Bettye LaVette's autobiography, A Woman Like Me, proves she's as amazing a storyteller as she is a singer. Too bad this isn't always the case when musicians try their hands at writing - even the best ghostwriters couldn't save some of the self-indulgent memoirs clogging up the bookshelves. And why it is that it's some of the most drug and drink-addled rockers who've managed to remember enough about their lives to tell engaging tales of life on a tour bus? LaVette plays the Winter Garden Theatre tonight (Thursday, November 1).
• Patti Smith, Just Kids
Rather than looking at her entire life and career, Just Kids focuses on Patti Smith's early years in NYC with the artist Robert Mapplethorpe, when both were still forming their artistic identities. A tribute to the era when New York was still dirty, dangerous, and irresistibly exciting.
• Keith Richards, Life
Surprisingly, the most engrossing aspects of Keith Richards' autobiography aren't the tales of drugged out endless nights or his revelations about his troubled relationship with Mick Jagger, but rather the immense passion he still has for the guitar.
• Mötley Crüe, The Dirt
This one is less about the music, and more about the madness of the hair metal years. All the gory details about extremely bad behaviour by some of the baddest boys in rock ‘n' roll.
• Ozzy Osbourne, I Am Ozzy
Few people who saw Ozzy mumble and bumble his way through his reality TV show would have guessed the hard rock legend still had enough brain cells left to come up with a memoir, but it turns out the guy is actually hilarious.
• David Byrne, How Music Works
Somewhere between a traditional musician memoir and a music geek's ramblings about some of the nerdier aspects of pop music, How Music Works is worth picking up just for his detailed analysis of how and why CBGB became ground zero for so much NYC counter culture.