This week, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced the six inductees for 2014. As always, it's an interesting mix. Nirvana, KISS, Linda Ronstadt , Cat Stevens, Hall & Oates, and Peter Gabriel make up the class of 2014. So what better time than the present to dust off your KISS Army badge, put on your old flannel, and dance with a pair of uncooked chickens?
If you're looking to read about Nirvana, there is certainly a lot to choose from. Why not start with Everett True's Nirvana: The Biography? True offers a first-hand account of the band and the tragic story of front man Kurt Cobain, as one of the first music journalists in the trenches of the 90's Seattle scene. And don't forget to check out some of the band's music while you're at it.
KISS is a very different sort of legendary music group; painted in black, white, silver and red, framed by explosions and fire, they sang about love guns, the glories of Detroit, rocking and rolling all night and partying every day. Nothin' to Lose by Ken Sharp alongside KISS founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley is the most recent big book on the band, but it's also one of the most insightful as it pulls from tons of interviews to give an excellent and detailed look at these amazing showmen. Again, don't forget to check out the band's music, too.
Linda Ronstadt was a bit of a musical renaissance woman, singing and performing across styles and genres with ease and excellence. Her own memoir, Simple Dreams is the book to check out. Unlike so many musical masterminds, her story is simple and normal. No parental abuse, no drug issues, just a gal from Arizona who ended up making it big. Linda's music is also readily available from the library.
Cat Stevens, now Yusuf Islam, oddly doesn't have a whole lot written about him. But you can get a lot about him in Dave Thompson's Hearts of Darkness, as one of the featured 3 singer-songwriters in the book. We do have plenty of Yusuf/Stevens' music to make up for the lack of books, though!
Hall and Oates sadly seem to be less written about than Cat Stevens, so we'll just have to let their music speak for itself.
Lastly, Peter Gabriel has at least managed to have a couple books written about him (though always alongside Phil Collins and previous Hall-of-Fame inducted band Genesis). The most recent of these is actually another book by Dave Thompson, Turn it On Again. Peter's solo career music is also widely available, as well as the music of Genesis.
Tim @ Central