More Rock Reads - Queen, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie and Sammy Hagar

Tis the season for gift giving and a time for maybe relaxing by the fireplace with a good book. Here are our suggestions of new titles about Queen, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie and Sammy Hagar for the music lover on your list. All titles are available from Amazon.

"Queen Uncovered" - Peter Hince (Weldon Owen, hard cover, 256 pages)


Author Peter "Ratty" Hince was the head roadie for Queen for eleven years (1976-1986) and as such he had unprecedented access to the band both on and off stage. Here he breaks into his vast archives to share his photographs from the time, more than 500 of them, most of which have never before been published. Queen fans will absolutely adore "Queen Uncovered" and its treasure trove of snapshots of the band on stage, in the studio, in rehearsal, on tour in far-flung places, in group and individual shots. Broken into eight chapters beginning with "Summer of '76," Hince pens a short essay for each segment that sets the scene and mood for the photos that follow. Most but not all photos are in black & white as Hince depicts the band's life on the road in the U.S., Japan, South America and Munich, Germany. Some unique shots that readers will see include a Polaroid showing band leader Freddie Mercury with a moustache for the very first time (1980), a shot of Queen rehearsing in the ballet school in Montreux, Switzerland (1979) during sessions for the Jazz album, scenes from Rock in Rio (1985), photos of Mercury stage leaping high in the air and lots of photos taken during video shoots, including amusing photos of the band dressed as women for the "I Want to Break Free" video. Hince also includes tons of photos of backstage passes and other souvenirs and ephemera from the era. order here (ad)

"David Bowie Mixing Memory & Desire" - Kevin Cummins (Weldon Owen, hard cover, 256 pages)

David Bowie

Photographer Cummins first photographed David Bowie during a 1973 Ziggy Stardust show. Cummins was just a teenaged fan at the time; he probably never imagined then that he would go on to be a professional photographer who'd chronicle Bowie's career in pictures through 1997. There's not much background to be seen in this amazing collection of shots; just about all are focused strictly on Bowie himself, in close-ups, portraits and stage shots. And why not, since Bowie had such an expressive visage. Included are a few shots of Bowie in costume, or more accurately exotic wear, and some of the most stunning photos are head shots that clearly show David's famous pupils of different sizes which were thanks to a fistfight he had as a teenager. There are a few pictures as well featuring David and various band members over the years but basically there's a laser sharp focus on just the man himself. order here (ad)

"Sammy Hagar's Cocktail Hits" - Sammy Hagar and James O. Fraioli (Skyhorse Publishing, hard cover, 244 pages)

Sammy Hagar

Here's a Greatest Hits collection of a different sort from rocker Sammy Hagar as he and the James Beard Award-winning cookbook author James O. Fraioli detail how to make dozens of cocktails. Of course you need to be prepared to craft these concoctions so the book begins with information on the equipment, tools and accessories you'll need to have on hand, the various kinds of mugs and glassware you'll need, and instructions on proper cocktail making techniques. It would be fun to just flip the book open to any given page and make the revealed cocktail your drink of the moment; you might land on the Crazy Hagar that's made with Sammy's own Beach Bar Rum and Kasteel Rouge Lambic beer, the Vojito that has a base of Pinnacle Blackberry Vodka with mint, blackberries and blueberries, the Peach Blended Bellini made with Santo Blanco Tequila and peach puree (there's a separate section that tells you how to make the puree) or Sammy's Sangria, a tequila, red wine, lime juice and orange juice concoction that's served in a Mason jar. Each cocktail recipe includes a short essay on the history of the drink and what to expect from it when it hits your taste buds; of course each recipe also features a photo of the drink that's guaranteed to make you mouth water. Guy Fieri pens the foreword to this delightful compendium. order here (ad)

"Fleetwood Mac Everywhere" - Mike Evans (Weldon Owen, hard cover, 240 pages)

Fleetwood Mac

It's only fitting that author Mike Evans titles this history of Fleetwood Mac "Everywhere" as the band for the longest time seemed to be ubiquitous. Many of the fans who made them that popular may have no idea of the band's early days; here Evans chronicles the group from formation and through early blues albums Fleetwood Mac (1968) and Mr. Wonderful (also 1968) and their move into a more rock sound with Then Play On, Kiln House, Future Games, Bare Trees, Mystery to Me and Heroes Are Hard to Find, the final album before the Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks era began. Evans pens a brief essay for each album and includes a track-by-track song list with comments on each song as well as personnel listings, release dates, etc. These albums saw an amazing line up of guitarists come and go, including Jeremy Spencer, Danny Kirwan, Bob Welch and of course the much-revered, drug addled and mentally ill founding member Peter Green. The book is almost equally divided between the early days and the latter years, and thoroughly packed not only with Evans' insight but great photos as well. The book ends on the sad note of Christine McVie's 2022 death. Any Fleetwood Mac fan on your list would be proud to own "Fleetwood Mac Everywhere." order here (ad)

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