TELL THE TRUTH UNTIL THEY BLEED: Josh Alan Friedman [Backbeat]

This excellent book by the author of 1986’s bestselling Tales Of Times Square collects 15 profiles on various music-biz figures with a concentration on the ’60s and ’70s. Doc Pomus, Jerry Leiber, Joel Dorn, Tommy Shannon, Mose Allison and Dr. John all get Josh Alan Friedman’s unique examination. His treatment of Rahsaan Roland Kirk exposes the saxophonist’s difficult demeanor. “‘Black classical music’ is how [Kirk] termed his jazz, espousing a jazz-victim philosophy, while hating rock and the white man’s music,” writes Friedman. These tales of survivors, casualties, assholes, losers and genuine badasses offer a peek at a time when music was saturated with real personalities. []

—Andrew Earles