04 Sep The Two Rock N’ Roll Beach Reads That Made my Summer Sing
by Marisa Torrieri Bloom
Summer’s almost gone, but it would be remiss to pass through Labor Day without sharing two books — one memoir and one novel — that completely boosted beach season and poolside time.
As a busy mom with work, band, and parenting obligations, I spend more time reading the Harry Potter series to my older kid than I do engaging myself in an engrossing book. In fact, both of the books that made my summer sat on my nightstand (and bookshelf), untouched, for months. But once I dug in, I couldn’t put either book down.
Of course, I’m taking about Dave Grohl’s epic, relatable memoir, The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music (2021) and Taylor Jenkins Reid’s super-cool novel Daisy Jones & The Six (2019), which was recently optioned for an Amazon Prime Video series starring Riley Keough in the title role.
Dave Grohl: The Storyteller, Tales of Life & Music
The Foo Fighters frontman’s memoir, which came out in November, offers a striking narrative centered on the wild life of one of rock’s luckiest — and, simultaneously unluckiest — guys. I totally related to the chapters about his youth, growing up in a D.C. suburb with a parent who worked for the government, and his escapades within the hardcore/punk music scene. The way he writes about his big break, which came when he stumbled upon a flier on a bulletin board that said, “Scream Looking for Drummer. Call Franz” will make anyone smile. There’s lots of build-up throughout the first half of the book, and I felt like I was touring the country in his van with his band as the chapters — and encounters with musician legends like Iggy Pop — flew by.
But the most gripping parts of the book come later on, first when Grohl joins Nirvana, rises to fame, and then loses his bandmate (Kurt Cobain) and then, years later, loses his best friend. These experiences predate the more recent tragedy, the March 2022 death of longtime Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, but it’s clear that they molded Grohl into the person he is today — a hardworking musician, loving father of three little girls (check out the chapter, “Bedtime Stories with Joan Jett), and a devoted husband.
I polished this off in about a week, mostly while on vacation with my family in Montauk.
Lucky for me, I’m friends with the former marketing head at Dey Street (the imprint that published this book), and got this signed bookmark and guitar pick. Sometimes it pays to be a writer. 🙂
Daisy Jones & The Six
When I first cracked open my copy of Daisy Jones & The Six, a gift from my mother-in-law, a bookstore buying manager, I was a little turned off. The entire, 350-page novel is done in dialogue, movie-script style. It’s like reading the transcript for VHI’s Behind the Music. But as my family packed for a trip to Narragansett, R.I., I longed to read something cool and new. And it just so happened that the only un-read books on our home’s adult bookshelf were Unbroken (which I still intend to read) and this one. So I figured, ‘what the heck’ and stuffed it into my backpack.
And oh my GOD, I’m SO glad I did! DG & The Six is the BEST book for musician moms, filled with the kind of meaty drama and complex characters that would make both a soap opera fanatic and a movie critic swoon. As we get into the story of how DG, our beautiful and talented protagonist, comes of age and eventually meets up with The Six, we already know big things are coming — and bad things are going to go down. Experiencing the rollercoaster through the lens of multiple musicians is a true treat, especially for those of us who have been in bands and are all too familiar with band drama.
I finished this in just three days, and I cried. That’s how good it was! I’ve also started listening to Fleetwood Mac for the first time in my life, after seeing an article that suggested the main characters were inspired by that ’70s band (and its respective band dynamics). I really cannot wait until it hits the screens (hopefully this Fall!), and I really hope that the author, Taylor Jenkins Reid, does this again with an ’80s band. Sure, she has other novels, but rock n’ roll ones like these are so rare — and such a treasure.
Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the editor and founder of Rockmommy