Top 5 Books

It’s a bit of a given that throughout the lockdown period, everyone’s screen usage was going to take a bit of a spike. 

That’s understandable and technology has so many wonderful benefits for staying productive and killing time without leaving the house – but we thought it’d be good to hand over some recommendations that don’t revolve around devices. 

There’s nothing like a good book once you get one going – the perfect way to spend the daylight hours, and you’ll almost definitely learn something. 

Alas, here are our favorite books at the moment. From page-turners to brain-learners. 

Acid for the Children – Flea

Before there was Flea, the eccentric presence on bass guitar for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, there was Michael Balzary, a sensitive, shy and neglected child. 

After being relocated from his hometown of Melbourne, Australia to New York City due to his father’s work responsibilities, Michael felt alone, scared and misunderstood. Despite the never-ending unfamiliarity of the United States compared to Australia, at least he had his family. 

This changed when his mother left his father, and along with his sister Karen, Michael relocated to Hollywood to live with Walter – his mother’s junkie, musician boyfriend who resided in his parents’ basement, despite being well into his 30s. 

From there, the boy (tries to) become the man. Petty crimes, girls and drugs ensue in a chaotic adolescence that leads to meeting the one and only Anthony Keidis. 

I think you know the rest of the story from there. 

How Music Got Free: A Story of Obsession and Invention – Stephen Witt

This is a story of how we all came to consume music the way we do now – the invention of the MP3 format. 

Journalist Stephen Witt dives deep on how music went from being strictly available on a circular piece of wax to intangible data, detailing the efforts by researchers such as Karlheinz Brandenburg, Bernhard Grill and Harald Popp to analyze human hearing and successfully compress songs in a form that can be easily transmitted.

It’s important to know where we’ve come from to try and grasp an understanding of where we’re going – this was a pinnacle shift in the music business, and depending on what side you were on at the time, it was looked through very different lenses. 

Aren’t you curious?

Techno Rebels: The Renegades of Electronic Funk – Dan Sicko

Originally published in 1989, Techno Rebels became a definitive text on the mysterious yet vital genre of music that was bursting onto the dance music scene.

Sicko demystified techno’s characteristics, influences, and origins – arguing that although techno enjoyed its most widespread popularity in Europe, its birthplace and most important incubator was Detroit.

The book has since been revised, and in it’s latest edition, Sicko dives deeper on the role of Detroit in the birth and explosion of techno, taking readers on an insider’s tour of techno’s past, present, and future. 

Filled with firsthand anecdotes, interviews, and artist profiles – if you love techno, this just became your next must-read.

The Autobiography of Gucci Mane – Gucci Mane & Neil Martinez-Belkin

Radric Davis is a lovable, sensitive, talented, troubled, dark and mysterious soul. 

Told with Neil Martinez-Belkin, former editor of XXL magazine and Davis himself, the candid autobiography details the life and times of the pioneer of the trap hip hop scene. 

From turbulent Davis’ childhood in Atlanta, through to becoming Gucci at his pinnacle and everything between, this book is a roller coaster. 

Gucci’s life has experienced the highest highs and the lowest lows – he has been the biggest hip hop artist in the world. He discovered modern rap royalty Young Thug and Future. He has spent four years on and off behind bars for a myriad of crimes. He battled the most severe demons when it comes to substance abuse. 

He’s loved, lost and learned. 

Here, he reveals it all.

The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band – Motley Crüe

Imagine the craziest rock star moments you can think of. 

Then imagine even crazier ones – that was the day to day life of Motley Crüe. 

Told in part by the four band members: Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars and Vince Neal, it’s incredible how candid and honest they were about their behaviour during their main touring schedule through the 1980’s.

Destruction, violence, death, prison, alcohol and a lot of drugs. Each anecdote is more unbelievable than the next, to the point where you’ll start to think you’re reading fiction. 

There’s not really anything more to say – you’ll have to read it yourself to truly uncover the madness.