Meet another very talented member of the Booktopia family

We’re lucky to have some pretty special folks working at Booktopia.

We’ve already told you about Anthony, our London Olympian, and John, our bestselling author, but we also have a very talented musician in the family.

If you’ve ever called our customer service hotline, you might have spoken to Daniel, a member of the team since 2013. What you might not have realised is Daniel is a member of a band making some pretty big waves at the moment, Burn Antares.

Fronted by Grace Fariss (the daughter of INXS’ Andrew Fariss), Burn Antares are a rock n roll band with a 60’s feel we really dig (that’s what the kids say right, dig?)

You can check out their new single on YouTube, the video shot entirely on an old Super 8 camcorder. Very cool. And don’t forget to check out their cover of the  INXS classic By My Side that was featured in weekend papers recently.

For more details about Burn Antares, check out their Facebook page

And the winner of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC signed poster is…

ac-dcThe Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC Prize Winner:

L. Heinrich, Chatswood, NSW

The prize:

A laminated poster of THE YOUNGS signed by

- Author Jesse Fink
– AC/DC bass player Mark Evans (Let There Be Rock, TNT, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap)
– AC/DC drummer Tony Currenti (High Voltage, ’74 Jailbreak, Bonfire, Backtracks)

the-youngsThe Youngs

by Jesse Fink

With sales of over 200 million albums, AC/DC is not just the biggest rock band in the world. It’s a family business built by three brothers: George, Malcolm and Angus Young. And, as with any business, some people prospered while others got hurt along the way.

The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC is unlike any AC/DC book you’ve read before. Less a biography, more a critical appreciation, it tells the story of the trio through 11 classic songs and reveals some of the personal and creative secrets that went into their making. Important figures from AC/DC’s long way to the top open up for the very first time, while unsung heroes behind the band’s success are given the credit they are due.

Accepted accounts of events are challenged while sensational new details emerge to cast a whole new light on the band’s history – especially their early years with Atlantic Records in the United States. Former AC/DC members and musicians from bands such as Guns N’ Roses, Dropkick Murphys, Airbourne and Rose Tattoo also give their perspectives on the Youngs’ brand of magic.

Their music has never pulled its punches. Neither does The Youngs. After 40 years, AC/DC might just have got the serious book it deserves.

Grab a copy of The Youngs here


Congratulations to the winner!
For your chance to enter a Booktopia Competition click here

Win a signed poster of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC

AC DCThe Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC is unlike any AC/DC book written before.

Less a biography, more a critical appreciation, it tells the story of the trio through 11 classic songs and reveals some of the personal and creative secrets that went into their making.

Buy a copy of The Youngs before the end of February 2014 to go in the draw to win a laminated poster of The Youngs signed by:

– Author Jesse Fink
– AC/DC bass player Mark Evans (Let There Be Rock, TNT, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap)
– AC/DC drummer Tony Currenti (High Voltage, ’74 Jailbreak, Bonfire, Backtracks)

Grab a copy of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC here

The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC

by Jesse Fink

With sales of over 200 million albums, AC/DC is not just the biggest rock band in the world.

It’s a family business built by three brothers: George, Malcolm and Angus Young. And, as with any business, some people prospered while others got hurt along the way. Important figures from AC/DC’s long way to the top open up for the very first time, while unsung heroes behind the band’s success are given the credit they are due.

Accepted accounts of events are challenged while sensational new details emerge to cast a whole new light on the band’s history – especially their early years with Atlantic Records in the United States. Former AC/DC members and musicians from bands such as Guns N’ Roses, Dropkick Murphys, Airbourne and Rose Tattoo also give their perspectives on the Youngs’ brand of magic.

Their music has never pulled its punches. Neither does The Youngs. After 40 years, AC/DC might just have got the serious book it deserves.

Grab a copy of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC here

Happy Birthday Jimi Hendrix – His Memoir Starting At Zero Is Out Now

Jimi Hendrix was born on this day 71 years ago. Any excuse to play some Hendrix is a good excuse, particularly with a fantastic collection of his writing, Starting At Zero, out now.

Here are some things you might not have known about Jimi:

- Jimi Hendrix was actually born as Johnny Allen Hendrix.

- His father changed his name to James Marshall Hendrix in memory of his late brother.

- Hendrix was left-handed. Rather than play a left-handed guitar he played a right-handed guitar strung upside-down.

- He requested the original cover for his final album cover Electric Ladyland, a photo of a group of naked ladies women, be changed because he found it offensive and irrelevant.

- Former Greens Leader Bob Brown was a resident doctor on call at the London Hospital when Hendrix’s body was brought in.

- Rolling Stone magazine named him the greatest guitarist of all-time in 2011.

Starting At Zero

by Jimi Hendrix

It took just four years in the spotlight for Jimi Hendrix to become an international cultural icon. The sheer impact and originality of his music and his unique mastery of the guitar placed him for ever amongst musical giants. But what of the man behind the public image?

Modest and intensely private by nature, Jimi was shrouded in intrigue from the moment he first came into the public eye, and the mystery has only grown with time. Much has been written about him by experts, fans and critics, some of it true and some of it not. He did, however, leave his own account of himself locked away like a Chinese puzzle in his many interviews, lyrics, writings, poems, diaries and even stage raps. Starting At Zero brings all these elements together in narrative form. The result is an intimate, funny and poetic memoir – one that tells, for the first time, Jimi’s own story as only he could tell it.

Grab a copy of Starting At Zero here

And this, Ladies and Gentlemen, is Jimi.

Grab a copy of Starting At Zero here

GUEST BLOG: Five Important Books About AC/DC by Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC

With sales of over 200 million albums, AC/DC is not just the biggest rock band in the world. It’s a family business built by three brothers: George, Malcolm and Angus Young. And, as with any business, some people prospered while others got hurt along the way.

The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC is unlike any AC/DC book you’ve read before. Less a biography, more a critical appreciation, it tells the story of the trio through 11 classic songs and reveals some of the personal and creative secrets that went into their making.

As part of Booktoberfest, author Jesse Fink guides you through five other important books about the world’s biggest band: AC/DC.


highway-to-hellHighway To Hell
by Clinton Walker

A biography of Bon Scott published back in 1994. Walker is a very good writer and didn’t get a lot of help from the Youngs or their camp for this book. Actually, like all the band’s biographers, he got diddly squat. Big mistake on their part.

He wasn’t afraid to dish it up to the Youngs, describing them as “a closed shop, uniformly suspicious, paranoid almost, possessed of the virtual opposite of Bon’s generosity, prone to sullenness… Angus and Malcolm had this incredible tunnel vision where no one else counted . . . insularity bordering on paranoia”. Strong stuff.

Bon emerges as a true Australian larrikin antihero and this book did a lot to cement his legend. I have a lot of admiration for the work that was involved in this book… more


Highway To Hell
by Joe Bonomo

Not to be confused with the Walker tome, this is about the crucial 1979 album produced by Zambian mega-producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange”, also of Foreigner, Maroon 5, Shania Twain, Bryan Adams and Def Leppard fame.

It was published by Continuum as part of the “33 1/3” series. It’s slim, really a long essay rather than a book, but Bonomo brings a fresh American perspective on the AC/DC story by writing from the point of view of a young man growing up in Wheaton, Maryland, hearing this landmark album from these wild colonial boys for the first time and, like me and every AC/DC fan, being blown the f*** away by it.

He strongly denounces AC/DC for their lyrics to “Night Prowler”, a song that unfortunately came to be associated with the Richard Ramirez killings in California in the early 1980s (Ramirez was a fan of AC/DC). The band claimed the song was simply about a guy sneaking into his girlfriend’s room late at night. Bonomo disagrees: “Bon Scott’s more treacherous imagery pushes the song into regrettably mean places. I’m not sure that the band can have it both ways.” He’s absolutely right. How else do you explain the lyrics, And you don’t feel the steel/Till it’s hanging out your back?… more


Dirty Deeds: My Life Inside and Outside of AC/DC
by Mark Evans

The first autobiography by a current or former member of AC/DC. Mark got treated poorly by the Youngs. He was sacked in 1977 and has plenty of reasons to take off the gloves – such as his being denied induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003; a disgraceful decision – but largely doesn’t.

That said, he doesn’t avoid being critical of his former bandmates, such as his description of Angus and Malcolm as being “morose, grumpy, sullen and generally not too much fun to be around”. As a piece of writing, this book is straightforward but there are some lovely passages and at points it’s deeply personal, moving and poignant.

Mark’s not afraid to show his sensitive side and that’s to his immense credit… more


AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll
by Murray Engleheart with Arnaud Durieux

Not the “definitive” biography it claims to be and appears to be from its enormous heft, but what’s “definitive” anyway?

This book has a lot of useful information and was the product of years of intensive research but it just reads like a laundry list of shows and album releases.

It could have benefited from more structure and a lot more critical analysis.

Too many AC/DC books are hagiographies. This isn’t one but it comes close… more


AC/DC: Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be
by Mick Wall

Again, another brick of a book embracing a conventional biographical format, but the difference is Wall is much more strident with his opinions.

If you’ve read Highway To Hell by Walker and AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll by Engleheart, in my view this is really only super-essential for hardcore fans of the band.

It’s most notable for his theory about the circumstances of Bon Scott’s death in 1980, involving the possible role of heroin… more


 

NEWS: Music Legend Lou Reed Dies Aged 71

Reed_LouOne of music’s most influential figures Lou Reed has passed away in New York overnight.

The cause was complications from a liver transplant, which he received in May at the Cleveland Clinic.

Rather than mourn the great man, it is only fitting to celebrate one of the finest songwriters of the last century.

Here is his masterpiece, Perfect Day. Read the lyrics, give it a listen, and remember Lou today.

Just a perfect day
drink Sangria in the park
And then later
when it gets dark, we go home

Just a perfect day
feed animals in the zoo
Then later
a movie, too, and then home

Oh, it’s such a perfect day
I’m glad I spend it with you
Oh, such a perfect day
You just keep me hanging on

Just a perfect day
problems all left alone
Weekenders on our own
it’s such fun

Just a perfect day
you made me forget myself
I thought I was
someone else, someone good

Oh, it’s such a perfect day
I’m glad I spent it with you
Oh, such a perfect day
You just keep me hanging on

You’re going to reap just what you sow
You’re going to reap just what you sow
You’re going to reap just what you sow
You’re going to reap just what you sow

Click here to read more about Lou Reed

Morrissey’s AUTOBIOGRAPHY an Instant Classic? Out October 17th

It’s been 29 years since Morrissey pleaded please, please, please, let me get what I want, but now fans everywhere finally have what they want. An autobiography from one of the modern era’s finest song writers and most intriguing public figures.

And true to form, he only agrees to be published if he can be published straight into Penguin Classics.

Continue reading

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