Gab & Jam Episode 3: What's on Our Bookshelf?

What's on Our Bookshelf? Gab & Jam Episode 3  --Blooming Prejippie Zine

We began our session with a little bass of Stanley Clarke’s songs “Silly Putty” and “Lopsy Lu.”

As you can see, we have thousands of books, so our challenge was to limit it to just a few to show you want is on our bookshelf. Some are old favorites, some are new, some of actual books, and others are digital. Some we have read and a few we are planning to read.

What we’ve noticed is that many of the books that Bruce likes to read are biographies. We like biographies, because they share the whole person with us; not just the strong and brave face that gives them their reputation, but also their struggles and how they get through the other side and lead the way to success.

1. Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year by Tavis Smiley and David Ritz

The book goes a long way to demystify the man that we think Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is; a symbol of non-violent racial peace. This book shows how Dr. King was challenging us, as a society, to not simply choose a side, but to think about issues related to the Vietnam war, etc. He was not just the “get along guy” that we perceive him to be today. It also talks about Dr. King’s struggle to connect alongside of the up and coming, more militant civil rights’ leaders, like Stokely Carmichael, etc.

2. My Life with Earth, Wind & Fire by Maurice White and Herb Powell

Bruce just started this book. Of course, Maurice White passed away last year, but he was an essential member of the great band Earth, Wind, and Fire. –If you have never heard the band’s music, you need to go listen/watch now. Their music from the 70s combined Afro-Cuban rhythms with R&B and other genres, including rock. Maurice White was the lead singer, songwriter, and an excellent drummer. He and his band-mate brother, Verdine White, were musical icons of the 70s and, as a young musician, I looked up to them.

3. Herbie Hancock: Possibilities by Herbie Hancock and Lisa Dickey

This book, like the last, is an auto-biography. This is a great book that talks about Herbie Hancock’s time with Miles Davis. Hancock was another musician/songwriter with a wide range, who went through different transformations as an artist. Hancock’s career spanned several decades and migrated through several genres, including acoustic jazz in the 60s to funk in the 70s on through to the R&B of the 80s. Hancock drops all kinds of funny nuggets of information about the musicians he’s worked with over the years, as well as his candidness about his drug problem, which makes this an interesting read.

Bird by Bird  --Blooming Prejippie Zine

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamonte

4. Bird By Bird by Anne Lamonte

I have loved this book since I first discovered it. I bought it quite a while back, read it, and then a few years later, I bought it again—not realizing that I had already read it. Of course, once I began reading it, I remember thinking that this all sounded sooooo familiar. Went to the bookshelf and found it. –Yes, I’d bought it twice. –I realized then that it was a text that would resonate with me each time I read it and it became my all-time favorite book. What I like most is that it is not just about the art of writing, but it’s about the life of a writer (and what that physically and psychologically and culturally entails and implies). Lamonte’s style is funny, but explores some heavy issues in a realistic way all at the same time, which makes it moving to read. Bruce calls this my “Writer’s Bible,” and I guess he’s right, because I return to it to gain wisdom and perspective on creative “predicament.” #ChristianButStillCrazy

15 Tips for Taking Better Band Photos --Blooming Prejippie Zine

You’ve heard the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, band photos REALLY are, since they determine if someone is going to say “Hell, yeah!” or “Hell, no!” to listening to your kick-ass music. Don’t forget to take heed to these important tips, in order to “get it right.” Check out this checklist of 15 valuable tips.