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Drinking with Strangers: Music Lessons from a Teenage Bullet Belt Hardcover – 20 Nov 2011
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From the Back Cover
The artist named by Rolling Stone as one of America’s best singer-songwriters and the 2005 Producer of the Year shares the inside story of his music career
From his days with one-hit-wonder band the Marvelous 3 to his current work producing some of today’s hottest talent—from Weezer and Katy Perry to Pink, Avril Lavigne, and Panic! at the Disco—Butch Walker has proven himself a major influence in contemporary pop music. But the road to success wasn’t easy. Drinking with Strangers takes you into the studio and onto the stage, offering a rare glimpse into a life defined by raw talent, determination, a drive for perfection, and some ridiculous haircuts.
At age seventeen, Walker left small-town Georgia with his hair metal band and headed for the mean streets of Los Angeles. Full of piss, vinegar, and Jack Daniel’s (mostly the latter), these young Southern musicians were determined to become the biggest band on the Sunset Strip and land a major-label record deal. After many false starts—including an ill-fated concert tour of China—Walker’s rock-and-roll fantasies hadn’t quite come true, so he embraced the do-it-yourself approach. Taking control of his destiny, he learned to make success on his own terms, but not without some memorable, occasionally drunken stumbles along the way. Walker’s adventures taught him a number of life lessons he shares here with insight and candor, revealing the blessings of failure—and what it’s really like to spend your life going from gig to gig, drinking with strangers.
In a voice as wry as his lyrics, Walker pays tribute to his influences, from his parents to Mötley Crüe, from KISS to both Elvises (Presley and Costello). He offers a clear-eyed yet humorous look at the music business—the greed, the booze, the drugs, the infighting, the swindles, the unfulfilled promises—and explores its bad side, too. In documenting his rise to the middle, Walker frankly describes the delicate balance between success, selling out, and just knocking back another shot of whiskey to numb the pain.
Whether or not you are familiar with Walker’s music, Drinking with Strangers is a must-read for anyone who wants to make it in the music world, covering such essential topics as the digital revolution and its impact on both performers and producers, the art of creative collaboration, and what it’s really like to work with cutthroat competitors who might steal your soul (and your song). Unflinchingly told, Walker’s twenty-year journey of failing upwards becomes an unforgettable rite of passage.
About the Author
Butch Walker is a recording artist, songwriter, and producer. He lives in Atlanta and Los Angeles. His latest recording with the Black Widows is The Spade.
Top customer reviews
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I've been a fan of Butch's since the days of the so-called one hits wonder, Marvelous 3. Though many might only have heard of their smash hit 'Freak of the Week', there's so much more to this uber-talented songwriter and musician, and together Walker and Diehl guide you from his early adventures in hair metal, through to the massive highs and lows with Marvelous 3 and then out again the other side as he somehow emerges relatively unscathed to become the solo artist he is now.
For anyone with even a fleeting interest in the music scene, this autobiography really isn't to be missed. Butch holds nothing back, and the result is a fascinating insight into the debauched, cut-throat nature of today's popular culture, all with his own personal touch that makes you understand just why it is that over the years he's found himself drinking with so many strangers at bars across the world. Who can possibly resist listening to this modern day troubadour tell his tales? Not me, that's for sure.
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