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Craig Norton has commented on (6) products.

The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret by Kent Hartman
The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret

Craig Norton, February 18, 2012

I am a music industry veteran and also a popular music historian. I believe that the L.A. studio musicians of the 1960's were never called "The Wrecking Crew". This moniker was likely created by Hal Blaine in the 1980's to promote his terrible autobiography. I had never seen or heard the term "Wrecking Crew" applied to the fine L.A. studio musicians prior to Blaine's book.

By using this title, Kent Hartman is perpetuating a lie. Carol Kaye would never have approved the use of this title or the use of her photo on the jacket of this book.

Powell's should be ashamed of themselves for doing an in-store with this author.
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(2 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)

Photo by Sammy Davis, Jr. by Burt Boyar
Photo by Sammy Davis, Jr.

Craig Norton, March 10, 2008

This book of Sammy Davis' photos is quite interesting but not so much for the artistic value of the photography as they were simple photos. It is interesting because they are candid photos of Sammy's contemporaries in the entertainment world primarily during the early 1960's. For those of us who remember those times, this book is a bit of a nostalgia trip. There are many photos of the Rat Pack, Marilyn Monroe, Jerry Lewis and the other entertainment stars of that era. Great stuff!
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(1 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)

Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me by Pattie Boyd
Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me

Craig Norton, March 10, 2008

When I heard that Pattie Boyd was finally going to release her autobiography I thought to myself - "This could be very interesting!!". Many of the other Beatles' associates have released books over the years but because Pattie had been married to George, her book had the potential to be one of the most informative and revealing. You must remember that this book exists only because Pattie was once married to George Harrison. Her relationship and marriage to Eric Clapton may never have warranted a publisher's interest. Unfortunately, Pattie's autobiography is a disappointment on many counts.

When Pattie describes life with George Harrison, you really do not gain a sense of the man until later in their marriage when they have moved to George's Friar Park estate. I say "George's" because it becomes obvious that Pattie was never an equal partner in their marriage. Pattie also reveals little in the way of new Beatles information and for this the book is a let down. She occasionally relates well known stories that have been written elsewhere but there is nothing new.

Pattie's decision to leave George for Eric Clapton was a move that she later regretted. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. She found herself with an alcoholic philandering husband yet Pattie would not leave him. After enduring that life for more than ten years, she still wanted to have children with him. Pattie also said that she left both marriages with almost nothing in the way of a settlement. You soon discover that Pattie Boyd had little common sense or perhaps much intelligence. As you read the book, you keep asking yourself how a woman could be so silly.

I must take issue with Penny Junor's work as Pattie's co-writer or editor. The book does not flow very well and frequently jumps around as if Pattie had lost her train of thought. I will also cite two glaring factual errors in the book and both Pattie and Penny should have known better. While Pattie was married to George, she said that she saw a doctor on her 32nd birthday. By age 32, she was with Eric Clapton. Pattie also mentioned that she sold one of Eric's guitars, a Les Paul Stratocaster. You would think that a woman who was married for over 20 years to two of the world's greatest guitar heroes would know that a Les Paul is a Gibson and a Stratocaster is a Fender. Any guitar player would laugh at that mistake.

At best, I would describe Pattie Boyd's book as mild entertainment rather than an essential read. It's a book to read on a summer holiday at the beach or cottage. I strongly recommend that you read Pattie's book in conjunction with Eric Clapton's recent biography as they tie together very well.
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(3 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)

Guitar Man by Will Hodgkinson
Guitar Man

Craig Norton, February 4, 2008

This book would certainly be of interest to anyone who has ever picked up a guitar. I can't think of any other guitar book that has been written by a novice to describe their early learning experiences. Truly humorous and entertaining! What impresses me the most is the thought that Hodgkinson was able to gain access and spend quality time with such a famous group of guitar players, and all in a 6 month timeframe. Roger McGuinn, Johnny Marr, Bert Jansch, Davy Graham and more. Wow!
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)

Chronicles: Volume One by Bob Dylan
Chronicles: Volume One

Craig Norton, January 11, 2008

I've never been a devoted fan of Bob Dylan or his recordings, especially his releases since the 1960's. Saying that, I do have an appreciation for Dylan's place in the history of popular music. Having read many musical biographies over the years, I feel that I can say without reservation:

This may be the finest autobiography of a musician that I have ever read. Dylan's "Chronicles" has set a new standard for books of this type.

I sincerely hope that Dylan follows up one day with a "Chronicles Volume 2".
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(8 of 16 readers found this comment helpful)

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