The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret Audiobook | Kent Hartman | Audible.com
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The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret | [Kent Hartman]

The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret

If you were a fan of popular music in the 1960s and early '70s, you were a fan of the Wrecking Crew - whether you knew it or not. On hit record after hit record by everyone from the Byrds, the Beach Boys, and the Monkees to the Grass Roots, the 5th Dimension, Sonny & Cher, and Simon & Garfunkel, this collection of West Coast studio musicians from diverse backgrounds established themselves as the driving sound of pop music - sometimes over the objection of actual band members....
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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Winner, History, 2013

If you were a fan of popular music in the 1960s and early '70s, you were a fan of the Wrecking Crew - whether you knew it or not.

On hit record after hit record, by everyone from the Byrds, the Beach Boys, and the Monkees to the Grass Roots, the 5th Dimension, Sonny & Cher, and Simon & Garfunkel, this collection of West Coast studio musicians from diverse backgrounds established themselves as the driving sound of pop music - sometimes over the objection of actual band members forced to make way for Wrecking Crew members.

Industry insider Kent Hartman tells the dramatic, definitive story of the musicians who forged a reputation throughout the business as the secret weapons behind the top recording stars. Mining invaluable interviews, the author follows the careers of such session masters as drummer Hal Blaine and keyboardist Larry Knechtel, as well as trailblazing bassist Carol Kaye, who went on to play in thousands of recording sessions. Listeners will discover the Wrecking Crew members who would forge careers in their own right, including Glen Campbell and Leon Russell, and learn of the relationship between the Crew and such legends as Phil Spector and Jimmy Webb.

Hartman also takes us inside the studio for the legendary sessions that gave us Pet Sounds, Bridge Over Troubled Water, and the rock classic “Layla”, which Wrecking Crew drummer Jim Gordon cowrote with Eric Clapton for Derek and the Dominos. And the author recounts priceless scenes, such as Mike Nesmith of the Monkees facing off with studio head Don Kirshner, Grass Roots lead guitarist (and future star of The Office) Creed Bratton getting fired from the group, and Michel Rubini unseating Frank Sinatra's pianist for the session in which the iconic singer improvised the hit-making ending to “Strangers in the Night”.

The Wrecking Crew tells the collective, behind-the-scenes stories of the artists who dominated Top-40 radio during the most exciting time in American popular culture.

©2012 Kent Hartman (P)2012 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"[The Wrecking Crew] has the...potent excitement of a collection of greatest hits. It makes good music sound better." (Janet Maslin, The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (102 )
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4.3 (96 )
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4.1 (95 )
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Lee Blue Anchor, NJ, United States 08-29-12
    Lee Blue Anchor, NJ, United States 08-29-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Familiar names to any 70's rock fan"

    The Beach Boys were always a mystery to me. I have gone to see them several times, each time they were worse than the last. The voices intermittently hit the mark, but the musicianship would embarrass a 3rd grade band. I wondered how the same people who recorded Pet Sounds could be in front of me with a minimal knowledge of their instruments. Now I know.
    This book is good.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana Haynes Vancouver, British Columbia Canada 07-30-12
    Diana Haynes Vancouver, British Columbia Canada 07-30-12 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating Story Well Told"
    What made the experience of listening to The Wrecking Crew the most enjoyable?

    Bought this book after watching the documentary and found that it contains many more stories and interesting details than the documentary (which was equally good). Who knew?


    What other book might you compare The Wrecking Crew to and why?

    I can't think of another book to compare this to - it is unique.


    What about Dan John Miller???s performance did you like?

    Good voice well paced.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I wish.


    Any additional comments?

    Anyone who likes rock and roll would like this book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Bethlehem, GA, United States 09-17-12
    Steven Bethlehem, GA, United States 09-17-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Will change the way you listen to music"

    I am a fan of the music from the 60's and the 70's, heck truth told there is just about no music I do not enjoy. So as to not give the "plot Away" too badly it tells the history of how the in studio music was recorded during the heyday of Rock and roll. Touches on the Beach Boys, Phil Spector and an interesting story about Glenn Campbell. it's a must read if you enjoy the ins and outs of Rock and Roll.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Petry Santa Barbara, CA USA 06-25-13
    David Petry Santa Barbara, CA USA 06-25-13 Member Since 2011
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    "A bit sing-songy"

    Very interesting material, but written and performed as though for sixth graders. A list of these musicians' works would be a welcome addition.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell Bernard Salt Lake City, Utah United States 03-12-13
    Russell Bernard Salt Lake City, Utah United States 03-12-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Fasinating history of 60 and 70 rock'n roll"
    What made the experience of listening to The Wrecking Crew the most enjoyable?

    The information of the different bands was fascinating and a real eye opener to the music business in the 60's and 70's. Interesting to find out who controlled the business and the caliber of musicians at that time.


    What other book might you compare The Wrecking Crew to and why?

    Me the Mob and the music by Tommy James although a different story, studio muscicians played a huge roll in the outcome of the music.


    Have you listened to any of Dan John Miller’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I will view all my rock idols differently after listening to this book. Especially the Beach Boys.


    Any additional comments?

    Great listen for anyone interested in rock history. I wish I could see the film that was made about the same group of musicians. Check out Carol Kaye on utube.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TIMOTHY BARRINGTON, IL, United States 11-12-12
    TIMOTHY BARRINGTON, IL, United States 11-12-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "SO MANY THINGS I NEVER KNEW, WOW!"
    Would you listen to The Wrecking Crew again? Why?

    ONLY AS REFERENCE. GOT THE STORY FIRST TIME.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Wrecking Crew?

    SOOO MANY. THE INDEPTH RE. LEON RUSSEL, GLEN CAMPBELL, TOMMY TEDESCO, CAROL KAY AND THE OPENING NARRITIVE.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    A LITTLE SLOW BUT NOT BAD.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    NETHER LAUGH OR CRY. BUT IT MADE BURN UP GOOGLE LOOKING UP THE PEOPLE I JUST NEVER KNEW ABOUT.


    Any additional comments?

    AN EPIFFINY FOR ANY MUSIC LOVER OF 60'S 70'S MUSIC LOVERS

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dubi New York, NY, United States 03-31-14
    Dubi New York, NY, United States 03-31-14 Member Since 2011

    People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Juke Box Documentary"
    Would you listen to The Wrecking Crew again? Why?

    Like many of the songs that are described in the book, The Wrecking Crew may be worth listening to again. However, I think the next step is to see the film documentary. Though it may lack the detail of the book, it would have the added benefit of including snippets of the songs and showing us the faces of the musicians who are the subject of the book.

    Actually, I found that it was the songs that held this true life story together, and the author must have felt so as well, organizing the chapters by song rather than my personality. When your subjects are anonymous studio musicians who are by necessity devoid of the egomania that drives their front men, their biographical back stories, while certainly interesting, do not burn down any barns.

    But the songs they created -- the stories behind how these huge hits of the 60s and 70s came together in surprising ways -- is the real attraction here, especially for people like me who grew up on those songs.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Wrecking Crew?

    If you consider my first name, one of the most interesting stories is how they came up with the coda to Strangers in the Night. I have had to live with that my whole life. I never knew until now how Frank Sinatra ended up improvising that fade out on the third take, and how the producer decided to include it in the version that was ultimately released.

    And if you ever danced the limbo at a party, you might be surprised to hear the story of how the famous limbo song came to be -- how it was written, what the songwriter called it, and how it affected him. This book is full of those types of gems.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The book's tag line is "The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best Kept Secret". The poster for the movie version, made by the son of one of the musicians central to The Wrecking Crew, has a full paragraph backing up the title. But since the songs are the real stars of this story, I'd tag the movie with something like "The Inside Story Behind Your Favorite Songs." That doesn't shortchange the musicians who people that inside story, but it highlights the work product which is their lasting legacy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Peeples Charleston, SC 12-15-13
    L. Peeples Charleston, SC 12-15-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Easy Listening"
    If you could sum up The Wrecking Crew in three words, what would they be?

    light, enjoyable, informative


    What other book might you compare The Wrecking Crew to and why?

    Atlantic Records: The House the Ahmet Built


    What three words best describe Dan John Miller’s performance?

    competent, corny


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    The anecdotes that make up this book were amusing, and I learned a lot about the music studio scene in LA in the 60s and early 70s. If you like pop music trivia, you'll probably enjoy it. On the other hand, I thought the writing was pretty hackneyed and unnecessarily repetitive. The performance was ok, but I was sort of annoyed that Dan John Miller read all quotes from women in exactly the same soft, high-pitched voice. He sort of did the same thing with some of the men, trying to distinguish voices but not really pulling it off -- Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, and Phil Spector, for instance, sound exactly the same. I enjoyed this audiobook overall, though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don Alamo, CA, United States 10-15-13
    Don Alamo, CA, United States 10-15-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Simply outstanding!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Wrecking Crew the most enjoyable?

    The many different stories of some of the greatest musicians of our generation were carefully weaved together in this highly inspirational book. Never a dull moment. Unlike many other books written about musicians of this period I found myself not wanting the chapter to end.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerold SEATTLE, WA, United States 08-13-13
    Jerold SEATTLE, WA, United States 08-13-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "The Music Biz"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I would recommend this to my music lover friends.


    What other book might you compare The Wrecking Crew to and why?

    Possibly Don Felder's Heaven and Hell. Both are eye opening regarding the music business and insight into bands.


    What does Dan John Miller bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    While intending to be flattering a good voice should not add or subtract from the story.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Open Your Eyes Wide


    Any additional comments?

    Very impressed with Glen Campbell as a musician and with his ambition for success.

    I must say Brian Wilson is every bit the nut I would have expected. Pet Sounds did him in. Or did his father?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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