Describes how the author grew up as a young classical guitar prodigy, abandoned his instrument and his dreams of becoming a leading artist at the age of twenty-five, and rediscovered his passion for the guitar years later.
Traces the story of the Marching Minutemen marching band state champions from Concord Community High School in Indiana, describing the conflicts between faith and purpose faced by its legendary director, the band's perfectionist-level pursuits, and the experiences of its sectional leaders.
From Irving Berlin to Cy Coleman, from "Alexander's Ragtime Band" to "Big Spender," from Tin Pan Alley to the MGM soundstages, the Golden Age of the American song embodied all that was cool, sexy, and sophisticated in popular culture. For four glittering decades, geniuses like Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Harold Arlen enticed unforgettable melodies out of thin air. Gershwin, in his brief but incandescent career, straddled Tin Pan Alley and Carnegie Hall, charming everyone in his orbit. Possessed of a world-class ego, Gershwin was also generous, exciting, and utterly original. Half a century later, his love songs are as moving as ever. Writer Sheed uncovered the legends, mingled with the greats, and gossiped with the insiders. Now he's crafted a dazzling history of the era that "tripled the world's total supply of singable tunes."—From publisher description.
A profile of Joe Strummer, front man for the Clash, one of rock music's most important bands of the late 1970s and early 1980s, is set against the backdrop of the entire punk music scene, drawing on interviews with friends, family, and musical colleagues, as well as on the author's own three-decade friendship with Strummer, to capture the late musician's ongoing cultural significance.
Traces how the author, a pop-culture journalist and reluctant fan of indie rock, grew up in the shadow of a Dylan-obsessed father, reevaluated his personal music listening habits after his favorite band broke up in 2004, and spent a night of drunken revelry at the side of one of his heroes. 30,000 first printing.
Collects concert memories from poets, songwriters, biographers, novelists, and cultural critics, describing their experiences of seeing such artists as Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Bill Evans, and Queen.