Title: The Thunder Girls

Author: Melanie Blake

Pages: 416 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

Jackie Collins for a new generation. The Thunder Girls is a blockbuster novel, filled with obsession, addiction, betrayal and revenge, that charts the rise and fall of an 80s girl band from Melanie Blake, a true insider of the music business.

Perfect for fans of Tasmina Perry and Daisy Jones and The Six. Soon to be a nationwide play with an all star cast.

THE

Chrissie, Roxanne, Carly and Anita, an eighties pop sensation outselling and out-classing their competition. Until it all comes to an abrupt end and three of their careers are over, and so is their friendship.

THUNDER

Thirty years later, their old record label wants the band back together for a huge money-making concert. But the wounds are deep and some need this gig more than others.

In those decades apart life was far from the dream they were living as members of The Thunder Girls. Breakdowns, bankruptcy, addiction and divorce have been a constant part of their lives. They’ve been to hell and back, and some are still there.

GIRLS

Can the past be laid to rest for a price, or is there more to this reunion than any of them could possibly know? Whilst they all hunger for a taste of success a second time around, someone is plotting their downfall in the deadliest way possible . . .

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

All I wanted to be in my 20s was a rock star. I’m in my 30s now and much like my 20s there is zero chance of it ever happening but man I can still dream.

That is what is absolutely fantastic about The Thunder Girls by Melanie Blake. I am given the opportunity to live the rock star lifestyle vicariously through the girls in the band: Chrissie – your typical egotistical bitch with a heart of gold hidden under her icy exterior, the scorned Roxanne – I wouldn’t like to get on her bad side, the peacekeeper Carly – just because she is quiet doesn’t mean she doesn’t have secrets, and Anita – the feisty kick ass member of the band who may in fact be the glue that keeps them all together.

Melanie Blake has written an absolute page turner about what the music industry is like. She uses her real life experiences which give the book a verisimilitude and dammit she has made me want to continue the dream of being a rock star.

I really wish that I could unread this book so I could read it all over again.

Absolutely fantastic.

The Thunder Girls by Melanie Blake is available now.

For more information regarding Melanie Blake (@MelanieBlakeUK) please visit www.thethundergirls.co.uk.

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@Panmacmillan) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

 

Title: Daisy Jones and the Six

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Pages: 355 Pages

Publisher: Random House UK

The Blurb

Drift down sun-bleached streets.

Lose yourself in the California sound.

Find beauty in a dirty bar.

Love like your life depends on it.

Carry on after the party stops.

Believe in what you’re fighting for.

Fall for Daisy Jones and the Six.

The Review

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid was my most anticipated book of the year. I will admit, at the point of discovering the book I had not read anything by Taylor Jenkins Reid (I have since read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and loved it) and that my desire for this book was based purely on the amazing cover.

Then I read the blurb and I was sold.

The story is about a band and the mythology that surrounds many bands, especially those at the height of rock music in the 70s. The premise is that the cast of characters are all talking about the same story but they all remember it differently. Instantly, we are presented with unreliable narrators but the story is so compelling because the truth lies somewhere within the distorted memories. It is this quality that makes Daisy Jones and the Six brilliant.

It is a mix of the mythology of Fleetwood Mac with a dash of Almost Famous that really appealed to me. It is also interesting that it goes against the world we live in today. There is no way that Daisy Jones and the Six could be set in modern day. The actual truth would have been captured on smart phones. It is the lack of truth that makes this novel so magical.

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid is available now.

For more information regarding Taylor Jenkins Reid (@tjenkinsreid) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Random House UK (@PenguinRHUK) please visit www.penguinrandomhouse.co.uk.

Title: Blood, Sweat, and My Rock ‘n’ Roll Years – Is Steve Katz a Rock Star?

Author: Steve Katz

Pages: 240 Pages

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

The Blurb

On paper Steve Katz’s career rivals anyone’s except the 1960s’ and ’70’s biggest stars: the Monterey Pop Festival with the legendary Blues Project, Woodstock with Blood, Sweat & Tears, and even producing rock’s most celebrated speed addict, Lou Reed. There were world tours, and his résumé screams “Hall of Fame” — it won’t be long before BS&T are on that ballot. He has three Grammies (ten nominations), three Downbeat Reader’s Poll Awards, three gold records, one platinum record, and one quadruple platinum platter (the second Blood, Sweat & Tears album), not to mention three gold singles with BS&T. All together, he’s sold close to 29 million records. He had affairs with famous female folk singers, made love to Jim Morrison’s girlfriend Pam when Jim was drunk and abusive, partied with Elizabeth Taylor and Groucho Marx, dined with Rudolf Nureyev, conversed with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Tennessee Williams, hung out with Andy Warhol, jammed with everyone from Mose Allison to Jimi Hendrix, and was told to get a haircut by both Mickey Spillane and Danny Thomas.

But his memoir is more Portnoy’s Complaint than the lurid party-with-your-pants-down memoir that has become the norm for rock ’n’ roll books. It’s an honest and personal account of a life at the edge of the spotlight—a privileged vantage point that earned him a bit more objectivity and earnest outrage than a lot of his colleagues, who were too far into the scene to lay any honest witness to it. Set during the Greenwich Village folk/rock scene, the Sixties’ most celebrated venues and concerts, and behind closed doors on international tours and grueling studio sessions, this is the unlikely story of a rock star as nerd, nerd as rock star, a nice Jewish boy who got to sit at the cool kid’s table and score the hot chicks.

Steve Katz was a founding member of The Blues Project and Blood, Sweat & Tears. He became a record producer, working with rock renegade Lou Reed, among others. Now, Katz and his wife, Alison Palmer have a ceramics shop, Alison Palmer Studio, in South Kent, Connecticut.

The Review

I can’t lie to you and say I knew much about Steve Katz before reading his memoir. I had heard of Blood, Sweat and Tears but being born in the 80s BS&T were a bit before my time. It was nice to go into a book without any preconceptions about an artist. That is exactly what I got as I read Blood, Sweat, and My Rock ‘n’ Roll Years – Is Steve Katz a Rock Star?

What I was treated to was a biased version of events of what happened – oh, don’t argue, we all see things from our own biased perspective. This was actually a pleasant element to the book because it seemed to make Steve Katz appear more candid and he didn’t seem to care if people too offense to what he said about them.

Overall, Blood, Sweat, and My Rock ‘n’ Roll Years – Is Steve Katz a Rock Star? is a really intriguing rock memoir. It is filled with musical highlights that spanned several different years, roles and interpretations of events. I loved it.

And in my opinion, yes, Steve Katz is a rock star.

Blood, Sweat, and My Rock ‘n’ Roll Years – Is Steve Katz a Rock Star? By Steve Katz is available now.

For more information regarding Rowman & Littlefield (@RLPGBooks) please visit www.rowman.com.

Halfway to ParadiseTitle: Halfway to Paradise – The Life of Billy Fury

Author: Caroline and David Stafford

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Omnibus Press

The Blurb

If he’d merely stood like a statue on stage, he would have flooded theatres with hormonal longings, but he was incapable of standing still. He pulsed. He writhed. He invalidated the manufacturer’s guarantee on microphone stands. He provoked shock and awe.

From Billy’s troubled childhood in Liverpool, via gold and silver lamé, to his later years as a farming ornithologist and a comeback cut short by his premature death, David and Caroline Stafford’s sparkling biography brings to life this captivating performer. Billy knew everybody, auditioned The Beatles to be his backing band, met and out-handsomed Elvis, partied with Keith Moon and hosted acid parties. Yet, throughout the mayhem, he always remained true to himself: diffident and amused.

Halfway to Paradise tells the full story with the compassion and affection due to an artist who, decades after his death, still commands admiration and adoration: the life, the times, the fans, the Fury.

The Review

Growing up in Liverpool there are certain local artists that you cannot be ignorant of. The obvious ones such as The Beatles and Cilla Black naturally sprint to mind however, there is one artist who is equally revered as one of the sons of Liverpool. That man is Billy Fury.

Caroline and David Stafford have released a well researched and impressive book about the Life of Billy Fury. From his start as an unwell child to a star in the making, Stafford and Stafford look at how his music life was turbulent due to lack of strong leadership and direction, and how he never really hit the heights that he musically deserved.

Halfway to Paradise – The Life of Billy Fury by Caroline and David Stafford is not only a brilliant account of Billy Fury’s life but also of the changing face of entertainment during his working years. It is a great read filled with anecdotal tales from those who knew him best.

Halfway to Paradise – The Life of Billy Fury by Caroline and David Stafford is available now.

For more information regarding Omnibus Press (@OmnibusPress) please visit www.omnibuspress.com.

4 Stars

Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place by Portia MacIntosh

Title: Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place

Author: Portia MacIntosh

Pages: 59 Pages

Publisher: Carina

The Blurb

Behind the music…

Being best friends with a mega-star has its perks and Nicole Wilde, music journalist, laps them up. But when said friend, Dylan King, gorgeous lead singer of The Burnouts, has zero sense of self-preservation – once a drop of alcohol hits his blood stream ? and an inability to keep ‘little Dylan’ in his pants, it also comes with responsibilities.

Now, Nicole has to track down Dylan in time to play a charity gig tomorrow. Half a dozen groupies, a haunted hotel, a tattoo parlour, a reality show runner-up and a crazy bed-hopping, sleepless night later – will she find him before the tour bus leaves town? And when she does, is it time to head home? Or to jump on the tour bus and go along for the ride!

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Before my quiet life of a book reviewer began I was a music reviewer. Music is probably my great love and when I was in my twenties and following bands around the country I often dreamed of the day that I would get to travel around with a band rather than just looking for my next gig hit.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love reviewing books and I know for a fact that my auto-immune riddled body would not be able to handle the rock and roll life anymore but if someone said to me today that I would be able to travel around with my favourite bands without feeling any physical pain or repercussions then hot diggity dog I would do it.

Sadly, I can’t which is why I absolutely loved this little gem of a story. Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place by Portia Macintosh is based on Portia MacIntosh’s own experiences on the road with bands. It was witty, entertaining and everything I hoped that spending time with musicians would be like.

The fact that this short story is a precursor to a longer novel just makes it all the more fantastic.

Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place by Portia MacIntosh is available now.

For more information regarding Portia MacIntosh (@PortiaMacIntosh) please visit www.portiamacintoshbooks.wordpress.com.

For more information regarding Carina (@CarinaPress) please visit www.carinapress.com.

4 Stars