DrVH, February 20, 2012 (view all comments by DrVH)
I am a woman and I don't think this book is misogynistic at all. The stories are interesting and informative. Besides, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognizes the musicians as the Wrecking Crew. Book/Music lovers: you are in for a treat with Hartman's new book!
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Craig Norton, February 18, 2012 (view all comments by Craig Norton)
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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BADBOOK, February 17, 2012 (view all comments by BADBOOK)
This book is full of baloney! It was done under FALSE PRETENSES, and we were never "the Hal Blaine band", never called by his phony self-promotional name. This author GOT MY INTERVIEW WITH LIES as to what it was about....he's a PHONY USING PEOPLE FOR HIS OWN $$$ benefit with a book FULL OF LIES, DO NOT BUY THIS AWFUL LYING SLANDEROUS MISOGYNIST BOOK! Carol Kaye www.carolkaye.com
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The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret
0 stars -
Thomas Dunne Books -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"From 1962 to 1975, one group of studio players, the Wrecking Crew, provided the tracks for records as various as 'He's a Rebel,' 'Surfer Girl,' 'California Dreamin',' 'MacArthur Park,' 'Classical Gas,' and 'Bridge over Troubled Water.' Industry insider Hartman opens our eyes to this fascinating group of musicians, tracing the careers of three members of this group — Glen Campbell, Carol Smith, Hal Blaine — who shared little more than an innate inner drive, musical talent, and a work ethic shaped by grinding poverty. Campbell, for example, lit out on the road when he was 13 to play guitar. Eight years later, Campbell joined the Champs, whose 'Limbo Rock' Chubby Checker would soon record as 'The Twist.' In 1962, Phil Spector gathered Campbell, Smith, Blaine, Billy Strange, Bill Pitman, and seven other highly skilled session musicians to lay down the tracks for 'Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah,' added the voices of Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans, and a #1 record and the Wrecking Crew were born. Hartman also traces the work of later members of the Crew such as Leon Russell, Larry Knechtel, and Jim Gordon, as well as the successful solo careers of Campbell and Russell. Hartman's fast-paced tale offers dazzling insights into a little known chapter of rock and roll history." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
by Janet Maslin in the New York Times,
"It makes good music sound better."
by The Hollywood Reporter,
"Hartman's book is a great tour through the California music scene of the 60s and 70s and a great introduction to how the music business functioned back then. This story has all the makings of a great HBO series."
by Shirley Manson, lead singer, Garbage,
"A sweet and wistful meditation on the early days of the music business, full of little gems and wonders fit for serious music fans and a commendable, long-overdue tribute to the legendary Wrecking Crew — the ridiculously talented, go-to guys behind so many hits. This book will make your head spin."
"I've been in the music business for over forty years and I didn't know any of this! The Wrecking Crew is a total page-turner. I couldn't put it down. Kent Hartman is one gifted storyteller." John Kosh, three-time Grammy-winning art director and legendary album cover designer of Abbey Road, Who's Next, and Hotel California
by Richard Snow, former editor-in-chief of American Heritage, author of A Measureless Peril,
"Is Larry Knechtel one of your favorite 1960s musicians? How about Hal Blaine? Carol Kaye? Oh yes they are. These three were part of The Wrecking Crew, a group of brilliant performers who supplied the music for many of the biggest hits during the blazing high noon of American rock. But nobody knew. Until now, that is, because Kent Hartman has at last written, with a verve and enthusiasm underpinned by scrupulous research, rock's great missing chapter."
"Turns out the heart of rock and roll isn't Cleveland after all. It's the Wrecking Crew. Kent Hartman's behind the scenes look at the early days of rock turns much of what we thought we knew about popular music upside down. So many secrets revealed. You won't think about artists such as The Beach Boys, The Mamas & the Papas, or Simon and Garfunkel quite the same. Mr. Hartman's book should go platinum." Larry Colton, author of No Ordinary Joes, Counting Coup and Goat Brothers, and founder of the Wordstock literary festival
by Library Journal,
"In Los Angeles in 1960s-70s, if you wanted to record a chart-topping track or album, you called in the crack session musicians colectively known as the Wrecking Crew. Consisting of artists unknown outside the music industry, like drummer Hal Blaine and bass player Carol Kaye, as well as those who would go on to recording fame of their own, such as Glenn Campbell and Leon Russell, the Wrecking Crew was the West Coast's cream of the crop of session players, backing top-notch hit makers Phil Spector, Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, and many more. Hartman (marketing, Portland State Univ.), who has worked with many well-known recording artists including Hall & Oates, Three Dog Night, and Lyle Lovett, tells the group's definitive story with a music industry insider's insight and enthusiasm. The only other work on these behind-the-scenes pros is Blaine's Hal Blaine and the Wrecking Crew, which is more narrowly focused on the experiences of the stalwart drummer. Verdict: Recommended for readers interested in popular music and the music industry, particularly West Coast pop and classic rock."
Part Hit Men and part Laurel Canyon, this hidden history of rock and roll chronicles the uncredited studio musicians who provided the soundtrack for a generation.
If you listened to radio in the 1960s and '70s, you listened to the Wrecking Crew. On hit record after hit record by everyone from The Byrds to the Beach Boys, Phil Spector, Simon & Garfunkel, the Fifth Dimension, and Frank Sinatra, this motley group of west coast studio musicians established themselves as the driving force of the pop music industry — sometimes over the objection of actual band members who were forced to make way for Wrecking Crew musicians in the studio. Building off his eye-opening article for American Heritage, industry insider Kent Hartmann tells the definitive story of the group that dared play "long hair" music before it was socially acceptable. He follows the recording careers of such musicians as drummer Hal Blaine and trailblazing bassist Carol Kaye, as well as those who went on to fame in their own write, including Glen Campbell, Leon Russell, and Jim Gordon (who co-wrote "Layla" with Eric Clapton). The Wrecking Crew tells the collective, behind-the-scenes stories of the artists who dominated the sounds of Top 40 radio during the most creative era in American music culture.
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