Blog Archives

Susan Masino Talks AC/DC on The Slacker Morning Show

AC/DC FAQ author Susan Masino shared her account of her three decade friendship with the band on The Slacker Morning Show (101 The Fox, Kansas City) listeners. With AC/DC playing in the background, this fast paced interview took listeners along with Susan on a stroll down memory lane. Take a listen below.


00120817fcAC/DC FAQ captures that danger and that insanity. Rock journalist and author Susan Masino spans AC/DC’s 40-year career, starting from the band’s inception in 1973 and covering everything from their earliest days in Australia to their first tour of England and the United States. It also includes personal experiences, stories, conversations, and interviews by Masino, who has known the band since 1977.

Susan Masino was one of the first American journalist to interview AC/DC during their first U.S. Tour. She met them before their stardom when they were playing in clubs. She watched their evolution and transformation in rock music as they moved up the ranks eventually opening for KISS and Aerosmith.

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.

“It was a horrible tragedy for the band. It’s just an amazing rock and roll miracle that they found Bryan Johnson, continued the recording of Back in Black, and as they say the rest is history.

-Susan Masino

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.


Susan Masino has been a rock journalist for more than 30 years and has written six books, including Family Tradition: Three Generations of Hank Williams, published by Backbeat Books, and The Story of AC/DC: Let There Be Rock, which has now been published in 11 languages. She also appears in the Van Halen DVD The Early Years and the movie AC/DC: Let There Be Rock.

Dave Thompson on Lincoln Live!

Dave Thompson, author of The Rocky Horror Picture Show FAQ,spoke with Dale Johnson of Lincoln Live. They spoke about the writer of the play Richard O’Brien, what drew Dave Thompson to writing the book, and more! Listen to what they had to say in the podcast below!


00139671When assessing the cultural impact of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, author Dave Thompson does not pull his punches: “Forty-plus years on from its debut in a tiny London theater; four decades, too, from its transition to the silver screen, Rocky Horror stands among the 1970s’ most lasting, and successful, contributions to modern culture.”

Thompson’s latest contribution to the Applause Books FAQ series, The Rocky Horror Picture Show FAQ (April 2016, Applause Books, $19.99) is the in-depth story of not only the legendary stage show and movie, but of a unique period in theatrical history, in both the movie’s UK homeland and overseas.

Inside these pages, we see Rocky Horror as sexual cabaret and political subversion, as modern mega-hit and Broadway disaster. At the movie house, we learn when to shout, what to throw, and why people even do those things. Here is the full story of the play’s original creation; its forebears and its influences are laid out in loving detail, together with both the triumphs and tragedies that attended it across the next 40 years.

Packed with anecdotes, The Rocky Horror Picture Show FAQ is the story of dozens of worldwide performances and the myriad stars who have been featured in them. From Tim Curry to Anthony Head, from Reg Livermore to Gary Glitter, from Daniel Abineri to Tom Hewitt, the lives and careers of the greatest ever Frank N. Furters stalk the pages, joined by the Riff-Raffs, Magentas, Columbias, and all the rest.

The book also includes the largest and most in-depth Rocky Horror discography ever published, plus a unique timeline – The Ultimate Rocky Horror Chronology – detailing the who, what, where, and when of absolute pleasure.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show FAQ will have you doing the Time Warp again!

Tom DeMichael speaks with Ed Randall on WFAN!

Tom DeMichael author of Baseball FAQ, helped host Ed Randall get ready for the upcoming baseball season when he was a  guest WFAN’s Talking Baseball. Click on the link below to hear the full interview!


00131156For 10 years, the Backbeat Books FAQ Series has been a one-stop source for information, history, and minutiae on the world of music and pop culture. The Beatles and Bruce Springsteen, The Doors and Johnny Cash, Dracula and the Beats any many more all have gone under the FAQ microscope. Now the FAQ Series has turned its focus to America’s Pastime.              

Was Abner Doubleday the architect of baseball? What exactly did it mean to be a “professional” baseball player in the 1870s? What goes on in the front office? How do you throw a slider? Readers will find the answers to these questions – and many others – in the pages Baseball FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About America’s Pastime (March 2016, Backbeat Books, $19.99) by Tom DeMichael.

Part history book, part instructional guide, and part reference manual, Baseball FAQ covers all the bases – from the rules of the game to the ballparks of yesterday and today, from the minor leagues to the majors, from the stats to the food. This engaging, compulsively readable tome offers baseball fans of all ages a wealth of fun facts and anecdotes on America’s favorite pastime, including sections on the All-American Girls Professional Ball League, the Negro Leagues, the basic skills of baseball, baseball in the movies, the scandals, and the Hall of Famers.

DeMichael, a member of SABR, the Society for American Baseball Research, also digs to into the sport’s seemingly inexhaustible fascination with numbers. While the 19th-century journalist Henry Chadwick was the father of baseball statistics, it was Bill James who coined the term “Sabermetrics” in 1980 and ushered in the era of modern statistical analysis. DeMichael defines Sabermetrics as “an accurate and balanced method by which we can compare players from different eras,” and Baseball FAQ looks at the latest wave of statistical acronyms, including OPS, WHIP, FIP, and WAR.

Looking beyond the wins and losses and the runs, hits, and errors, Baseball FAQ is a remarkable baseball reference and fun-filled reading for fans of the game.

Elliott Landy is a guest on the Wall of Power Radio Hour

Elliott Landy author of The Band Photographs 1968-1969, spoke with Paul Metsa, host of the Wall of Power Radio Hour about how he approached his work, his respect for the Band, and how he became the official photographer of the Woodstock Music Festival. Click on the link below to hear what they had to say!


00146104On rare exalted occasions, a photographer gains the trust of a performer or band, and his work fuses with theirs in such a way that the two entities become “married” in the public consciousness. One can think of David Duncan’s pictures of Picasso at work or Alfred Wertheimer’s pictures of Elvis backstage in 1956.

The Band Photographs, 1968-1969 (December 2015, Backbeat Books, $44.99), Elliott Landy’s chronicle of the Band from 1968 to 1969, is of such importance. The mutual trust and collaborative partnership was so deep that this collection of photographs forms an intimate portrait of a group of musicians not only engaged in their craft, but captured as they created a new genre of music.  

Originally crowdfunded by what would become Kickstarter’s highest funded campaign for a photography book, The Band Photographs, 1968-1969 features more than 200 photographs documenting the making of the Band’s first two albums, Music from Big Pink and The Band. More than half of the photos, drawn from Landy’s archive of more than 12,000 images, have never been published before.

“I designed and created this book entirely in my own studio, with complete creative control,” Landy explained. “Because of this, I was able to lay out the photos as I wanted, in order to create the most harmonious visual book experience and communicate what was going on in front of the camera.

The book also features commentary from John Simon, who produced the Band’s first two albums and was considered the Band’s sixth member, and an introduction by Jonathan Taplin, tour manager for the Band from 1969 to 1972. As Taplin writes in his foreword, “In a sense, these pictures are the photographic analogue of The Band’s song, ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down’—harkening back to the formal portraiture of Matthew Brady and other late 19th Century photographers. But these pictures are honest and true. They live in the photographic tradition of Robert Frank’s The Americans. Elliott’s images are a record of a wonderfully creative period in America that won’t come again.”

Author Interviews Off the Meter

This week, we are highlighting some bloggers and podcasters who frequently review our books and interview our authors. Do check out these blogs and podcasts for all the great content they have to offer.

Off the Meter radio program
Off The Meter with Jimmy Failla  functions exactly like a taxi ride. Each day, world events  tell the show where to go and host Jimmy Failla finds a way to get there. It’s rarely pretty, but it’s extremely entertaining, oddly informative, and in true taxi fashion, there’s no way of telling who will get in next. Guests on the show range from  career criminals to Academy Award winning actors and the shows topic lineup is equally diverse. Each episode is a chance to reconnect with the halcyon days where people got their news from riding in taxis, without paying the fare, of course. Listen to Off the Meter on iTunes.

Hal Leonard Highlights
Click on the author’s name to listen to the episode.
All books are available at Amazon, B&N, independent bookstores, and

Son of Harpo Speaks! by Bill Marx
Interview starts 11 minutes in


Trust Me by George Kennedy
Interview starts 12 minutes in


If You Like Monty Python…  by Zack Handlen
Interview starts 18 minutes in


Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas by Alonso Duralde
Interview starts 13 minutes in


We Never Learn by Eric Davidson
Interview starts 26:30 minutes in