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Backstage Pass: Written By Susie Vitale Hardcover – November 1, 2008

4.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

<DIV><DIV>Susie Vitale has been the wife of world renowned rock drummer Joe Vitale for the past thirty-five years. Over the past several years, she's recorded Joe's stories and has written them in this history-in-stories of Joe's career. She graduated from Kent State University and attended Malone College and Akron University for postgraduate studies. She is the President of The Community Television Consortium and has been the host of the television program ""What's Happening In Stark County"" for over 20 years. Joe Vitale has spent more than forty years playing and recording with legendary artists and bands.</DIV>
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Hit Records Llc; First Edition edition (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098167190X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981671901
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #311,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael L. Pasqua on January 18, 2009
Joe Vitale, drummer for Joe Walsh, CSN, Dan Fogelberg and too many others to mention has placed his own stories of the studio and the road in print. Rather than being a "tell-all" book that slams his cohorts and fellow musicians, this is an amazingly positive tale with a lot of humor and insight into being a rock and roll musician. Unlike Don Felder's tome, Joe Vitale really does look at things from an upbeat and entertaining perspective. If you want something besides dirt from someone who was really there, this is the book for you. If you are looking for dirt, there are a lot of other books out there that don't have near the humor nor outlook that Joe and Susie Vitale have in this book.
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Even if this book had been written about musicians you'd never heard of, it would have been good. The celebrity aspect just enhances the experience. I was horrified at some of the bad boy antics, laughed out loud at others, and felt nostalgia for those days of originality and talent. When the cop walks into the hotel room, his feet squishing on the wet carpet (while the band is denying any knowledge of the water fight) and tells the bass player to get out of bed, which he does, fully dressed in his wet clothes...well, you'll have to read it for yourself.
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One of the best written books I have read for quite awhile. It was like sitting down with a good friend and talking about the "good old days". I liked that he didn't bad mouth anyone and had nothing nasty to say about friends or possible enemies.
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I lived in Boulder CO when the two Joe's moved to Nederland when I was Joe Walsh's "biggest" fan. My wife and I saw them play at 'Saturdays' and at the Draft House in Denver before the album 'Barnstorm' was released. They played covers with plenty of James Gang music. I was amazed how good the music production was in such a small club. While Kenny Passarelli was there, Rocke Grace was not. Same with the Draft House. I quickly recognized that Joe Vitale was going to "make it". His drumming was so tasteful that I, being a musician I guess, could tell that his 'understated' technique would set him apart from other drummers. At one of those shows Tommy Bolin sat in playing slide.
When 'Barnstorm' was released they did a four night stint at Tulagis On The Hill. We saw two of those shows. Again, small club, great sound. They played the album, in order, and rounded the show with some James Gang songs. I, by then knew the 'Barnstorm' album inside and out, and knew they were performing the record as close as they could. Rocke Grace was there by then, and again I was even more impressed by Joe Vitale's drumming. There, he played keyboards, flute and "finger cymbals", which was a kick. He would stand up at the appropriate time and wait for the cue, then he would put those little "finger cymbals" right next to the over head mic and hit them together (I think, only one hit) and sit back down and continue playing. (These "finger cymbals" are only about 1 1/2" in diameter.
If you listen to those early recordings you can hear many fills that are very sparse, and yet keep the music moving in a very interesting way. So much so that in many ways, they become hooks. Very pleasant to hear.
And so, I bought his book.
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There are plenty of books out there that trash their fellow musicians but this isn't one of them. You get a lot of into personal insight into what it was like for Joe Vitale and his 40+ years in the rock and roll business. You learn why and how he choses the drums as his instrument of choice, how it affects his life and the rock and roll icons he meets and works with along the way. We get and embrace how Italian he is. Joe is a light-hearted character. By the time you are done reading this book you feel like you've been on the adventure with him and you were glad you went along for the ride.
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I bought Joe's book at a book signing and he was gracious enough to autograph it for me. I wanted the book because I had read good reviews and knew well the cast of characters. What a refreshing book! The stories are interesting and entertaining, presented in a conversational tone so that you feel Joe is telling you the story over dinner. The musicians you may know, but these stories you have not read elsewhere. This is a book worht refering to friends and family!
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Most rock band books you get the behind the scenes info on that band. With Backstage Pass you get it from several bands along with one of the top pro drummers Joe Vitale and life on the road with Rocks greatest Acts. There are many photos with various artists on the road and in the studio. I loved the nightly pranks that went on between the touring bands. No one has more scoop on Joe Walsh than Joe Vitale. To my surprise, Joe and Susie refer to their life in Canton, Ohio where I was raised and had some of the same fond memories that they also had. Joe is still touring so I will be waiting for his and Jr's next book. Thanks Susie for putting it all down in ink.
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