- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (April 18, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250058414
- ISBN-13: 978-1250058416
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 100 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Cake and the Rain: A Memoir Hardcover – April 18, 2017
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"The Cake and the Rain is novelistic, perfectly plotted and quite possibly the best pop-star autobiography yet written. No one writes songs like Jimmy Webb does, and no musician ever wrote a biography like this. The Cake and the Rain is a dream of sin and redemption, told with contrapuntal rigor. And, yes, Mr. Webb explains the lyrics of “MacArthur Park” too." - The Wall Street Journal
"I am devouring Jimmy Webb’s autobiography right now. Tunesmith took me inside Jimmy’s music (one of my favorite of my 1250 books). The Cake and the Rain takes me inside his life. There’s the 60's I know so well. There’s the extraordinary, gifted, friend of mine Jimmy Webb." - Art Garfunkel
“During the late Sixties and early Seventies, Jimmy Webb was arguably the most successful mainstream songwriter alive, churning out sweeping, richly orchestrated hits for Glen Campbell, Barbra Streisand and Frank Sinatra, among others. Webb's new memoir, The Cake and the Rain, follows his rise from Oklahoma preacher's son to L.A. pop aristocrat. At the heart is his struggle to carve out his own identity as he lived a double life as a Middle American fixture with countercultural artistic ambitions.” ―Rolling Stone
“Jimmy Webb has been famous for his words for more than 50 years as the Grammy-winning songwriter behind classics such as “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” and “MacArthur Park.” But when it came time to begin writing his memoir, The Cake and the Rain Webb says he discovered a freedom of expression that he hadn’t felt before ― one that comes outside the constraints of a three-minute pop song.” ―Newsday
“Songwriter Jimmy Webb hits the high notes in The Cake and the Rain.” ―Vanity Fair
“For those who want a good―and at times incredible―story of muses, merriment, melancholy, melodrama, along with touches of ordinary life and multiple near-death experiences, this is your book … Fans who have attended his concerts through the years know full well that Jimmy Webb always has some fascinating tales that stand on their own, without the aid of some of the greatest melodies the human ear has been fortunate to catch. Here he gets to fill in the details of interactions with Elvis, Sinatra, the Beatles (and their individual members), Joni Mitchell, Richard Harris, a totally out-of-control Harry Nilsson, and even the Devil himself” ―Elmore Magazine
“Amazing! One of the best music memoirs I’ve ever read - I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.” - Will Friedwald, author of Sintra! The Song is You
“The Cake and the Rain has an almost cinematic quality, thanks to Webb’s evocative writing, and the book’s structure, which juxtaposes tales of Webb’s adventures in the music business with stories of his family.”- James Watts, Jr., Tulsa World
“Part memoir, part confessional, part musical history, and part cultural studies, The Cake and the Rain chronicles Webb’s fantastical (and at times tortuous) path through the music world of the late 1960s and early 1970s. It’s a must-read for music lovers everywhere.” - Mark Mussari
“Webb writes in a comfortable, conversational way, as though he’s telling a few close friends some stories from his fascinating life, and the book makes a great way for a music fan to pass a few hours.” ―Booklist
“An insider’s view of the star-maker machinery and a treat for Webb’s many fans.” ―Kirkus
About the Author
JIMMY WEBB, “America’s Songwriter”, is the author of the musician’s “bible”, TUNESMITH: INSIDE THE ART OF SONGWRITING. Webb’s songs with their complex chord structure have been recorded or performed by artists from Frank Sinatra to Carly Simon, to R.E.M. He tours extensively performing his own works and stories in the United States and around the world. He was the youngest man ever inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame and was named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the top fifty songwriters of all time. A father of six and grandfather of one, Webb lives with his wife, Laura Savini, in New York.
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As a fan, I would offer two main criticisms of the book. (1) I don't see the need to time jump around as Webb does. Sounds to me like an editor's suggestion, fear that people wouldn't want to read through all the Oklahoma stuff to get to the juicy LA stories.My heads spins, jumping from 1969 back to 1952 or whatever. Just tell the story the way it happened. (2) I don't see the need for The Devil, the serpent, in the story. Reads like a cheap literary device of an uncertain writer. We get that Jimmy has a dark side. Why not just say it?
However, extremely well-written and detailed. I feel like I was there, too. Wish I could have been!
I was really hoping this would be a story of the music industry, as it revolved around him, in the late 60s. The development of songs, the orchestrations, the people, his process, yada-yada-yada. You get the idea.
Instead, what one has is a book that is beautifully told, as is a Webb song, I mean the poetry on the pages are magnificent, but leaves you with nothing--that cake in the rain would have tasted better. The book swings between his family in Oklahoma and his life in LA mostly in 1969. I will admit he does weave them very very well..but that is it.
This book is nothing, and I mean nothing more than Jimmy name dropping. Every person he has every met, every worked with or just saw in Hollywood he goes into detail about them. Not, and this is key, not as it relates to his music or career, but just how mesmerized he was in meeting them or them knowing who he was. It is Jimmy writing of his own self importance, it is sickeningly egotistical and righteous.
If you are expecting anything, and I mean anything having to do with his music or his songs during his start in the 60s--forget, it, it's not there, it is not even discussed. Oh, and forget about the age old question being answered about that cake...it isn't even baked in this book.