Synopses & Reviews
“Terraplane Blues,” “Rocket 88,” “Little GTO,” “Mustang Sally,” “Cadillac Ranch,” “Little Red Corvette.” For nearly as long as there have been cars, musicians have penned songs about them. And no genre loves the car like rock ’n roll. Cheap gas, open roads, car radios, and rock music all came of age in the 1950s, and songwriters stepped on the gas and never looked back. Whether hauling amps to the next gig or flaunting the rewards of a chart-topping album, rockers love their cars. But for some musicians, cars aren’t just a reflection of success or fodder for the next hit song—they’re a full-on obsession. Rockin’ Garages
takes you inside the collections, behind the wheel, and on the track with 20 of rock’s most passionate gearheads. AC/DC’s Brian Johnson and Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason discuss their love of racing; guitarist Jimmie Vaughn and country star Keith Urban extoll the virtues of cruising low and slow; Doobie Brother Pat Simmons and Billy Joel showcase their extensive motorcycle collections; Sammy Hagar, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Michael Anthony reveal a need for speed reflected in garages filled with Ferraris, hot rods, and muscle cars. If you love cars and rock and roll, you’ll marvel at the eclectic range of vehicles inside, including Camaro, Mustang, Aston Martin, Lincoln, Lamborghini, Harley-Davidson, Porsche, Bentley, Cadillac, Triumph, and even Checker cabs! Crank up the stereo, turn the page, and get ready for a hell of a ride!
"...an entertaining mix of horsepower and rock ’n’ roll." - The New York Times
“The book is a series of nicely illustrated personality profiles – along with some great car stories. The prose of Tom Cotter and Ken Gross and the photos of Michael Alan Ross document the connection well, capturing the variety of forms that it takes. This book is an excellent nostalgic read for a winter afternoon.” - Roundel
"Tom Cotter has done it again. The acclaimed author of The Cobra in the Barn
series teamed up with Ken Gross to create an enjoyable book about rock, soul and country royalty - and their love for cars. The excellent photography by Michael Alan Ross invites the reader into the stars' garages for an intimate look at their collections... the result is not only interesting, but graphically some of the best work from its publisher, Motorbooks. We recommend it to anyone who likes music and fast cars." - Classic Motorsports
Rockin’ Garages showcases 20 top rock and roll performers, their cars, and their garages. Authors Tom Cotter and Ken Gross profile each musician, revealing the story behind their moto-lust and what drives their car collecting. Each profile is complemented by Michael Alan Ross’ top-notch photography. Rockin’ Garages puts you behind the wheel with some of your favorite musicians.
"Ken Gross is one of the premiere auto writers in the United States. This is a terrific book... a great Father's Day gift and a great read." - Jay Leno
Cars and rock ‘n roll have always gone hand in hand. Whether it’s a garage band piling into some decrepit rig to get to the next gig or a killer guitar riff blasting from a Mustang, rock ‘n roll keeps us moving when we’re behind the wheel.
It’s no surprise, then, that some of the music world’s big names are also serious car guys. Jimmie Vaughn, Billy Joel, Brian Johnson (AC/DC), J Geils, Brad Whitford (Aerosmith), and others each spend as much time behind the wheel as they can. Hot rods, customs, muscle cars, motorcycles, race cars, and sports cars—the variety of vehicles is as eclectic as rock ‘n roll itself.
Rockin’ Garages showcases top performers, their cars, and their garages. Authors Tom Cotter and Ken Gross profile each musician, revealing the story behind their moto-lust and what drives their car collecting. Each profile is complemented by Michael Alan Ross’ top-notch photography. Rockin’ Garages puts you behind the wheel with some of your favorite musicians.
’s business card reads, “Certified Car Geek.” He is a passionate historian, racer, and restorer best known as a “barn-finder.” He has written nine books—five on automotive archeology—including the award-winning Cobra in the Barn
, as well as biographies of drag racing legend “TV” Tommy Ivo and customizer Dean Jeffries. Cotter has been involved in the professional auto-racing industry for 30 years. He was PR director for Charlotte Motor Speedway before founding Cotter Group, then the nation’s largest motorsport marketing agency. He is president of Grand Prix of America, the organization bringing F1 to the shores of the Hudson River in New Jersey. He lives in Davidson, North Carolina, with his wife, Pat, and son, Brian.
Ken Gross (Hamilton, VA) was Executive Director of the Petersen Automotive Museum, in Los Angeles, California, for five years following a career in advertising. His car, travel, and motorcycle writing has appeared in Robb Report, The Rodder’s Journal, and Road & Track.
Michael Alan Ross (San Rafael, CA) has the ability to see what turns enthusiasts on about cars. His work has been featured in advertising, auto magazines, and corporate photography collections in the United States and in Europe. He will go to any length to get the perfect shot that epitomizes a particular car.
About the Author
Tom Cotter writes regularly for Road & Track and has a deep-seated love for automotive rescue. He is the author of the best-selling titles Cobra in the Barn, Hemi in the Barn, and Vincent in the Barn. He is also the co-author of an award-winning history of Holman-Moody, a legendary racing team that enjoyed its greatest success in stock-car racing. Cotter lives in Davidson, North Carolina, with his family and a garage full of collector cars. Featuring stories about such famed cars as Dean Jeffries' customized Porsche Four-Cam Carrera, the Green Hornet's Black Beauty, and Jay Leno's Gullwing Mercedes. An automobile and motorcycle enthusiast since childhood, Ken Gross was Executive Director of the Petersen Automotive Museum, in Los Angeles, California, for five years following a career in advertising and marketing. His car, travel, and motorcycle writing has appeared in Robb Report, The Rodder's Journal, Automobile Magazine, and Road and Track, to name but a few. Ken and his wife Patricia Serratore live in Hamilton, Virginia, with their children Jake and Kayla.
Table of Contents
Itroduction: Noise, Beautiful Noise
The Need For Speed
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Michael Anthony, Van Halen, Chickenfoot
Brad Whitford, Aerosmith
J Geils, J Geils Band
Brian Johnson, AC/DC
John Oates, Hall and Oates
Nick Mason, Pink Floyd
Rachel Bolan, Skid Row
Cars and Guitars
George Frayne, Commander Cody
Collectors and Cruisers
Jimmie Vaughan, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Solo Artist
Mick Fleetwood, Fleetwood Mac
Pat Simmons, Doobie Brother