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Rock 'n' Roll Myths: The True Stories Behind the Most Infamous Legends [Paperback]

Gary Graff , Daniel Durchholz

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Book Description

June 12 2012

It's perhaps the relative modernity of rock 'n' roll that makes the genre a minefield of myths and legends accepted as truth. History hasn't had time to dissect the bunk. Until now.

Discover the real stories behind rock's biggest crocks, how they came to be but why they have persisted. Did Cass Elliott really asphyxiate herself with a ham sandwich? Did the Beatles spark a spliff in Buckingham? Did Willie Nelson do the same in the White House? Did Keith Richards get a complete "oil change" at a Swiss clinic in 1973 to pass a drug test necessary to embark on an American tour with the Stones?
Then there's the freaky (did Michael Jackson own the remains of the Elephant Man?), the quasi-medical (Rod Stewart and that stomach pump?), the culinary (did Alice Cooper and Ozzy Osbourne really do all those things to bats, chickens, etc. onstage?), and the apocryphal (did Robert Johnson sell his soul to the Prince of Darkness in exchange for mastery of the blues?).
In all, more than 50 enduring lies are examined, explained, and debunked.



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“The book is filled with fun facts and the debunking of rumors. If you think you already know everything there was to know about your favorite bands, just read this.” -

“If you’re a rock fan, a gossip lover, or a head banger from way back, Rock ‘n’ Roll Myths will hit the right note.” - Terri Schlichenmeyer’s syndicated book reviews

“The book is surprising deep in coverage, tackling more than 50 myths, urban legends and stories over a cross section of genres, everything from Kiss and Donna Summers to the Ohio Players and Sid Vicious.” - Blurt magazine

From the Back Cover

Beginning with the apocryphal tale of Robert Johnson selling his soul at the crossroads, veteran music journalists Gary Graff and Daniel Durchholz take on the real stories behind rock’s biggest crocks, half-truths, and too-strange-to-be-false myths and legends, examining how and why these tales came to be in the first place and how they have persisted through the years. Of course there’s sex (Did members of Led Zeppelin pleasure a groupie with a mud shark in a Holiday Inn bathtub?), drugs (Did the Beatles spark a spliff in Buckingham?), and rock ’n’ roll (Does The Wall sync up to The Wizard of Oz?). But there’s also the quasi-medical (Rod Stewart and that stomach pump, Marilyn Manson’s spare rib), the culinary (Alice Cooper and chickens, Ozzy Osbourne and bats, Frank Zappa and . . . well, never mind), the downright silly (McCartney dead? Morrison, Elvis, and Tupac alive?), and even a few doozies that appear to have at least a kernel of truth to them (Keith Richards taking a bump of his dearly departed father’s ashes, Van Halen and those M&Ms, and blood in the ink of the 1977 KISS comic book). In all, the authors examine 57 enduring yarns, in the process revealing the machinations of myth-making in the fast and loose world of rock, country, and pop.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Read Aug. 9 2012
By Jim061211 - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The lowdown on lots of rumors I'd always wondered about - like whether Ozzy Osbourne had really bitten the head off a bat. (Read the book and find out - no spoilers here.)
Read it in about a day, and would love to see a sequel or a series. There's lots of rumors out there.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite Enjoyable July 25 2012
By Steve 1967 - Published on
I enjoyed reading this book. I'm a big music fan and thought I knew most of the stories about most of the bands and artists - but I learned a lot! Several of the myths - and stories behind the myths - were new to me and really interesting ("Love Rollercoaster" by the Ohio Players to name one). A good read - perfect for your airport or airplane reading, especially!
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun May 14 2014
By Judith - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
You'll probably know which myths are true and which are not, but it's still fun. I mean, you did know Paul isn't dead, didn't you? All the classic rumors are here; Keith Richards snorted his father's ashes, Ozzy and that bat, Keith Richards getting his blood replaced, Gene Simmons tongue extension, etc. There are myths from all eras, but I would say more are from the boomer era, probably because personalities were bigger back then. There is more coverage of hard rock and metal personalities than other genres, but that is probably because those guys cultivate that badass image. I mean, when was the last time you heard of a fan throwing a bat at Aretha? Even when you already know the answer, it's still fun to read the stories behind the myths. Like, Gene Simmons thinks his long tongue is a gift. Why? Let's not go there.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun read for musicians and fans alike. Jan. 24 2014
By Rita Pacheco - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This item was an add on gift for a music fan. It arrived later than expected so wound up keeping myself and gave the intended recipient something else. I already knew most of these stories, but once I finish thumbing through I will re-gift to someone who will enjoy it.
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Simple Oct. 24 2013
By ddebello - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not a great read. It felt thrown together and most of the myths have been debunked before in other books. Just not a great book.

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