After four decades in the music industry, Michael Bolton has become one the most successful musicians of our time. The Soul of it All is his backstage pass into his life lived thus far-into the venues, busses, limos, and hotel rooms of stardom, and finally into his home and heart. His story will go long and dive deep, not only into his self-proclaimed "vagabond vampire" life, but also into the belly of the beast that is the music industry, with its joys, follies, and torments.
From a 14 year old kid performing in dive bars in his hometown of New Haven, CT, to struggling to provide for his wife and kids, to finally breaking through with the Soul Provider album, and going on to sell more than 53 million albums and singles worldwide, Bolton has fought for and earned a life most just dream of.
The Soul of it All is his life, chock-full of all the incredible stories, and the star-studded cast you'd expect, including: Luciano Pavarotti, Paula Abdul, Cher, Bob Dylan, Barbara Streisand, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Otis Redding, Ray Charles, Placido Domingo, Renee Fleming, Bon Jovi, Wynonna Judd, BB King, Patti LaBelle, Carlos Santana, Nicolette Sheridan, Teri Hatcher and others...
©2012 Michael Bolton (P)2012 Hachette Audio
"We all know that my friend Michael Bolton is a gifted musician and a devoted philanthropist - but you may not know that he's also a talented storyteller. The Soul of It All is the fascinating journey of a man who is as powerful, bold, and soulful as his voice." (Bill Clinton)
I confess, I've never considered myself a Michael Bolton fan. I found the whole "Fabio" look he sported for so many years a turn off, although I thought he sang well. What triggered my listening to his autobiography was that the Kindle version was on promotion and it prompted me to listen to a sample of the audio version.
That said, I found "The Soul of It All" to be a very interesting listen. Mr. Bolton grew up in an upwardly mobile middle class home in New Haven, CT and left home as a teenager to seek out opportunities in the world of music. Since neither he nor his musician friends were affluent, this meant living in their van or other "creative" living situations to scrape by between gigs. He describes the financial struggles he experienced after marrying, trying to support his family on a musician's salary and how he finally turned to penning & singing commercial jingles to pay the rent. After his solo career began to take off, he stopped singing jingles fearing he'd dilute his brand as a performer. As he became more and more successful, he met and befriend famous folks like Bill and Hillary Clinton, Alice Cooper, and numerous other celebrities. While some reviewers felt he was "name dropping," I thought his reaction was that of awe... meeting people beyond his wildest dreams, a variation on "New Haven kid does good."
The aspect of his autobiography that I found most surprising was his philanthropy. He founded a charitable organization serving women and children at risk for poverty and abuse (the Michael Bolton Charities) as a channel to give back to his home state of Connecticut and nationally. The last quote I expected to hear in his biography? Gandhi's "Poverty is the worst form of violence." Bolton is strongly committed to alleviating homelessness and hunger, and considers poverty a form of domestic terror.
I started listening to this autography based on hearing Bolton describe (in the audiobook sample) his delight in performing as Captain Jack Sparrow in a Saturday Night Live parody video. I continued to listen to the end inspired by Bolton's work ethic and (as he puts it) "kindness, compassion, and awe." Along with this being a very interesting book, Bolton's narration makes it even better. I'm glad I took the time to hear Michael Bolton tell the story of his life.
Deep. Passionate. Real and sensitive to himself and others. Thank you for You Michael.
Michael's voice was easy to listen to, and his story was interesting. Glad that he hasn't forgotten where he started from and who helped him along the way. It amazed me some of the things that he went through and is happy his life is going better.
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