Posted - 20/08/2017 : 22:02:52
| I just finished reading this recently published book, and the main reason I wanted to read it was because I thought it would have some info on Larry Coryell's infamous freakout at a Harry Nilsson recording session that JW was on, but it had nothing on that subject (although LC is mentioned a bit, and there are some great HN stories- whose life seemed to be one crazy story after another...).
I don't like long posts, but there's a lot of interesting stuff in this book, so stop reading now if you don't like long posts, or don't want to read book spoilers.
What, you're still here? Well, I warned you...
First of all, this covers only JW's life from birth to 1973, and is told completely out of chronological order.
Second of all, there is a constant companion of his from 1965 to 1973 whom is referred to as The Devil, Satan, Lucifer, Beezlebub, etc..., who may be imaginary, or may be a 'Drive-time LA radio DJ', who was very popular back then; he is never named...
There is one strange scene where JW is called to David Geffen's house for the first time in 1970.
He is taken to a room where Jackson Browne is sitting there with a guitar.
DG tells JB to play "Opening farewell". JB obeys, and then then shows JW his room at DG's house, which coincidentally used to be JW's room when the house belonged to Johnny Rivers.
Then DG asks JW the famous question that DG asked any musicians he was interested in representing, "So what do you want?"
Another interesting thing was JW's show on his first tour as a solo artist at the Main Point in Philadelphia. On the bill was Maury Mulhausen with (sic) Judy Sill. Unfortunately, he said nothing about Sill.
Fred Tackett was JW's guitarist, and got Larry Coryell involved with JW's home studio, where LC came in one night and "blasted a backward guitar solo that compares favorably to McCartney, Clapton or John Mc Laughlin". It has something to do with JW's LP, 'And So: On'.
Coryell threw a little folded white paper packet to JW saying, "This is gonna change your life!"
JW got a job in 1966 as rehearsal pianist for The Fifth Dimension, and worked closely with them on every note of their vocal arrangements.
JW claims that Lou Adler's careful overdubbing of of four-part contrapuntal harmonies was the secret of The Mamas and the Papas sound and success, not the 'fifth person' that John Phillips
claimed was created naturally when they sang.
JW makes the case that a jazz club owner in LA named Benny Shapiro conceived of the idea for The Monterey Pop Festival, and that he was forced out of the fest by John Phillips and Lou Adler.
He even suggests that BS' house was burned to the ground during the planning for the festival at the instigation of JP and LA, because BS completely dropped out of the festival.
The seed money of 40K was promised by John Phillips, Lou Adler, Simon & Garfunkel and Johnny Rivers.
Lou Adler and John Phillips came away as the producers of Monterey, and also ended up shooting the documentary. Lou Adler was said to have had a private meeting with the Monterey PD reaching an agreement that the heat would be turned down during the festival on recreational drug use.
Benny Shapiro planned the Festival to be free to the public, but Adler and Phillips changed it to include an admission fee.
Laura Nyro was received well until she shed her Martin D-18, and did the only solo piano performance at Monterey. The hippies didn't like that, and booed her off the stage, sending her weeping into the arms of david geffen.
The Mamas and the Papas got the coveted last spot of the festival, but they were preceded by Jimi Hendrix's electrifying performance, and some of the crowd walked out on their performance when they heard what the "real Mamas and the Papas sounded like without the reverb cocktail and three layers of hand edited vocals..."
Webb's performance with the Wrecking Crew backing Johnny Rivers was edited out of the film Monterey Pop by editors John Phillips and Lou Adler.
JW confirms the bad rep that Big Brother and the Holding Co. had when performing live, by describing their performance at the Fillmore West as "ending in a storm of feedback and odd rim shots and ****ty drum licks. Sloppy."
JW sings the praises of the late Glen Campbell throughout the book, and says that GC "played the lead guitar parts for the legendary TAMI Show movie, because many of the live musicians were, bluntly speaking, not up to par".
JW describes the dramatic transformation of Wrecking Crew guitarist star Mike Deasy from dressing like a cross between Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone and playing an old Strat with Indian symbols carved on it, to an evangelist in a blue suit, as a result of a confrontation with Charles Manson's Family in the desert, where he was coerced into taking some LSD by pretty Manson girls.
He disappeared for two days and turned up at home weeping hysterically and raving to his wife, "They tried to take my soul."