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Steve Turner - book author

Steve Turner is an English music journalist, biographer and poet, who grew up in Northamptonshire, England. His first published article was in the Beatles Monthly in 1969. His career as a journalist began as features editor of Beat Instrumental where he interviewed many of the prominent rock musicians of the 1970s. He subsequently freelanced for music papers including NME, Melody Maker and Rolling Stone.

During the 1980s he wrote extensively for British newspapers and magazines on a range of subjects as well as producing his study of the relationship between rock music and religion, Hungry For Heaven, and co-authoring U2: Rattle & Hum, the book of the film. In the 1990s he began devoting himself to full-length books, the first being a best selling biography of British music star Cliff Richard, Cliff Richard: The Biography, in 1993, which stayed in the Sunday Times bestseller list for six weeks. At the same time he has written a number of poetry books for both adults and children. The first of his books for children, The Day I Fell Down The Toilet, has now sold over 120,000 copies, and total sales for his children's poetry collection now exceeds 200,000.

His published poetry books for adults are Tonight We Will Fake Love, Nice and Nasty, Up To Date, The King of Twist and Poems. His published poetry collections for children are The Day I Fell Down The Toilet, Dad, You're Not Funny, The Moon Has Got His Pants On, I Was Only Asking and Don't Take Your Elephant To School.

He now combines his book writing and journalism with poetry readings, lecture tours of America and Europe and consultancies. He lives in London.
Hungry for Heaven: Rock and Roll and the Search for Redemption(1988)
Van Morrison: Too Late to Stop Now (1993) Van Morrison
Cliff Richard: The Biography (1993) Cliff Richard
A Hard Day's Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song (1994; updated in 1999 and 2005)
Jack Kerouac: Angelheaded Hipster (1996)
Trouble Man: The Life and Death of Marvin Gaye (1998)
Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts (2001)
The Man Called Cash: The Life, Love and Faith of an American Legend (2004) Johnny Cash
Amazing Grace: John Newton, Slavery and the World's Most Enduring Song (2005)
The Gospel According to the Beatles (2006)
An Illustrated History of Gospel(2010)
The Band That Played On (2011)

Steve Turner is the author of books: A Hard Day's Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song, The Man Called CASH: The Life, Love and Faith of an American Legend, Jack Kerouac: Angelheaded Hipster, The Band That Played On: The Extraordinary Story of the 8 Musicians Who Went Down with the Titanic, Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts, Beatles '66: The Revolutionary Year, The Gospel According to the Beatles, Trouble Man: The Life and Death of Marvin Gaye, The Complete Beatles Songs: The Stories Behind Every Track Written by the Fab Four, Popcultured: Thinking Christianly about Style, Media and Entertainment

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Author Books

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Title
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01
The Barnes & Noble Review
Was there really a Polythene Pam? Where are Strawberry Fields? What connection does the actor Peter Fonda have with the song She Said She Said? In this book music journalist Steve Turner shatters some well-worn myths and reveals many unknown stories behind every Beatle Song, from "I Saw Her Standing There" to Abbey Road's "The End." The lyrics that have been etched in our collective memories take on new meaning as the ordinary people and events behind each song are revealed. Arranged chronologically by album and packed with color and black and white photographs and illustrations, A Hard Day's Write is hard to put down. Look up one song and you find yourself stopping to read about the others as the mini-stories recount how private incidents influenced the Beatles, collectively and as individual artists. A longtime Beatles admirer, Turner tracked down and interviewed the real-life subjects of the songs, probed public records, and newspaper archives, and spoke in depth to the personalities closest to the Beatles. The result is a book no Beatles fan should be without.
02
Johnny Cash is one of the most influential figures in music and American popular culture today. While he was an icon to people of all ages during his life, Cash's legacy continues after his death. His remarkable story is captured in this exclusive authorized biography, addressing the whole life of Johnny Cash-not just his unforgettable music but also his relationship with June Carter Cash and his faith in Christ. His authenticity, love for God and family, and unassuming persona are what Steve Turner captures with passion and focus in this inspiring book.

Different from other books written about him, The Man Called CASH brings Cash's faith and love for God into the foreground and tells the story of a man redeemed, without watering-down or sugar-coating. The Man Called CASH will be a huge success with his millions of fans and will draw in many new fans with this inspiring story of faith and redemption.
03
Forty years after the publication of On the Road Kerouac has won the critical recognition he long deserved, inspiring passionate interest from a new generation of readers. This lively, visual biography highlights Kerouac's impact on the 1950s and 1960s and tracks his relentless devotion to his work, revealing the spirituality that was at its core. 150 color and b&w photos.
04
The movies, the documentaries, the museum exhibits. They often tell the same story about the "unsinkable" "Titanic," her wealthy passengers, the families torn apart, and the unthinkable end. But never before has "that glorious band"--the group of eight musicians who played on as the "Titanic" slipped deeper and deeper into the Atlantic Ocean--been explored in such depth. Steve Turner's extensive research reveals a fascinating story including dishonest agents, a clairvoyant, social climbers, and a fraudulent violin maker. Read what brought the band members together and how their music served as the haunting soundtrack for one of modern history's most tragic maritime disasters.
05
Imagine art that is risky, complex and subtle! Imagine music, movies, books and paintings of the highest quality! Imagine art that permeates society, challenging conventional thinking and standard morals to their core! Imagine that it is all created by Christians! This is the bold vision of Steve Turner, someone who has worked among artists--many Christian and many not--for three decades. He believes Christians should confront society and the church with the powerful impact art can convey. He believes art can faithfully chronicle the lives of ordinary people and equally express the transcendence of God. He believes that Christians should be involved in every level of the art world and in every media. Yet art and artists have not always been held in high esteem by conservative Christians. Art rarely seems to communicate clear propositional truth, rarely deals with certainties and absolutes. And the lifestyles of artists too frequently seem at odds with the gospel. So the arts have often been discouraged among Christians. Throughout this stimulating book, however, Turner builds a compelling case against such a perspective. He shows that if Jesus is Lord of all of life and creation, then art is not out of bounds for Christians. Rather it can and should be a way of expressing faith in creatively, beautifully, truthfully arranged words, sounds and sights. This stirring call is must reading for every Christian who has been drawn to the arts or been influenced by them.
06
A riveting look at the transformative year in the lives and careers of the legendary group whose groundbreaking legacy would forever change music and popular culture.

They started off as hysteria-inducing pop stars playing to audiences of screaming teenage fans and ended up as musical sages considered responsible for ushering in a new era.

The year that changed everything for the Beatles was 1966—the year of their last concert and their first album, Revolver, that was created to be listened to rather than performed. This was the year the Beatles risked their popularity by retiring from live performances, recording songs that explored alternative states of consciousness, experimenting with avant-garde ideas, and speaking their minds on issues of politics, war, and religion. It was the year their records were burned in America after John’s explosive claim that the group was "more popular than Jesus," the year they were hounded out of the Philippines for "snubbing" its First Lady, the year John met Yoko Ono, and the year Paul conceived the idea for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

On the fiftieth anniversary of this seminal year, music journalist and Beatles expert Steve Turner slows down the action to investigate in detail the enormous changes that took place in the Beatles’ lives and work during 1966. He looks at the historical events that had an impact on the group, the music they made that in turn profoundly affected the culture around them, and the vision that allowed four young men from Liverpool to transform popular music and serve as pioneers for artists from Coldplay to David Bowie, Jay-Z to U2.

By talking to those close to the group and by drawing on his past interviews with key figures such as George Martin, Timothy Leary, and Ravi Shankar—and the Beatles themselves—Turner gives us the compelling, definitive account of the twelve months that contained everything the Beatles had been and anticipated everything they would still become.
07
Renowned British music journalist and author Steve Turner surveys the religious and spiritual influence of the Beatles, the band that changed the history of music forever. With new interviews, never-before-published material, and fresh insights, Turner helps the reader understand the religious and spiritual ideas and ideals that influenced the music and lives of the Beatles and helps us see how the Fab Four influenced our own lives and culture.

Topics discussed include the religious upbringing of John, Paul, George, and Ringo; the backlash in the United States after John Lennon's "The Beatles are more popular than Jesus" comment; the dabbling in Eastern religion; the use of drugs to attempt to enter a higher level of consciousness; and the overall legacy that the Beatles and their music have left. While there is no religious system that permanently anchored the Beatles or their music, they did leave a gospel, Turner concludes: one of love, peace, personal freedom, and the search for transcendence.
08
Marvin Gaye was a twentieth-century icon, one of our greatest pop singers.He made his name with the Motown sound of the sixties, but went on to become a musical revolutionary with the release of "What's Going On" -- an album that tuoched on war, ecology, racism, violence, and poverty. It perfactly capured the spirit of the times and changed people's perceptions of what soul music could achieve.Behind the songs, however, Gaye's was a troubled life: drug dependency, tortured personal relationships, and ongoing financal and legal difficulties led inexorably to the final fatel meeting with his father. Since his tragic death, his stature has increased rather than diminished. His musical legacy has endured that his popularity and influnce will endure and continue to win new generations of fans.

"Trouble Man," based on exhausive and exclusive new research, is the definitive story of the turbulent life and violent death of an American icon. Steve Turner probes beyond the undying magic of songs like"I Heard It Through the Grapevine," "What's Going On," and "Sexual Healing" to trace the jagged contours of Gaye's life and examine the man behind the legend. Turner's detailed exploration of Gaye's childhood and his relationship with his family, his religious upbringing, and his meteoric professional success and ultimate descent into drug abuse and financial instability offers a new look at a beloved American musician.
09
A lavishly illustrated, rollicking account of the real people and events that inspired the Beatles' songs, now fully updated and revised by renowned Beatles expert and music journalist Steve Turner—the definitive analysis of the music and influences of the world's most successful and popular rock-and-roll band and the only volume that contains a complete set of printed lyrics to all of the Beatles' songs.

Who was "just 17" and made Paul's "heart go boom"?

Was there really an Eleanor Rigby?

Where's Penny Lane?

What inspired "Happiness is a Warm Gun"?

Why was Paul the "walrus"?

What inspired the lyrics to Ringo's "Octopus's Garden"?

Arranged chronologically by album, The Complete Beatles Songs examines the inspiration behind the group's writing and discusses every song created by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. Steve Turner shatters well-worn myths and adds a new dimension to the Fab Four's rich legacy by investigating events immortalized in The Beatles' music, which has influenced numerous contemporary artists and continues to endure in popular culture.

Fully revised and updated (originally published as A Hard Day’s Write), The Complete Beatles Songs is the only volume that contains a complete set of printed lyrics to all of the Beatles' songs, used with exclusive permission from the band's music publisher SonyATV. It also includes new information on many songs, plus brand-new stories and revelations, as well as 200 black-and-white and color photographs-many exclusive to the book. The result is a unique, authoritative, and compelling masterpiece that chronicles the untold story of the Beatles themselves, for faithful fans and new generations discovering their music for the first time.
10
There's no avoiding popular culture--we've been enculturated into it. What does it mean to be faithful Christians in a pop culture world? How do we think Christianly about celebrity and leisure? Some Christians try to abstain from "worldly" pursuits, while others consume culture indiscriminately, assuming it has little effect on them. But if Christ is Lord of all of life, then there ought to be Christian ways to engage with and appreciate popular culture. Steve Turner has spent his career chronicling and interviewing people from the worlds of music, film, television, fashion, art and literature. Now he provides an insider's guide to a wide range of entertainment pursuits, with biblical frameworks for understanding pop culture genres and artifacts. Turner explores
how movies use redemptive narratives and parables
ways journalistic headlines convey worldview assumptions
differences between famous people in the past and celebrities today
what ideas are communicated through clothing and fashion design
how technology changes our sense of what is real
and much more
God entrusts culture to us and gives us the ability to critique it, enjoy it and create it. This book will help you become a better cultural critic, consumer and creator.