• Blog,  Book Reviews

    The Last Action Heroes: The Triumphs, Flops, and Feuds of Hollywood’s Kings of Carnage by Nick De Semlyen Book Review

    The Last Action Heroes:  The Triumphs, Flops, and Feuds of Hollywood’s Kings of Carnage is a great book about movie action heroes of the 70s, 80s and 90s.

    Released in 2023, Nick De Semlyen has written a very good book about a few of the biggest action heroes of all time.

    The action heroes included in this book are Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, Jackie Chan, Dolph Lundgren, Jean Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal, and Bruce Willis.

    Each star has some of their history chronicled throughout the book, and some even overlap because some of them worked together at certain points in time.

    Lots of great stories here.

    If you are a fan of these stars, like I am, then I highly recommend this book.

  • Blog,  Book Reviews

    Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap Stories Book Review

    Singer/songwriter/guitarist Randy Bachman has released three books.

    Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap Stories is one of them.

    This was released in 2011 and chronicles some of Randy’s stories of working with The Guess Who, Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO for short), and working with several other musicians and just life stories.

    All of these stories and more he has told on his successful radio show/podcast Vinyl Tap, which lasted from 2005 to 2023.

    Randy has tons of fun music stories, and I highly recommend reading this book.

  • Blog,  Book Reviews

    Shattered Love: A Memoir By Richard Chamberlain Book Review

    Movie/Television/Theater actor Richard Chamberlain released his autobiography Shattered Love:  A Memoir in 2003.

    I first became aware of Richard when I watched his movies King Solomon’s Mines and Allan Quatermain and The Lost City of Gold as a kid.

    I know those movies are not on top of his favorite works list and that’s OK.  But I loved them then and still do.

    Richard has done a lot of great works over the years (Dr. Kildare, The Towering Inferno, The Three Musketeers, The Four Musketeers, Centennial, Shogun, The Thorn Birds and it’s sequel (or “mid-quel” as he called it), and many others, and he talks about some of them in his book.

    He has a lot of great stories.

    However, his book is about much more than his life in the entertainment business.

    His book is much more about finding oneself, everything around us, and how to become a better person.

    He took most of his life to finally come to peace with his upbringing (he had a psychologically abusive Dad), hiding his true self from most people, and just ultimately being.

    I suppose it does take your whole life to accomplish this, if you ever do.

    Richard got into meditation and learned from many people and books about ways to try to “just be”.

    I applaud him for being able to do it.

    I’m not saying he’s perfect.  No one is.  But he was able to find some peace and “just be”.

    I know I will never be able to do it.  It is impossible for me to “just be”.

    I wish I could but I can’t.

    Anyway, I found Richard’s book a great read and I recommend this to anyone.

    And even though he may not be wild about them, thank you Richard for making the Allan Quatermain movies.  They were an important part of my childhood and I’ll always love your work in them.

    Thank you.

  • Blog,  Book Reviews

    Miles The Autobiography by Miles Davis with Quincy Troupe Book Review

    I have been a Miles Davis fan since I was a teenager.

    My brother got me into his music.

    Miles Davis (1926-1991) is one of the biggest contributors to Jazz music and just music in general.

    His trumpet playing influenced so many and his music is timeless.

    He had a great ear for music and for talent.

    He worked with a lot of great musicians, some of whom were Charlie “Bird” Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, and soooooo many more.

    His body of work is phenomenal.

    Such classic albums such as ‘Round About Midnight, Kind Of Blue, Bitches Brew, and a TON of others.

    This book, released in 1989, is about his life, told by him in his words.

    No filter.  It’s all there.

    He was one of a kind and there will never be another like him.

    Seek out this book and his great music.

    You won’t regret it.

  • Blog,  Book Reviews

    The First 21: How I Became Nikki Sixx By Nikki Sixx Book Review

    I’m a huge Motley Crue fan, but I was late reading Motley bassist/songwriter/founder Nikki Sixx’s most recent book.

    The First 21:  How I Became Nikki Sixx, was released in 2021, and as the title suggests, covers Nikki’s first 21 years of life leading up to the formation of Motley Crue.

    The book actually starts more in the present about Motley getting back together (a few years after their “Final Tour”) to do a stadium tour.

    Once Nikki talks about that, he goes back in time to the early years of his family, him being born, and a lot of things that happened in his first 21 years of life.

    This is not a long read, but it is a fantastic read.

    I highly enjoyed this book.

    Yes I’m a fan, but I would have loved it anyways because I am such a music fan and a fan of autobiographies. 

    Autobiographies are my favorite type of book and even though Nikki has put out other books (The Dirt, The Heroin Diaries, This Is Gonna Hurt) he still has a lot to say, and he went into much more detail about his early years in this book.

    Again, not a long read, but such a great book, though.

    Check it out.

  • Blog,  Book Reviews

    Heaven And Hell: My Life In The Eagles (1974-2001) by Don Felder With Wendy Holden Book Review

    I was super late to this, but I finally read Don Felder (ex lead guitarist of The Eagles) book earlier this year.

    This book, called Heaven And Hell:  My Life In The Eagles (1974-2001), was released in the late 2000s.

    Don collaborated with author Wendy Holden on this book.

    As the title suggests, this book chronicles Don’s time in the hugely successful band The Eagles.  It also talks about his life leading up to being in the band and afterwards.

    In short, it’s Don’s autobiography, and if you are a fan, I highly recommend reading this book.

    Lots of stories.  Lots of details.

    As a side note, I also highly recommend seeing Don in concert.  You will not be disappointed. 

    Don is an extremely talented guitar player and actually is a very good singer too. 

    He sings/plays The Eagles songs in concert and does a great job.  He also has a few really good solo albums too.  Check them out.

    And check out this book.

    Even if you are not a fan of The Eagles but just are a fan of music and bands in general, then this is quite the book to read about music and the music business.

    Very good read.

  • Blog,  Book Reviews

    Between A Heart And A Rock Place: A Memoir by Pat Benatar with Patsi Bale Cox Book Review

    This is an awesome book about the story of singer Pat Benatar.

    Pat, along with co-writer Patsi Bale Cox, tell Pat’s story in great detail.

    Lots of stories about her growing up, eventually becoming a rock singer, meeting her husband Neil Giraldo, who is also her guitarist and songwriting/producing partner, the early days of MTV and making music videos, the struggles they faced with their label bosses, and so much more.

    I cannot recommend this book enough.

    Pat is an amazing talent and has great stories to tell.

    Check out this book.

  • Blog,  Book Reviews

    Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: The Wild, Definitive Saga of Rock’s Greatest Supergroup by David Browne Book Review

    I have been a fan of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young) since I was a teenager in the late 90s.

    I’m also a fan of Crosby, Stills, & Nash and all of these guys’ solo and other group (The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, The Hollies, Crazy Horse, Crosby/Nash, The Stills/Young Band, CPR, to name a few) ventures.

    I have been somewhat aware of their history through documentaries, books of their own for the ones who have written books (David Crosby, Graham Nash, and Neil Young), but I had not yet read a book about all of them together.

    So on a whim, I bought this book when I was at a bookstore recently.

    Again, I was somewhat aware of their history, both collectively and individually, so I knew this was going to be a wild ride.

    And shew it was.

    Judging by this book (which is quite detailed and actually David Crosby and Graham Nash were interviewed for it along with many people who know or have worked with them) and judging by everything I’ve ever heard, read, or saw, I am AMAZED that these guys collectively could make even one song, have a drink, breathe in the same room, or do ANYTHING together.

    I love these guys, but they are the perfect example of a dysfunctional group of people who cannot agree on much of anything.

    I knew they were dysfunctional, but my goodness they were dysfunctional.

    When they were able, they made great music together and have made a lot of people happy with their music.  Myself included.

    But many times when they tried to make music together, they would start and then never finish.  Or restart sometime later, sometimes years later, and not finish.  Or they would start a concert tour, either as trio or quartet, and not finish it.  Or it would not even get past the idea stage.

    It is unbelievable to me the dysfunction that existed within this collective.

    I can tell there was always respect, but the egos and/or substances, quite frankly, would almost always get in the way.

    CSNY made three studio albums.  I love all three, but there were many years in between them (1970 for Deja Vu, 1988 for American Dream, and 1999 for Looking Forward).

    CSN made five studio albums (Crosby, Stills, & Nash in 1969, CSN in 1977, Daylight Again in 1982, Live It Up in 1990, and After The Storm in 1994).  I love them too, but again, it is amazing they made even one.

    I can definitely tell that CSN worked better than CSNY because they did more albums and a lot more concert tours, but CSNY always was bigger.  So when the opportunities arose and when everyone agreed, they would do that.

    But unlike The Rolling Stones, U2, Aerosmith, or any typical band who have been around many years, it was few and far between when it happened.

    It was essentially four solo artists getting together to do a group tour.

    And that gets to what I’m about to say.  Again judging by this book, it seems to me these guys may have been better off just being solo artists or front their own individual groups and have them be the boss of each one.  

    As a fan, I’m glad they were able to make the music they made together because I think it is great stuff.

    But I feel each person may have benefitted just being on their own period.

    And each have made amazing albums on their own too and as other groups, so there is something to be said there.

    For example, I think David’s (RIP in 2023) last five albums (Croz, Lighthouse, Sky Trails, Here If You Listen, and For Free) are five of my favorite albums of all time.  And he made those in basically the last ten years of his life.

    But I can really see after reading this book why they did not make as much music together.

    And that is sad.  So much potential, and at times amazing, but gosh how much time was wasted.

    But saying that, I’m just glad it happened at all.  And at the end of the day, I’m sure that each man was and is grateful for the music they did make together and the times, however dysfunctional, they did spend together.

    Music is a funny thing.  In the most darkest of times, it brings people together.

    And it certainly did bring, at times, these four very talented people together.  Not a lot of time, but when it happened, it was MAGICAL.

  • Blog,  Book Reviews

    Bob Dylan The Philosophy of Modern Song Book Review

    Singer/Songwriter/Musician/Pulitzer Prize Winner Bob Dylan released his second book (his autobiography Chronicles Volume 1 was released October 3 of 2005) November 1 of 2022.

    Unlike his autobiography, this book is Dylan’s interpretation/examination/opinions on a list of several songs from throughout history.

    He gives his thoughts on songs by Marty Robbins, Johnny Cash, The Clash, Elvis Costello, Rosemary Clooney, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, and several others.

    His descriptions of some of these songs are as detailed or more detailed than the actual songs themselves.

    He really dove in on these songs.

    Some of his thoughts are deep and heavy, but some of his thoughts are even funny.

    It is a fascinating book, extremely well written by Dylan, and I recommend it.

  • Blog,  Book Reviews

    Desmond Child w/David Ritz “Livin’ On A Prayer: Big Songs, Big Life” Book Review

    Songwriting extraordinaire Desmond Child released his long awaited autobiography on September 19 of 2023.

    I preordered a signed copy, via TalkShopLive.  Thank you for that!!

    I could not put this book down. 

    Desmond has lived a full life.

    So full that I don’t even know what to say because I don’t want to leave anything out.

    All I can say is that if you want to read a compelling story, this is it.

    I cannot recommend this book enough.

    Not just for the stories he has about working with Barbara Streisand, Laura Nyro, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, KISS, Meat Loaf, Ricky Martin, just to name a few, but for his life story.

    Desmond has seen, done, and experienced a lot.

    I have nothing but respect for this man.

    Thank you sir for writing this book, along with David Ritz.

    I can’t say enough how compelling it is.

    Thank you sir.

    And everyone:  Please check out his solo album Discipline.  It is a masterpiece.  Not opinion.  Fact.  The song “Obsession” alone is one of my favorite songs of all time.

    How he is also not one of the biggest singers in the world is beyond me.

    But hey, he’s done great and continues to do great.