Sunday, July 21, 2013

Shell Shocked: My Life with the Turtles, Flo & Eddie, and Frank Zappa, etc.* by Howard Kaylan with Jeff Tamarkin

The Turtles have long been among my favorite minor groups of the 1960s, and I have some Turtles bootleg concerts that are hilarious and fun. I had no idea Kaylan was writing a memoir until I found this at Half Price Books in Algonquin shortly after it came out (and shortly after that store opened) earlier this year.

If you want to hear about the proverbial sex, drugs, and rock & roll, this is the memoir for you! Kaylan shares lots of great stories from succeeding at a young age as a Turtle to being at the scene of "Smoke on the Water" to singing with Bruce Springsteen to writing songs for Strawberry Shortcake and the Care Bears.** I suppose I would have liked to hear more about the songs, but that's how I feel about most rock memoirs. All in all, Shell Shocked is a fun book about a likable guy who worked hard but also got lucky (in more ways than one) along the way.

* I assume this is a reference to the Turtles song "Elenore": "You're my pride and joy, et cetera."

** It is interesting to me that Kaylan and lifelong showbiz partner Mark Volman became writers after most of the Turtles' biggest hits were written by other people (with the exception of the aforementioned "Elenore").

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