Monitor picks

Five new music books we think you'll really like, from Eric Clapton's new autobiography to "Jimi Hendrix: An Illustrated Experience."

Clapton: The autobiography

In his long-awaited autobiography, Clapton, one of the world's premier musical talents chronicles much more a life of pernicious addictions and behavior than music. Now two decades sober, it's as if Clapton finally reached the point where he could clearly reflect on his life, if not necessarily living. Details about his avocation as a musician are disappointingly sparse, but his affection for the blues and gratitude for music's saving grace is deeply watermarked into every page.

Lyrics by sting

Blender magazine has just voted Sting the worst lyricist of all time. Huh? Though the words to "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" seem unworthy of even a "Sesame Street" episode on the letter "D," Lyrics by Sting underscores how intelligent and poetic his songs are. Sting writes personal reflections in this collection of his lyrics (and apologizes for the aforementioned song).

Genesis: Chapter & Verse

In the beginning, Genesis created a town-and-country strain of English progressive rock as typified by songs such as "The Battle of Epping Forest." Chapter and Verse, a beautifully illustrated autobiographical account of Genesis by the various band members, lays bare the drama behind the winnowing of the lineup and a musical evolution from pomp to pop.


During Rush's 2004 tour, Neil Peart glimpsed thousands of faces from behind the cymbals of his drum kit, and surveyed thousands of miles from behind the handlebars of his touring motorcycle. In the unique travelogue Roadshow, Peart leverages his considerable literary penmanship to describe the joys and rigors of a rock tour as well as his impressions of the politics, social mores, and cultural heterogeneity he encounters across states and nations. As Peart travels for his art, he perfectly describes the art of travel.

Jimi Hendrix: an illustrated experience

Forget the latest reissue of the "Ultimate Experience." Bibliophiles should consider investing in Jimi Hendrix: An Illustrated Experience. Unlike traditional biographies, this book reproduces original source material, from scrawled-out sheafs of lyrics to rare black-and-white photographs. The result is an intimate portrait of a great artist. Bonus: A CD with interviews and a few unreleased live tracks.

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