Books by Keith Zimmerman

SHINING STAR by Philip Bailey
Released: April 15, 2014

"An energetic memoir about a complex individual and his music."
Earth, Wind & Fire lead singer Bailey recounts his groovy life at the center of one of the most influential bands ever to don gold lamé capes and platform boots. Read full book review >
6 CHAMBERS, 1 BULLET by Sonny Barger
Released: June 1, 2006

"Violent, brutal and, of course, just about mindless."
Once more—with a little help from his friends—the author of Hell's Angel tracks the free-wheeling adventures of Patch Kincade (Dead in 5 Heartbeats, 2003), biker Galahad. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 9, 2006

"Vague, conflicted and almost quaint in its socialist pseudo-seriousness."
Rambling take on the life and thoughts of Black Panther Party co-founder Huey P. Newton, by his former "Chief of Staff." Read full book review >
DEAD IN 5 HEARTBEATS by Sonny Girard
Released: Oct. 1, 2003

"Barger, an ex-president of the notorious Hell's Angels, has authored (with an assist from the Zimmermans) nonfiction about biker activities and clearly knows whereof he speaks—if that's a recommendation."
Nonstop violence in a debut thriller about sociopaths on wheels. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 13, 1995

Entertaining stories—with some tall tales mixed in, no doubt- -from the life of a renegade Texan artist. Best known, at least in media circles, for building the giant iguana that festooned New York City's Lone Star CafÇ during the 1980s, Wade has had a long and varied career. He begins this autobiography reminiscing about growing up building hot rods, raising hell south of the border, and living the University of Texas fraternity life (where he acquired the ``Daddy-O'' moniker). Wade makes a few interesting observations here: for instance, that hot rod car culture's ideal of the ``custom-built'' influenced him and other budding artists. But his main concern is to establish his bona fides as a wild guy and enfant terrible of the nascent Texas art world in the early 1970s. At this point, Wade and the Zimmerman brothers (coauthors, with John Lydon, of Rotten, 1994) begin devoting each chapter to one or another of the monumental public sculptures that Wade has spent his life creating. His oversize map of Texas, adorned with real dirt and road signs, inspires him to celebrate the American bicentennial with a kitsch-laden model of the USA as big as a football field. The notoriety of the New York iguana brings Wade commissions to build towering cowboy boots in Washington, D.C., and a set of rooftop frogs for a Dallas club. Wade's attitude occasionally wears thin. He seems to hold back intellectual insights in favor of buttressing his devil-may-care persona. But he describes with plenty of detail the nuts and bolts of his projects, the ups and downs of public reaction to them, and all the fun he's had along the way. Those looking to experience the wild side of art will find this a fine map. (8 pages b&w photos, 8 pages color photos, not seen) Read full book review >
Released: April 7, 1994

An insightful look at punk rock's—and his own—beginnings by former Sex Pistols' lead singer John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten), with some help from enemies and friends. Lydon has a harrowing story, and he tells it with all the rage and disdain that marked his early music. A youthful sufferer of spinal meningitis, he returned home from a long hospitalization at age seven with no memory; his mother spent her evenings for two years outfitting him with a life, telling him all she knew about the world. A poor, hunchbacked adolescent, Lydon suffered shyness and explosive anger; his intensity overpowered all who approached him. His book is a loose series of reminiscences that spares no one—least of all his friends—its honesty and occasional contradictions. He tells how he named Pistols' bassist Sid Vicious for his hamster; how he tried to kill Sid's girlfriend Nancy; how lead guitarist Steve Jones stole equipment for the Pistols; of having his father sleep with his fans; and of being stabbed by royalists enraged by the group's hit ``God Save the Queen.'' Lydon offers plenty of insight into the punk subculture itself, including punk fashion, which flourished and died in just two years in the late '70s and had colorful (not all black-clad) beginnings; the class barriers punk straddled; the opportunities it afforded women, historically marginal to British pop; and the enormous degree to which the music industry—which quickly co-opted punk's energy and narrowed its meaning—influences English life. Included is testimony from Lydon's father and rockers Chrissie Hynde, Billy Idol, and others; a track-by-track analysis of Pistols recordings; and a reading of affidavits in Lydon's suit against former manager Malcolm McLaren for back pay. Though disorganized, occasionally repetitive, its pages afroth with revolting, delightful anecdotes, this book is an informative document and great fun to read. Read full book review >