There are hundreds of music bios out there, but how many of them authentically portray the heart and soul of a musician? We’ve collected a few of our favourite Aussie (and one New Zealand) music biographies that will not only document the music careers in all their glory, but also who these musicians are and how they see the world.
A charming, honest, funny, sad, tender and beautiful literary memoir, from Tim Rogers of You Am I. Think Patti Smith meet Dylan Thomas, by way of Banjo Paterson.
Tim Rogers of You Am I has always been a complicated man: a hard-drinking musician with the soul of a poet; a flamboyant flâneur; a raconteur, a romantic and a raffish ne’er-do-well. In this offbeat, endearing memoir, Tim walks us through years jam-packed with love, shame, joy, enthusiasms, regrets, fights, family – and music, always music.
A work of real grace and tenderness, Detours is often impossibly sad and beautiful – but also full of wit, wordplay and punching jolts of larrikin energy to make you laugh out loud.
Working Class Boy
A household name, an Australian rock icon, the elder statesman of OzPubRock – there isn’t an accolade or cliche that doesn’t apply to Jimmy Barnes. But long before Cold Chisel and Barnesy, long before the tall tales of success and excess, there was the true story of James Dixon Swan – a working class boy whose family made the journey from Scotland to Australia in search of a better life.
Working Class Boy is a powerful reflection on a traumatic and violent childhood, which fuelled the excess and recklessness that would define, but almost destroy, the rock’n’roll legend. This is the story of how James Swan became Jimmy Barnes. It is a memoir burning with the frustration and frenetic energy of teenage sex, drugs, violence and ambition for more than what you have.
The time I have spent writing this book has caused me a lot of pain. Sometimes because of what I have remembered about my childhood and sometimes because of what I couldn’t remember. It is funny how your mind blocks things out when those things can hurt you. There are a lot of things I wish I didn’t remember…
Boy From the Bush
Lee Kernaghan’s memoir is an affectionate celebration of the sounds, characters and milestones (as well as the odd calamity) behind the making of an Australian music legend.
Lee Kernaghan is ‘the Boy From the Bush’, an iconic star and 2008 Australian of the Year whose music has shaped a generation of country music fans. For the first time, Lee steps off the stage and invites you behind the scenes, into the ute and over the rutted red dirt on a rollocking journey through his songs and the stories that inspired them.
A unique memoir for everyone, Lee Kernaghan’s Boy from the Bush is an affectionate, inspiring and unforgettable montage of characters, conquests and calamities that tumble from the real-life adventures of an Australian legend.
In Love With These Times: My Life with Flying Nun Records
Roger Shepherd was working in a Christchurch record shop when he realised the local bands he loved needed someone to make their records. Flying Nun was born.
Those records and the bands that created them – The Chills, The Clean, Chris Knox and the Tall Dwarfs, The Verlaines, Sneaky Feelings, The Bats, Straitjacket Fits and many more – went on to define an era and create what became known as “the Dunedin Sound”.
In this long-awaited memoir, label founder Roger Shepherd describes the idealism and passion that drove the project in the first place, the hard realities of the music industry, and the constant tension between art and commerce.
Filled with revealing anecdote and insight, this is the definitive insider history of the one of the most innovative and original record labels of the modern era.
Memoir, intercontinental cycling adventure, music guide, Cadence is the debut book by ABC Classic FM’s Emma Ayres, now Eddie Ayres.
Accompanied by Vita, her steadfast bicycle, and her violin, Aurelia, Emma Ayres cycles her way from England to Hong Kong.
But this is also a journey through the keys – and the music that has inspired, shaped and provided refuge for Emma: Beethoven quartets, Mahler symphonies, Brahms sonatas, Bach suites …
It is a book of questions too: How does the instrument you play reveal who you are as a person? Should you tell the serious Pakistani chap who has just welcomed you into the men’s quarters of his house that you’re not quite who he thinks you are…?
Provocative, intelligent, surprising and funny, Cadence is a delight from one of Australia’s best-loved broadcasters.
Posted on September 25, 2017 by Andrea
This entry was posted in ABC Books, Memoir & Biography, Recommendations and tagged Aussie Music Legends, Australian Music, Autobiography, Boy From The Bush, Cadence, Detours, Eddie Ayres, Emma Ayres, Flying Nun Records, In Love With These Times, Jimmy Barnes, Lee Kernaghan, memoir, Music Biography, Music Bios, Roger Shepherd, Tim Rogers, Working Class Boy. Bookmark the permalink.