Rhino Reading Room: Belinda Carlisle, Billy J. Kramer, and Ian Gillan
It’s time to return to the Rhino Reading Room to remind you of three artists from the Rhino catalog who are celebrating birthdays this month and have either written memoirs or have had biographies written about them. You don’t necessarily have to be a big fan of all three artists to keep reading, but if you enjoy getting immersed in the life stories of musicians, then you might just want to read about all of them!
Belinda Carlisle, Lips Unsealed: A Memoir
“The women of the iconic eighties band the Go-Go’s will always be remembered as they appeared on the back of their debut record: sunny, smiling, each soaking in her own private bubble bath with chocolates and champagne. The photo is a perfect tribute to the fun, irreverent brand of pop music that the Go-Go’s created, but it also conceals the trials and secret demons that the members of the group—in particular, its lead singer, Belinda Carlisle—struggled with on their rise to stardom.
“Lips Unsealed is Belinda’s story in her own words—from her crazy days on tour with the Go-Go’s to her private problems with abusive relationships, self-esteem, and a thirty-year battle with addiction. Ultimately, it is a love letter to music, the lifelong friendships between the members of the Go-Go’s, the beloved husband and son who led Belinda to sobriety, and a life which, though deeply flawed, was—and is still—fully lived.”
Billy J. Kramer, Do You Want to Know a Secret? – The Autobiography of Billy J. Kramer
“In this autobiography Billy J. Kramer (born William Ashton) tells his rags to riches story, from his working class childhood in Liverpool to the racy world of international pop music. Managed by Brian Epstein, produced by George Martin, and friend, confidante and colleague of the Beatles, Kramer gives a definitive insider's account of the birth of the Liverpool sound and also the British Invasion of the USA. But there are dark secrets in the Kramer story. Before he reached his twenties, he was in the grip of drugs and alcohol, and there were constant tensions between him and his backing band, the Dakotas. When the screaming stopped, he reinvented himself as a cabaret performer, and some of his best records were made in the years he was out of the limelight. With a young family, drink and pills made his domestic life, and eventually his professional life, a struggle. In this no-holds-barred account, Kramer brings to life the vibrancy of the sixties. He then reveals how he exorcised his demons and forged a new career in the United States. He assembles his current band, shows a growing mastery of songwriting, and returns to national tours of Britain and the USA, keeping the flame of the Mersey sound alive. The lifetime of experience he brings to his new songs infuses every page of this enthralling read.”
“In 1970, Deep Purple burst on to the British rock scene with their hit ‘Black Night’ and bestselling album ‘Deep Purple in Rock’. This is the autobiography of their lead singer, Ian Gillan.
Here he tells his life story, and that of the band he helped to make great. Stories of friction and violence, groupies and non-stop partying, drugs and alcohol, and how, finally, it all spiralled out of control to destroy the band.
“This book traces Gillan's career from his childhood in Hounslow and early days with bands such as Episode Six and The Javelins. It concentrates on the international fame he found with songs including ‘Smoke on the Water’ and ‘Child in Time’ His outrageous life continues with Black Sabbath and the Gillan band, with whom he toured worldwide, whilst also writing consistently bestselling albums and singles.”