If Howard Kaylan had sung only one song, the Turtles' 1967 No. 1 smash hit "Happy Together," his place in rock-and-roll history would still be secure. But that recording, named in 1999 by BMI as one of the top 50 songs of the 20th century, with over five million radio plays, is only the tip of a rather eye-opening iceberg. For nearly five decades, Howard Kaylan has been a player in the rock-and-roll revolution. In addition to his years with the Turtles, Kaylan was a core member of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention and the dynamic duo Flo & Eddie, and part of glam rock history with Marc Bolan and T. Rex.
He's also given street cred and harmonies to everyone from John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen and Alice Cooper to the Ramones and Duran Duran, to name just a few. Howard Kaylan's life has been a dangerous ride that he is only too happy to report on, naming names and shedding shocking tales of sex, drugs and creative excess. Shell Shocked will stand alone as not only one of the best-told music-biz memoirs, but one with a truly candid and unmatchable story of rock-and-roll insanity and success from a man who glories in it all.
©2013 Howard Kaylan (P)2013 Howard Kaylan
I write my reviews under my wife Karen's account. Retired USN Russian linguist/analyst; actor; director; producer. Biography & History focus
I rarely give an unqualified 5 star rating...wait, I NEVER give a 5 star rating, but this audiobook rocks! Baby boomers know the Turtles as an iconic MOR pop band that ruled the pop charts in the late '60s (They knocked the Beatles out of the #1 position at one point) and then had a stereotypical breakup due to the usual: musical differences, drugs, changing public preferences, management, etc. It's all told here by Howard Kaylan (with a "Y"!) in an honest and very funny autobiography that grabs you from the first sentence and never lets up.
With a refreshing lack of ego, Mr. Kaylan dishes the whole storyline of the Turtles to the Mothers of Invention to Flo & Eddie and beyond. Be forewarned: YOU WILL LAUGH OUT LOUD so pick your listening times carefully. I often listen in bed before going to sleep but I couldn't do that with this book - I kept waking up my slumbering spouse with my chuckles and laughter. I also had to avoid many concerned looks in the Doctor's office, on public transportation, in the grocery store...you get the idea.
This production shines throughout. Mr. Kaylan provides a perfect wedding of writing and narration. Even my pet peeve about mispronunciation is absent here - a first in 13 years.
If you have the slightest interest in The Turtles, the '60s and '70s or pop music in general you will love this book.
You CAN'T MISS this one!
Admirer of history and biographies.
I loved The Turtles music growing up in the late 60’s, so I jumped on this audiobook as soon as I saw it and wasn’t disappointed. Howard’s narration is like hanging out with an old friend and swapping rock and roll war stories. The stories of his interactions with rock and roll royalty are worth the price of admission alone. The stories of his personal misbehavior and of the show biz sharks that bit them are riveting. Then there are the Mothers of Invention stories, most notably his firsthand account of the concert in Montreux that was the inspiration for Deep Purple’s immortal Smoke On The Water. All in all a pleasant listen…, that I’ll probably do again in the near future. So if you’re a former child of the sixties, or just love that music, this book is for you.
If you think having Howard Kaylan sing to you is fun, wait till he reads to you...one of the most incredible personalities in music tells his story with the same exuberance as he lived it, with all the 'warts, stars and ex-wives' included...one of the best current autobiographies available
My preference for a good story is something totally unusual and not run of the mill stuff. Give me something I haven't heard before.
I didn't know they were with Zappa's band. After listening to this, I saw a movie on Zappa and there were Flo and Eddie singing for Zappa. Interesting slice of history about a time when rock and roll was in it's birth.
No just because I do not read books twice
I grew up during that time frame so all the stories, crossovers of who knew who, etc and the storyline is hilarious
His tone and voice was like listening to a comedian.
The entire book
Imagine a friend sitting comfortably with you and sharing a story from his past, self-aware and with no holds barred, causing you to laugh out loud, REAL HARD, at several points in the story.
Howard is that friend, and he is a skillful storyteller. His voice is so intimate, you don't remember he's reading. Hilarity ensues, I promise you.
It's ALL good.
It's all good, but the short advice about "something to fall back on" is startling in its truth & power.
Howls of laughter bordering on joy. I AM from the Sixties, I do remember and this Ambassador of Peace and Love has created a wonderful drive down memory lane.
I love this book! I don't know why anyone wouldn't. START LISTENING NOW!
This is THE best thing I've heard on audible to date!
Howard Kaylan (that's KaYlan, with a "y") narrates his quixotic journey through the music business which included being insulted by John Lennon, sharing a dinner with Jimi Hendrix, performing at the fateful Zappa show that spawned the song Smoke on the Water, and performing the Strawberry Shortcake theme just to name a few. It's all here.
The book is great and worth buying and reading as well, but to hear Howard Kaylan say the words out loud is the icing on the cake!
Brilliant performance from my identical twin brother, Ward H Kaylan, a pool cleaner in Studio City. Everyone says that we sound alike, so I gave the loser fifty bucks, an Arby's gift card, and a peace button and got a very acceptable 9 hour reading.
It was like he was inside my head.
I enjoy listening to biographies of music personalities of my era and remembering what I was doing, when they made great music.
A life of dope smoking, name dropping, and a few good stories about Howard's youth and adult life that resulted from questionable choices.
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