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Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon--And the Journey of a Generation Kindle Edition
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|Length: 593 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm not kidding. It's that good. And that addictive.
Just read the opening section about 14-year-old Carole Klein, sitting with her friend Camille Cacciatore as they leaf through the Brooklyn phone book in search of a name. Kick...Kiel...Klip. How about King? Yeah, King. And then it was off to Camille's house, where the choice was spaghetti-and-meatballs or peppers-and-onions.
Anyone can use clips and rumor to write about the famous. Sheila Weller puts you in the room. Her methods are exhaustive journalism --- she's written six books, she's won prizes, she's the real deal --- and empathy. So the path from nowhere to immortality for King, Mitchell and Simon is an epic tale, and Weller's scope is vast --- to track "the journey of a generation." Only on the surface is this a book about music, and who makes it, and how, and why. The bigger subject, the better subject, is how women found their way in their professional and personal lives, 1960-now. So, for Weller, these stories are about "a course of self-discovery, change, and unhappy confrontation with the limits of change."
Consider this: In 1960, H.W. Janson's "History of Art" --- the standard textbook --- cited 2,300 artists.
How many were female?
That's the culture these women were entering. Women as decorative armpieces. As silent helpers. Sexual objects. And uncomplaining victims.
Each of these women fought that culture. Not because she wanted to --- simply out of biography and necessity. Joan Anderson gets polio as a kid, and her creativity is pushed inward.Read more ›
The cryptic one remains Carole King, whom Weller just can't illuminate in any meaningful way. Her life was amazing--up to a point, then it stopped being of any interest at all, which is a shame. We hear again and again how she wrote all those Brill Building masterpieces before she was 21, and broke down under the strain of a troubled marriage to a high-stakes husband and lyricist, Gerry Goffin, coming out the other end with an LP. Tapestry, that everyone loved. Then what happened? Bad men galore, attracted to her wealth. She once estimated that every time she divorced a man, it cost her a million dollars. Weller gives us all the facts ad nauseam but we always wonder, why did King do this to herself?
Carly Simon, on the other hand, who cooperated with Weller extensively or so it seems, comes off as nearly normal. Of the upper, upper middle class, Simon was to the manor born and the icy, plangent chords of her first song, "That's the Way I Always Heard It Should Be," gave notice that the old New Yorker fiction writers of the 40s and 50s hadn't died, they had just rolled over and told Carly Simon the news.Read more ›
Their backgrounds could not be more different. King was a middle-class Brooklyn native who grew up listening to classical music and Broadway show tunes, while Mitchell was a dyed-in-the-wool bohemian poet who moved from the Canadian prairies to Greenwich Village and later Laurel Canyon. Born in privilege to a family ensconced in publishing (Simon & Schuster), Simon was a rich girl who went the folk singer route with her older sister Lucy. Even though each persevered against the going mindset and managed professional success on a measured level (and in King's case, quite a portfolio of Brill Building hits co-written with first husband Gerry Goffin), each ultimately created a work that provided a turning point in their careers. King had 1971's mega-selling ...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not as interesting as Carly Simons book "BOYS IN THE TREES". Still the writing was top notch, but it kept going back & forth with each Artist. Read morePublished 13 days ago by HELEN JONES
If you want gossip and background on three of the icons of 70s music, this is your book.Published 1 month ago by L. Master
This sprawling, insightful, complicated book tells the story of three women singers who are similar in many ways yet so different in other ways. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jonathan Groner
This book is very well researched and sourced. In addition to covering the biographies of each of the artists, Weller does a good job of explaining their impact in the context of... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Karla Jackson
Well-researched history of all 3 women, their strengths and weaknesses, relationships, ups & downs. Gives the reader an intensely intimate view of their lives. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Janice Christiansen
Great book especially for folks who grew up in the 60's and 79'sPublished 3 months ago by ellen williams
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