MILLBURN, NJ – Is there one song that means more to you than another – maybe because it reminds you of a certain person or a certain era, or because the lyrics ring true?

Maplewood resident and music journalist Mike Ayers has pondered this question for years. He decided to interview dozens of famous musicians to talk about the subject of his new book, which comes out on Tuesday.

The book is the product of 10 years of work, much of which was written last year early in the morning at Liv Breads in Millburn.

“I vividly remember working on the Jeff Tweedy and Andre 3000 chapters at Liv Breads,” he said this week. “It was during a period of rainy days – but Liv was always bustling. I love that they give you a taste of everything they cook when you order coffee. Who doesn’t want just one before. -taste when offered? “

Ayers will host an event Tuesday at Maplewood’s Words bookstore to talk about “In One Last Song: Conversations on Life, Death, and Music” (Abrams Image; Oct. 13, cover, $ 24.99).

According to the publisher, “Throughout the book, he mixes their explanations with fun and beautiful illustrations that bring their words to life. Three special collaborations in the book include: Shea Serrano, bestselling author of Movies (and Other Things) and The Rap Year Book, chronicling ten iconic movie deaths with better music; a analysis on the euphemisms of death in song; and a heartfelt, ultra-personal preface from My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James. “

The book also contains “interludes” on what the song selection says about a person, sheet music for memorable television deaths; and more.

Contributors include Jeff Tweedy, Lucinda Williams, Regina Spektor, Andre 3000, and dozens more.

Mike Ayers has served as an arts and entertainment reporter and editor for media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Time, Rolling Stone, GQ, Esquire, Billboard and Village Voice. He was editor-in-chief at MTV, Rolling Stone and the Wall Street Journal, and is currently the editor of Money.

Maple Life

Ayers has lived in Maplewood since 2011. He graduated in sociology from Virginia Tech and received his masters from New School in New York.

The event takes place at 8:30 am and he will be joined by bestselling author Shea Serrano. Admission is $ 15 if you don’t order a book, or free if you do. Register here:

For more information (and to tell Mike your last song!), Please visit

The Words Bookstore is located at 179 Maplewood Avenue.

Learn about writers and books at Maplewood

  • To read a story on the Autism Friendly Words bookstore, click here.
  • To read a story from last week about another Maplewood author who just published a book for young adults on emotional abuse, click here.

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