I don't know that these books will appeal to any of my readers but I thought I'd share them for anyone who likes autobiographies or music industry books. These books demonstrate that you can take very similar subjects and end up with one really good book and one "eh" book. It's all about the story teller. First, here's the basic background on both books.
The publisher's summary:
Here is the story of Jerry Weintraub: the self-made, Brooklyn-born, Bronx-raised impresario, Hollywood producer, legendary dealmaker, and friend of politicians and stars. No matter where nature has placed him - the club rooms of Brooklyn, the Mafia dives of New York's Lower East Side, the wilds of Alaska, or the hills of Hollywood - he has found a way to put on a show and sell tickets at the door.
"All life was a theater and I wanted to put it up on a stage," he says. "I wanted to set the world under a marquee that read: 'Jerry Weintraub Presents.'"
In When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead, we follow Weintraub from his first great success at age 26 with Elvis Presley, whom he took on the road with the help of Colonel Tom Parker; to the immortal days with Sinatra and Rat Pack glory; to his crowning hits as a movie producer, starting with Robert Altman and Nashville, continuing with Oh, God!, the Karate Kid movies, and Diner, among others, and summiting with Steven Soderbergh and Ocean's Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen.
Along the way, we'll watch as Jerry moves from the poker tables of Palm Springs (the games went on for days), to the power rooms of Hollywood, to the halls of the White House, to Red Square in Moscow, and the Great Palace in Beijing - all the while counseling potentates, poets, and kings, with clients and confidants like George Clooney, Bruce Willis, George H. W. Bush, Armand Hammer, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, John Denver, Bobby Fischer...the list goes on forever.
And of course, the story is not yet over. As the old-timers say, "The best is yet to come." And as Weintraub says, "When I stop talking, you'll know I'm dead."
With wit, wisdom, and the cool confidence that has colored his remarkable career, Jerry chronicles a quintessentially American journey, one marked by luck, love, and improvisation. The stories he tells and the lessons we learn are essential, not just for those who love movies and music, but for businessmen, entrepreneurs, artists...everyone.
The Soundtrack of my Life is the story of Clive Davis' life as a music producer. Here's the publisher's summary.
In this star-studded autobiography, Clive Davis shares a personal, candid look into his remarkable life and the last 50 years of popular music as only a true insider can.
In the history of popular music, no one looms as large as Clive Davis. His career has spanned more than 40 years, and he has discovered, signed, or worked with a staggering array of artists: Whitney Houston, Janis Joplin, Simon and Garfunkel, Barry Manilow, Patti Smith, Lou Reed, Dionne Warwick, Carlos Santana, The Grateful Dead, Alicia Keyes, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, and Aretha Franklin, to name a few. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy, and hosted the world’s highest profile parties.
In this personal account, Davis tells all, from becoming an orphan in high school and getting through college and law school on scholarships, to being falsely accused of embezzlement and starting up his own record company, J Records. His wealth of experience offers valuable insight into the evolution of the music business over the past half-century and into the future.
Told with Davis's unmatched wit, frankness, and style, Clive exposes a trove of never-before-heard stories - some hilarious, others tragic, all revealing - that will captivate and inspire all music lovers.
Both of these men have led extraordinary lives and have crossed paths with some of the most talented and interesting people around. It's fun to learn some of the behind-the-scenes tales of working with different artists. There was the time that Jerry Weintraub had 5000 seats removed from an arena so that Elvis wouldn't know that the show didn't sell out. Clive Davis shares lots of stories about the whole process of working with artists to impost a little business into their art.
I read listened to) Jerry Weintraub's book a couple of years ago and loved it. He narrated it himself and it is chock full of great stories about great artists and how he worked with them to get the most out of them. Clive Davis shares stories about how he found some of our greatest musical artists from Janice Joplin to Alicia Keys.
You would expect both of these books to be equally interesting. The anecdotes in both books are interesting but the Jerry Weintraub book is also entertaining. It was written by someone who knows how to put on a show. He knows his audience and was able to parse the details of his life into a delightful book. On the other hand, the Clive Davis book is like reading a history book. It's almost a history of music contracts and it's full of "I", "me", "I", "me". Audible reviewer RBK summed it up best with this: "Hi, I'm Clive Davis. I never made a mistake, and people who failed would have been successful had they listened to me. People who were successful, would have been more successful had they listened to me."
If you are really interested in the history of the entertainment industry you could read both books. If you are lightly interested in teh entertainment industry but also like to be entertained yourself you should only read the Weintraub book.