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Haunted America FAQ

Haunted America FAQ

All That’s Left to Know About the Most Haunted Houses, Cemeteries, Battlefields, and More

by Dave Thompson

Website

Asked if she was believed in ghosts, Marie Anne de Vichy-Chamrond, Marquise du Deffand (1697-1780) replied, “No, but I am afraid of them.”

Whether you share the Marquise’s position or not, there is no doubt that the idea visitors from the afterlife has gripped humankind since time began. Ancient cultures East and West took spirits for granted, and reported sightings continue to this day—many of them close to home in every corner of the United States.

 In Haunted America FAQ (October 2015, Backbeat Books, $19.99), Dave Thompson has created a fast-paced survey of the ghosts, ghouls, and associated denizens of the country’s haunted history. Tracing local ghost stories back to Native American legends and then forward through horror tales both ancient and modern, the book revisits some of the best-known haunted locales, as well as some of the most obscure creepy places, in America.

Delving deep into the cultural history of American hauntings, Haunted America FAQ features chapters on ghosts in cemeteries, amusement parks, government buildings, hospitals, and more, as well as ghostly books, movies, and television. Also included are a roundup of reality-TV ghost hunts and a state-by-state gazetteer of haunted spots.

 Haunted America FAQ will amaze believers and skeptics alike with the history and range of spectral sightings it uncovers from around the country and, maybe, just around the corner.

$19.99
6.0″ x 9.0″
408 pages
9781480392625
BackBeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dave Thompson is the author of more that 100 books on television, music, and pop culture, with previous titles in the Backbeat Books and Applause Books FAQ Series on Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Who, South Park, and soccer. His writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, Spin, Goldmine, MOJO, Melody Maker and other outlets. He lives in Newark, Del.
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Sinister Urge

Sinister Urge
The Life and Times of Rob Zombie

By Joel McIver

Website


The definitive biography of Renaissance man Rob Zombie – the King of Macabre


“Nobody knows anything about me, which is kind of good. I keep it that way. Everybody thinks that they know everything, but they don’t know anything, and that’s the way to be.”

That’s what Rob Zombie told an interviewer from Aquarian Weekly in 2012. As an attempt to remedy this, Sinister Urge by Joel McIver (November 2015, Backbeat Books, $29.99) is the first in-depth, career-spanning biography of the heavy-metal musician and filmmaker.

Born Robert Cummings in Massachusetts in 1965, Zombie is now as well known for his movies as he is for his music, which he has released and performed both as a solo artist and as part of his early band White Zombie. In both fields, he imbues his art with the vivid sense of macabre theater that has thrilled his millions of disciples since he and his band first emerged with Soul-Crusher in 1987.

Although he has sold millions of albums and generated many more millions of dollars at the box office, Zombie has never taken the easy option or the predictable route. Indeed, while the music industry—and many of his peers—have fallen to their knees in the last decade or so, Zombie has found a new edge, his work undiluted by success or middle age.

Drawing on original research and new interviews with bandmates and associates, Sinister Urge takes a detailed look at Zombie’s challenging oeuvre, offering close analysis of his albums and films alongside tales of his life and work on and offstage.

As McIver writes in his foreword, “Whether you appreciate Rob for his music, his films, or—as I have strived to summarize—his overall aesthetic vision, you’ll enjoy this curious tale….Rob is a modern everyman: a Goethe for the modern world. The fact that he chooses to express his talents through the medium of horror makes his story even more compelling.”

$29.99
6.0″ x 9.0″
288 pages
9781617136160
BackBeat
Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Joel McIver is the author of 26 books on music. In addition to writing biographies of leading figures in rock and metal music, he co-writes musicians’ memoirs, including those for members of Megadeth, Deep Purple, Soulfly, and the Sex Pistols. He contributes regularly to magazines and newspapers, such as Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, the Guardian, and the Daily Telegraph. He lives in London.
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Michael Jackson FAQ

Michael Jackson FAQ
All That’s Left to Know About the King of Pop

 by Kit O’Toole

Website

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.

$19.99
6.0″ x 9.0″
464 pages
9781480371064
BackBeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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.

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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

Website


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.

$19.99
6″ x 9″
424 pages
9781480391444
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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.

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The Beat Generation FAQ

The Beat Generation FAQ

All That’s Left to Know About the Angelheaded Hipsters

 by Rich Weidman

Website

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.

$24.99
6″ x 9″
400 pages
9781617136016
BackBeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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.

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The SG Guitar Book

The SG Guitar Book
50 Years of Gibson’s Stylish Solid Guitar

 by Tony Bacon

Website

Backbeat Books’ acclaimed author Tony Bacon has written a new book that will appeal to all vintage guitar aficionados: The SG Guitar Book hits the shelves this month. In the tradition of Tony Bacon’s bestselling series of guitar books, The SG Guitar Book is three great volumes in one package: a collection of drool-worthy pictures of the coolest guitars; a gripping story from the earliest prototypes to the latest exploits; and a detailed collector’s database of every production SG model ever made.

To many guitar fans, it seems inconceivable that in 1960 Gibson dumped the sunburst Les Paul and, during the following year, introduced a completely new design. We know that design now as the SG – a name that stands, quite simply, for Solid Guitar. At the time, sales of the Les Paul were faltering, and Gibson decided to blow a breath of fresh air through its solidbody electric guitar line.

The company described the result as an “ultra-thin, hand-contoured, double-cutaway body.” The modernistic mix of bevels and points and angles was a radical departure, and this new book tells the story of all the SG models that followed and the success of this sometimes overlooked and underrated guitar.

All the stories are here of the classic Standards, Specials, Juniors, double-necks, Customs, and TVs, and also the lesser-known SGs, such as the Tributes, the Deluxe, the Supreme, and the Diablo, as well as related guitars like the Melody Maker and signature models for guitarists from Robby Krieger to Jimmy Page.

The book features also interviews with and stories about Gibson personnel through the years, and all the major SG players, including Pete Townshend, Frank Zappa, Eric Clapton, Angus Young, George Harrison, Gary Rossington, Tony Iommi, and Derek Trucks.

The SG Guitar Book is another title that guitar players will not want to miss in their collection.

 

$29.99
8.5″ x 11.0″
135 pages
9781480399259
BackBeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tony Bacon writes about musical instruments, musicians, and music. He is a co-founder of Backbeat UK and Jawbone Press. Tony’s books include The Ibanez Electric Guitar Book, The Ultimate Guitar Book, and History Of The American Guitar. He lives in Bristol, England.Gretsch, Sg cover

Dracula FAQ

Dracula FAQ

All That’s Left to Know About the Count from Transylvania

by Bruce Scivally

Website

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!

$19.99
6.0″ x 9.0″
284 pages
9781617136009
BackBeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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.

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You Don’t Own Me

You Don’t Own Me

The Life and Times of Lesley Gore

By Trevor Tolliver


Assembled over five years of research and interviews, this is the first and long-overdue biography of Lesley Gore.


Website

The year was 1963. Tail fins were in, sock hops were hot, and a fairytale white knight was president.

That summer, 16-year-old singer Lesley Gore released her debut single, “It’s My Party,” propelling her to Number One on the charts. For the next several years, the crowned Princess of Pop dominated the radio with a string of hits including “Judy’s Turn to Cry,” “She’s A Fool,” “Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows,” and the rousing anthem for independence, “You Don’t Own Me,” making her the most successful and influential solo female artist of the 1960s. But beneath the bubblegum façade was a girl squirming against social and professional pressures to simply be herself and to forge a future where she could write and perform music beyond the trappings of teenage angst and love triangles.

Assembled over five years of research and interviews, You Don’t Own Me: The Life and Times of Lesley Gore by Trevor Tolliver (September 2015, Backbeat Books, $27.99) is the first and long-overdue biography of Lesley Gore, one of pop music’s pioneering Mothers. Tolliver chronicles Gore’s meteoric rise to fame, her devastating fall from popularity and struggle for relevance in the 1970s, and her reemergence as a powerful songwriter, political activist, and camp icon.

You Don’t Own Me includes behind-the-scenes stories about the making of her hit records, debunks or clarifies popular myths about her career, and places her remarkable life and times within a historical context to reveal how her music was both impacted by, and contributed to, each decade of her astounding fifty-year career.

$27.99
6.0″ x 9.0″
240 pages
9781495024412
Backbeat
Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Trevor Tolliver was raised in Duarte, Calif., and received his formal degrees from Cal Poly Pomona, and his musical education from his mom and dad and their stacks of oldies records. He is an adjunct English professor at Mount San Antonio College, where he teaches literature and developmental writing. He lives with his husband, four sons, and two jolly guinea pigs in Rancho, Cucamonga, Calif.

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The Best Plays of 2014

The Best Plays of 2014

Edited by Lawrence Harbison

Website

Comical, offbeat, poignant, and fresh, The Best Plays of 2014 (September 2015, Applause Books, $19.99) presents six of the most original plays of the year in a single volume – selected by renowned editor Lawrence Harbison.

  • The Country House, a comedy about a deeply dramatic family, by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies.
  • Dinner with the Boys, an offbeat, dark comedy by Dan Lauria about some old-time wise guys who want to have a good Italian meal and a few laughs – and tie up some loose ends before dessert.
  • Mala Hierba by Tanya Saracho, inspired by Latin American culture, which pits human yearnings against the power of culturally predetermined obligations.
  • Based on true events, Our Lady of Kibeho by Katori Hall was hailed as the “most important new play of the year!” by Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal.
  • When January Feels Like Summer by Cori Thomas presents five lives colliding as a feeling of change hums in the air during one strangely warm winter in Central Harlem.
  • Year of the Rooster (a New York Times Critics’ Pick) by Eric Dufault a fiercely comic play about cockfighting, connections, and clawing your way to the top.

 

$19.99
5.6″ x 8.5″
408 pages
9781480396654
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lawrence Harbison was is charge of new play acquisition for Samuel French, Inc., for more than 30 years, during which time his work on behalf of playwrights resulted in the publication of hundreds of plays by playwrights such as Jane Martin, Don Nigro, Tina Howe, Theresa Rebeck, Jerry Steiner, William Mastrosimone, Charles Fuller, and Ken Ludwig, among many others. He is the author of Best Contemporary Monologues for Men 18-35, Best Contemporary Monologues for Women 18-35, and 25 10-Minute Plays for Teens. His column, “On the Aisle with Larry,” is a regular feature at www.smithandkrauss.com. He is a member of the Outer Critics Circle as well as the Drama Desk and was a member of the Drama Desk Nominating Committee for the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons. He lives in Ann Arbor, Mich.

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The Future of the Music Business: How to Succeed with New Digital Technologies

The Future of the Music Business
How to Succeed with New Digital Technologies
Fourth Edition

 by Steve Gordon

Website

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

$29.99
7.25″ x 9.25″
404 pages
9781480360655
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.

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