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Glow: The Autobiography of Rick James Hardcover – July 8, 2014

65 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A raw and authentic accounting of Rick James' life and times.” (USA Today)

“Intriguing as a pipe-filled motel-room breakdown.” (Rolling Stone)

“A fast-paced memoir recounting his sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll exploits.” (Publishers Weekly)

Unflinching . . . . manages to temporarily separate the story of the monster from the story of Rick James, the way Marvel Comics occasionally pulls apart Bruce Banner and the Hulk. (Alex Pappademas, Grantland)

“An engrossing portrait of his life and career.” (Vulture.com)

“As close as we’ll ever get to the real thing.” (Jeff Simon, The Buffalo News)

About the Author

Rick James was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer, best known for popularizing funk music in the late 1970s and early 1980s thanks to million-selling hits.

David Ritz is the only four-time winner of the Gleason Music Book Award.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (July 8, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 147676414X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476764146
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By T. Daniels on July 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not a bad book, but I thought this was another Rick James autobiography. I thought that he covered everything in The Confessions of Rick James: Memoirs of a Super Freak and there was no way he had wrote another before his passing and this was the case. This book is simply an edited version of Memoirs of a Super Freak. If you read the other years ago, there is no need to read this one. Great book written in Rick's words, but it's more tame and doesn't go into every little detail. There was no need for me to finish reading this book, because I read the other. You can't go wrong with either one of them though.

--EDIT

Upon further review, I give the book a 3 out of 5. The book is good, but the problem I have with it is that i compared this with my copy of Memoirs of a Super Freak and David Ritz destroyed a good book. Memoirs was raw and pulled no punches. This book seems to tone it down as if Ritz did not want to hurt anyone's feelings. In the original book, Rick James really let Prince have it. He even uses the "f word" that refers to gays when he talks about why Eddie Murphy didn't want prince to produce his next album. The sequence of events with Anita Baker is missing and details as small as the song he said he sang in prison to the racist guards is edited. Ritz turned a rated r book into a pg-13 book. Glow is still a great read, but having so many of Rick's words deleted was not good.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Montoya_Mayan on September 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Rick James was the king of Punk Funk, a musical innovator and free thinking individual who lived a life of unbridled excess which killed him when he was only 56 years old in August of 2004. An egomaniacal narcissist, he had a real way with words and a great sense of humor. His life was like his music--original and like no one else. He talks about his many run-ins with the law and stints in prison for various offenses, including draft-dodging, and when he was later caught and arrested, escaping jail and being caught again, meaning more jail time. He was convinced that the rules didn't apply to him, and many times they actually didn't. Although he had obvious intelligence, Rick was his own worst enemy in a way similar to Marvin Gaye--he was a rebel and a know-it-all who couldn't be controlled or told what to do. Rick lived the life of an over-the-top rock star long before he actually was one and it's all here. The drug binges. The orgies. Celebrity romances with the likes of Linda Blair, Catherine Bach (Daisy Duke of The Dukes of Hazzard fame), and Teena Marie are covered, as well as his friendships with luminaries like Neil Young and Marvin Gaye (whose ex-wife Rick also romanced). But Rick's life of excess eventually caught up with him, confusing and tormenting his spirit, destroying his relationships and eventually landing him in prison--again. When Rick's addictions to sex, drugs, and rock n' roll began to take their toll, Rick turned to religion. He became a born-again Christian and describes the experience beautifully. But it didn't last and he was soon back to freebasing cocaine. He flirted with Islam as well, but Rick's addictions and his outsized ego never really left him (he has conversations, throughout the book with a character called Brother Guru who calls Rick's ego the Me Monster).Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By MICHAEL J. on July 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of his since the early 80’s and was looking forward to this book. Much like his solo music career, the book starts off strong, but rapidly tails off and left me not caring about the end. The highlights of his career should have had more emphasis. For example, Bustin’ Out of L7 receives a few paragraphs, or it seems that way. This album and how it was created deserved a full chapter. This is a problem throughout for me….the unevenness of it all. I know the scandalous stuff is important, but I guess I wanted and expected equal billing for Rock and Roll, especially as his star rose, with the sex and drugs”.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By HuntleyMC on August 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"Glow: The Autobiography of Rick James" is a ride like no other. I will just start off by letting potential readers know that if you're put off by cursing, frank discussions of sex and, this should be no surprise, a lot of descriptive unashamed drug use this book will not be for you. It is safe to say that James holds nothing back in this book since he mentions on a number of occasions that the songs he wrote were primarily autobiographical.

I don't know if James kept some type of journal but how he remembered all these stories from his past with the amount of drugs he claims to have ingested during his career is amazing. Co-Author, David Ritz, does mention in his introduction that James started writing this book during his two year stay in prison. There is another inmate that James calls Brother Guru who has conversations throughout the book with James. He helps James think through some of the decisions and thoughts that James made during his life. At first I took it as it was truly another inmate but the more I read about it I was wondering if Brother Guru wasn't just another side of James trying to make heads and tails of the decisions he made during his life.

I appreciated that James was honest about his feelings about other artists such as Prince, The Doors and many more. He does not always speak flattering about the artists or their talent but too many musicians' autobiographies turn into "lovefests" when they discuss other artists. He gives respect to the artists who helped him get a foot hold in the business.

My only complaint, besides numerous editing errors in the Kindle edition, would be that the timeline seems to be nonexistent. James hops around at the beginning with his stories and the timeline of events seems very confusing.
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