One Last Song: Conversations on Life, Death, and Music (Hardcover)
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An ironically upbeat book that asks some of today’s most inimitable musicians which song they would choose to be the last one they ever hear
Variety Best Music Book of 2020
TIME Best Book of Fall 2020 Selection
If you could choose the last song you’d hear before you died, what would it be and why? Your favorite song of all time? Perhaps the one you danced to at your wedding? The song from that time you got super stoned and just let the chords speak to you? It’s a hard question that Mike Ayers has thought about for years.
In One Last Song, Ayers invites 30 musicians to consider what song they would each want to accompany them to those pearly white gates. Weaving together their explanations with evocative illustrations and poignant interludes—what your song to die to says about you, what songs famous people have died to, and more. The book offers insight into the minds of famous artists and provides an entry point for considering how integral music is to our own personal narratives.
Artists Featured: Jim James of My Morning Jacket, André 3000, Killer Mike, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Phoebe Bridgers, Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire, Sam Beam of Iron & Wine, Colin Meloy of the Decemberists, Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, Lauren Mayberry of CHVRCHES, A.C. Newman of The New Pornographers, Courtney Barrett, Bobb Bruno of Best Coast, Angel Olsen, Regina Spektor, Kevin Morby, Will Oldham, Julia Holter, Margo Price, Sonny Rollins, Ryley Walker, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, Yannis Phillippakis of Foals, Bettye Lavette, M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger, Wanda Jackson, Roseanne Cash, Lucinda Williams, and Beth Orton.
About the Author
Mike Ayers has been an arts and entertainment journalist and editor for outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, GQ, TIME, Esquire, Billboard, and many more. He is currently the executive editor at Money.
Shea Serrano is an award-winning writer, author, and illustrator. His most recent book, The Rap Year Book, reached the bestseller lists of the New York Times and Washington Post, topped the Arts and Entertainment iBooks bestseller list, and was named one of Billboard’s Best 100 Music Books of All Time. Currently, Serrano is a staff writer for The Ringer. He lives in Houston, Texas.
"An intriguing, but rarely considered question from the endless realm of pop music hypotheticals"
— Rolling Stone
— Time Magazine
"Sometimes the most morbid of questions lead to the most fascinating answers"
“oddly entertaining…full of surprises”