Put it in Writing
From the radio to the bookshelf (or e-book reader), these musicians have added literary prowess to their impressive resumes.
Did you know that Alice Cooper has written a book? Did you also know that he really likes golf? Part autobiography, part golf manual, his 2007 book Alice Cooper, Golf Monster credits the sport with helping him to overcome alcoholism. He says that golf provided him with a way to stick with his post-rehab commitments during the early 80s. Michael Douglas, a big fan of the book, says “[it] shares Alice's personal life mission, interwoven with great stories and characters from the 60s through the present in Rock and Roll. Not to mention some wonderful golf tips”.
At some point between 1965 and 1966, Bob Dylan wrote an experimental prose poetry collection entitled Tarantula, using an Allen Ginsberg-esque stream-of-consciousness writing style. Dylan later told the public that he never officially agreed to write the book, implying that his former manager Albert Grossman signed Dylan up to pen the novel without attaining his full consent. He has since gained full control over his literary products: almost four decades after the underground publication of Tarantula, Dylan released the first installation in his autobiography, Chronicles: Volume One. The book reached number two on the New York Times’ Hardcover Non-Fiction best seller list in December 2004 and was nominated for a National Book Award.
It’s no wonder that this Jack (or Jill, rather) of all trades has dabbled in writing: with her unquenchable thirst for new creative outlets, it was only a matter of time before she honed in on literary territory. Her first venture into the world of publishing was the 1992 coffee table book, SEX, released as a companion piece to her album Erotica. Madonna wrote the book under the guise of Mistress Dita, a character inspired by 1930s film actress Dita Parlo. The controversial tome featured adult content and softcore pornographic imagery. Madonna has since focused her attention on family-friendly content, penning The English Roses in 2003. The illustrated children’s book quickly became the fastest selling volume by a first-time children’s author. The English Roses contains Kabbalist themes and lessons, a reflection of Madonna's spiritual life .
A graduate of McGill University (where he won the Chester MacNaughton Prize for Creative Writing), Cohen released his first book of poetry, Let Us Compare Mythologies, in 1956. The book was comprised of poems that Cohen wrote between the ages of fifteen and twenty. Legendary Canadian literary critic Northrop Frye gave the book “restrained praise”. He has since penned two novels and over a dozen books of poetry. In 2011, he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for literature.