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Books by John Kruth

  • Rhapsody in Black

    John Kruth

    Product Code: BMLHW
    Paperback
    Roy Orbison emerged as an artist alongside his Sun Records contemporaries in the early days of rock n roll. He did not possess the good looks of Elvis Presley or the everyman toughness of Johnny Cash, nor did he conduct wild-child stage antics like Jerry Lee Lewis. But he did possess a magnetic mystique that would captivate fans around the world and inspire countless musicians. A quiet man, who K.D. Lang would refer to as Buddha, Orbison was more interested in building model airplanes, watching films, and reading books in his den than talking about himself or partying hard. Yet he was nothing shy of a superstar determined to succeed, driven by a relentless love for music that started in childhood, and blessed with some of the best pipes in the business. Standing still onstage, hidden behind his perpetual Ray-Bans, Orbison delivered his melodious songs with haunting emotional depth. His artful recordings, mysterious image, and angelic voice have left an indelible mark on popular music. In Rhapsody in Black, John Kruth tells the story of Roy Orbison in prose as musical as the artist s melodies and does not shy away from or trivialize the personal pain, alienation, and tragic events that shaped Orbison s singular personality and music. Featuring interviews with people who worked closely with Orbison, career-spanning photos, a select discography, and a new afterward for the paperback edition, Rhapsody in Black is both celebratory and touching. It delves into the behind-the-music details of Orbison s collaborations, recording sessions, tours, and business affairs, as well as his personal life his roots, his marriages, and his children to present a telescopic view of his legacy.
    • £15.99
    • RRP £19.99
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  • A Friend of the Devil

    John Kruth

    Product Code: BJLZW
    Paperback
    This book is a fun and informative historical survey of songs that lionize notorious brigands from Ireland to Brazil, Italy to Australia, to the drug lords of Mexico and the inner-city gangs of the United States. For centuries each of these cultures have continued to romanticize criminals, raising them to the status of heroic figures through poetry, stories, song, and more recently film. A Friend of the Devil tracks the true story of these legendary bandits behind the songs that deify them, while looking at society s role in both creating outlaws, and our perpetual need for a new hero. The book also delves into why socially minded, truth-seeking artists, including Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, wrote and sang songs about such cold-blooded killers as Pretty Boy Floyd and Joey Gallo, purposefully perpetuating their myths in lieu of an honest portrayal of these bad men. A Friend of the Devil features new interviews with dozens of contemporary songwriters, including Steve Earle, Richard Thompson, Taj Mahal, and Dr. John along with authors Michael Ondaatje and Ishmael Reed. Illustrated with a series of photographs by the author of songwriters and singers of outlaw ballads that include Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Aaron Neville, John Prine, and Gordon Gano of Violent Femmes.
    • £18.89
    • RRP £20.00
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  • Rhapsody in Black

    John Kruth

    Product Code: AGQCL
    Hardback
    He was blessed with a set of pipes that Elvis Presley claimed were the best in the business. His eyes hidden behind his perpetual Ray-Bans, Roy Orbison stood perfectly still onstage, singing songs of devastating heartbreak. Bob Dylan compared him to a professional killer, claiming the intensity of Orbison's operatic tenor was enough to make him drive off a cliff. Neil Young stated, It's almost impossible to comprehend the depth of his soul. There's something sad but proud about Roy's music. And Bono later claimed he was not only enthralled by Orbison's angelic voice, but considered In Dreams to be probably the greatest pop song ever written. Orbison's singing has inspired everyone who has heard it, from Springsteen to k. d. lang, and laid the very foundation for goth. While fascinating from a pop culture standpoint, it is Orbison's life's journey that makes a great story that has yet to be told to its fullest. Rhapsody in Black doesn't shy away from or trivialize the personal pain, alienation, and tragic events that shaped Orbison's singular personality and music. Roy Orbison wasn't merely a singer but a sonic alchemist who, in the end, transformed unfathomable human misery into transcendent melody and platinum records. Rhapsody In Black contains new interviews with over 20 people who worked closely with Orbison throughout his life.
    • £22.29
    • RRP £22.50
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