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The Year in Review 2012: Words and Music -- Rock Memoirs Abound

Image courtesy of Blue Rider Press/Harper Collins/Crown Archetype (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Blue Rider Press/Harper Collins/Crown Archetype (via ABC News Radio)

In 2012, a bevy of famous rock musicians came forward with candid, engaging and often shockingly confessional books about their lives.

In a year that saw The Allman Brothers Band mark the 40th anniversary of its classic album Eat a Peach , frontman Gregg Allman also published his long-in-the-works memoir, My Cross to Bear .  The book, which hit stores on May 1, chronicles the highs and lows of the Southern rocker's life, including the early deaths of his brother, Allmans guitarist Duane , and the group's bass player, Berry Oakley .  Gregg also discusses his turbulent love life -- including his brief marriage to Cher -- as well as his battle with substance abuse and his eventual sobriety.

Heart 's Ann and Nancy Wilson gathered their collective experiences together in an autobiography titled Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock 'n' Roll .  The book, which came out on September 18, captures the struggles the sibling band mates had to overcome in the male-dominated world of rock music.  The ladies have had a particularly eventful 2012: In addition to the memoir, Heart released a career-spanning box set titled Strange Euphoria and new studio album called Fanatic ; received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; toured extensively; and, to cap things off, were announced as one the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 2013 inductees.

Neil Young 's Waging Heavy Peace , which came out on September 25, features the folk-rock legend's quirky musings on such subjects as Pono, the high-fidelity portable audio system he's developing; LincVolt, the hybrid automobile project with which he's been involved; and the health issues that he and his children have had to overcome.

The Who 's Pete Townshend finally published his long-awaited autobiography, Who I Am , on October 8.  Among the eye openers included in the tome: Townshend wanted to sleep with Mick Jagger , he got the idea for his famous windmill guitar strum from watching The Rolling Stones ' Keith Richards , and he believes he was abused by his maternal grandmother when he was a boy.  Pete also gives his side of the story with regard to the child pornography scandal in which he became embroiled in 2003. 

Rod Stewart 's aptly titled Rod: The Autobiography was published on October 23.  The book has plenty of candid confessions, including details about his sexual conquests and the admission that he and his ex- Faces band mate Ronnie Wood used to take cocaine via suppositories.  He also debunks an infamous rumor that allegedly involved him, some sailors and a stomach pump. 

Peter Criss 's Makeup to Breakup also arrived on shelves on October 23. In the book, the founding KISS drummer takes an uncensored look at his life and exploits before, during and after his years with the famed costumed rock band.  Criss opens up about the in-fighting and bad blood between him and his former band mates, his struggle with cocaine abuse, and his recent battle with male breast cancer.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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