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James Campion on the Rock School radio show!

Author of Shout It Out Loud: The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon, James Campion, spoke with Professor Joseph Burns of the radio show ‘Rock School’. They talked about the book and the influence that KISS had over time. Click play below to learn more about what they had to say!



00141630For more than 40 years, the rock band KISS has galvanized the entertainment world with an unparalleled blitz of bravado, theatricality, and shameless merchandizing, 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: The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon by James Campion (October 2015, Backbeat Books, $24.99) 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 the band’s management and label; the pursuit of the hot, young producer, Bob Ezrin; 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. Campion’s new interviews with major behind-the-scenes 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.

Shelly Peiken’s lyrical works

Shelly Peiken has a book coming out in March about the songs that she has helped write and also written herself. Confessions of a Serial Songwriter may even feature some of your favorite songs! Check out the video below to see some of the many songs that she has written/co-written.

COASS-Final_CVR_152159Shelly Peiken, well known for writing culturally resonant, female-empowerment anthems such as Christina Aguilera’s No. 1 hit “What a Girl Wants” and Meredith Brooks’s smash hit, “Bitch,” looks back on her career and inside the business of songwriting in her memoir, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter (March 2016, Backbeat Books, $19.99).

A humorous and poignant pop culture memoir about Peiken’s journey, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter takes readers into the rarefied world of the music business. From a young girl falling under the spell of magical songs to a working professional writing hits of her own, Peiken describes how she built a career, from fledgling songwriter, pounding the streets of New York City to Grammy nominations, international hits, and the first Number One song of the millennium.

David Wild, contributing editor for Rolling Stone, calls Confessions of a Serial Songwriter “a great book [that offers] an insightful, honest, often funny, emotional look inside the good, the bad, the ugly, and ultimately the transcendent aspects of trying to lead a creative life inside a competitive career.”

In addition to the fascinating biographical trajectory, Peiken presents invaluable information for the aspiring songwriter, including tips about the creative process and how to adapt to the constantly changing currents. “Now more than ever, people who want to enter this topsy-turvy world of professional songwriting need to know how to handle the inevitable ups and downs that accompany what, for me, has a been an incredibly gratifying journey,” said Peiken.

In Confessions of a Serial Songwriter, Peiken writes about personal growth, how to recognize your muse and navigate the creative process as well as the struggles that arise between motherhood and career success. While she’s not afraid to delve into the divas, celebrity egos and schemers, it is the talented and remarkable people she’s found along the way that predominate the text. And, finally, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter raises the obvious though universal challenge of getting older and staying relevant in a rapidly changing and youth-driven world.

Buck ‘Em! with Randy Poe

Buck ‘Em! The Autobiography of Buck Owens is now available in paperback! And, if that weren’t enough, a second two-CD set of Buck’s music has just been released by Omnivore Recordings!  Learn more about both in this video…

00151800Born in Texas and raised in Arizona, Buck Owens eventually found his way to Bakersfield, California. Unlike the vast majority of country singers, songwriters, and musicians who made their fortunes working and living in Nashville, the often rebellious and always independent Owens chose to create his own brand of country music some 2,000 miles away from Music City – racking up a remarkable 21 number-one hits along the way. In the process he helped give birth to a new country sound and did more than any other individual to establish Bakersfield as a country music center.

In the latter half of the 1990s, Buck began working on his autobiography. Over the next few years, he talked into the microphone of a cassette tape machine for nearly one hundred hours, recording the story of his life. With his near-photographic memory, Buck recalled everything from his early days wearing hand-me-down clothes in Texas to his glory years as the biggest country star of the 1960s; from his legendary Carnegie Hall concert to his multiple failed marriages; from his hilarious exploits on the road to the tragic loss of his musical partner and best friend, Don Rich; from his days as the host of a local TV show in Tacoma, Washington, to his co-hosting the network television show Hee Haw; and from his comeback hit, “Streets of Bakersfield,” to his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

In these pages, Buck also shows his astute business acumen, having been among the first country artists to create his own music publishing company. He also tells of negotiating the return of all of his Capitol master recordings, his acquisition of numerous radio stations, and of his conceiving and building the Crystal Palace, one of the most venerated musical venues in the country.

Andy Babiuk speaks with Music Radar about “Beatles Gear”

Andy Babiuk, author of Beatles Gear – The Ultimate Edition, spoke with Music Radar about his book and how he came about certain instruments.


00333744The original Beatles Gear book was published back in 2001 and, over the past decade-and-a-half, it’s become the go-to bible for anyone with an interest in the extensive equipment the Fab Four dabbled with during their incredible albeit brief career.

The new expanded Ultimate Edition, which has recently hit the shops, provides fascinating new interviews, 650 new and previously unpublished photos and a slew of surprising recent gear-related discoveries that author Andy Babiuk has helped uncover.

One astounding addition to Beatles Gear is the inclusion of John Lennon’s original 1962 Gibson J-160E acoustic, which had been lost for over 50 years. This was the guitar that Lennon wrote many of The Beatles’ early hits on before it was stolen in December 1963 at the Astoria Cinema in Finsbury Park, London.

“This one happened last summer when a guy contacted me on the phone,” explains Andy, “I get a lot of people calling and emailing with stuff but 99% of the time, it’s nothing or just nonsense.

“Anyway, this guy said, ‘My friend’s got John Lennon’s J-160E’. So I was like, ‘Hey, right, okay… well, send me the picture’ and sure enough, he sends the picture and I’m like, ‘Wow, I’ve got to talk to this guy!’

“The grain looked similar. It belonged to some guy in San Diego who bought it for 175 bucks after he got out of Vietnam in ’69 or something. It was just his personal guitar ever since. When I examined it personally, the grain was an exact match: it was John Lennon’s J-160E.

“No-one knows how it made it out of England and made it to Southern California but that’s just one of the wacky stories that are in this book.” [NB. Since we chatted to Andy, the guitar sold for a staggering $2.4 million at auction.]


Read the entire article over Music Radar!

Kit O’Toole on Moose FM

Kit O’Toole, author of Michael Jackson FAQ, spoke with Shane Button of 93.1 Moose FM. They spoke about her book and what inspired her to write it, as well as her favorite Michael Jackson song. Click play to hear more of what they had to say!

>>LISTEN<<

00125022Michael 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 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.

Elliott Landy interviewed by Night Flight

Elliott Landy, author of The Band Photographs: 1968-1969, was interviewed by Night Flight! Elliot talks about the Kickstarter campaign that launched the project, and how he was able to create such an intimate portrait of The Band.


 

00146104The Band’s organic debut Music from Big Pink came out in 1968 during a year that included the psychedelic Magical Mystery Tour by the Beatles and heavy acid blues of Cream’s Wheels of Fire. Here was a group that was consciously avoiding the LSD-tinged sound and visuals that nearly every other major rock band of the day was cashing in on.

The Band not only looked they were from the 1800’s, they even wrote songs about it (their second album included “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”). In an era when the Yippies were suggesting that teens and twenties should (metaphorically) “Kill Their Parents” — and everyone between the ages of 15 and 25 were battling the ‘Generation Gap’ — the inside of the Big Pink album proudly displayed a photo of The Band with all of their next of kin, primarily their mothers and fathers!

Elliott Landy’s new book of vintage photographs of The Band doesn’t look like images of a classic rock band. The (mostly) black and white images appear to be five guys from a previous century (think of Mathew Brady’s iconic photos of Abe Lincoln) who’ve been given instruments and equipment from the future. The hardcover book is 12×12, album cover size, allowing for the intimate photos to be as large as possible (and the printing quality is top notch).

There’s a 160 pages worth of photos — only about 30 of which which are previously published, behind-the-scenes shots inside the studio, backstage at gigs, at home in the kitchen, plus expected guests: manager Albert Grossman, promoter Bill Graham, and, of course, Bob Dylan. There’s out-takes and alternate album cover photos, even The Band having lunch at a local Saugerties diner.

The book was initially financed by a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised the money needed to print and review about 8000 photographs from the original negatives.

As Landy pointed out to me when we spoke on the phone this week– and he was remarkably down to earth for a man who has walked among giants — The Band in 2015 just aren’t commercially viable for a publisher to invest all that start up money.

That said, once the heavy lifting was done, Backbeat Books stepped up the plate for the copies being offered at retail and online stores like Amazon, while deluxe editions are available at Landy’s website. The casual fan can get a copy of The Band Photographs 1968-1969 at any good bookstore for the list price of $45 (which is a deal), but for those who want something a bit more fancy there are other options:

LANDY: “The copies that I offer on my website are signed and they also have something that is called a tri-fold sheet in it, which is the index, the thumbnails and the captions of all the images are on the fold-out sheet, so that when you’re sitting and you’re looking at these pictures, because there are no captions in the book, I put all the captions in the back of the book, but if you wanna sit down in an armchair, you can fold out this tri-fold sheet and read about each picture, rather than having to go back and forth, to the index in the back of the book, which is actually a very important part of the experience to do that.”

Then we made 325 deluxe copy editions, again the same essential book, but in that is an original print of The Band with the dog named Hammond, who was Bob Dylan’s dog, and it’s the same setup as the Music from Big Pink photographs but the dog got in the picture. I made an 8×10 fine art pigmenting print that will last two hundred years without fading, and I signed each one, it’s printed in my studio. I signed and numbered each one so that’s included, along with really nice slipcase and also the tri-fold sheet. That’s now $500. We have a hundred of those left, by the way. I made 325 and I’m down to probably less than a hundred now.”

Click here to read the full interview!

 

James Campion on 93 Rock FM!

James Campion, author of Shout It Out Loud: The Story of Kiss’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon, was featured on WIMK Radio! Watch the video below to hear what he had to say!

00141630Shout 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.

James Campion on All Access with Rick Stuart!

James Campion, author of Shout it Out Loud, was on All Access with Rick Stuart! They talked about the book and answered questions sent in from the listeners, in this unique and informative podcast. Click on the link below to listen, and let us know what you think!

All Access with Rick Stuart

00141630Shout It Out Loud: The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon by James Campion 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 the band’s management and label; the pursuit of the hot, young producer, Bob Ezrin; 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. Campion’s new interviews with major behind-the-scenes principals in the making of an outrageously imaginative rock classic animate this engaging tale.

Andy Babiuk on Tell Me Everything with John Fugelsang!

Author of Beatles Gear, Andy Babiuk, was on Tell Me Everything with John Fugelsang! They spoke about Andy’s extensive Beatle’s knowledge and about his book, Beatles Gear – The Ultimate Edition. Click on the link below to listen to the full podcast, and let us know what you think!

>>LISTEN<<

00333744With Beatles Gear: The Ultimate Edition – All The Fab Four’s Instruments From Stage to Studio, Andy Babiuk has written one of the most influential Beatles books yet.

Babiuk was not only given exclusive access to band members and their most inner circles, but was also granted access to the Beatles musical equipment, (as he was for his research for his book, Rolling Stones Gear, 2014). As a result, Babiuk discovered and writes about some of the most intricate details about the Beatles’ lives, their history, music and tools of the trade.

The 500-plus page Beatles Gear: The Ultimate Edition includes many previously unseen photographs, a cache of rare memorabilia, and a unique collection of specially photographed authentic Beatles instruments. Shown in luscious quality throughout the book are 43 of the group’s original instruments, many still owned by ex-members of the Beatles or their heirs, from George’s psychedelic Strat to John’s “Bed In” Gibson, and Ringo’s roof top Ludwig kit to Paul’s Hofner violin bass.

Martin Popoff interviewed on Alternative Nation!

Martin Popoff, author of Kickstart My Heart: A Motley Crue Day-by-Day, spoke with Alternative Nation about his recent books and also about his love for punk and alt-rock. Read below to see what they had to say!


00138052In the Crüe book, ‘Kickstart My Heart,’ there is a quote from Nikki Sixx in which he recalls being able to tell that Nirvana was going to alter the landscape of rock n’ roll around the release of ‘Nevermind,’ which I found interesting.

Yeah, you always wonder how much truth there is to something like that, when you’re looking back. I can’t remember the exact quote and I’m too lazy to look it up, but there’s a significant difference about saying something like that around ‘Bleach’ or around ‘Nevermind.’ I mean, I couldn’t care less if they were going to alter the landscape or not, but I knew instantly the moment I heard ‘Bleach,’ that this was a cool, incendiary form of punky, heavy metal, and there were things that Kurt was doing on the guitar there that by some definitions were heavier than anything we’d heard out of any hair metal band. Plus the vocals, the lyrics, I don’t ascribe too much of pontificating about emotion or anger or intensity or energy on these things, but let’s just say the overall vibe was of anarchy, of a need to retool metal. Grunge was already a good three years old by the time ‘Nevermind’ was going to pop up on big huge bad Geffen, home of the bad wind that was Guns N’ Roses.

Although you seem to write primarily about heavy metal, do you enjoy
alt-rock and punk, as well?

Definitely, although alt rock can mean a million different things. And so
can punk, I suppose, and the only punk that I really care about and am an
expert on is the original punk of 1976 to 1979. I know and love all of that
up and down, and I can see having a few punk books in me. And I do indeed have a Ramones coffee table book coming out in the next few months. I’m gearing up to write ‘Who Invented Punk?,’ having done a whole bunch of research on that, and it’s a story I find fascinating. That will be the companion book to my insane ‘Who Invented Heavy Metal?’ book out last June, and I may even do ‘Who Invented Thrash?.’ Alternative rock, however? I just get carsick thinking about that term. I’m more interested in the meanings and the bands that fill up the spaces known as new wave and post punk.

After reading ‘The Big Book of Hair Metal,’ I felt like it was a good
companion piece to my book, ‘Grunge is Dead,’ as it sets the stage for what happened in the ’90s in rock music and was interesting to read what was going on concurrently in LA and Seattle throughout the ’80s and early ’90s. I seem to think that for the most part, there is “good glam rock” (the early to mid ’70s variety) and “bad glam rock” (the mid to late ’80s variety). Do you agree? Disagree?

No, couple things here. First off, the first glam rock, as it existed in the
UK from about 1971 to 1974, really has very little to do with the LA glam
rock of the late ’80s. They basically just had the same name. And even
there, few people call hair metal “glam rock.” That music from the UK was all over the board, and seldom heavy, except a little bit, Mott the Hoople,
Slade, and quite a bit, Sweet. The only thing they had in common was going for an androgynous look, along with makeup. To me, the more interesting comparison of good and bad is the quality of the originals from LA, wild card Van Halen, but then not wild card, Ratt and Dokken, and then the insipid nature of all the copycats through most of the rotten core of the middle ’80s (especially Bon Jovi), and then, what somebody could do a whole book on, the super high quality of the hair metal bands as they learned and matured and even got influenced by their own distaste for the ’80s, but also learning from grunge or other alternative forms of metal, stuff happening in California like Jane’s Addiction and Faith No More, and made what I think are pretty well, the best bank of hair metal albums, which arrived in 1992 1993, with 1992 being a particularly good year. Basically every crappy hair metal band from the ’80s made some of their best music in the early 90s, and then new bands like Love/Hate, Collision, Saigon Kick, I Love You, Liquid Jesus, even people like King’s X, Skid Row. I think this is one of the great unwritten stories of hair metal, how, once the pendulum swung to Seattle, a bunch of bands in LA were making really good music.


Finish reading the rest of the interview over at AltenativeNation.net

 

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