Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Backstage Passes & Backstabbing Bastards: Memoirs of a Rock 'N' Roll Survivor by Al Kooper

Kooper is one of those semi-famous rock stars who had a part in many things but never became a superstar. A partial resume:
  • Wrote "This Diamond Ring" (made famous by Gary Lewis & the Playboys)
  • Played organ on "Like a Rolling Stone" and other Dylan songs in the studio and on stage including the 1965 Newport Folk Festival
  • Formed Blood, Sweat & Tears
  • Worked A&R for Columbia Records
  • Conceived and recorded the groundbreaking Super Session album with Mike Bloomfield and Steven Stills
  • Played french horn, organ, and piano on the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want"
  • Produced Lynyrd Skynyrd's first three albums as well as the first album by the Tubes
And that doesn't begin to cover the material in this excellent book. Kooper has done virtually everything in the music business, and he shares his experiences with detail and humor. Backstage Passes & Backstabbing Bastards is one of the best rock memoirs I've ever read, both in content and writing style. The photos are great, too!

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