It's one thing to be a music nerd, but a book nerd is a whole other ball park. In this case, I'm definitely both. For today's post I decided to dig into my favourite books written by some of my favourite musicians. One thing that I love about musician bios is that they dig a bit deeper into their lives. You get to learn more about what they've gone through in life, and it makes you appreciate their music that much more. So here's five books by five musicians that I absolutely love.
1. Tranny by Laura Jane Grace
I may or may not have (but definitely did) read this book in a week and a half. Laura Jane Grace may have had one of the craziest lives I ever read about. The Against Me! singer shares in her memoir the formation of the band, the members who have come and gone, and the inspirations for their many albums. Grace openly shares her transgender dysphoria, and the moments of when she knew she was trans. She shares the terrifying anxiety of dealing with not knowing what to do about it, and even goes right down to the detail of when she openly came out to Rolling Stone magazine. I won't say much more, but the ending gave me a lot of feels. Certainly a memoir I'd read again.
2. Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis
Scar Tissue was one of the first music biographies I ever read. I've always loved the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and I had previous knowledge of their turbulent career, but I had no idea what kind of life Anthony Kiedis lead. From drugs and alcohol abuse, to being an actor, to forming RHCP, it was a really in-depth account of the singer's career. Packed with photos from his personal archive, Scar Tissue really makes you feel as if you know Anthony Kiedis on a more personal level than just the famous singer he is.
3. Can I Say by Travis Barker
I had the pleasure of reading Travis Barker's biography last summer, and it's one of those reads that ropes you in from the start. The Blink-182 drummer starts his book with the moment he almost died in a plane crash, and if that doesn't strap you in for a crazy read, I'm not sure what else will. Barker talks about his early interest in drumming, love for cars, and even how he managed to be in a comfortable balance of both the punk-rock and hip-hop worlds with effortless grace. Not to mention, of course, the evolution of Blink-182 and how they went on to become one of the biggest pop-punk bands of all time.
4. Sounds Like Me by Sara Bareilles
Sara Bareilles is one of my favourite singers, and I was over the moon when I found out she was writing a biography. Her biography isn't crazy in-depth only because she's a bit younger than the above mentioned, but it was an absolute thrill to read how she created some of the songs she did, especially my favourite, Gravity. Sara digs in about her time as a theatre nerd, her insecurities growing up, and trying to find her fit in the music world (all things I can relate to... maybe not the music world part, but hey, all the same!) She talks about her time writing the music for the musical Waitress and how she would love to star in it (spoiler: she did!) The only thing I wish was that it was so much longer. I could read her writing forever.
5. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein
I've loved Carrie Brownstein ever since I watched her on Portlandia, and after doing some research, i found out that she was in the punk rock band called Sleater-Kinney. After listening to them, I became a fan quickly, so I was even more excited to hear she was putting out a memoir. I usually like to think I know a musician pretty well, but this was the first artist where I didn't have a huge grasp on their background or their story, so this book was a great read. Hunger talks about Carrie's early exposure to punk rock music and how Sleater-Kinney became one of the best underground feminist punk bands. It takes a look into her personal life sharing details about questioning her sexuality, and dealing with family struggles. Definitely worth the read if you share an interest of punk-rock and feminism.
What's your favourite music bio? Leave a comment in the link below.