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Homepage. This page: The car & motorcycle collections belonging to people involved with the rock music industry.

Rockin' Garages - Collecting, Racing & Riding With Rock's Great Gearheads.


Tom Cotter and Ken Gross.
ISBN-13 978-0-7603-4249-7
Published 2012. (Hardback, 192 pages).
Review date December 2012.
Cars belonging to people in the music industry

UK RRP 20.

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The link between rock and pop music, and exciting cars, goes back many decades, and it's no surprise that many of the big names in the world of rock music are also quite partial to collecting interesting old cars, and in some cases motorcycles, as a distraction from days spent recording, touring, and in some instances racing.
As I enjoy nosing around other people's garages when there is something known to be of interest lurking within, a book that takes the reader on a tour of some of the better-funded collections out there, has the potential to be of interest. This book, published in the States and therefore with an understandably high quota of Americana within its glossy pages, tells the story of not just the vehicles owned by some well known-faces, but also their reasons for choosing the models they have.
Some of the names I'd heard of (Billy Joel, Nick Mason, Keith Urban and Mick Fleetwood for instance), whereas others I'd not come across before - in the main because not only are well-known band members featured in this book, but so too are some of the names behind the instruments they play, guitars in the main, and thus may only be known to students of the subject, or readers who are as enthusiastic about music as they are about cars. Despite my not being familiar with many of the individuals included in this book, it made discovering about their collections no less interesting. Petrolheads - or in US parlance Gearheads - are the same the world over, only the objects of their desires vary, usually depending on geography, and the depths of their pockets.
As successful music types tend to have rather deep pockets, this is often reflected in their collecting tastes. Unsurprisingly 1960s muscle cars are a popular choice, and manys the immaculate example reproduced in full colour within this book's chapters. While there are a few modern-era supercars to be found here, happily the majority are of the older type and it's easy to skip the occasional modern in pursuit of older metal.
While some owners are happily to polish and drive their machines in the normal way, there are those that add to their enjoyment of the hobby by taking to the track in a variety of competition cars. Predictably Nick Mason gets a mention here, as does AC/DC's front man Brian Johnson, whose varied tastes range from a modern Rolls-Royce Phantom, to the decidely more characterful 1928 Bentley, named "Thunder Guts". It's a shame that the odd profanity was left in place within the book's text, as it adds nothing to the stories and would put me off letting younger eyes pick up the book, which is a shame as the presentation is both eye-catching and vibrant.
It would have been easy to solely feature American cars in a book such as this, but adding balance is more than a sprinkling of European fayre, certainly enough to keep those of us on this side of the Pond content. Alfas, Mercedes, Porsches, Maseratis and Ferraris bid to balance out the many home-grown cars of the 1930s to the 1960s that pre-dominate.
The most surprising car/owner combination to stumble upon for me in this book is an entirely British affair, in the compact form of a 1930 Austin 7 in the long-term ownership of Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood. Over a number of pages he describes how he came to buy the dinky Austin, how it was parked up and forgotten for several years, before being returned to life and pressed into regular use around the roads of his now-home in Hawaii. I can't say that his modern Porsche does much for me, but the tale of owning his Austin 7 throughout the band's epic rise to fame, and the associated rise in income that could have led to the Austin being dumped in favour of something(s) altogether more glamorous and showy, struck a chord with me, probably because - not being a millionaire rocker myself - it is a car, and a story, that I can just about relate to.
As an insight into the gasoline-driven desires of people better known for their musical activities, I found this an interesting read, one that's just as easy to dip in and out of, as read from cover to cover. The price seems very reasonable to me also.
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