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Jerry Lee Lewis: Lost and Found Hardcover – November 1, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Besides “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and “Great Balls of Fire,” the best-known fact anent Jerry Lee Lewis is that marrying his 13-year-old second cousin scuttled his rocketing young career. Bonomo launches his appreciation of Lewis from that event, homing in on Lewis’ first British tour, at the beginning of which the news was broken. A mass cancellation followed, and back home it became hard to get new Lewis records airplay. Lewis hit the road heavily to maintain his lifestyle (which came to include hitting booze and pills pretty hard, too) and eventually scored big time on the country charts in the late 1960s. Between rock and country stardom, however, he returned to Britain in 1962 and 1963 and, concluding the ’63 jaunt in Hamburg, Germany, recorded one of the acknowledged greatest live albums ever. Accounting for every aspect of that record is the loving heart of Bonomo’s tribute, and he continues to thoughtfully evaluate Lewis’ country albums. The intrinsically interesting Jerry Lee and Bonomo’s good judgment compensate for too much rock-crit boilerplate. --Ray Olson

Review

Besides Whole Lotta Shakin Goin On and Great Balls of Fire, the best-known fact anent Jerry Lee Lewis is that marrying his 13-year-old second cousin scuttled his rocketing young career. Bonomo launches his appreciation of Lewis from that event, homing in on Lewis first British tour, at the beginning of which the news was broken. A mass cancellation followed, and back home it became hard to get new Lewis records airplay. Lewis hit the road heavily to maintain his lifestyle (which came to include hitting booze and pills pretty hard, too) and eventually scored big time on the country charts in the late 1960s. Between rock and country stardom, however, he returned to Britain in 1962 and 1963 and, concluding the 63 jaunt in Hamburg, Germany, recorded one of the acknowledged greatest live albums ever. Accounting for every aspect of that record is the loving heart of Bonomo s tribute, and he continues to thoughtfully evaluate Lewis country albums. --Booklist

Way back in the early 1960s, Hunter S. Thompson established what came to be known as gonzo journalism. Popular music journalists such as Lester Bangs and Nick Tosches adapted the form to fit their needs. Bonomo channels their styles in this three-part study about rock and n roll star Jerry Lee Lewis s fall from grace owing to his marriage with a teenage second cousin; his return to artistic and commercial viability in 1964 when, in Hamburg, Germany, he recorded one of the greatest live rock n roll albums; and, finally, his turn toward country music in the late 1960s. Writing in a no-holds-barred style, Bonomo is at times vulgar, intriguing, controversial, insightful, and inciting. ...Those willing to take a chance on this nonstandard biography, complete with graphic sexual allusions, musings on commercialism, and shots of raw emotion, is recommended for pop culture hounds. --Library Journal

Joe Bonomo manages to tell the (fascinating) back story while capturing the excitement of what may be the greatest live album ever recorded. --James 'The Hound' Marshall
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum Pub Group; 1 edition (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826429661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826429667
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,070,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joe Bonomo's books include This Must Be Where My Obsession With Infinity Began (essays), Conversations With Greil Marcus (Literary Conversations Series), AC/DC's Highway to Hell (33 1/3 Series), Jerry Lee Lewis: Lost and Found, Installations (National Poetry Series), and Sweat: The Story of The Fleshtones, America's Garage Band. He teaches at Northern Illinois University, and appears online at No Such Thing As Was (www.nosuchthingaswas.com) and at @BonomoJoe.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By G. I. Knight on November 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Joe Bonomo's new book "Jerry Lee Lewis - Lost and Found" is a wonderful book. As you would expect from a Professor who teaches English, it is a scholarly work that has been incredibly well researched. It is by far the best book ever on the life and music of Jerry Lee Lewis.

Back in 1962 I was just a teenager when I met Jerry Lee Lewis for the first time. That meeting changed my life forever.

This book is a personal odyssey that started over 25 years ago when the author was himself a teenager hearing Jerry Lee Lewis for the first time. It is obvious to me that discovering Jerry Lee Lewis changed Joe Bonomo's life too.

Even today, 53 years after Jerry made his first recordings, there are still teenagers who discover Jerry Lee Lewis by chance and then become avid fans who want to read all the old newspaper stories and buy and play every record Jerry ever made.

Joe Bonomo has been on that odyssey of discovery and he documents Jerry's life and times through his music, through extracts from a plethora of books and articles, and above all from interviews with people who knew Jerry Lee Lewis personally.

Just as Jerry is "The Last Man Standing" from the famous "Million Dollar Quartet" of Carl Perkins, Elvis and Johnny Cash - some of those interviewed, like famed Memphis musician, Jim Dickinson and Sun Records owner, Shelby Singleton, have died recently. This book is therefore already a historical document.

The book's central theme is the "Live At the Star Club" album Jerry cut in Germany back in 1964. Many rate this LP as the best live album of all time. Joe Bonomo reveals many new facts about this album by interviewing the record's producer, Siggi Loch, and some of the musicians who either played on or attended the session.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By H.B. Beverly on March 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm about half way through my copy of "Lost and Found" and so far I've found a wealth of information that I never knew before about the years between Jerry's mega-hits in 1957-58, and his country period, which began in 1968. Most worthy and interesting though is the extensive coverage to Jerry Lee's recorded appearance at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany in 1964. There are interviews with many who had anything to do with that night's recording, right down to the fans who were in the audience. It's well written, and frequently sheds a refreshing, and even surprising new light on the rocker that most people have come to love to hate. You can't read this book without coming away thinking that the Killer probably knew what he was doing all along, and even though he alienated the majority of potential fans with his cockiness - he rocked HIS WAY, and walked to no one else's tune. As Bruce Springsteen said in his introduction of Jerry at the Rock Hall of Fame Concert in 1997, "Jerry Lee don't play rock and roll - he IS rock and roll!"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By moonpi on March 2, 2011
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I was extremely disappointed in this. It is almost nothing about Jerry Lee Lewis' personal life; it seems more about the author. It is a list of Jerry Lee's music and how successful each record was. It tells about his tours and spends copious amounts of time relating the history of the city that concerts were in. I wasted my money.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joseph A. Blevins on May 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Make sure you know what you're getting if you plan on purchasing Joe Bonomo's "Jerry Lee Lewis: Lost and Found." My local library filed this under Biography, but it barely qualifies as that. This is really a work of rock criticism, with all the limitations implied by that term. Bonomo assumes -- in my case, incorrectly -- that the reader will be as interested in the author as in the subject matter. In other words, expect a lot of editorializing and sermonizing from Bonomo along the way. For a book supposedly celebrating a particularly raucous and vibrant type of music, this is very dry, academic stuff. The other review which calls it "tedious" is right on the money. Just try getting through his lengthy description of Hamburg without rolling your eyes at least once. "Lost and Found" is often pretentious and overwritten, often maddeningly so, almost entirely lacking in the humor and energy associated with the early rock 'n' roll. This really is classic "English teacher writing about rock" stuff. Like many rock journalists and critics, Bonomo takes himself too seriously and comes off as something of a pretentious snob at times. Bonomo's central purpose in writing this book is to build a case for Jerry Lee's "Live at the Star Club" LP as one of the greatest albums of all time, a cause with which I sympathize wholeheartedly. But you have to endure a lot of nonsense from Bonomo before you get to the good stuff, i.e. the details behind the making of that album. And Bonomo is not nearly as astute a critic as he believes himself to be. His misguided -- and frankly embarrassing -- diatribe against the song "I'm On Fire," for instance, stands as one of the book's lowlights and calls the entire enterprise into question.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Weissmann on December 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jerry Lee Lewis: Lost and Found

With a teenage background as a 1960's NYC rock and roll pianoplayer, my personal obsession with JLL music had as its "Nazareth" an intense focus on his '60's live album "The Greatest Live Show On Earth", from a Birmingham, Alabama JLL concert.

Mr. Bonomo's superb book has shifted my "JLL geopolitical center" from Birmingham, Alabama to....Hamburg, Germany! (The home city of 'The Star Club'). I had always been enamored, even owned and repeatedly played the Star Club performance (audiocassette), but never thought of Hamburg, Germany as "The '60's Holy Grail of JLL".

Until now.

Mr. Bonomo writes an absolutely fascinating perspective that opened my eyes to the supreme importance of the myriad influences that created the incredible magic of this great book, "Jerry Lee Lewis: Lost and Found": The Beatles' and other British (what could these 'foreigners' possibly ever, ever REALLY know about rock and roll????) outrageous invasion and hostile takeover of the rockin' world; JLL's determination to NEVER succumb to the tabloid-style career-destroying castigation of JLL and his infamous teen-cousin marriage (now the British even have supreme knowledge of True Love????. The only (slightly) unkind word I'll now add is that it doesn't EVER help to be an aging and chubby rocker.

Mr. Bonomo, I salute you as the best writer on JLL!

And I've read it A L L ! (Books, magazines, videos, film, etc., that are all about one of my lifelong "piano teachers"!)

Please accept my most sincere congratulations.
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