Tag Archives: biographies

Movies About Musicians

Having just seen (actually for the second time) the made for VH1 movie “Hysteria: The Def Leppard Story” and recently also having watched “Ray” and “The Five Heartbeats” got me thinking about all the movies I’d seen about real or fictitious musicians or singers.

Musical biopics, I suppose they’re called in the trade; biographical pictures that because of their subject matter must include a great deal of music.

So I thought I’d put together a list, and over the next few months I’ll be updating to add comments and ratings to these flicks as a guide to the newly needing to be inspired musicians on my reading list. Because I’ve seen most of these movies, over the years, and found them either inspirational, insipid or in some cases, wildly inaccurate about the way being a musician actually works. No matter, the accuracy, however, it seems that the movie-going public has ALWAYS been fascinated by biographies of musicians, whether they would have them in their homes or not.

So here’s the list:

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New Insights into Genius?

I am currently reading a fascinating biography of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Mozart: A Life, by Maynard Solomon. Of particular interest to me is its focus on the relationship between father and son as one of the defining aspects of Mozart’s personality and life pursuit. Another interesting aspect of the biography is reference to passages like this:

What is a poet? A poet is an unhappy being whose heart is torn by secret sufferings, but whose lips are so strangely formed that when the sighs and the cries escape them, they sound like beautiful music … And men crowd about the poet and say to him: ‘Sing for us soon again’; that is as much as to say: ‘May new sufferings torment your soul.’ — from Either/Or by Soren Kierkegaard

It is a literate biography and definitely worth reading.

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