An undraped and juicy peek at rock's hierophants and hetaeras.



Insider's story of Bruce Springsteen's early career, focusing on his first manager and his ouster after the money started to roll in.

On July 29, 1976, Mike Appel—Springsteen's first manager/producer/promoter—sued Jon Landau, CBS Records, and Springsteen to prevent Landau from producing Springsteen's next record. Here, Eliot (Rockonomics, 1989, etc.) tells how this maverick manager was the first to believe in Springsteen and sign him to a contract. Appel has supplied detailed accounting-sheets of band expenses, publishing royalties, and Springsteen's profits in the initial four years of his career. This little-seen and interesting view of rock exposes the real nuts and bolts of the business. For example, in 1973, after his second album was released, Springsteen made only $3,300 touring. He paid his band members $35 each per week, but assigned to them no songwriting credits, ensuring that they would remain hired help. And by 1976, Springsteen's royalties amounted to $259,000 for the first quarter alone. Landau, a 27-year-old "rock critic'' for Boston's Real Paper and Rolling Stone at the time of the singer's first album release, was an early booster. Eliot depicts him as an archfiend in human form who weaseled his way into impressionable young Springsteen's confidence. Landau, although entirely without studio experience, persuaded Springsteen he could produce him with superior sensitivity, bad-mouthed Appel at the drop of a guitar pick, and muscled him out. Once Landau's influence was in the ascendant, Springsteen sued Appel for fraud and for permission to use Landau as his producer. In turn, Appel brought his own suit, which was settled out of court with him receiving $800,000—a sum that he calls "absolute beans.'' Eliot provides 40 pages of lively deposition in which Springsteen gives a churlish, profane, and none-too-swift performance.

An undraped and juicy peek at rock's hierophants and hetaeras.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1991

ISBN: 1-56129-119-6

Page Count: 368

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1991

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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