Kruth Books

John's Recent Writing

Photo by Martha Colburn

Lunacy: The Curious Phenomenon of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, 50 Years On - Published by Backbeat Books (March 1, 2023)

“John Kruth is a well-studied music historian whose writing skills are mellifluous” — Al Kooper

“Magical… [John Kruth is] a fantastic writer!” — Jim Jarmusch  

Here's the first and an important review of my new book Lunacy from the almighty Library Journal! Kruth, John. Lunacy: The Curious Phenomenon of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, 50 Years On. Backbeat: Rowman & Littlefield. Mar. 2023. 264p. ISBN 9781493067169. pap. $24.95. MUSIC

Singer/songwriter/music journalist Kruth (A Friend of the Devil) examines both Pink Floyd’s development as a band and their iconic 1973 album, The Dark Side of the Moon, which he analyzes track by track. He also takes interesting side trips into somewhat related territory, such as an interview with Delaware State University astrophysicist Matthew Bobrowsky about the moon itself. Kruth grounds Pink Floyd’s endeavors in the British blues explosion, the onset of widespread use of electronic sounds, psychedelic rock’s appearance, and the surprisingly long history of the concept album. Copious quotes from the band members, whose personalities come across clearly, as well as remarks from contemporary musicians set the narrative. Since Pink Floyd used the same Abbey Road studios as the Beatles, whom the musicians acknowledged as influential, readers will see two vastly different paths music took in the 1960s and 1970s. A playlist, bibliography, and index are useful addenda. VERDICT For fans of The Dark Side of the Moon, this book is especially welcome. Those not familiar with Pink Floyd or this particular venture will still likely appreciate the well-researched and swiftly flowing tale that combines musical intricacies with cultural context.—Barry Zaslow/Library Journal

Available online from GoodReads, Amazon and Backbeat Books.

Bright Moments: The Life and Legacy of Rahsaan Roland Kirk

I’m so pleased to announce the 2nd edition of Bright Moments - the Life and Legacy of Rahsaan Roland Kirk is now available - with a new cover by Joe Ciardiello and design by Patrick JB Flynn and new interviews from Sonny Rollins, Ron Carter and Chris Robinson (from Black Crowes... rockers loved him too!) 

“Kruth has assiduously sequenced vivid quotes and telling anecdotes from Kirk’s life, delivering an entertaining and informative portrait of a stubborn individualist with unusual inner resources. Bright Moments illuminates the one-and-only Rahsaan Roland Kirk from the outside, with a series of voices that pop like photographic flash bulbs. — The Wire – UK

 “John Kruth’s remarkable book belongs on the bookshelf of every serious Jazz fan. — Ishmael Reed

“John Kruth is the high-octane raconteur of the Underground.” — David Amram

You can contact me at kruthtruth@ if you'd like a signed copy - $30 postage included. Or find it at Amazon print-on-demand.

Big Thanks! and Bright Moments!


Hold On World revisits Lennon and Ono's love affair and startling collaborations. John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band was arguably the most emotionally honest album ever made. It wasn't merely another record but more like a sonic exorcism, a spiritual, public bloodletting. Lennon's album drove a stake through the heart of the Beatles' myth while confronting everything else in John's life, from Dylan to God to his glorified status as a "Working Class Hero."

Determined to rid himself of past traumas—abandonment by his father and the death of his mother, Julia—Lennon wrote the most powerful song cycle of his career, confronting fear, disappointment, and illusion, all the while espousing his love for Yoko Ono. Released simultaneously, Ono's album Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band is emotionally raw and challenging. It inspired bands like the B-52s and Yo La Tengo to employ pure sound, whether shrieking vocals or guitar feedback, to express their deepest feelings.

Available online from GoodReads, Amazon and Backbeat Books.

Kruth's Small Press Books of Poetry and Short Prose include:

1992 – Like Jazz – Spanfeller Press (illustrated by Joe Ciardiello)

1992 – Little Bullets – Barefoot Press (illustrated by Marvin Hill)

1989 – The Bayou Stomp – Jackalope Press (illustrated by Marvin Hill)

1989 – The Horrorscope – Jackalope Press (illustrated by the author)

1988 – The Perfumed Firecracker – Jackalope Press (illustrated by Lane Smith and others)

1986 – Bed Crumbs – Jackalope Press (illustrated by Gary Panter and others)

1984 – Exorcises – Jackalope Press (illustrated by Henrik Drescher)

1983 – Modern Heaven – Jackalope Press (illustrated by Randall Enos and others)


You can contact me at if you're interested in signed copies.