music listography: list your favourite musical artist biographies

A beautiful list prompt, given that I am a voracious reader and musician…a perfect combination for me.  All that’s missing is the caffeinated beverage of choice to consume while reading!


  • The Real Frank Zappa Book – Frank Zappa (the man’s story told only as he could, this gets an annual re-reading from me)
  • The Music Lesson – Victor L. Wooten (less a biography, than a philosophy as to how to apply music and an appreciation of music into your everyday life, another annual book)
  • My Bass and Other Animals – Guy Pratt (an incredibly funny and honest assessment of life by Pink Floyd, Robert Palmer, Bryan Ferry, David Crosby and Michael Jackson)
  • Life – Keith Richards (candid, technical, funny and heartfelt)
  • I Met the Walrus – Jerry Levitan (one Canadian student’s adventure in meeting his hero)
  • Jaco:  The Extraordinary and Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius – Bill Milkowski (sometimes geniuses are flawed to the point of self-destruction)
  • Standing in the Shadows of Motown:  the Life and Music of Legendary Bassist James Jamerson – Allan Slutsky (an appreciation of the men, particularly the bassist behind the bulk of Motown’s classic output)
  • Searching for the Sound – Phil Lesh (one man’s search for the perfect note with perhaps the perfect live band, ruthlessly honest)
  • Clapton:  The Autobiography – Eric Clapton (explains why he legitimately has the blues)
  • John Lennon:  The Life – Philip Norman (exhaustive biography, warts and all assessment of a genius)
  • Hammer of the Gods:  The Led Zeppelin Saga – Stephen Davis (perhaps the first tell all of rock excess)
  • The Dirt:  Confessions of the World’s Most Notorius Rock Band – Mötley Crüe (entertaining and incredible that all of these guys are still alive!)
  • Heroin Diaries – Nikki Sixx (again, this man must have at least 9 lives)
  • Slash – Slash (an honest assessment of how a rock star becomes a regular human being and copes with the realities of every day life)

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