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So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star: How I Machine-Gunned a Roomful Of Record Executives and Other True Tales from a Drummer's Life Paperback – May 10, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
—Andrew Loog Oldham, former manager of the Rolling Stones
“Still wondering what your college band coulda been? This giddy, can-you-believe-my-luck book is for you.” —Time Out New York
“Slichter’s most impressive attribute is his unfailing enthusiasm for his craft and for music in general.” —James McMurtry, The New York Times Book Review
“[Jacob Slichter] is a self-effacing, good-humored, and intelligent guide through the musical maze…. Few first-person memoirs of the rock biz are as smart, honest, and entertaining as this tart, incisive work.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
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Top Customer Reviews
The book should be required reading for any band hoping to get a record deal. Chances are they won't make a lot of money, but they sure-as-hell will spend a lot. And the expenses aren't even for the supposedly fun things like 5-star hotels, private Gulfstream jets, vintage Cristel and parties with supermodels. Oh no, the cash flows out to independent promotions, recording costs, and dozens of other "necessities."
The book shows how a band can "ship" millions of "units" (as opposed to selling records) and still wind up losing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Mr. Slichter also proves something about the wisdom of everyone in the recording process. If they actually knew how to score a hit, every song would be one. Truth: there is no real formula for a hit record, and even less of one to determine which songs really sell at retail once they do manage to get on radio, MTV or VH1.
Touring for a starting band can be a grisly existence. What we have here is a handbook for survival -- or at least an outline of how to cope with life on the road during a band's early days. Every band that gets a record contract probably imagines it'll be the next Led Zeppelin once the tour dates and cash start adding up. Surprize!
Mr. Slichter ought to be remembered far longer for his book than for any of his notable accomplishments in Semisonic. He's witty. He's accurate. He's definitely been there.
Most of all, Mr.Read more ›
Jake Slichter is erudite (how many rock drummers are Harvard graduates?) and has a real knack for telling interesting stories. He is a true writer: a shy, sensitive individual who might not have said the right thing at the party but can go home afterwards and write well about the situation.
The story of Semisonic's semi-rise and semi-decline is a compelling story, and the behind the scenes look into the mainstream music industry is amazing. And not only that it has actually made me appreciate music more - ever since I've read this book I pay a lot more attention to the drumming while listening to rock music!
I liked most how Slichter brought me right into the middle of the action. It could easily have been me in his place, I felt, just because he comes across as being so human, as such an Everyman. You feel like you are with him every step of the way on his rise from dead-end day jobs and musical dreams to rock stardom. As he progesses, you get to see the good, the bad, and the downright ugly of the music and radio industries and how they *really* work, something most people don't know (I didn't). You feel the thrills and the disappointments that Slichter feels. You share his astonishment at the byzantine workings of the system. And from cover to cover, you will laugh out loud as he takes you on the roller coaster ride of modern rock and roll.
I highly recommend this book, and not just to music fans. You don't need to know (or care, for that matter) about the music Semisonic played to appreciate the fantastic writing, and anyone with a general interest in music of any kind will be fascinated by all the dirty exposed inner guts of the music business. This one has my full and hearty recommendation!
Good for Jake, I'm glad he got this book published because he's a hard worker and a great artist. I have 10 times the respect for Semisonic than I ever did now, and I alraedy owned all three of their albums on MCA. Pop in their CD and enjoy this great book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I should state at the outset I am a great Semisonic fan and was listening to them before they hit big and still miss them. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Siriam
This book is fun to read!
The inside perspective on the music industry (in the 90s) is very interesting.
You want the real story of working in the music biz; No games, just a real guy and his real experience, here you go.Published 4 months ago by Mark L. Center
Its an ok book, kinda lame. Nothing really crazy happens. Makes you want to not waste your time playing music, thats for surePublished 6 months ago by AngryD
This was an enjoyable book. I kind of wished he'd given a little more detail on how he ended up financially, but the rest of the book makes up for these missing details.Published 7 months ago by Steve
Really fun and, best of all, well written. Love the humility of the author, the drummer for a band that had one big hit and then faded into obscurity. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Clinton
I already know I will love it. If I can find it I will read it. I love Jacob Slichter with a Granny heart.Published 13 months ago by Gayle Anderson