We recently asked Mat Snow, author of U2: Revolution, what his favorite music reads were. Incidentally, Mat has a new book on The Who entitled The Who: Fifty Years of My Generation due in November on Quarto Books that you might want to read. Look for it here. And so, as Mat says "In no particular order, here goes..."
Hit Men: Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Business by Frederic Dannen
"Behind the scenes the deals and the men who made them is as fascinating and revealing to read about as any amount of genius on stage."
"Just out and rivetting — so lucid in its calm, sympathetic account and analysis of a complex of plots, subplots and personalities that made up the folk movement leading to and away from the famous evening it rocked out."
Jazz by Herman Leonard
"Half the iconic photographs of the jazz greats are by just one man. Like in the music itself, you can lose yourself in these pages of beautiful, telling monochrome pictures. I wish the late, great Jim Marshall had his best work between one set of covers too."
Trampled Under Foot: The Power and Excess of Led Zeppelin by Barney Hoskyns
"There are many ways to biographize, and one day I will plunge into Mark Lewisohn's no-pebble-unturned Beatles monument. Underused yet of great value here on the Fabs' '70s successor colossus is to let the eyewitnesses tell the tale with as little interference and grouting as possible. Extremely vivid and honest, with insights and flavours more conventional accounts might miss."
Eminent Hipsters by Donald Fagen
"Keith Richards' 'Life' is a lot of fun, but he had help from co-writer James Fox, while, writing unassisted, Dylan's 'Chronicles' is teasingly, eccentrically brilliant, as is, but even funnier, the Steely Dan man's mixed bag of youthful memoir and drolly dyspeptic tour diary."