It's Not Only Rock 'n' Roll
Dr. Jenny Boyd and Holly George-Warren
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Buy *It's Not Only Rock 'n' Roll: Iconic Musicians Reveal the Source of Their Creativity* by Dr. Jenny Boyd and Holly George-Warreno nline

It's Not Only Rock 'n' Roll: Iconic Musicians Reveal the Source of Their Creativity
Dr. Jenny Boyd and Holly George-Warren
John Blake
322 pages
April 2014
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Have you ever thought about what it takes to write a song? When you were listening to "A Day In the Life" or "Behind Blue Eyes" or [insert your favorite song title here], did you ever think, "How did they write that? Could I ever write a song like that?"

In this wonderfully provocative and beautifully researched book, Jenny Boyd--the sister of Pattie Boyd, the legendary model who married George Harrison and later Eric Clapton--delves into the mystery of creativity. A research psychologist and author with a PhD in Human Behavior, Boyd tries to untangle the knot about why some people seem to be more creative than others.

She finds answers by interviewing 75 of the world's most astonishingly gifted musicians, including George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Julian Lennon, Mick Fleetwood [she married the Fleetwood Mac drummer], Joni Mitchell, Keith Richards, Ringo Starr, Don Henley, Hank Marvin, Steve Winwood, Stevie Nicks and others.

Each of these artists talked about what psychologist Abraham Maslow described as "Peak Experience," which is when stuff you're not thinking about--the unconscious--hooks up with what you are thinking about--the conscious--in that moment when you're writing a song or playing an instrument. These individuals talked about experience in terms of wonder, awe, inspiration, surrender and humility.

There isn't a single definition for the creative process and what an artist goes through to write a song. Musicians work in different ways (as you'll read here--and then pursue those avenues time and again.

You'll be fascinated by this book. It will make you wonder, "Can I write a song?" You absolutely can. Will that song be as good as any of the artists represented here? Probably not. But just maybe...? What all of these musicians do have in common is that they laid out their souls in music and that's not an easy thing to do. Before you can be good at something--or even bad--you have to do it. And maybe that's the hardest part.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2014

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