Books for music fans

Article | Issue: Nov 2023

This year sees a plethora of books about musicians and the industry hitting the shelves. Good Reading takes a look at what’s coming up for fans before Christmas.


Top of the pile of recent books on musicians this year for many Australians is Songs from the Kitchen Table by Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter. A great gift for any fan. The book includes photographs, lyrics, stories about their music, images of artwork for album covers and tributes from fellow musicians, including Paul Kelly.


Sons of Beaches is the story of brothers, Bill and Guy McDonough, and their rise to fame in the band Australian Crawl. They achieved incredible success, becoming a legendary band in the Australian music scene. This memoir is a warts and all tale about the good and the bad of their times. Including the tragic death of Guy in 1984.



Another legend of the Australian scene, Deborah Conway, has published her memoir, Book of Life. The publisher’s say that ‘if you ever wondered what happened to that chick who covered herself in Nutella and was photographed shovelling cream cakes into her mouth. Or if you gave a nanosecond’s thought to whose bare arse adorned the giant billboard ads for jeans in the 1980s and how much someone got paid to do that then this book might open up your
eyes to Conway’s life behind the scenes.


Silverchair started its life in a garage in Newcastle north of Sydney. It wasn’t long before they rocketed to worldwide fame. Love & Pain is by two of the members of the band, drummer Ben Gillies and bass player Chris Joannou. It documents the wild ride from the inside.



Fans are excited to finally have Bernie Taupin write his memoir, Scattershot: Life, music, Elton and me. It tells the story of the one half of a music match made in heaven. For over 50 years Bernie and Elton have made music together. They created some of the most popular songs and albums the world has known. Taupin has always been more tight-lipped about his life and career but finally we have a glimpse into his world.


One book that has many celeb watchers salivating its Britney Spears’ memoir. At the time of writing, this book is still under strict lock and key. The Woman in Me is Britney’s story and is touted as ‘a brave and astonishingly moving story about freedom, fame, motherhood, survival, faith, and hope.’



George Harrison: The reluctant beatle by Philip Norman hits the shelves this month. Norman explores all aspects of Harrison. From his song writing to his interest in Indian mysticism, his addiction to cocaine, his family life and philanthropy.



Barbra Streisand’s stardom is on a level rarely achieved by others. Her memoir My Name is Barbra is published this month and tells the life story of this Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award winning star. Streisand is a very private person and with a long career in music and film. It is sure to be a fascinating insight into her life.


On the flip side Amy Winehouse: In her words brings together her never-before-seen journals, handwritten lyrics and family photographs. Although Amy Winehouse tragically died at the young age of only 27. She was already a global icon and a multiple Grammy Award winner. This book gives us an insight into her creative side from growing up in North London to superstardom. The Estate of Amy Winehouse will donate 100 per cent of the advance and royalties it receives from the production and sale of this book to The Amy Winehouse Foundation.

Ross Willis took a boat to London at the age of 18. By the time he would
return to Australia he had worked with some iconic bands like Fleetwood Mac and Emerson Lake and Palmer. Taking on the role of manager for a new band, Cold Chisel, he would go on to incredible success and establish Dirty Pool Management Agency. Ringside tells his story.


In Sonic Life Thurston Mooret tracks his life from the ’60s rock and roll era, ’70s punk rock, to his forming of the band and performing as the frontman for
the band Sonic Youth for almost 30 years.

No matter your favourite music genre you’re sure to find a book on the shelf to read over the holidays this year.


Author: Thurston Moore

Category: The arts

Book Format: Paperback / softback

Publisher: Faber Non Fiction

ISBN: 9780571373956

RRP: $34.99

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