Devoted Darwin8U Disciple (Thank you Cornwinkle for gracious mention!) You are bulletproof--love the dog.
Absolutely without guile; open, frank, visual. What a life, what a legacy, and what a g-g-generation!
To put my 5* rating in perspective: as a very young teen, I was indifferent about The Who, couldn't name more than 3 songs they performed, wasn't a fan of the on-stage performance art-ish antics, and thought Tommy was mildly entertaining thanks to Elton John and Tina Turner; I'd rather have been listening to my Hendrix or Zeppelin LPs. So, my interest in this book surprised me; it was purely from seeing this very recognizable man recently on TV, promoting his bio, and being struck by his level of sincerity and vulnerability -- an almost apologetic demeanor without any of the ususal celeb braggadocio and self-aggrandizement that ruined some of the music celeb bios I've tried to get through (because yeah, we know, you're a bad A$$). Could that possibly be that rock star that used to do that windmill thing, smash his guitar, and strut with the royals of British rock, long live sex drugs and rock and roll? I was not some former fan, hoping to read Townshend's bio and flash-back to the glorious days when *I'd walk over you to see The Who.*
That perceived candor was accurate; I doubt it's possible to lay yourself so bare, as Townshend has done here, and be duplicitous. The history is fascinating and it reads like a grand timeline of rock and roll (which he calls *the absolute vehicle for self-destruction*). Townshend can probably go head to head with Keith Richards and his stories, but you don't get the sense that you are gathered around a pub table being regaled with wild rock star adventures -- though there are plenty of tales included. Instead, there is a kind of tolerance and wisdom that distances Townshend from being led by his talent to mastering his talent. His insecurities and self-doubts are bravely admitted, his love of family and friends obvious. I liked that he spoke about his achievements without bragging, aware of his talent as a gift--not a free pass to be an arse.
Once in a while an author connects to the reader and invites them into his life, it becomes intimate and real, like a confessional, and that connection is a gift borne of talent. Townshend's writing, and choice to narrate the book himself, put this book in that category. If I'd paid attention to those lyrics years ago, I probably wouldn't have been so surprised by his depth and talent. Like the man, this book is the real thing, and the product of a life lived hard...and well. The best celeb bio I've read to date (including the great Steve Jobs bio)--and remember, this is a man I had no interest in before. I'll have to go back and listen to The Who (with my *mature* ears) to see if I am yet a fan of the music, but I can say without any doubt I sure like Pete Townshend the man.
If you're interested in learning about recording and tech issues from 70s era sound and recording equipment, then this is for you. If not (like me) you'll wish that you skipped this altogether. Yes, Caillat served as co-producer and trusted tech employee on the Rumours album as well as helping out on tech issues during the Rumours tour, but folks...this bears repeating: other than the aforementioned, you won't be learning anything new about Fleetwood Mac that you haven't already seen covered on an episode of VH1's "Behind the Music." I'm not kidding. This was a borefest of the highest degree. And, oh yes- did you know he's the father of singer Colby Caillat? That's good, because if you don't, you'll be reminded (in addition to a completely useless detailed description of how he handled a recording issue on his daughter's (Colby Caillat!) album. I wish someone would please kick me in the forehead with a pen for buying this damn thing.
Would you like to know what Caillat's days were like? (I woke up. I showered. Scooter went through the doggie door to go to the bathroom. Scooter came back in from the doggie door after he went to the bathroom, etc.) Holy crap- it's a monotonous nightmare. If this book was solely about his adventures with his dog Scooter, the best little buddy and tension breaker that made him happy during the recording sessions, that's one thing (I adore dogs)...but that's not how this was marketed. ("I ordered a drink. The waiter arrived. He poured the wine into my glass. I raised my glass. I made a toast." With hours upon hours worth of moment by moment description of every single thing he did every single day he worked on the album and subsequent tour, how in the hell did he have time to effectively do anything? He's too busy writing down every single boring everyday tasks he did, thought, etc. Frankly, if the book was about Scooter, the best pal Caillat ever had, it would have been far more interesting on the road with him and Scooter's adorable personality in the recording studio. That dog was interesting. Caillat wasn't. In spades.
Other than two major confrontations that take place during the Rumours recording sessions,I learned nothing. Just a lot of "the band seemed tense/the band knew exactly how much was at stake in making this album"...really? Ya don't say! Honestly, I felt that Caillat's reflections had about as much importance as a pimple on the ass of the universe.
By the way, is it just me, or does the narrator (although giving his best) sound like a voiceover actor for children's products/that happy voice at the end of the latest medicine commercial that happily warns you that one of the side effects is death? They should have had that warning at the beginning of this audiobook.