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The Boy in the Song: The True Stories Behind 50 Rock Classics

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How well do you really know your rock history? The Boy in the Song focuses on the boyfriends, husbands, bandmates, exes, heroes, celebrities, fathers, sons, and even complete strangers who inspired 50 of rock’s greatest songs. Readers will learn that a surprising number of performers have revealed their band’s inner struggles through their music. Stevie Nicks’s “Silver Spr How well do you really know your rock history? The Boy in the Song focuses on the boyfriends, husbands, bandmates, exes, heroes, celebrities, fathers, sons, and even complete strangers who inspired 50 of rock’s greatest songs. Readers will learn that a surprising number of performers have revealed their band’s inner struggles through their music. Stevie Nicks’s “Silver Spring,” about her breakup with bandmate Lindsey Buckingham, was left off Rumours, which contributed to her decision to leave Fleetwood Mac. Bruce Springsteen’s “Bobby Jean” was written as a farewell to Steve Van Zandt, who was leaving the E Street Band, and Boy George asked drummer Jon Moss “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” in a classic case of requited love.             Authors Michael Heatley and Frank Hopkinson explain how each boy or man inspired the song written about him, when the song was released, and the impact it had on the charts, the performer, and the subject himself. Music buffs will also appreciate information on the performers as well as trivia from recording history. It’s the perfect book for anyone who’s ever wondered, “Who was that song about?”


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How well do you really know your rock history? The Boy in the Song focuses on the boyfriends, husbands, bandmates, exes, heroes, celebrities, fathers, sons, and even complete strangers who inspired 50 of rock’s greatest songs. Readers will learn that a surprising number of performers have revealed their band’s inner struggles through their music. Stevie Nicks’s “Silver Spr How well do you really know your rock history? The Boy in the Song focuses on the boyfriends, husbands, bandmates, exes, heroes, celebrities, fathers, sons, and even complete strangers who inspired 50 of rock’s greatest songs. Readers will learn that a surprising number of performers have revealed their band’s inner struggles through their music. Stevie Nicks’s “Silver Spring,” about her breakup with bandmate Lindsey Buckingham, was left off Rumours, which contributed to her decision to leave Fleetwood Mac. Bruce Springsteen’s “Bobby Jean” was written as a farewell to Steve Van Zandt, who was leaving the E Street Band, and Boy George asked drummer Jon Moss “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” in a classic case of requited love.             Authors Michael Heatley and Frank Hopkinson explain how each boy or man inspired the song written about him, when the song was released, and the impact it had on the charts, the performer, and the subject himself. Music buffs will also appreciate information on the performers as well as trivia from recording history. It’s the perfect book for anyone who’s ever wondered, “Who was that song about?”

30 review for The Boy in the Song: The True Stories Behind 50 Rock Classics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lynx

    When the term "muse" is used, most people tend to picture a female. Such is not always the case and this book sheds light on the male muses who have inspired some awesome rock n roll hits. Don’t go into this expecting deep insight. Each Muse has 2-3 pages with the broad strokes on who they are and how they came to influence the musicians who sealed their fate in rock and roll history. For me, the real fun in reading this was looking up each song and playing it as I read that chapter whether I kne When the term "muse" is used, most people tend to picture a female. Such is not always the case and this book sheds light on the male muses who have inspired some awesome rock n roll hits. Don’t go into this expecting deep insight. Each Muse has 2-3 pages with the broad strokes on who they are and how they came to influence the musicians who sealed their fate in rock and roll history. For me, the real fun in reading this was looking up each song and playing it as I read that chapter whether I knew it or not. You’re definitely going to get more out of the book if you put in the effort, and you may just discover some new kick ass music while you’re at it!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Phoebe

    Fascinating and satisfying in that way where you know you should not ogle photos of celebrities as though they're incredibly strange and unknowable alien creatures, but you still allow yourself to once in a while. Fascinating and satisfying in that way where you know you should not ogle photos of celebrities as though they're incredibly strange and unknowable alien creatures, but you still allow yourself to once in a while.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    The writing jumps around a bit, and some entries didn't seem warranted (Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" was about an ex, but no one famous or even named in the book... Why would I care?), but pretty fun and I learned a bit. Hoping for The Girl in the Song next. The writing jumps around a bit, and some entries didn't seem warranted (Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" was about an ex, but no one famous or even named in the book... Why would I care?), but pretty fun and I learned a bit. Hoping for The Girl in the Song next.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jill Byrd

    I love trivia and this book is full of it. Great pictures too.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shari

    Fun to read with YouTube in hand in order to listen to all the songs referenced.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jaimie

    When I first picked up this book, I was really excited to read it. The creative inspiration behind any artistic production is always an interesting topic because it places the art in a historical and biographical context that often explains much of its meaning to the creator. Yet while some of the songs described here are very interesting stories, I found that most of the songs and bands were ones that I didn't know or didn't care about, so the back story was completely lost. Besides needing an When I first picked up this book, I was really excited to read it. The creative inspiration behind any artistic production is always an interesting topic because it places the art in a historical and biographical context that often explains much of its meaning to the creator. Yet while some of the songs described here are very interesting stories, I found that most of the songs and bands were ones that I didn't know or didn't care about, so the back story was completely lost. Besides needing an upgrade in terms of song/band-choice, the biggest disappointment was the poor quality of writing. The linguistic style was that of a hack journalist when it could/should havea been the quality of Rolling Stone magazine. The book would have greatly benefited from a more conversational tone, rather than an academically removed tone, because the book is basically filled with gossip, rumours, and personal intrigues.

  7. 4 out of 5

    PennsyLady (Bev)

    soft cover 144 pg The Boy in the Song: The True Stories Behind 50 Rock Classics (2012) is a companion piece to The Girl in the Song: The Stories Behind 50 Rock Classics(2010) Both were written by Michael Heatley and Frank Hopkinson. The female muse was a bit more interesting to me because I knew many of the groups, songs and musical time frames. But, bear in mind, meeting the man that served as inspiration was still a good read, also providing interesting trivia from "recording history." I'll let the soft cover 144 pg The Boy in the Song: The True Stories Behind 50 Rock Classics (2012) is a companion piece to The Girl in the Song: The Stories Behind 50 Rock Classics(2010) Both were written by Michael Heatley and Frank Hopkinson. The female muse was a bit more interesting to me because I knew many of the groups, songs and musical time frames. But, bear in mind, meeting the man that served as inspiration was still a good read, also providing interesting trivia from "recording history." I'll let the authors tell you what they hoped to accomplish: "Explain how each boy or man inspired the song written about him, when the song was released, and the impact it had on the charts, the performers, and the subject himself." I'll simply call this another good mini-trek into rock history.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Celena

    Firstly I'd like to say I have read a number of Goodreads reviews on this book and to the ones who lament they don't know most of the songs...what's that got to do with anything! Isn't that one of the great things about hearing a story behind the song that you actually GO AND LISTEN to the songs.... Just a thought. Or is that one too many clicks for you to do on your ITunes account? Heavens above. Close rant. There were a number of songs I myself wasn't familiar with but I found it cool to read t Firstly I'd like to say I have read a number of Goodreads reviews on this book and to the ones who lament they don't know most of the songs...what's that got to do with anything! Isn't that one of the great things about hearing a story behind the song that you actually GO AND LISTEN to the songs.... Just a thought. Or is that one too many clicks for you to do on your ITunes account? Heavens above. Close rant. There were a number of songs I myself wasn't familiar with but I found it cool to read the interpretation and any historical/cultural insights.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Melody

    I knew most of them. Blame it on my wasted youth, I guess. Or my passion for rock biography, either one. I was a little annoyed at some of the inclusions, which basically concluded, "This song is about someone, but Carly isn't telling." Which we all knew already, thanks. Some of the photos were poignant and evocative- and some of the songs were old favorites. Worth leafing through in the waiting room, but I don't think I'd buy a copy. I knew most of them. Blame it on my wasted youth, I guess. Or my passion for rock biography, either one. I was a little annoyed at some of the inclusions, which basically concluded, "This song is about someone, but Carly isn't telling." Which we all knew already, thanks. Some of the photos were poignant and evocative- and some of the songs were old favorites. Worth leafing through in the waiting room, but I don't think I'd buy a copy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lesley

    Arrgh. How do you write a book on men who have inspired famous songs without including "Killing Me Softly"? As with the companion Girl in the Song, erratic choice of entries, random organization, and uninspired writing. Arrgh. How do you write a book on men who have inspired famous songs without including "Killing Me Softly"? As with the companion Girl in the Song, erratic choice of entries, random organization, and uninspired writing.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Simon Sweetman

    Hey, it's a nice easy read and plus I'd read the Girl in The Song book already so had to complete the set. At least that's how I sold it to myself. Good lightweight read; bit of fun. Nothing too clever, too tricky, too necessary... Hey, it's a nice easy read and plus I'd read the Girl in The Song book already so had to complete the set. At least that's how I sold it to myself. Good lightweight read; bit of fun. Nothing too clever, too tricky, too necessary...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kristenyque

    I really enjoyed this! There were some stories that I knew of vaguely but there were many details here that I hadn't heard previously. I caught some entirely new stories as well. If you love song lyrics or popular music it's a good read. I really enjoyed this! There were some stories that I knew of vaguely but there were many details here that I hadn't heard previously. I caught some entirely new stories as well. If you love song lyrics or popular music it's a good read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Abigail (Abbe)

    any book with a surprise jeff buckley article rules!!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Not the songs that I would pick but interesting all the same. Cried a little when I saw Jeff Buckley. Gone too soon.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lizzie Upchurch

    Some very great songs were in there.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    meh.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rain

    The previous book--about girls in songs--was mainly about male musicians. And so is this one. And that's kind of bullshit. The previous book--about girls in songs--was mainly about male musicians. And so is this one. And that's kind of bullshit.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Holli Keel

    This is my kind of book, and I enjoyed reading about the origins of some of the songs, but otherwise, the book was kind of average and I got bored about halfway through.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sian

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Bouwman

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Detroit

  22. 4 out of 5

    Vivian

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mitchell

  24. 5 out of 5

    Holly Morales

  25. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Lima

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kirsty

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Mohr

  28. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Донка

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mai Anh Nguyen

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