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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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The Turtles DO Rock...Really!

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!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Donaldo
  • Milton, NH, United States
  • 10-31-13

A delightful listen!

Any additional comments?

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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WARNING: contact buzz and non-controlable laughing

Any additional comments?

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

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Dann
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 07-15-16

Didn't know ...

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.

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  • Brian
  • LAKE FOREST, CA, United States
  • 02-15-14

Great and Funny Read and Very Imformative Stories

Would you listen to Shell Shocked again? Why?

No just because I do not read books twice

What did you like best about this story?

I grew up during that time frame so all the stories, crossovers of who knew who, etc and the storyline is hilarious

What does Howard Kaylan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His tone and voice was like listening to a comedian.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The entire book

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SO HAPPY Together

Would you listen to Shell Shocked again? Why?

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.<br/><br/>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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

It's ALL good.

Which scene was your favorite?

It's all good, but the short advice about "something to fall back on" is startling in its truth & power.

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

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.

Any additional comments?

I love this book! I don't know why anyone wouldn't. START LISTENING NOW!

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  • Arthur
  • North Kitsap County, Washington, USA
  • 01-01-14

Hop on the bus and hold on tight!

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!
Buy Now!

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Best Rock Autobiography Ever Written

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.




0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Howard's meeting diary

A life of dope smoking, name dropping, and a few good stories about Howard's youth and adult life that resulted from questionable choices.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Stuart Penney
  • 08-04-14

A tale of rock & roll excess, wonderfully told

Would you consider the audio edition of Shell Shocked to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version, but I'm guessing the audio version, read by the author, is better

What was one of the most memorable moments of Shell Shocked?

The no-holds barred, explosive intro read by Penn Jillette will live with me forever.

What does Howard Kaylan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Once you tune in to Kaylan's high energy narration style, this is a gripping roller coaster ride through the world of rock & roll like no other

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

Yes absolutely, but at 9 hours, this was not possible.

Any additional comments?

Worth the price of admission for the Turtles and Frank Zappa sections alone, but Howard has done so much more, which by necessity was compressed to fit in the last third of the book. Kaylan has lived enough for three lifetimes and a book three times longer than this.