Blog Archives

Coming This Fall — Beatles Gear: The Ultimate Edition!

It’s the ultimate book for Beatles fans, and it’s coming this fall from Backbeat Books!  Beatles Gear: The Ultimate Edition is a revised and greatly expanded version of Andy Babiuk’s best-selling guide to the instruments and equipment the Fab Four used on stage and in the studio. Can’t wait until fall? Check out a sneak peek of the book only on ISSUU


In 2001, Andy Babiuk wrote Beatles Gear, the first book to tell the full story of how the Beatles made their music, detailing exactly which guitars, drums, amplifiers, and keyboards the Beatles used at the key points of their relatively brief but entirely revolutionary career, from the formation of the Quarrymen skiffle group in the 1950s to the dissolution of the Beatles in 1970.

00333744The book was lauded by fans and critics alike: The Chicago Tribune said it “may be the ultimate specialized study of the Beatles’ equipment.” Library Journal proclaimed it “A fresh, highly readable perspective on the group’s well-documented history.” And, the San Jose Mercury-News called it “the ultimate Beatles fanatic book.”

Fifteen years later, Babiuk once again turns his keen eye to the Fab Four with Beatles Gear – The Ultimate Edition (November 2015, Backbeat Books, $60). Double size of the original and featuring 625 additional photographs, all-new edition provides fresh insights into Beatles history, exploding myths and uncovering dozens of new stories along the way. John, Paul, George and Ringo’s moves from cheap early instruments to the pick of 1960s technology are carefully and entertainingly documented in an easy-to-read narrative, fully illustrated with many previously unseen photographs, a cache of rare memorabilia, and a unique collection of specially photographed actual Beatle instruments.

Here’s a sneak preview of Beatles Gear: The Ultimate Edition.

“Shout It Out Loud” – The Album That Changed Everything!

Coming soon in Fall 2015 from Backbeat Books 

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 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 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.

The Beatle Years host, Bob Malik, speaks with Michael Seth Starr

Michael Seth Starr, author of Ringo: With A Little Help, visited Bob Malik’s show, The Beatle Years, to speak about his book and what made Ringo Starr so popular. From Ringo’s life as a young kid to his life with The Beatles, Michael Seth Starr covers a little bit of everything to give listeners a preview of what the book is like. Click below to hear what he had to say!

>>LISTEN HERE<<

Ringo: With a Little Help is the first in-depth biography of Beatles drummer Ringo00333865 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.

Susan Masino’s on The Marty and Fairlie Breakfast Show

Susan Masino, author of AC/DC FAQ, visited The Marty and Fairlie Breakfast Show on Australian radio station i98FM to discuss her latest book. Click the link below to hear all that she has to say about both the book and the band, then let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

>>LISTEN HERE<<

00120817AC/DC FAQ spans AC/DC’s 40-year career, starting from the band’s inception in 1973. This book covers everything form their early days in Australia to their first tour of England and the United States. It also includes personal experiences, stories, conversations, and interviews by author Susan Masino, who has known the band since 1977.

Featuring 37 chapters, AC/DC FAQ chronicles the personal history of each of the band members, all their albums, tours, and various anecdotes. Rebounding from the tragic loss of their singer Bon Scott in 1980, AC/DC hired Brian Johnson and went on to record Back in Black, which is now one of the top five biggest-selling albums in music history. Taking a seven-year break after their album Stiff Upper Lip, the band came back in the fall of 2008 with a new album, Black Ice, and a tour that ran from 2008 through the summer of 2010. Once again breaking records, AC/DC saw the Black Ice Tour become the second-highest grossing tour in history. True rockers from the very beginning, AC/DC will continue to be heralded as one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time.

Jim Crockett on the Flo Guitar Enthusiasts podcast.

Jim Crockett, editor of Guitar Player: The Inside Story of the First Two Decades of the Most Successful Guitar Magazine Ever, talks on the Flo Guitar Enthusiasts podcast about the book. Listen below!

>>LISTEN HERE<<

00131052Guitar Player: The Inside Story of the First Two Decades of the Most Successful Guitar Magazine Ever is a reflection on Guitar Player‘s often pioneering early days, from its 1967 founding through its 1989 sale by founder Bud Eastman and editor/publisher Jim Crockett. This book looks at the magazines evolution from a 40-page semi-monthly to a monthly exceeding 200 pages, with a gross yearly income that grew from $40,000 to nearly $15 million.

The story is told by many people important to Guitar Player‘s history, including Maxine Eastman, Bud Eastman’s widow, and Crockett, who edited this book with his daughter Dara. Also here are recollections of key personnel, including Tom Wheeler, Jas Obrecht, Roger Siminoff, Mike Varney, Jon Sievert, George Gruhn, and Robb Lawrence; leading early advertisers, such as Martin, Randall, and Fender; and prominent guitar players featured in the magazine, including Joe Perry, George Benson, Pat Travers, Country Joe McDonald, Pat Metheny, Steve Howe, Lee Ritenour, Johnny Winter, Steve Morse, Larry Coryell, Michael Lorimer, John McLaughlin, Stanley Clarke, Liona Boyd, Steve Vai, and many others.

Among the many illustrations are then-and-now shots of performers and staff, early ads, behind-the-scenes photos from company jam sessions (with such guests as B. B. King and Chick Corea), various fascinating events, and key issue covers. Rich in history and perspective, Guitar Player: The Inside Story of the First Two Decades of the Most Successful Guitar Magazine Ever is the definitive first-person chronicle of a music magazine’s golden age.

“Shout It Out Loud” – KISS’s Manifesto!

Coming soon in Fall 2015 from Backbeat Books 

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 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 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.

Happy Birthday, Ringo!

00333865Ringo Starr, the most famous drummer there ever was, turns 75 today! Backbeat Books is marking the day with the publication of Ringo: With a Little Help by Michael Seth Starr (no relation!).  Here’s a link to Michael’s recent visit to Good Morning America, and 15 fun facts you may not have known about Ringo!

https://gma.yahoo.com/fun-facts-ringo-starr-author-talks-biography-funny-112054023–abc-news-music.html#

 

Tony Sclafani Talks About the Grateful Dead’s Farewell Concerts on WGN Radio

As the band’s farewell concert neared, Tony Sclafani, author The Grateful Dead FAQ, spoke with Brian Noonan on WGN Radio about the cultural and musical impact of the Grateful Dead.

>>LISTEN HERE<<

00333698The Grateful Dead rose out of San Francisco’s ’60s underground rock scene with an unprecedented sound and image. Its members, steeped in rock, folk, classical, and blues; their instrumental prowess; and their refusal to bow to commercial conventions helped originate jam band music. Unapologetic in its advocacy of drug use as a means toward mind expansion, the Dead helped catapult psychedelic music. After performing at the Monterey International Pop Festival and Woodstock, the group became iconic without ever scoring a hit single. A large, devoted fan base – “Deadheads” – began to follow the band everywhere. The group suffered a tragedy when bandleader Jerry Garcia slipped into a coma in 1986, but returned the next year with a top-selling album and surprise hit single, “Touch of Grey.” By 1993, the Dead was the top-grossing live act in the United States. The band ended when Garcia died in 1995, but the music lives on with a stream of live releases.

In Grateful Dead FAQ, Tony Sclafani examines the band’s impact and influence on rock music and pop culture. This book ventures into unexplored areas and features a host of rare images, making it a must-have for both Deadheads and casual fans.

Max Mobley on WAAF!

Max Mobley, author of Rush FAQ, talks with Mike Hsu of WAAF about his book and Rush’s “R40 Live 40th Anniversary Tour”!

>>LISTEN HERE<<

00110231Rush FAQ documents the amazing story of the world’s greatest Canadian prog rock power trio, from its origins in a church basement in Willowdale, Ontario, to its induction ceremony at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Covering 40 albums, 10 DVDs, thousands of mesmerizing live shows, and millions of rock’s most loyal fans, the story of Rush is as epic and unique as its music. Rush has been maligned by the press for decades, and misunderstood by a legion of mainstream rock fans and rock glitterati. And yet only the Beatles and Rolling Stones have earned more gold and platinum records. Few artists, if any, have been as influential as Rush’s three virtuoso – bassist-keyboardist-vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer-lyricist Neil Peart.

Rush’s focus has always been about its muse and its music. As such, Rush FAQ studies the evolution of the band’s sound, from the early days of Zeppelin-esque blues-rock to complex, synth-laden opuses to the return of concept-album bombast with the critically acclaimed Clockwork Angels.

With wit, humor, and authority, music industry veteran and unabashed Rush geek Max Mobley examines the music, gear, personalities, and trials and tribulations of one of rock and roll’s truly legendary acts. It is a story Rush fans will treasure and rock and roll fans will admire.

“Shout It Out Loud” Trailer

Coming soon in Fall 2015 from Backbeat Books 

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 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 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.

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