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60 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2010
Let me first preface this review by stating that I am a long-term fan of Howard Stern's radio show and a fan of Gary Dell'Abate himself. That being said, I found this book to be quite boring and highly irrelevant. As stated above, I find Gary to be a likable father and husband. His rise from record salesman to producer of the most successful morning radio show in the history of radio is quite commendable. But as the basis for a 280 page text it falls far short in terms of entertainment value. Frankly, if Howard was not promoting this book, and Gary was not calling in favors on Letterman and Kimmel,it would not be selling. As other reviewers have stated, there are absolutely no revealing details or "behind the scenes" information on the Stern show. As a book about a radio producer and his life... it is weak and inconsequential.
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39 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2010
I'm a lifelong Howard Stern fan and think Gary seems like a nice enough fella. Good father, good husband, good producer. But a book this does not make.

Rather than focus on what is arguably the most interesting part of Gary's life (the show), this book touches on his upbringing on Long Island and his relationship with his family. Without spoiling anything, the stories about his mom in particular should have been interesting...but they weren't. Without Howard's color commentary to help Gary's stories along, this book reads like the world's longest run-on sentence. You know when Gary gets going on the show and tells a story without taking a breath? That is essentially what this book is like.

Gary's a nice guy, but his story isn't particularly interesting. I would pass on this and instead pick up another book they've been talking about on the show - "The Battle for Late Night" by Bill Carter.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2010
I borrowed this book from the library. I'm not going to buy a bababooey book I will only read once. The parts about his family life were the most interesting. The parts about his love for music and all his internships were quite boring. I only really laughed once, that was when I pictured Artie laughing his butt off after Gary threw the infamous first pitch.

Like I said you will like it if you are a die hard HSS fan. It is a quick read too, as long as your IQ is higher than Bobos.
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61 of 86 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2010
For hard core Stern fans, if you think you know it all about Gary, you'll be pleased by the fresh material and "reveals" in this book. Without spoiling, I can tell you that Gary explains his aging parents' relationship and his mother's whereabouts, both of which he's only alluded to on the show. You know it's deep, because Howard doesn't even bring it up. (Although now that it's in the book, it's fair play, so that will be interesting for we listeners.) We also get new information about "the tape!" You know what I'm talkin' 'bout!

This may be my favorite Stern-cast-member book so far (Along with Artie's). I noticed a typo, and some sections verge on the mundane. But I'm such a Gary fan and radio geek that even his descriptions of his early internships were interesting to me.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2010
I've listened to Stern for over 20 years. This books is poorly written and laid out. It's like listening to him talk. Which isn't good. I can only imagine how bad it would be without a co-author. Still trying to figure out what the "real" writer contributed. Happy for Gary that he's getting money from this, but it doesn't really add to anything you need to know about him.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2010
Let me start by saying I am a huge Gary fan. Despite all the jabs he takes from Howard Stern on a daily basis I think he is a fine producer. He is very articulate and concise on the show and always provides interesting feedback. I was hoping to get more insight on the different stations he worked at with Howard, or how he has been able to develop such a thick skin over the years. Unfortunately the book is more on Gary's childhood and upbringing and very little about the Howard Stern show, despite the title. It is 80% about Gary's mom and with little pieces of Howard Stern thrown in. Another reader got it right when they said this is about half a book. In reading the book I can tell Gary had a difficult childhood but I really did not need to know this level of detail about his family life. I'm not sure if out of respect to Howard he did not want to reveal any details regarding behind the scenes tidbits but this was disappointing. I would say 1-2 chapters at the most should have been on his family. The remaining chapters could have talked about his stint at each of Howard's radio stations and what they were like. Some information on the move to Sirius. None of that is included here. Additionally the story awkwardly jumps from his 20's to recent times talking about only a minimal number of Howard events such as the pitch, and how he got the name Baba Boooey. Luckily I know the show so I knew who Artie, John Hein and the rest of his entourage was but I would have loved to hear his first impression of Artie and how they got along, or how he truly felt after the Afghanistan trip. It is clear to me that Gary chose to talk nearly entirely about himself so as to not offend anyone or step on anyone's toes. I can understand that but I wanted to hear more about his life working with Howard Stern and less about growing up in Uniondale. I enjoyed the book, but I kept waiting for it to get good and it never got there for me.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2010
Radio star Howard Stern can make any topic and anyone interesting, even an unassuming music fanatic from Uniondale, New York, named Gary Dell'Abate. With his autobiography THEY CALL ME BABA BOOEY, Stern producer Dell'Abate seems to absorb Stern's ability to fascinate, at least long enough to tell his story in this engrossing book.

Someone who attended a mid-1980s live appearance by the HOWARD STERN SHOW staff told me many in the audience booed Dell'Abate when Stern introduced him. The reason? They thought Gary had no talent and thus did not deserve respect.

Perhaps THEY CALL ME BABA BOOEY will make those who jeered Dell'Abate that day finally understand what Howard Stern sees: Gary Dell'Abate's talent is hard work. What he has in drive and backbone matches what Howard Stern has in wit and imagination. Because of all the THEY CALL ME BABA BOOEY stories that widened my eyes, Dell'Abate's tales of working nonstop impressed me the most. No wonder he is one of only three on-air performers still with Howard Stern since 1984. I've always rooted for Gary because I identified with his regular guy ways and admired his unlimited capacity to take it for the team. THEY CALL ME BABA BOOEY fills in the blanks, explaining what makes Gary Dell'Abate endure.

One must give credit to the one-two punch of the title, THEY CALL ME BABA BOOEY, and that cover photo, Dell'Abate as an uber-awkward teen-ager. There are funnier phrases he could have used to name the book, as the "Rejected Titles" section shows. But the words and image adorning the book cover work as an entity, not separate ideas, the sight of self-conscious teen Gary looking as though he knows he will someday bear the perpetually funny nickname the title bears.

As other reviews here say, THEY CALL ME BABA BOOEY is not a behind-the-scenes HOWARD STERN SHOW digest. It has some stories of Dell'Abate's days with Stern, but it is first and foremost the story of the author. However, if you think Howard Stern exaggerates when he says the now-defunct WNBC-AM radio station was a horrible place to work, Gary Dell'Abate confirms it with his own tale of WNBC, where he worked for a traffic reporter who behaved as though people tuned in to hear her, Lincoln Tunnel delays of less consequence. But Dell'Abate resists what may have been a temptation to rehash all those funny times with Stern, so much so that he does not even mention John Melendez outside of a photo caption.

If Gary Dell'Abate is good enough for Howard Stern, he should be good enough for you. Read THEY CALL ME BABA BOOEY.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2010
Let me put my review in context. I'm a casual Howard Stern fan, having always found him (and the rest of the gang) funny but having also not listened to them in years. Love the movie Private Parts, but not in the diehard fan camp. Maybe that's why I was happy to read this book in its own terms and didn't need it to be more about the show than it was. I feel there was a fair amount of time spent on the show, but this was more a story of his family, growing up, and how he ended up working for Howard.

A great deal of the book was about his mother's bouts with mental illness and how it shaped him, as well as losing his brother to AIDS. I think you have to come to this with compassion in order to enjoy it and with an understanding that what happens on the show isn't real life. Anyone who comes to this wanting it to be about the show, will only be sporadically happy, but I found it pretty interesting. The co-writing, Chad Millman, did a nice job making it sound like Gary's voice, or my understanding of his voice over the years. While I wasn't blown away, I felt that the book accomplished what the author(s) set out to do. Gary comes across as a pretty sincere guy.

Parents who are degrees of crazy are familiar to a lot of people. Growing up, even in a good home, is necessarily about being at the whims and moods of your elders and their ideas about child-rearing and so I almost always sympathize with stories about growing up. It started with Mommy Dearest and still persists. I also see why he's had a job so long on a show in which mood swings make for good radio when other people would have slipped out the door.

The cover is pretty funny, but I almost wonder if it mislead people into thinking it was going to be a different type of book, along with perhaps some preconceptions. I found it to be an entertaining and interesting read. I also thought the note of "be careful what you wish for" concerning perfect parents at the end was well-handled and relatable to a lot of people.

4 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2010
I really enjoyed reading "They Call Me Baba Booey," although it does often feel like a final draft more than a finished product. Blame for this could be placed on Chad Millman who really does not seem to make a consistent effort to put Gary's words into actual prose. A lot of the writing literally feels like a computer program simply reciting what Gary is saying as opposed to a writer trying to fine tune it. In this case, Gary should've just written it himself and had a really good editor step in and improve it. Otherwise, Millman should've stepped up a little bit and made it a smoother read.

That criticism aside, there is a lot to like in this book. Gary has an interesting story growing up with a mentally unstable mom, a stoic italian world war II vet father, an older rebellious brother, and another brother who contracted and died from AIDS before the world really knew what the disease was about. In addition to those parts of the book, Gary's recollections of starting out in college radio, working various jobs on Long Island, and eventually getting the NBC job that would lead to Howard are all very entertaining. His recollections of the disastarous Mets picth in 2009 as well as the love tape he sent to his ex are really worth the price of the book. Those two sections are pretty perfect. It's the more mundane stuff that seems to come off as sloppy writing that is too casual for its own good. Again, not a huge complaint, just a shame that a little more time was not spent on the editing.

A listener of Stern since '89, this really is a must for any fan...even with all those stupid, pointless lists!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2013
I've always considered Gary to be a lot more than the doofus that Howard makes him out to be, but you won't find the proof here. Like a previous reviewer, I'm having a hard time just getting through it. Gary starts by spending well over two hours talking about his childhood, and despite game attempts to explore his dysfunctional family (a feat co-worker Robin Quivers handled ably in her memoir), it just isn't that compelling. What's worse is that just as he finally tells the story of Howard hiring him for good and the unparallelled journey we all know ensued, he detours back into his adolescence to tell us about four buddies he grew up with and whom we could not care less about.

Meanwhile, by the halfway point Dell'Abate's promise to include audio-only interviews with a variety of folks in the book has yielded exactly one--his older brother, rehashing things Gary has already said practically verbatim. What's more, the recording quality is really sub-par, and hardly befitting for one of the best-known radio show producers in the business.

Unless he was a prima donna about leaving anything out, which anyone who's ever listened to Gary on air would find highly unlikely, I think the fault here lies with the publisher. This audio book claims to be it "Unabridged," like that's a good thing. The truth is it would have been a lot better if it had been abridged. Seriously Villard, how could you not have pulled the reins in here?
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