Category Archives: Uncategorized
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!
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
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.
The Future of the Music Business
How to Succeed with New Digital Technologies
by Steve Gordon
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
7.25″ x 9.25″
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.
Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die
James Dean’s Final Hours
by Keith Elliot Greenberd
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.
6.0″ x 9.0″
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.
The Best Scenes for Mature Actors
edited by Stephen Fife
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.
5.25″ x 7.75″
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.
The Smiths FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Most Important British Band of the 1980s
by John D. Luerssen
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.
6.0″ x 9.0″
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.
Today, Ian Anderson turns 68 years old! To celebrate the life and career of the man who brought the flute to rock and roll, here is an excerpt from Prog Rock FAQ: All Thats Left to Know About Rock’s Most Progressive Music, published last fall by Backbeat Books, in which author Will Romano writes about Anderson, Jethro Tull, and their album, Aqualung.
We know that the Tull head honcho himself has said that Aqualung is not a concept record; in fact, Ian Anderson has long maintained that it was the public’s interpretation, or misinterpretation, of the origins of this record that inspired him to write the concept album spoof Thick as a Brick. So, why the debate and discussion about whether Aqualung is a concept record? For one thing, there are still lingering doubts as to whether we should be taking Anderson’s word for it, or making up our minds. Anderson has said that the making of Aqualung was the first time he undertook a conscious effort to write material with serious subject matters, a fact that seemingly has offered conspiracy theorists plenty of fodder for the rumor mill.
The character of Aqualung was based on a photograph of a homeless man, taken by Anderson’s first wife, Jenny, who had been studying photography at the time, and her description of the man. These observations were incorporated into the opening song, “Aqualung.” “The mixture of guilt and compassion, embarrassment and sadness, all of these things are slightly more feminine emotions,” Anderson told me. They found their way into this record, anyway; one that’s dirty, heavy, complicated, mean, and, at times, bordering on sexually perverse (i.e., “Cross Eyed Mary,” “Mother Goose,” the latter being a combination of absurd humor and double entendre).
To read more about Jethro Tull and other progressive rock bands, you can buy the book here.
Percussionist and electronic performing artist Josh Bess is the author of Electronic Dance Music Grooves: Techno, Trance, Hip-Hop, Dubstep, and More! , just published by Hal Leonard Books. In the video, Bess takes us behind the scenes as he creates drum grooves!
Electronic Dance Music Grooves provides creative insights to help you understand how to build exciting, powerful, and compelling EDM grooves. Whether you’re into techno, trance, dub-step, drum ‘n’ bass, garage, trap, or hip-hop, author, Ableton Live Certified Trainer, and noted EDM performer Josh Bess helps you take your skills to the next level with an extremely efficient and intelligent groove-making system. And, as an added bonus–providing a valuable basis for your own creations–this book describes the history behind the development of multiple electronic music styles.
A MIDI map, designed to make it simple to use the included grooves and samples with virtually any modern DAW, accompanies each styles. Whether your preferred DAW is Ableton Live, Reason, Pro Tools, Logic, or almost any of the other popular music production and performance software applications, you’ll quickly be equipped to incorporate these grooves and samples into your own creative workflow.
Electronic Dance Music Grooves includes over 300 professional-quality drum and FX samples, more than 300 drum grooves and MIDI files, 17 Ableton Live Drum Racks, and much more, all provided to support your creativity and electronic dance music production. Samples and sessions are delivered online to ensure access to all content, whether you’re using a desktop, laptop, or mobile device.
As Ringo Starr’s Birthday came around Michael Seth Starr, author of Ringo: With A Little Help, visited the Marilu Henner Podcast Show on the eve of Ringo Starr’s 75th birthday. This entertaining podcast is available below. Click play to hear what he and Marilu has to discuss.
Ringo: With a Little Help is the first in-depth biography of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, who kept the beat for an entire generation and who remains a rock icon over fifty years since the Beatles took the world by storm. With a Little Help traces the entire arc of Ringo’s remarkable life and career, from his sickly childhood to his life as The World’s Most Famous drummer to his triumphs, addictions, and emotional battles following the breakup of the Beatles as he comes to terms with his legacy.
Born in 1940 as Richard Starkey in the Dingle, one of Liverpool’s most gritty, rough-and-tumble neighborhoods, he rose from a hardscrabble childhood – marked by serious illnesses, long hospital stays, and little schooling – to emerge, against all odds, as a locally renowned drummer. Taking the stage name Ringo Starr, his big break with the Beatles rocketed him to the pinnacle of worldwide acclaim in a remarkably short time. He was the last member of the Beatles to join the group but also the most vulnerable, and his post-Beatles career was marked by chart-topping successes, a jet-setting life of excess and alcohol abuse, and, ultimately, his rebirth as one of rock’s revered elder statesman.
Ringo: With a Little Help
by Michael Seth Starr
The first book to cover the entire arc of Ringo Starr’s life and career, from his birth in Liverpool to the present day.
Ringo: With a Little Help (July 2015, Backbeat Books, $32.99) by Michael Seth Starr is the first in-depth biography of Ringo Starr, the drummer who kept the beat for an entire generation and who remains a rock icon more fifty years after the Beatles took the world by storm.
Born in 1940 as Richard Starkey in the Dingle, one of Liverpool’s most gritty, rough-and-tumble neighborhoods, he rose from a hardscrabble childhood – marked by serious illnesses, long hospital stays, and little schooling – to emerge, against all odds, as a locally renowned drummer. Taking the stage name Ringo Starr, his big break with the Beatles rocketed him to the pinnacle of worldwide acclaim in a remarkably short time.
Several years into Beatlemania, Ringo is quoted as saying, “I’m here because it happened, but I didn’t do anything to make it happen apart from saying ‘Yes.’”
He was the last member of the Beatles to join the group and also the most vulnerable, and his post-Beatles career was marked by chart-topping successes, a jet-setting life of excess and alcohol abuse, and, ultimately, his rebirth as a clean-living children’s television star and one of rock’s most revered elder statesman.
Longtime E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg, who along with fellow drumming icons Phil Collins, John Densmore, and Kenny Aranoff, is featured in the book’s epilogue, wrote, “More than any other drummer, Ringo Starr changed my life. Ringo’s beat was heard around the world, and he drew the spotlight toward rock & roll drumming.”
Ringo: With a Little Help traces the entire arc of Ringo’s remarkable life and career and, in time for his 75th birthday, paints the most vivid picture yet of the most famous drummer the world has ever known.
6.0″ x 9.0″
Backbeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Seth Starr is the TV editor for the New York Post, where he has written about television for the past 20 years. He is a native of northern New Jersey, and has authored biographies of Peter Sellers, Art Carney, Joey Bishop, Bobby Darin, Raymond Burr, and Redd Foxx. Unlike Ringo, he was born with the last name Starr; they are not related. He lives in northern New Jersey.
Reviews for Ringo: With a Little Help
“This in-depth bio of the overshadowed Beatle reminds us how crucial he was to their success.” – People
“Until Ringo pens his memoirs (if he ever does), this biography will serve as the most complete and up-to-date telling of his life story. For fans of all things Beatles and rock star biographies.” – Samantha Gust, Niagara Univ. Lib., NY, Library Journal
“Ringo: With a Little Help is clearly the definitive biography of one of the most famous musicians – or, heck, people – of the last century (though author Starr could not get subject Starr to participate). And, while he did get help along the way, Richard Starkey richly deserves this solid literary treatment.” – Houston Chronicle
The Richard Wesley
by Richard Wesley
The Richard Wesley Play Anthology (August 2015, Applause Books, $19.99) includes five full-length plays that collectively outline a cultural history of black America in the post-Civil Rights era, from the late 20th century through the first decades of the 21st.
Black Terror looks at the radical politics of the Black Power era; The Sirens, the destabilization of black familial and social life in the early 1970s; The Mighty Gents, the destructiveness of “black macho” in the late 1970s; The Talented Tenth, the midlife crisis and the end of idealism in the black middle class in the early 1980s; and Autumn, the new generational paradigm in black urban politics in the early 21st century.
Each of the plays included in The Richard Wesley Play Anthology was born out of the idea of the public thinker, and what Arthur Miller would refer to as the importance of an individual conscience – as well as the belief that each generation must give back, must inform and inspire the generation that follows. It also features an introduction by the playwright that addresses the emergence, growth and evolution of black consciousness and the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and early 1970s, and serves as a chronicle of Wesley’s artistic evolution as a writer who was both a witness and a foot soldier during those turbulent times.
As Wesley writes in his introduction, “The Stage should be seen as a laboratory where the belief systems, the mores, the myths, the histories and strivings of a people may be presented in full dimension, so that audiences might judge for themselves what is right, what is wrong, what needs to be changed, and what needs to be left alone.
5.0″ x 8.25″
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Richard Wesley was born in Newark, N.J. he has been produced as a playwright, screenwriter, and writer for television. He is a past winner of an Audelco Award, a Drama Desk Award, an NAACP Image Award, and a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. He is currently associate professor in the Department of Dramatic Writing, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. He lives in Montclair, N.J.