Steal Away the Night

Steal Away the Night

An Ozzy Osbourne Day-by-Day

by Martin Popoff

Website | more from Martin Popoff

“If you’re a fan of the [heavy metal] genre, Martin Popoff’s books are a must.”
– Perrin Wolfson, KNAC

“To be sure, there have been bigger, more impactful heavy metal acts o’er the loud ’n’ proud years,” writes heavy-metal expert Martin Popoff. “But for one stomping, clapping, peace-signing dude…Ozzy is the ever-youthful face and two bespectacled eyes of heavy metal, end stop.”

Steal Away the Night: An Ozzy Osbourne Day-by-Day (September 2014, Backbeat Books, $39.99) celebrates the Oz-man with a full account of his more-than-40-year run as rock’s most adorable madman. Popoff takes us through Ozzy’s career day by day, covering the singer’s years in Black Sabbath and beyond, milestone after milestone – the hirings, the firings, the rehabs and relapses, the bats, the doves, Zakk Wylde, and most seriously, the tragic death of Randy Rhoads in a fly-by prank gone wrong. He also detours from the stage and recording studio long enough to look into the incredible success that was the reality TV series, The Osbournes.

Adding to the considerable textual substance of Steal Away the Night is a revealing oral history of the band, much of which was culled from Popoff’s extensive interview material with Ozzy and various band members and producers. Also included is an explosion of imagery culled from the band’s record sleeves, live shows, ads, and memorabilia. Ozzy’s shock-rock visuals are some of the flashiest in the biz, and they make each page of Steal Away the Night: An Ozzy Osbourne Day-by-Day explode with heavy metal power.

This richly detailed. Lavishly illustrated chronology of the metal legend’s career is a must-have for an Ozzy fan!

September 16, 2014
256 pages
8.5” x 11”
B&W and color illustrations throughout

Backbeat Books is an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group


Martin_Popoff_imageMartin Popoff has penned 45 books on hard rock, heavy metal, classic rock, and record collecting, including Black Sabbath FAQ and 2 Minutes to Midnight: An Iron Maiden Day-by-Day, both published by Backbeat Books. He was editor in chief of Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles, Canada’s foremost metal publication, for 14 years. He’s also contributed to Revolver, Guitar World, Goldmine, Record Collector,,, and He lives in Toronto. For more information, visit






An Illustrated History of Southern Rock

by Scott B. Bomar | foreword by Doug Gray


Drawn from dozens of original interviews and packed with hundreds of photographs, Southbound is the compelling story of a quintessentially American musical genre.

Southbound (August 12, Backbeat Books, $29.99), by Scott B. Bomar, chronicles the birth and growth of Southern rock, a tradition rooted in blues, soul, and country music that has outgrown the region of its origin to impact the music scene worldwide. Bomar follows the genre’s ascension from the early southern architects of rock and roll, such as Elvis Presley and Little Richard, through the era when the Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd dominated the scene, up to its enduring legacy that continues to resonate with listeners today.

As Southern Rock began to grow in popularity in the 1970s, it nurtured the traditions of camaraderie and fellowship that characterized the early experiences of its pioneers. As Doug Gray, lead vocalist for the Marshall Tucker Band, writes in Southbound’s foreword, “The Southern rock community became yet another family that was shaped by those formative years in South Carolina or Georgia or Florida or all the places where these folks came from.” As a result, Southern rock became what Charlie Daniels called “a genre of people more than a genre of music.”

Yet, despite the good vibes that spread throughout the network of musicians and their fans, Southern rock struggled for respect before finally evolving into a significant musical revolution. Throughout Southbound, Bomar addresses stereotypical images of the South as a regressive backwater, while highlighting its rich history as a hub of artistic exploration and long-haired rock and roll rebellion that ultimately triumphed.

Focusing primarily on the golden age of the 1970s, Southbound profiles the musicians, producers, record labels, and movers and shakers that defined the genre, including the Allmans, Skynyrd, the Marshall Tucker Band, Wet Willie, the Charlie Daniels Band, Elvin Bishop, the Outlaws, the Atlanta Rhythm Section, 38 Special, ZZ Top, and many others. From the rise and fall of the mighty Capricorn Records, to the music’s role in helping Jimmy Carter win the White House, and to its continuing influence, Bomarpresents a fascinating and lavishly illustrated chronicle of Southern rock as told by the performers who made it great.

August 12, 2014
color photographs and illustrations throughout
8.25″ x 10.75″
304 pages


ScottBBomarScott B. Bomar is a researcher and music industry professional originally from Nashville, Tennessee. After completing his graduate studies at Vanderbilt University, he went on to work for Sony Music, Universal Music Group and BMG Rights Management. He produces reissue compilations, writes liner notes, and is a lifelong student of music history. Scott currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Melanie.





Women’s Comedic Monologues that are Actually Funny


Women’s Comedic Monologues

That Are Actually Funny

by Alisha Gaddis

Website | more in the Applause Acting Series

As humorist and writer Alisha Gaddis explains it, this is how the process goes.  “You have an audition.  One where you are supposed to be funny.  Really funny.  They want you to actually make them laugh…in an audition. And you want to be funny, so funny you book the job, land the part, steal the show!”

But, you can’t do that without a comedic monologue, and that’s where this book steps in. Never before has a monologue book been written completely by people who are actually funny for a living.

In Women’s Comedic Monologues That Are Actually Funny (September 2014, Applause Books, $14.99), Gaddis has gathered an incredibly hysterical, cutting-edge collection of monologues will give an actress the extra bang she needs to land the perfect comedic role. Women’s Comedic Monologues features 60 monologues by writers and comics who have written for or performed on Chelsea Lately, Carson Daly, The Tonight Show, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Stage, and many more.

This book is the answer to the comedic monologue needs of female actors everywhere!

September 9, 2014
Paperback Original
216 pages
5½” x 7½”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

AlishaGaddisAlisha Gaddis is a humorist, writer, and Latin-Grammy-winning performer.  She is a proud AEA and SAG-AFTRA member, having performed on Broadway, at the Sydney Opera House, Comedy Central Stage, and numerous television shows. She is the co-founder (along with her husband) of Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, which has been called “the face of kindie music” by The Washington Post. An alumna of New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of Arts, she performs comedy, including her nationally touring solo shows, at Improv West, Upright Citizens Brigade, and Second City Hollywood. Gaddis lives in Los Angeles.





Richard Strauss: An Owner’s Manual

Unlocking the Masters

Richard Strauss: An Owner’s Manual

by David Hurwitz

Website | Unlocking the Masters series

The life and music of Richard Strauss (1864-1949) span what was arguably the most turbulent period in human history, encompassing the Franco-Prussian War, the unification of Germany, and two World Wars. He was one of the last composers to have started his career in service to the old European aristocracy, but near the end of his life, the continent lay in shambles, and he faced financial ruin even as he remained Germany’s greatest living composer.

In Richard Strauss: An Owner’s Manual (July 2014, Amadeus Press, $24.99), the latest entry in the Amadeus Press “Unlocking the Masters” series, David Hurwitz has created a rewarding guide to the work the eminent composer who bridged two centuries and musical eras.

Virtually from the day they were written, Strauss’s tone poems from the late nineteenth century – works such as Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegel, Also Sprach Zarathustra, and Death and Transfiguration – have been repertory standards. So have the operas Salome, Elektra, and Der Rosenkavalier. Yet a tremendous quantity of very good music, both early and late, has only recently come to the attention of musicians and music lovers alike.

This “owner’s manual,” accompanied by a full-length CD, surveys all the major works with orchestra: symphonies, concertos, tone poems, operas, ballets, suites, and songs. Many of them will be new even to listeners familiar with the popular pieces, part of a vast legacy of immaculately crafted, beautiful music that deserves to be rediscovered and treasured.

July 8, 2014
Paperback Original with CD
204 pages
6” x 9”

About the Author:

David Hurwitz is founder and executive editor of, a daily classical music magazine, and is chairman and founder of the Classical Internet Awards. He lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.


About the Series:

The highly acclaimed Unlocking the Masters series now features 23 titles. The reader-friendly language and size bring the reader quickly and easily in to the world of the greatest composers and their music. The accompanying CD tracks are taken from the world’s greatest libraries of recorded classics.   Together, they bring the music to life.

Praise for the Unlocking the Masters series:

“With infectious enthusiasm and keen insight, the Unlocking the Masters series succeeds in opening our eyes, ears, hearts, and minds to the great composers.” — Strings

“The Unlocking the Masters series guides users to new levels of musical appreciation through an intelligent approach to thinking about music…and it fills a gap in the music-appreciation literature.”     — Choice

“Immensely readable and hard to put down…. This book is for anyone who wishes to understand music better.”            — American Music Teacher

“Each [book] is written in clear, understandable language…. The tone is intended to guide the reader to the heart and soul of the music.”— Rocky Mountain News

“Unlocking the Masters is another in Amadeus Press’s fine line of publications. It is an excellent introduction to composers and their music. The combination short biography and analysis of repertoire finds the right balance between generalities and scholarly profundity without speaking down to the reader or engaging in unnecessary pomposity.”         — American Record Guide

“These books cover everything a musician, student or collector needs for a thorough grounding in the repertoire of classical music.” — The Tennessean


The Bass Handbook

The Bass Handbook

The complete guide to mastering the bass guitar

by Adrian Ashton


This updated version of Adrian Ashton’s step-by-step course in playing the bass guitar is the latest addition to Backbeat Book’s popular Handbook Series.

“Adrian’s book tells you everything you could possibly want to know about instruments, amplifiers, effects, players, setups, and history. It’s all here. Not to mention just plain interesting stuff that even an old hand like myself can find fascinating,” says John Paul Jones in the foreword of The Bass Handbook.

The electric bass guitar is central to modern music, playing a key role in melody, harmony, and rhythm. This book will help any bassists, whether beginners or those looking to acquire higher skills, to master the instrument and find their own style. The book includes:

  • A course in playing from tuning up to advanced harmony
  • Guidance on how to read both tab and standard notation
  • Instructions in modern techniques, including slapping and harmonics, and in how to improve your performance on stage and in a band
  • Exercises in the style of ten great artists, including Paul McCartney, Flea, Bernard Edwards, Chris Wolstenholme, and James Jamerson
  • Coverage of a range of genres, from rock and blues to jazz, funk, and metal
  • A history of the electric bass and profiles of the most important instruments
  • Biographises of the great players, plus recommended listening
  • Advice on amps, speakers, strings, pickups, and cables
  • The included CD contains 97 tracks of the book’s key musical exercises and examples

“Writing with the authority and technical know-how of a player as well as an aficionado, Adrian has a dedication and obvious love of all things low frequency that makes this book no practicing or prospective bass guitarist can be without,” concludes John Paul Jones.

The Bass Handbook
$29.99 (US)
Width: 9.25” x 11″
256 pages
Backbeat Books is an imprint of Hal Leonard

About the Author:

Adrian Ashton has 20 years of experience as a player, teacher, and writer. A graduate of the Bass Institute of Technology in Los Angeles, he was the founding editor of the UK’s Bass Guitar Magazine.


The Wizard of Oz FAQ

The Wizard of Oz FAQ

All That’s Left To Know About Life According to Oz

by David J. Hogan


From a black-and-white farm in Kansas to the Technicolor yellow brick road, The Wizard of Oz FAQ: All That’s Left To Know About Life According To Oz by David J. Hogan (July 2014, Applause Books, $24.99) is a fact-filled celebration of the beloved 1939 fantasy masterpiece, starring Judy Garland.

Beginning with L. Frank Baum and his Oz novels and continuing through the complete story of the movie’s conception, development, and shoot, Hogan recounts Dorothy and her traveling companions’ path from the printed page to the silver screen.  Along the way, he gives special attention to the little-known parade of uncredited directors, casting difficulties, and on-set accidents and gaffes, as well as more than 75 sidebars devoted to key cast members, directors, and other behind-the-scenes personnel.

The Wizard of Oz FAQ is brimming with fascinating and fun facts:

  • How MGM overworked Judy Garland before, during, and after Oz.
  • Why director Victor Fleming had his hands full with the Cowardly Lion and Dorothy’s other friends.
  • What it was about Toto that really bothered Judy.
  • The physical horrors of filming in Technicolor.
  • The racial Oz gag that was scripted but never shot.
  • Why The Wizard of Oz owes a lot to silent-screen star Mary Pickford.
  • The story of deleted scenes, and a full two weeks of shooting that had to be scrapped.
  • Why MGM star Mickey Rooney was part of the movie’s traveling publicity blitz.
  • How the Wicked Witch was literally blown off her broomstick one day.
  • The place where lions, tigers, and bears really do live together.
  • The singers you hear but never see.
  • The day MGM fired Judy Garland.

to finding a field of poppies that wouldn’t wilt in the face of theatrical lighting, you’ll find it all in The Wizard of Oz FAQ, if you follow the yellow brick road!

July 15, 2014
Paperback Original
456 pages
6″ x 9″
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Dave Hogan Stooges_AUPHOTO_314839David J. Hogan has written about film since 1973.  His first book was published in 1980 and has been followed by several other in the United States and abroad, including two previous books in the Applause Books FAQ series: Three Stooges FAQ and Film Noir FAQ.  He has contributed essays to numerous books and is a prolific magazine reviewer.  A one-time L.A.-based entertainment journalist, Hogan has worked in on the editorial side of Chicago book publishing for more than 20 years. He lives in Arlington Heights, Ill.



Best American Short Plays 2012-2013

The Best American Short Plays


edited by William W. Demastes

Website | other Best American Short Plays

For more than 70 years, The Best American Short Plays has been the standard of excellence for one-act plays in America. From its inception, it has identified cutting-edge playwrights who have gone on to establish award-winning careers, including Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, and more.

In The Best American Short Plays: 2012-2013 (August 12, Applause Books, $19.99), series editor William W. Demastes has chosen plays that capture the struggle between “hot tempers and cold decrees.” Humans love to think of themselves as rational beings well in control of their lives and surroundings from sunup to sundown, sundown to sunrise. We learn to follow rules of proper behavior and more than happily issue out advice to our friends who just can’t get a handle on themselves. Restraint and order, after all, are the cornerstones of human society and civilization. The problem is that human nature bucks and bridles at every attempt to socialize and civilize. Shakespeare got it right when he penned the observation, “The brain may devise laws for the blood, but a hot temper leaps o’er a cold decree.” In those few words he has managed to capture precisely why it is so difficult to be human; if it were okay simply to let our hot tempers prevail, life would be so much easier. But cold decrees are what prevent us from self-destruction, and so we endure the struggle.

The 20 plays included in The Best American Short Plays: 2012-2013 are: The True Death of Socrates by Frank Higgins; Existence by Murray Schisgal; The Origins of the Drink They Named After Me by Steve Feffer; Rise by Crystal Skillman; Spatial Disorientation by Lisa Soland; Between the Lines by Amber Leanne Marcoon; The Rainbow by James Armstrong; Subtraction by Kevin McFillen; Flare by Edith Freni; Blue, Blue Moon by John Patrick Bray; Kid Gloves by David Rysiecki; The Grim Raper by Daniel Guyton; Hurt by Saviana Stanescu; Cell by Cassandra Medley; Abandoned in Queens by Laura Maria Censabella; Free Will by Billy Aronson; Dark King Kills Unicorn by Reina Hardy; Deer Haunting: A Far Side Cartoon by Andréa J. Onstad; 2nd Anniversary Near Taurus Major by Gene Kato; and The New Models by Rory Leahy.
August 13, 2014
Paperback Original
384 pages
5.5″ x 8.5″
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Bill DemastesWilliam W. Demastes is alumni professor of English at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He has published widely on modern theater and Drama, including two previous editions of The Best American Short Plays, and two volumes of Best Monologues from Best American Short Plays, published by Applause Books, and Spalding Gray’s America, published by Limelight Editions. He lives in Baton Rouge, La.