Rock autobiographies to read in self isolation

Self-isolation doesn’t have to be boring if you’ve got these page-turners on your bedside table. 

How is everybody doing in self-isolation? Are we all being good and staying the f*ck at home? Please do. We get it, it’s boring, you can’t go to gigs, a lot of them are canceled, your favorite pub is closed and generally the world is a bit gloomy. But that doesn’t mean you can’t escape into the world of all your favorite artists!

We have put together our very favorite (mostly) rock autobiographies that we think you should 100% read whilst you have the time. Dive into the lives of Elvis Costello’s musical journey, Dolly Parton’s always great advice, Laura Jane Grace’s inspiring story and of course the ultimate autobiography of our lord and savior, Bruce Springsteen.

Keith Richards – Life

Of all rock’n’roll biographies, you know that a Rolling Stone biography will be the one you’ll want to read the most. The idea of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll fully comes to life in Keith Richards Life. The guitarist talks us through his childhood in post-war Kent, meeting Mick Jagger, almost getting busted with a car full of drugs in the US and much much more. You won’t be able to stop reading.


Kim Gordon – Girl In A Band

Founding member of Sonic Youth, Kim Gordon, was an inspiration for a whole generation of women. In Girl In A Band, she takes on a ride of New York’s life and music scene in the 90’s and 80’s, we get an insight into a woman pioneering a sound and managing marriage, kids and more.


Cherie Currie – Neon Angel: A Memoir Of A Runaway

More female rock power – original leadsinger or teen rock outfit The Runaways, Cherie Currie speaks openly about her years in the band including a close friendship with Joan Jett and struggles with addiction that nearly cost her life.


Elvis Costello – Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink

His dad a jazz musician, and his grandfather a trumpet player, music has always been in Elvis Costello’s blood. Born Declan Patrick MacManus, Costello walks us through his life with incredibly insight, along with lots and lots of photographs from his personal archive.


Ronnie Spector – Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts, and Madness

She was only 19 when she became a music icon with The Ronettes. Ronnie Spector was inducted into the rock’n’roll in 2017 alongside her band members for legendary hits like Be My Baby, Walking In The Rain and more. This honest and funny recall of her experience in the early 60’s music scene will at times make for some uncomfortable reading but it’s a story that needs to be told over and over again.


Johnny Cash – Forever Words

What would music be without Johnny Cash? We don’t want to know. The godfather of country music, the ultimate bad boy and loving father and husband left multiple letters and lyrics behind after his death. His son, with the help of friends and publishers, collected those letters and notes into one of the most beautiful collections in music.


Patti Smith – Just Kids

They met in 1967, at a hotel in Brooklyn, and ever since Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe have been lifelong friends who started out as lovers. But Just Kids offers much more than the story of Patti and Robert, it shares an insight into life in New York.


Laura Jane Grace – Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout

When it comes to brave, Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace should pop up in your dictionary every time you search for a definition. In Tranny, with the help of journalist and friend Dan Ozzi, she dives deep into a story that’s seldom told but more need to hear. Laura Jane Grace has helped start a conversation that needs to be louder and bigger, and her story is one of the most honest we’ve ever read.


Dolly Parton – Dolly: My Life And Other Unfinished Business

As far as musicians go we’re pretty sure Dolly Parton is a goddess sent to us by the heavens to send us all the positivity, female power and songwriting goodness we need. She left her home at the age of 18 to pursue a career in music, she wrote two of the world’s biggest songs in ONE SINGLE DAY and she’s just overall awesomeness.


Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run

As far as bibles are concerned we’re no experts, but we know that our bible is Springsteen’s autobiography. The story of a guy from New Jersey who just wanted to make music no matter how much his dad didn’t approve, that gets so personal you feel like you lived through it yourself. And when we read about the birth of his kids there’s tears of joy, just like we turn into balls of sad mush when we read about the death of Clarence Clemons (rest easy, big man). Springsteen may not be going on tour any time soon, but this book is close enough for now.