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Top 5 books by music industry insiders, chosen by Tana Douglas

The world’s first female roadie selects five books by rock’n’roll insiders from their unique perspective

Tana Douglas was 15 when she took her first job as a roadie with AC/DC. Now recognised as the world’s first female roadie, Douglas has worked alongside some of rock’n’roll’s biggest names in a career spanning three continents and more than 30 years. These are her picks for the best books to give you that insider perspective.

1. Beastie Boys Book by Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz 

Having missed the whole Beastie Boys phenomenon, I recently stumbled across the Spike Jonze documentary. I realised I’d missed a great story. Their book shows the humour, determination and friendship that drove that unlikely success story. 

2. Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black by Cookie Mueller 

I love an outrageously haphazard life story; such is Cookie Mueller’s. A pretty blonde who starts as part of John Waters’ troupe  and springboards to a short life surrounded by celebrities in a time when taking your first shot of heroin, to being sexually abused, to falling in with a group of satanists is somehow not surprising.  

3. Faithfull by Marianne Faithfull  

This is a hard-earned tale of someone I consider extremely talented and under-recognised. Marianne’s been through it all and surprisingly has come out the other side with grace and humour. Bravo! 

4. Life by Keith Richards  

Richards’ memoir answers that ongoing question, “How is he still alive?” Simply because, he is Keef. Meet the man behind the myth and love him even more. 

5. Annie Leibovitz SUMO by Annie Leibovitz  

Loud by Tana Douglas

A limited-edition monster of a book that not only fills its mammoth dimensions with many of the most recognisable photos of her career, but comes with its own stand and compendium to tell us why. If I had a room worthy, I’d get one. 

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Loud: A Life in Rock ‘n’ Roll by the World’s First Female Roadie by Tana Douglas is out now (ABC Books, £14.99). You can buy it from The Big Issue shop on Bookshop.org, which helps to support The Big Issue and independent bookshops.

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine, which exists to give homeless, long-term unemployed and marginalised people the opportunity to earn an income.

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