If Howard Kaylan had sung only one song, the Turtles' 1967 No. 1 smash hit "Happy Together," his place in rock-and-roll history would still be secure. But that recording, named in 1999 by BMI as one of the top 50 songs of the 20th century, with over five million radio plays, is only the tip of a rather eye-opening iceberg. For nearly five decades, Howard Kaylan has been a player in the rock-and-roll revolution. In addition to his years with the Turtles, Kaylan was a core member of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention and the dynamic duo Flo & Eddie, and part of glam rock history with Marc Bolan and T. Rex.
He's also given street cred and harmonies to everyone from John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen and Alice Cooper to the Ramones and Duran Duran, to name just a few. Howard Kaylan's life has been a dangerous ride that he is only too happy to report on, naming names and shedding shocking tales of sex, drugs and creative excess. Shell Shocked will stand alone as not only one of the best-told music-biz memoirs, but one with a truly candid and unmatchable story of rock-and-roll insanity and success from a man who glories in it all.
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A tale of rock & roll excess, wonderfully told
I haven't read the print version, but I'm guessing the audio version, read by the author, is better
The no-holds barred, explosive intro read by Penn Jillette will live with me forever.
Once you tune in to Kaylan's high energy narration style, this is a gripping roller coaster ride through the world of rock & roll like no other
Yes absolutely, but at 9 hours, this was not possible.
Worth the price of admission for the Turtles and Frank Zappa sections alone, but Howard has done so much more, which by necessity was compressed to fit in the last third of the book. Kaylan has lived enough for three lifetimes and a book three times longer than this.
- Stuart Penney