Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.89 shipping
Backstage Passes & Backstabbing Bastards: Memoirs of a Rock 'N' Roll Survivor Paperback – February 1, 2008
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The tale is mostly chronological and told in an engaging, conversational tone. Kooper started out as an old-school pop-song tunesmith, and his writing style tends to reveal more of that aspect of his personality. There are puns and turns of the phrase that you might expect to hear in a lyric rather than in conversation or biography; but that’s Al being AL. If you’re seeking great literature, look elsewhere – this is a story that could have been told over several beers and won’t be nominated for any book awards. By contrast, Donald Fagen’s recent autobiography tells less, but does so in a more literary style. As an avid reader of this genre, I’ll take substance over style when the story’s right. If you want both style and substance, check out Keith Richards’ book.
Kooper forthrightly discusses his own mistakes and shortcomings – not so much as a cautionary tale but to say that in some ways, he was an accomplice to the crimes perpetrated on him by a cruel and heartless industry. He pulls no punches and names names when it comes to those he judges as “backstabbing bastards,” making it clear that the music business is no place for the weak. This updated edition was written in 2008, chronicling the Life of Al through 2007 –so I eagerly await his account of the following decade.
His biography is amusing and honest and mostly pretty well-grounded, although there are moments -- more than one -- where he talks about bands that fired him as producer, or kicked him out as a band member, or ex-wives who served him with divorce papers and he uses these stories to vent against his detractors. In so doing it becomes crystal clear why he has been divorced so many times and why he has been fired so many times: he does not sound like an easy person to work with or live with.
You gotta love him for being so open and honest, even if he himself seemingly can't see this.
I am not sure this book would appeal to everyone interested in pop/rock/blues music, but if you have an interest in those styles from the 60s you may find it a profitable read. Also, you may be interested in Al's blog that he writes for the Morton Report - New Music for Old People. He shares a lot of great music worth the listen.