Books

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

Beastie Boys in 2009

The Beastie Boys's book shows the "humour, determination and friendship that drove that unlikely success story". Photo: Maddy Julien

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. 

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.

To support our work buy a copy! If you cannot reach your local vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member. You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Parasol Against the Axe by Helen Oyeyemi review – electrifying, experimental writing
Books

Parasol Against the Axe by Helen Oyeyemi review – electrifying, experimental writing

The Hearing Test by Eliza Barry Callahan review – a droll insight into a year of loss
Books

The Hearing Test by Eliza Barry Callahan review – a droll insight into a year of loss

Top 5 books about the British seaside, chosen by crime writer William Shaw
Books

Top 5 books about the British seaside, chosen by crime writer William Shaw

The Other Valley by Scott Alexander Howard review – the moral conundrums of coming of age
Books

The Other Valley by Scott Alexander Howard review – the moral conundrums of coming of age

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know