CMA Awards 2018

Father's Day 2018: A Gift Guide for Classic Rock-Loving Dads

Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images for The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones photographed on Oct. 25, 2017 in Paris. 

Father’s Day is right around the corner on June 17, so it’s a great thing that 2018 is proving to be a monster year for classic rock boxed sets, tours and books, as well as cutting-edge listening devices. 

And speaking of tours, many are turning out to be some celebrated artists’ last times around, including Paul Simon’s Homeward Bound trip around the globe.

To aid in your search for the perfect gift for dad this year, Billboard has a few highlights of what’s on the market.

Jethro Tull — 50 for 50 (hardcover $21.99, purchase here)

The flute-oriented classic rockers have had myriad retrospectives over the years, but never like this: 50 for 50’s remastered set was handpicked by Ian Anderson, and features some deeper cuts from later, underrated Tull albums like Roots to Branches and Catfish Rising. If you ever wanted to take a crash course on the band’s often-misunderstood discography, now’s your chance.

Led Zeppelin — How the West Was Won [remastered] (CD $16.69, purchase here)

Led Zeppelin’s ongoing remastering campaign begins with this refreshed version of their great live album, How the West Was Won, which was recorded in 1973 and remained unreleased until 2003. This slick digipak, containing photos from the set, was put together under the supervision of Jimmy Page.

Neil Young — Roxy: Tonight’s The Night Live (double LP set $20.69, purchase here)

These 1973 recordings, in which Neil Young debuts most of his pitch-black classic Tonight’s the Night onstage, have been shelved until 2018. But they’re absolutely essential for not only their feral, celebratory takes on Young cuts like “Mellow My Mind” and “Walk On,” but some great stage banter from Young, who’s audibly shaken, grieving and ready to party: “Welcome to Miami Beach, where everything’s cheaper than it looks!”

As Time Goes By: Living in the Sixties… by Derek Taylor ($11.96, purchase here)

This revealing (and sometimes cutting!) memoir by the Beatles’ legendary press officer Derek Taylor was first released in 1973 -- and left out of print for four decades. Newly reprinted with an introduction from Jon Savage, we can finally dig into this juicy bit of Beatlemania, which even features details about the band’s run that (gasp!) haven’t been run through the meat-grinder of public myth yet.

Paul Simon: The Life by Robert Hilburn (hardcover, $22.11, purchase here)

The acclaimed singer, songwriter and architect of classics like Graceland opens up like never before in this Robert Hilburn biography, in which Simon had participation -- but no editorial control. Expect revelations from the often-cagey Simon about drugs, strange artistic maneuvers like his play The Capeman and his cantankerous relationship with his old partner Art Garfunkel.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Headphones ($329, purchase here)

If you’re able to dig a little deeper for a set of cans dad can enjoy forever, look no further than this model from Bose. Its world-class noise-cancellation technology makes quiet sounds quieter and loud sounds louder -- he’ll be able to hear details in those remastered Zeppelin and Tull cuts like never before.

Google Home Mini ($39, purchase here)

Google’s line of portable speaker/virtual assistants is perfect for the more affordable, useful side of Father’s Day gifts. With just a “Hey Google,” your dad can queue up anything from his collection in any room.

David Bowie: A Life by Dylan Jones (hardcover $16.86, purchase here)

The legendary, chameleonic singer has received some great biographies since his untimely passing in 2016, including On Bowie by Rob Sheffield. However, this immersive oral history tells how Bowie’s friends, family and associates viewed him with an attention to detail never before achieved -- those in the book have “lived him” themselves.

Fare Thee Well: The Final Chapter of the Grateful Dead's Long, Strange Trip by Joel Selvin (hardcover $21.60, purchase here)

More of a volatile corporation than a band by the end of its run, the band struggled how to handle the musical, professional and personal consequences of the tragic death of Jerry Garcia. If the special Deadhead in your life might be interested how the gears really turned within their inner circle as much as he’s into jamming his favorite old “Dark Star” performances, inquire within for his sake.

The Rolling Stones — The Studio Albums Vinyl Collection 1971-2016 ($450, preorder here)

For the Stones fanatic in your life, it almost doesn’t get better. All of the Stones’ LP releases from Sticky Fingers onward, cut at half-speed for optimal sound and some eye-popping packaging to boot.

Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers 2018 Tour (purchase tickets here)

Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers’ co-headlining tour has been cruising through North America since May 10, and it’ll wrap up in Bethel, New York. There’s still time to catch the second half of the summer run of this seasoned ‘70s rockers’ team-up.

Paul Simon — Homeward Bound: The Farewell Tour (purchase tickets here)

Simon’s been on his lengthy farewell tour this year, which culminates Sept. 20 at Madison Square Garden in New York. If you want to catch a legendary songwriter on his final trek, now’s your chance.

The Def Leppard & Journey Tour 2018 (purchase tickets here)

Veteran rockers Def Leppard and Journey are banding together on a summer trek this year. You can’t beat this heavy-rock twofer when it rolls through a town near you.