Richard Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung is one of the greatest works of art created in modern times, and has fascinated both critics and devotees for over a century and a half. No recent study has examined the meaning of Wagner's masterpiece with the attention to detail and intellectual power that Roger Scruton brings to it in this inspiring account.
The Ring of Truth is an exploration of the drama, music, symbolism and philosophy of the Ring from a writer whose knowledge and understanding of the Western musical tradition are the equal of his capacities as a philosopher. Scruton shows how, through musical connections and brilliant dramatic strokes, Wagner is able to express truths about the human condition which few other creative artists have been able to convey so convincingly. For Wagner, writes Scruton, the task of art is to 'show us freedom in its immediate, contingent, human form, reminding us of what it means to us. Even if we live in a world from which gods and heroes have disappeared we can, by imagining them, dramatize the deep truths of our condition and renew our faith in what we are.'
Love, death, sacrifice and the liberation that we win through sacrifice - these are the great themes of the Ring, as they are of this book. Scruton's passionate and moving interpretation allows us to understand more fully than ever how Wagner conveys his ideas about who we are, and why the Ring continues to be such a hypnotically absorbing work.
Grant and I is the story of the friendship and collaboration of Grant McLennan and Robert Forster, who gave Australia The Go-Betweens, one of our best and most influential bands.
The 1980s songwriting partnership of McLennan/Forster was a little like an Australian Lennon/McCartney. The pair wrote all the band's distinctively original material and, like their more famous counterparts, shared the credits and alternated on lead vocals; both also played guitar. They formed The Go-Betweens in Brisbane in 1977, in possibly the quirkiest of all rock-band beginnings, before disbanding in 1989. A second incarnation, with Robert and Grant the constant in both lineups, endured from 2000 to 2006, the year of Grant's premature death.
Grant and I is an extraordinary portrait of an intense, creative, sometimes fraught friendship that represented a genuine meeting of artistic minds. Robert and Grant were arts undergraduates at Queensland uni in the seventies, where they bonded through a shared passion for literature and film. (Their band name was taken from L.P. Hartley's novel of the same name, and much of their material was inspired by other cultural works.) In this book the reader is given a front-row seat at the sessions that produced an incredibly prolific and diverse song catalogue, and is also taken backstage to the sometimes troubled rise and fall of the band itself.
A cult band in the eighties, The Go-Betweens were described at the time by a critic for New York's Village Voice as having 'the greatest songwriting partnership working today'. Jonathan Franzen is a fan, and in 2001 their song 'Cattle and Cane' was selected by the Australasian Performing Right Association as one of the top thirty Australian songs of all time. The band released nine studio albums, including their best known, 16 Lovers Lane (1988), and three live albums.
Just as The Go-Betweens were like no other Australian group, so this book is like no other music memoir. It is wise and witty, poignant, insightful, self-deprecating and knowledgeable. Robert Forster is as natural a storyteller and prose writer as he is a songwriter, and Grant and I is an unforgettable ride.
Mike Love is a founding member, lyricist and vocalist of The Beach Boys, considered to be the most popular American band in history, with 13 Gold Albums, 55 top-100 singles, and four number 1 hits. Love has been the lead singer of the group one of its principal lyricists since its inception in 1961. In Good Vibrations, Mike Love tells the unique story of his legendary, chaotic, and ultimately triumphant five-decade tenure as the front man of The Beach Boys, from their Californian roots to international fame. Mike Love's credits include such pop classics as Good Vibrations, California Girls, I Get Around, Fun Fun Fun, and Kokomo.
M Train begins in the tiny Greenwich Village cafe where Smith goes every morning for black coffee, ruminates on the world as it is and the world as it was, and writes in her notebook. Through prose that shifts fluidly between dreams and reality, past and present, and across a landscape of creative aspirations and inspirations, we travel to Frida Kahlo's Casa Azul in Mexico; to a meeting of an Arctic explorer's society in Berlin; to a ramshackle seaside bungalow in New York's Far Rockaway that Smith acquires just before Hurricane Sandy hits; and to the graves of Genet, Plath, Rimbaud and Mishima. Woven throughout are reflections on the writer's craft and on artistic creation. Here, too, are singular memories of Smith's life in Michigan and the irremediable loss of her husband, Fred Sonic Smith. Braiding despair with hope and consolation, illustrated with her signature Polaroids, M Train is a meditation on travel, detective shows, literature and coffee. It is a powerful, deeply moving book by one of the most remarkable artists at work today.
Anyone who saw a Midnight Oil show remembers it. As a poster for a show in Montreal (where one writer described them as the most important band in the world) said: Theyre not punk, theyre not pop, theyre not kidding. By the mid-1980s, music fans in Australia knew they had the best band in the world. They also knew that the very essence of that band, their loudly trumpeted Australian identity that permeated every note of their music, was the very thing that would ensure the rest of the world would never understand them. They were wrong. More than a dozen US and Canadian tours, nearly as many European tours, and tours of South America and South Africa are testament to this. And lets not forget the Top 10 albums and singles, and some of the most glowing live reviews ever written. Grab a large, strong drink, sit or stand in a stable place with something to hang on to, and discover how the world found the power and the passion.
From her days as a star of West End comedy and revue, Dame Maggie's path has led to international renown and numerous accolades including two Academy Awards. Recently she has been as prominent on our screens as ever, with high-profile roles as the formidable Dowager Countess of Grantham in DOWNTON ABBEY, as Professor Minerva McGonagall in the HARRY POTTER movie franchise and as the eccentric Miss Shepherd in the film version of THE LADY IN THE VAN by Alan Bennett. Yet paradoxically she remains an enigmatic figure, rarely appearing in public and carefully guarding her considerable talent. Michael Coveney's absorbing biography, drawing on personal archives, interviews and encounters with the actress, as well as conversations with immediate family and dear friends, is therefore as close as it gets to seeing the real Maggie Smith.
This illustrated history of Fleetwood Mac is the history of the legendary British-American band and includes photographs and rare memorabilia.
This is the first-ever complete, illustrated history of Fleetwood Mac, the legendary band that has sold more than 100 million records worldwide.
From this British-American band's blues origins in the 1960s to its pop superstardom in the 1970s and 1980s to its 2015 reunion, Fleetwood Mac has endeared itself to audiences worldwide. Fleetwood Mac: The Complete Illustrated History covers the band's illustrious career, highlighting details that will surprise even the most loyal fans. With a career that began nearly fifty years ago and yielded seventeen studio albums, Fleetwood Mac has had a rollercoaster career, detailed here through a carefully researched text and myriad photographs and memorabilia, including some rare and little-seen items.
The band's most popular lineup includes drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie, keyboardist and vocalist Christine McVie, guitarist and vocalist Lindsey Buckingham, and singer Stevie Nicks, but its members have shifted over the years since Fleetwood Mac began in 1967. And although the band's superstar phase in the 1970s is most familiar to the public, Fleetwood Mac's roots were in the blues, and the band evolved in fits and starts before finding popular success.
Fleetwood Mac: The Complete Illustrated History documents their entire story, including the troubled circumstances that led to the 1970 withdrawal of the band's original guitarist, Peter Green, as well as the broken marriage of John and Christine McVie and the romantic breakup of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham that threatened to split the group even as they were recording one of the biggest albums of all time, Rumours. This is the whole story of one of rock and roll's greatest bands.
The companion book to the groundbreaking PBS and BBC documentary series celebrating the pioneers and artists of American roots music - blues, gospel, folk, Cajun, Appalachian, Hawaiian, Native American - without which there would be no jazz, rock, country R&B, or hip hop today.
Jack White, T. Bone Burnett, and Robert Redford have teamed up to executive produce American Epic, a historical music project exploring the pivotal recording journeys of the early twentieth century, which for the first time captured the breadth of American music and made it available to the world. It was, in a very real way, the first time America truly heard herself.
In the 1920s and 1930s, as radio took over the pop music business, record companies were forced to leave their studios in major cities in search of new styles and markets. Ranging the mountains, prairies, rural villages, and urban ghettos of America, they discovered a wealth of unexpected talent—farmers, laborers, and ethnic minorities playing styles that blended the intertwining strands of Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. These recordings form the bedrock for modern music as we know it, but during the Depression many record companies went out of business and more than ninety percent of the fragile 78 rpm discs were destroyed. Fortunately, thanks to the continuing efforts of cultural detectives and record devotees, the stories of America’s earliest musicians can finally be told.
Bernard MacMahon and Allison McGourty, who directed and produced the documentary with American musician Duke Erikson, spent years traveling around the US in search of recollections of those musical pioneers. Their fascinating account, written with the assistance of prize-winning author Elijah Wald, continues the journey of the series and features additional stories, never-before-seen photographs, and unearthed artwork. It also contains contributions from many of the musicians who participated including Taj Mahal, Nas, Willie Nelson, and Steve Martin, plus a behind-the-scenes look at the incredible journey across America.
American Epic is an extraordinary testament to our country’s musical roots, the transformation of our culture, and the artists who gave us modern popular music.
Come Together is a compelling account of a crucial period of post-Sixties Beatle history, providing a new look at the Lennon-McCartney relationship during the Seventies. It also offers fresh insight on the musical ambitions and personal motivations for renewing a creative alliance that so nearly happened but was thwarted by circumstances beyond their control. Set primarily in Los Angeles, New York City and New Orleans, the book explores their separate paths, reconciliation and the ever-present possibility of a renewed creative partnership. As one of the worlds greatest songwriting partnerships they no longer had anything to prove - other than perhaps to each other - but each knew their names would be forever linked together.
By the time she was 14, Chrissie Hynde knew she had to get out of Akron, Ohio. Her perfect '50s American childhood upturned by a newly acquired taste for rock 'n' roll, motorbikes and the 'get down boys' seen at gigs in and around Cleveland - Mitch Ryder, the Jeff Beck Group, the Velvet Underground and David Bowie among the many.
Wrapped up in the Kent State University riots and getting dangerously involved in the local biker and drug scenes, she escaped, to Mexico, Canada, Paris and finally London where she caught the embryonic punk scene just in time not only to witness it first-hand, but more importantly to seize the opportunity to form her own band, the Pretenders. Iggy Pop, the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Vivienne & Malcolm, Ray Davies... on every page household names mingle with small town heroes as we shift from bedroom to biker HQ; from squat to practice room; from pub gig to Top Of The Pops - the long and crooked path to stardom, and for the Pretenders, ultimately, tragedy.
That Chrissie Hynde is alive to tell the tale is, by her own admission, something of a miracle. Throughout she is brutally honest, wryly humorous and always highly entertaining. She has written one of the most evocative and colourful music memoirs to be published in recent years.
Martin Aston explores popular music's gay DNA, comprehensively and authoritatively drawing together all of the threads to tell the story of how music 'came out' as an unfolding historical narrative.
Popular music's gay DNA is inarguable, from Elvis in eye shadow and Little Richard's 'Tutti Frutti' to The Velvet Underground's subversive rock'n'roll and Bowie's ambisexual alien Ziggy Stardust; from kd lang's female Elvis to Kurt Cobain in a dress; from Noughties lesbian icon Beth Ditto to Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way' manifesto.
But if collected essays and/or features have addressed gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender singers, songwriters, musicians and songs, no book has yet comprehensively and authoritatively drawn together all the threads to explore this as an unfolding, historical narrative: to tell the story of how music 'came out', from the days when homosexuals were deeply in the closet, but the love that once dared not speak its name sings it, and on daytime radio to boot.
This story will reveal which songs have coded messages about sexuality, and which proudly declared the truth, including examples of heterosexual songwriters and singers who chose to address same-sex issues, from Rod Stewart's 'The Killing Of Georgie' - the first UK number one with a gay theme - to Suede's 'Animal Nitrate'. The narrative will unfold against a backdrop of historic social and political shifts, as LGBT rights pushed for visibility and equality, from the closet of the Fifties to the struggle and setbacks of the Sixties, the liberation of the Seventies, the mainstream invasion and AIDS crisis of the Eighties, the advances of the Nineties and the more immersed scene of the Noughties.
These artists have indeed changed the world as we know it. Breaking Down The Walls Of Heartache is a story for a wide audience, not just the LGBT community but a broad spectrum of music lovers who are fascinated by these characters, events, stories and songs. It is also a very timely tale, given the prominence of same-sex issues such as marriage equality, alongside the retrogressive steps in places such as Russia and parts of Africa, where songs encapsulating the gay/lesbian experience mirror those of the Sixties, signifying how the journey from illegality and bigotry to freedom is still far from over.
John Lennon is a giant of popular music and culture. As one-quarter of the Beatles, he was in the vanguard of music, art, fashion and popular culture during the sixties. His music, humour and outspoken calls for peace inspired a generation. He stands as an iconic figure for those who lived through the sixties and seventies, as well as for those who grew up long after his untimely death in 1980. Above all, Lennon was one of the twentieth century's greatest and most important songwriters. Songs he wrote with Paul McCartney, such as 'She Loves You' and 'A Day in the Life', define an era. Others he wrote alone, such as 'God', 'Help!' and 'Revolution', betray an often complex, contradictory and troubled character. Lennon was never one to hide his love away, nor his anger, nor his convictions. In 2000 his anthem 'Imagine' was voted the song of the millennium.
How has a group conceived as a short-lived commodity outlived many more 'real' bands by nearly fifty years? Why are The Monkees still important, and what does this tell us about their music, their TV show, and our understanding of popular culture today? Despite being built in Hollywood, and not necessarily to last, that is precisely what their music, TV, and cinematic output has done. They in many ways unique-as the first 'made for TV' band, their success introduced methods of marketing pop that have since become standard industry practice; their 'big screen' use of film and images in live performance is likewise now a firmly established principle of concert staging; and in the way they changed the rules of the game, taking control over their own affairs at the height of the success, risking magnificent failure by doing so. The Monkees invented a new kind of TV, gave a new model to the music industry, and left behind one of the most enigmatic movies of the modern era, Head. This book is about all that and more. Beginning by exploring the origins and personalities of the four Monkees before looking in depth at their work together on screen, on stage, and on record, this is the first serious study of the band and the first to fully acknowledge their importance to the development of pop as we now know it.
Prince was an icon. A man who defined an era of music and changed the shape of popular culture forever. There is no doubt that he was one of the most talented and influential artists of all time, and also one of the most mysterious. On 21st April 2016 the world lost its Prince; it was the day the music died. This book will open a door to Prince's world like never before - from his traumatic childhood and demonic pursuit of music as a means of escape, to his rise to superstardom, professional rivalries and marriages shrouded in tragedy, internationally bestselling music writer Mick Wall explores the historical, cultural and personal backdrop that gave rise to an artist the likes of which the world has never seen - and never will again. Mick, a lifelong Prince fan, was one of the first UK journalists to ever write about this enigmatic star, and it was his story that put Prince on the cover of Kerrang magazine in 1984 and inspired the biggest mailbag of letters the magazine has ever had. As Prince sang in '7', 'no one in the whole universe will ever compare', and this book is a shining tribute to the forever incomparable Prince.
There has been a lot happening on Australia's small screens. Neighbours turned 30. Struggle Street was accused of poverty porn. Pete evangelised Paleo. Gina got litigious. Netflix muscled in. The Bachelor spawned The Bachelorette. Peter Allen's maraccas were exhumed. The Labor Party ate itself. Anzac was an anti-climax. And so much more... Join us as we survey the Australian televisual landscape, and try to make sense of the myriad changes transforming what and how we watch. We've come a long way since Bruce Gyngell welcomed us to television in 1956. We now watch on demand and wherever we want, in our lounge rooms and on our devices. But some things stay the same. The small screen is still a place for imagining Australia, for better or for worse. Small Screens challenges and celebrates our contemporary TV worlds.
People love Bill Murray movies, but even more, they love crazy stories about Bill Murray out in the world. Bill reads poetry to construction workers. Bill joins in strangers' kickball games. Bill steals a golf cart in Stockholm. Bill follows the Roots - a hip hop band - around. Bill pays a kid $5 to ride his bicycle into a swimming pool. The most popular Bill Murray story of all time (which he will neither confirm nor deny): on a crowded street, he puts his hands over a stranger's eyes from behind and says Guess who? When he lifts his hands to reveal his identity as Bill Murray, he tells the gobsmacked stranger, No one will ever believe you. For The Tao of Bill Murray: Real-Life Stories of Joy, Enlightenment, and Party Crashing, best-selling author Gavin Edwards tracked down the best authentic Bill Murray stories. People savour these anecdotes; they consume them with a bottomless hunger; they routinely turn them into viral hits. The book not only has the greatest hits of Bill's eye-opening interactions with the world, it puts them in the context of a larger philosophy (revealed to the author in an exclusive interview): Bill Murray is secretly teaching us all how to live our lives.
Come Along... with Orson Welles as he returns to Hollywood in Summer 1970, to make an innovative comeback movie, The Other Side of the Wind, about a legendary director who wants to make an innovative comeback movie.
Watch... Welles attempt to create a Citizen Kane-like masterpiece that will restore his career.
See... Welles at his most Wellesian: clever, crazed; masterful, maniacal; kind, cruel; enlightened, enraged; in command and out of control.
Costarring John Huston... the hard-drinking, cigar-smoking adventurer and filmmaker who portrays Jake Hannaford, the hard-drinking, cigar-smoking adventurer and filmmaker at the centre of the film.
Running Time: A two-hour movie... about a single day... that was supposed to shoot in eight weeks... but took six years to complete... and remains unreleased forty years later.
Tied up for years in convoluted negotiations and complicated legal wrangling, the partially edited film has been seen by only a handful of people. Some believe it's a lost masterpiece; others find it completely unfathomable.
Fashion designers have been involved in movies since the early days of cinema. The result is some of the most eye-catching and influential costumes ever committed to film, from Ralph Lauren's trend-setting masculine style for Diane Keaton in Annie Hall to Audrey Hepburn's little black Givenchy dress in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Fashion in Film celebrates the contributions of fashion designers to cinema, exploring key garments, what they mean in context of the narrative, and why they are so memorable. Illustrated with beautiful film stills, fashion images and working sketches, this book will appeal to lovers of both fashion history and cinema.
Gloria is on the brink of making her triumphant return to the stage. A celebrated actor-a star, a celebrity-she's played every iconic role in the canon of theatrical greats: Nina, Hedda, Hamlet, Clytemnestra. She's burnt into our eyes, our hearts our imaginations.
Playing the real-life survivor of a sadistic crime, Gloria must immerse herself in the horror of her character's reality. As Gloria falls further into the abyss, the unravelling of her mind is reflected by the breakdown of order around her.
Through Gloria, we see a portrait of Australia afraid to acknowledge the widening gaps in our society.
Who would have thought a comedy of manners written more than a hundred years ago would still be so apt and so funny? Oscar Wilde was a genius of play writing, and his deftness, wit and sharp eye for social satire keep audiences in thrall to this day. Alongside Earnest, discover a biblical tragedy retold, Lady Windemere and her infamous fan and Wilde's take on an ideal husband, in this selection of Wilde's most important plays.
Stanislavski's 'system' has dominated actor-training in the West since his writings were first translated into English in the 1920s and 30s. His systematic attempt to outline a psycho-physical technique for acting single-handedly revolutionized standards of acting in the theatre. Until now, readers and students have had to contend with inaccurate, misleading and difficult-to-read English-language versions. Some of the mistranslations have resulted in profound distortions in the way his system has been interpreted and taught. At last, Jean Benedetti has succeeded in translating Stanislavski's huge manual into a lively, fascinating and accurate text in English. He has remained faithful to the author's original intentions, putting the two books previously known as An Actor Prepares and Building A Character back together into one volume, and in a colloquial and readable style for today's actors. The result is a major contribution to the theatre, and a service to one of the great innovators of the twentieth century. This Routledge Classics edition includes a new Foreword by the director Richard Eyre.
Stage fright has the power to drive actors away from the stage for months, years, and even a lifetime. It is a monster that can affect any actor at any time - but it is also a challenge that can be met.
In Facing the Fear - the first book of its kind written specifically for actors - performer, author and teacher Bella Merlin draws on her own and other actors' personal experiences to examine: the internal and external roots of stage fright, and how it manifests itself both psychologically and physiologically; the complex relationship between the actor and the audience, and how it contributes to stage fright; the cognitive processes of learning, storing and retrieving lines, and practical strategies to help; the essential principles for building a healthy, fear-free rehearsal environment; the techniques that actors can employ to develop their own practices, from tips on physical wellbeing to performance strategies.
Insightful, empowering and always reassuring, Facing the Fear is a book for any actor: for those who are experiencing or have previously suffered from stage fright, as well as for those who want to be fully prepared in case that day ever comes. It provides all the tools actors need to understand, confront and ultimately overcome stage fright and its effects, thereby regaining control over their lives and careers. It's also valuable reading for any teacher, director or stage manager working closely with actors, and a fascinating insight for anyone interested in what actors go through.