Welcome to the annual Biff Bam Pop! Holiday Gift Guide. For the next 24 days, we’ll be running down suggestions for the pop culture lover in your life, from books and games to movies and more.
Today we’re kicking things off with some music-related books that will make fantastic gifts for the classic rock fan in your life.
The Beatles: Get Back
Callaway Arts and Entertainment
What a week it’s been for Beatles fan, with the release of the three part Peter Jackson documentary Get Back arriving on Disney+. The film details the writing and recording of what would ultimately become the Let It Be album, along with showcasing the final live performance by The Beatles on the rooftop of Apple Records.
The Beatles: Get Back the book is perfect companion piece to the film, filled with gorgeous photographs throughout. While the photos are great, what I found incredibly surprising when I opened the book up was that it contains transcriptions of the very conversations between John, Paul, George, and Ringo as they were working together. It’s their voices throughout the entire book, and really makes it an essential piece of Beatles history. With a forward from Peter Jackson and an introduction by Hanif Kureishi, Beatlemaniacs will absolutely love getting Get Back as a gift.
You can order The Beatles: Get Back here.
Keeping with The Beatles theme, The Lyrics is a two volume set that finds Paul McCartney looking back at the origins and stories behind 155 of his most beloved songs. McCartney has been taking part in interview with editor Paul Muldoon since 2015, going through his memory banks about what inspired his work since he was a teen. McCartney says that he’ll never need to write a proper autobiography, as his life story is tied together with his music.
The Lyrics features rare previously unseen images, but its McCartney’s words that are the highlight, both his lyrics and his memories. The two hardcover books are housed in a slipcase that help make this set feel like an important piece of musical history. And guess what, it is.
You can order The Lyrics here.
The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music
Dey Street Books
When I saw Nirvana live at Maple Leaf Gardens in the fall of 1993, I never would have thought that drummer Dave Grohl would become one of the last great rock stars of his era. Following the end of Nirvana and the creation of Foo Fighters, Grohl has carried the flag of rock and roll loud and proud, and The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music takes us through his journey.
Adding author to his repertoire of accolades thanks in part do to being stuck off the road because of Covid-19, Grohl makes it clear how lucky he is to have a life in music, and this book is as much an insight into his music as it is his story making it with some of the most iconic faces in music history.
You can order Dave Grohl’s The Storyteller: Tales of Music and Life here.
The Collected Works of Jim Morrison: Poetry, Journals, Transcripts, and Lyrics
Growing up as a classic rock loving kid, Jim Morrison and The Doors were my first real exposure to an artist who viewed himself less as a rock star and more as poet. Because of that, I spent my teens searching for and finding books of Morrison poetry like The Lords and New Creatures, and Wilderness. While many later scoffed at some of Morrison’s written work, it’s clear that he had ambition and genuine talent, and was a pretty evocative writer in whatever medium he was working in.
The Collected Works of Jim Morrison: Poetry, Journals, Transcripts, and Lyrics is a massive hardcover collection of virtually all of Morrison’s work, as a lyricist, poet, and screenwriter. With handwritten notes and previously unseen photographs throughout, in many ways this book is similar to McCartney’s The Lyrics, as we get as close to the pure, unadulterated artist, without the mythology of The Doors weighing anything down.
You can order The Collected Works of Jim Morrison: Poetry, Journals, Transcripts, and Lyrics here.