technique; (2) writing memorable and marketable songs; (3) recording your ultimate EP; (4) navigating the publishing world; and (5) promoting music effectively. In addition to Bobby Borg and Michaels Earnes their are three aditonal authors: Eric Corn, Anika Paris, and Coreen Sheehan.
As for who wrote what, Anika covering writing music, Eric, recording; Coreen, performing; Michael, licensing; and Bobby, promoting. This interview covered everything from motivational tips for an artist to attract an audience to branding themselves. There was discussion of royalties, licensing, pay to play. If you’re into music, of course this interview is for you, but for those with hopes of becoming an entrepreneur, the information shared goes beyond that.
In the music business of today, as the independent DIY, you need all these skills; you need t be aware of them.
The interveiw was an amazing, organic conversation that’s definitely a must listen!
Check out the interview in its entirety here.
Shelly Peiken, author of Confessions of a Serial Songwriter, sat down with Bonnie Wallace of Hollywood Parents Guide for the podcast Hometown to Hollywood. Shelly discussed the songwriting process, being an artist, todays music industry, and more. Listen to the podcast below.
Todays music industry is not what it once was and Shelly Peiken was able to dive deeper into that change and the future for upcoming songwriters. Early in the interview she defined what being a serial songwriter meant:
Somebody that’s just passionate and faithful to just getting up and writing a song everyday and then saying, ‘ok where can we pitch this.’
When it comes to her songwriting she stressed how organic it needed to feel. She wrote a song, ‘Rotten to the Core,’ for Disney Channel’s, Descendants. Bonnie’s daughter, Dove Cameron, starred in the film so there was a personal connection there. Shelly feels that she is a vessel and the connection that she has to her younger self which was the reason she began writing. Making money is always a plus, but it ultimately boils down for her to feel valuable and authentic.
When I wrote my book I thought, you know, it’s not me. It’s the industry and I’ve gotta change the way I’m navigating it and stay in touch with my joy.
What advice did she have for young songwriters? She urged them to be proactive. Find out how they can make a difference. There’s a problem within the industry as far as the streaming epidemic taking away from the compensation of artist and all those that come together to make the music. Young songwriters must be aware and act now to keep ensure the future of being a songwriter. Most importantly, they must continuously tap into their creativity and never be afraid to step outside their comfort zones.
Do everything. Experiment. Test the waters. Write with people who you’re not sure you’re gonna love working with. You might love. Just do everything.
This interview is full of gems that will inspire anyone of any age.
Chuck Gunderson, recently sat down with Publishers Weekly to discuss his limited-edition two-volume set, Some Fun Tonight! The Backstage Story of How the Beatles Rocked America: The Historic Tours 1964-1966. The timing could not be more perfect with the release of Ron Howard’s, Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years. Listen to the podcast by clicking the link below.
Chuck Gunderson is the country’s leading expert on the Beatles’ three North American tours. Over nearly three decades, he has amassed what is arguably the most comprehensive collection of American tour-related memorabilia and artifacts in the world.
Gunderson has taken the tour that changed the concert industry and created an amazing two-volume set. The Fab Four: Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Greg Harrison, and Ringo Starr, began their journey in the United States in February 1964 after landing their first #1 hit, ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand,’ on the Billboard Hot 100. After their successful and impressive performance on the Ed Sullivan Show with an estimated 73 million viewers, their careers catapulted to another level and the ‘British Invasion’ and ‘Beatlemania’ began.
Volume 1 of Some Fun Tonight! covers the beginning of their journey in 1964. There were 32 shows, 26 venues, 24 cities, and that was just in 33 days. The group garnered over $1 million, equivalent to $7.5 million in todays industry, which was unheard of at that time. Volume 2 continues their journey throughout 1965 and 1966 ending with their show at Candlestick Park.
There’s a chapter for each tour stop along with chapters for the supporting acts. The images included feature some unpublished, but there is plenty of memorabilia from each city including: tickets, programs, handbills, posters, newspaper ads, contracts, and documents. Gunderson was sure not to shortchange any fans by expanding the book to two volumes instead of one to pack in all the information he had collected over the years.
Some Fun Tonight! captures the heart of the tour with over 800 images over the course of 600 plus pages at the retail value of $160. Gunderson leaves nothing out within this 13 pound box set with accompanying slipcase. Fans young and old will surely be entertained for years to come.
Bob Carlin, author of Banjo An Illustrated History, was on WLRN Radio where he spoke with Michael Stock. He spoke about how the book came to be, his fascination with the banjo, and lots more! Click on the link below to hear the entire interview and let us know what you think!
The banjo is emblematic of American country music, and it is at the core of other important musical movements, including jazz and ragtime. The instrument has been adopted by many cultures and has been ingrained into many musical traditions, from Mento music in the Caribbean and dance music in Ireland. Virtuosos such as Béla Fleck have played Bach, African music, and Christmas tunes on the five-string banjo, and the instrument has had a resurgence in pop music with such acts a Mumford and Sons and the Avett Brothers.
In Banjo: An Illustrated History (June 2016, Backbeat Books, $35), author, broadcaster, and acclaimed banjoist Bob Carlin offers the first comprehensive, illustrated history of the banjo in its many forms. He traces the story of the instrument from its roots in West Africa to its birth in the Americas, through its coming of age in the Industrial Revolution and beyond.
Banjo: An Illustrated History profiles the most important players and spotlights key luthiers and manufacturers and features 100 “milestone instruments” with in-depth coverage, including model details and beautiful photos. It offers historical context surrounding the banjo through the ages, from its place in Victorian parlors and speakeasies through its role in the folk boom of the 1950s and 1960s to its place in the hands of songwriter John Hartford and comedian Steve Martin.
Folk, jazz, bluegrass, country, and rock – the banjo has played an important part in all of these genres. Lavishly illustrated, and thoughtfully written Banjo: An Illustrated History is a must-have for lovers of fretted instruments, aficionados of roots music, and music history buffs.
Thomas Edward Harkins, one of the authors of Pearl Jam FAQ, was interviewed by Nick Digilio on WGN Radio. They spoke about Pearl Jam’s return to Wrigley Field, and all that you can find inside Pearl Jam FAQ. Click on the link below to hear the interview in full!
With record sales of nearly 32 million in the United States and an estimated 60 million worldwide and with no end in sight, Pearl Jam can stake its claim to being the most successful, enduring, and influential band to emerge from the Seattle (or pretty much anywhere else) in the 1990s.
In Pearl Jam FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Seattle’s Most Enduring Band (May 2016, Backbeat Books, $19.99), authors Thomas Edward Harkins and Bernard M. Corbett explore the entire arc of the band’s career, from their pre-Pearl Jam days to the present. Each of 30 chapters explores a different aspect of Pearl Jam’s fascinating history.
Pearl Jam FAQ looks the band members’ successes, failures, and tragedies prior to joining forces, as well as their early days as Mookie Blaylock and the unusual manner in which they came up with the name finally stuck. Then, Harkins and Corbett go inside the studio and analyze each of their albums in turn and hit the road with them as they set out to conquer Seattle, the West Coast of the United States, and then the entire world.
Beyond the music, Pearl Jam FAQ takes a long look at the way Pearl Jam adapted to an ever-changing media landscape where MTV, not radio, is the major power broker. The book also addresses their battles with Ticketmaster and explores about the roots of their socio-political activism.
With a view of the band from every angle and in every context – on CD, on vinyl, on the radio, on television, on film, in videos, onstage, backstage, on the road, in the air, and at home – through the eyes of Pearl Jam enthusiasts, Pearl Jam FAQ presents a must-have text for band devotees to devour.
Author of Some Fun Tonight! The Backstage Story of How the Beatles Rocked America: The Historic Tours 1964-1966, Chuck Gunderson, spoke with Dave Hodgson host of The Daily on Talk Radio Europe. They spoke about some of the Beatles biggest moments, what you can find inside the book, and lots more! Listen to the whole interview by clicking on the link below!
Never has there been a book on the Beatles quite like Some Fun Tonight! The Backstage Story of How the Beatles Rock America: The Historic Tours of 1964-1966. Covering the group’s three North American tours (1964-1966) in astonishing detail, author Chuck Gunderson’s comprehensive two-volume boxed set gives readers a city-by-city synopsis of the Beatles’ activities as they traveled the United States and Canada for their groundbreaking series of concerts. So authoritative is Gunderson’s work that Ron Howard is using it as source material for his upcoming Beatles documentary, whose working title is The Beatles: Eight Days a Week, due out in theaters and on Hulu in the fall.
Produced in a slick, glossy, full-color format, and housed in an attractive slipcase, these truly essential books for any Beatles library retail for $160. This fall, Backbeat Books will provide Beatles fans will a less expensive, but no less impressive, alternative: a two-volume soft-cover edition with each volume retailing for $40.
From San Francisco’s Cow Palace show on August 19, 1964, through their last-ever live performance at that same city’s Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966, Some Fun Tonight! covers the music and the madness that characterized the Beatles’ North American tours. Supported by hundreds of photographs and images of rare memorabilia, it is the definitive reference for what is arguably the most important period in the Beatles’ long and winding career.
Never before have the Beatles’ North American concerts been covered in such depth. Some Fun Tonight! includes the behind-the-scenes negotiations, the mayhem at the airports and hotels, the cheeky quotes delivered at the press conferences, the opening acts, the concerts, and the stories behind the shows through the eyes of the Beatles, their entourage, the promoters, the emcees and the fans.
If you witnessed the mania firsthand, you’ll relive the excitement in the pages of these books. If you were born too late to be a part of those halcyon days, you’ll learn what it was like to be swept up and carried away by the phenomena of the greatest musical act of all time.