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Old Feb-07-2011, 4:46 PM
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captmidnite1962 captmidnite1962 is offline

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Icon34 Let me tell you my story...

In the past year or so, I have read a handful of biographies and autobiographies of musicians and they have varied in style and substance...Leading off was the Tommy Bolin biography, "Touched By Magic". Greg Plato conducted numerous interviews with musicians and family members and stitches them together to tell the story....And enough quotes from Tommy are included to give a bit of his presence to the proceedings. You get a lot of questions answered and a certain feel for Tommy as a human being AND a musician.

Bill Bruford's autobiography was up next and forget all the jokes about drummers; these stereotypes do not apply to Mister Bruford. He is, by turns, articulate, well read, wickedly funny and incisive....his comments on the business are required reading for all you closet Cobhams and garage skin beaters. He doesn't dish dirt in a tabloid fashion, he tells the story with a class and style...and he wrote it himself, ladies and gentlemen. I heard an interview with Bill on NPR in which he expressed surprise at the fact that so many autobiographies are ghost written....and that you won't find any tales of childhood traumas or trashed hotel rooms...

Jack Bruce is the subject of Harry Shapiro's biography and Jack has a tremendous amount of input into the book. Meticulously researched, Shapiro pulls no punches; Jack's financial missteps and drug problems are discussed at length but not in a sensationalistic manner. But you also learn much about the man and his music; I thought I knew a lot about Jack Bruce but I was many stories and facts I was unaware of. A fabulous read.

Arthur Lee is the subject of John Einarson's biography. Now, I have always been a huge fan of Love and really looked forward to this book. And it doesn't disappoint. Arthur had been working on an autobiography up until his death in 2006 and Einarson uses Arthur's words in italics to give the reader a conversational feel as if Arthur is commenting from his easy chair. All of the surviving band members from Love as well as many colleagues, friends and fans are interviewed and this wealth of information is presented in a clear, crisp style. A lot of the myths surrounding the band have been repeated over the years...and I am abashed to admit that I was guilty of said crime in blithely repeating the story about the "donut shop bandits" in my tribute here to Arthur Lee when he passed away. John Einarson addresses and debunks most of them. I was glad that after his years in the wilderness and a prison term, that Arthur Lee finally got the recognition and acclaim that eluded him for many years.

Ginger Baker's autobiography "Hellraiser" was decades in coming and very different from Bill Bruford's book in its style and delivery (let's be honest here; Nettie Baker, his eldest daughter did the writing) in that it is very conversational as if you are sitting next to him in a pub listening to him tell his story through a cloud of cigarette smoke. His love/hate relationship with Jack Bruce is well documented and you also have to wonder how he has lived this long given his many misadventures with drugs, women and the US immigration authorities. He recounts all the bands he has played in over the years and stomps on a few toes in the process. Given his health problems over the past few years, it is a story finally told and worth reading.

Johnny Winter is the subject of Mary Lou Sullivan's biography "Raisin' Cain" and a book long in the making; she conducted interviews with Johnny and his fellow musicians over the years and encountered resistance from Johnny's late manager Teddy Slatus who was ripping Johnny off for years. After a number of years in a drug induced haze (much of which was aided and abetted by Slatus to keep Johnny in the dark about business matters) Johnny has a manager looking out for his best interests and improved health and enthusiasm for performing again. Growing up albino and legally blind in the 1950's South, Johnny and his brother Edgar overcame those obstacles and rose to stardom on the strength of their prodigious musical talent. Johnny Winter is doing now what he was born to do; he plays the blues and IS the blues.

And now we have Glenn's story....and I can't wait to read it! Glenn is a raconteur extraordinaire; I have had the pleasure of sitting across a table from Glenn and listened to him tell a story with that incredibly expressive face of his...I hope his personality comes across on the written page! We all know about how he was seemingly a casualty of the lifestyle only to come back with his talent burning brighter than ever. Now with Black Country Communion lifting off like a Saturn V and the press behind him as never before, this book couldn't be timed any better!

Bring it on!!

captmidnite1962's Sig:Yours In The Funk
Bill "Capt. Midnite" Redford

"Cause if you fake the FUNK..your nose got to grow!" Bootsy Collins
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