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Comment: The item is fairly worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, and worn corners. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text is not obscured or unreadable.
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Heroes And Villains: The True Story Of The Beach Boys Paperback – August 22, 1995

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gaines's 1986 book follows the rise and tragic fall of a legendary American pop band whose excesses were camouflaged by their wholesome image.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The 25-year history of the Beach Boys has been one of triumph and tragedy. Starting out in 1961 with music that rode the California surfing craze to national popularity, the band projected a cleancut, all-American image. Their sudden success and later fall from popularity resulted in personal and group problems. By the early 1980s the Boys were surviving on nostalgia concert tours. Author Gaines, relying mostly on primary sources, has anecdotally captured all the infighting while dealing deftly with complex business details and treating the songs to thoughtful analysis. Although much of his information is not new (see John Milward's The Beach Boys Silver Anniversary , LJ 8/85) this presentation is vivid and compelling. Photos not seen. Paul G. Feehan, Univ. of Miami Lib., Coral Cables, Fla.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Reprint edition (August 22, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306806479
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306806476
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steven Gaines is the best-selling author of twelve books, including Philistines at the Hedgerow: Passion and Property in the Hamptons; The Sky's the Limit: Passion and Property in Manhattan; The Love You Make: An Insider's Story of the Beatles; and Marjoe, the biography of evangelist Marjoe Gortner.

His journalism has appeared in Vanity Fair, the New York Observer, the New York Times, Los Angeles, and Worth, and he is presently a contributing editor at New York magazine. His frequent television appearances include "60 Minutes"; "The Today Show"; "CBS Morning News"; and "Good Morning America."

Mr. Gaines is a co-founder and past vice-chairman of the Hamptons International Film Festival.

He lives in a small hamlet on the East End of Long Island.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
After seeing all of the criticisms here, I was surprised to find that the Gaines book is very skillfully written. I don't think Gaines is a hack, and this is not merely a sloppy expose. In fact, I found it to be more readable than Tim White's bio ("The Nearest Faraway Place"), and not merely because it's more scandalous. By focusing more on the (often sordid) details of the Beach Boys' personal lives, Gaines gives us a much stronger feel for their actual personalities than White.
Nor do I think that Gaines is unsympathetic. For example, he details Dennis' problems, but he also reminds us repeatedly of Dennis' love for his children, and recounts details of Dennis' touching reconnection with his father before he died. He portrays Dennis as a charismatic individual who simply can't control his impulses. And by all accounts, that's what Dennis was. Gaines is sympathetic, but neither does he flinch from the truth.
I've been around musicians and I can tell you that Gaines' portrayals, sordid as they may seem, probably aren't far off the mark. If the book often seems sordid, it's largely because the subjects' lives were often sordid (Uh . . . how many times have they been married? How many times have they been in rehab? Did Dennis really marry Mike's illegitimate daughter? Afraid so).
I can't vouch for Gaines' accuracy, or the veracity of his sources, but it appears to me that Gaines tries to be even-handed. When an allegation is contested, he seems to take pains to point this out.
White's book is more of a broad social history (it's subtitled "The Beach Boys and the Southern California Experience").
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Bill Slocum VINE VOICE on June 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
There's something to be said for trashy biographies, as long as a reader is somewhat prepared to take what he or she reads at less than face value. "Heroes & Villains" has undeniable readability, throws up some arresting caricatures that must bear some proximation to the subjects described, and is more lurid than mean-spirited in its design.

But you really wonder about factual accuracy with a book about a group of pop music giants that manages to misspell the names of Jimi Hendrix, Glen Campbell, and Sam Cooke. That's a rock, country, and soul trifecta for those keeping score, not to mention Campbell was briefly a member of the Beach Boys' touring band. Or how about a book that is ostensibly about the Boys but spills more ink about the bodyguard who had an affair with Brian Wilson's wife than it does on Al Jardine or Bruce Johnston, actual members of the band?

At least Gaines throws in a kind mention of Bruce Johnston's classic "Disney Girls (1957)," which was nice for this fan to read. It's more notable because there's not much attention in this book to the Beach Boys music, other than their earliest, career-making singles, "Good Vibrations," and the Pet Sounds album. He skims over so much there's no mention of such classics as "Wendy," "Do It Again," "Little Honda," "Come Go With Me," "All Summer Long," and "Good Timin'." There's nothing said of "Kokomo" either, though since the book was published in 1986, two years before that final number-one hit was released, you can't blame Gaines for missing it. (If only the Beach Boys had.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By teendezvousfan on July 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I read this book recently and thoroughly enjoyed it - Looks like Steven Gaines did a good job, extensively researched, and it reads well...but I don't believe some of it after reading Brian's book. I just finished Brian's version, "Wouldn't It Be Nice," and enjoyed that even more, especially after the preparation from the other book - I recommend reading both in that order.

I grew up in this time period, enjoyed the music and some of the adventures that went with it - I believe anybody else who did also will really enjoy this book, and Brian's book as well.

The title fits well - The father was definitely a villian, sometimes others, sometimes certain Beach Boys themselves.
The Manson family, the "Love" family, and Murry, no doubt about them being villians - and one of the managers in particular, the con artist who claimed to be a newscaster who had won the Pulitzer Prize!

It must've been frustrating, maddening when Brian refused
to tour and got so whacked out from drugs...Their attempts to
FORCE him to recover were extremely brutal and stupid...People
have talked about Dr. Landy's methods being "controversial,"
but the "Love" family continued Murry's psychological torture
and drove Brian right over the edge...

Dennis' story is particularly interesting, but THEN there is
Brian...the mysterious, reclusive fellow who quit touring EVEN BEFORE the drugs...fascinating story, introduced several times in "Heroes and Villians," then told by Brian in "Wouldn't It Be Nice," in greater detail. Fascinating!

Back to Dennis.
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