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Smokey: Inside My Life Hardcover – 7 Sep 1989

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Hardcover, 7 Sep 1989

Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Book Publishing; First Edition, First Impression edition (7 Sept. 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747201641
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747201649
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 15.4 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,762,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. Church on 26 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book, but I know there is a lot that he left out.... but then I think he is the kind of guy who would never want to hurt anyones feelings... Worth a read
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just half way through reading Smokey Inside my life, I am a great fan and would highly recommend this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 24 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Smokey takes you inside his life 11 Jan. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I am a 24 year old male, and i just finished reading this book "inside my life" about the life of Smokey Robinson, and I must tell you, that this is a very good book. I finished reading this book in 2 days and my only complaint is that I was mad when it was over. I have found a new respect for this man.For I am also a song writer, but if I was to compare myself to him, I would have to just stop writing,from jealousy alone. He is a true genius in his songs about love and affairs of the heart and soul. When he was 17 he had over 100 songs written, and he helped Motown become the legend that it is today . I found it great the way he described how he met Berry Gordy for the first time, and I laughed out loud about what he had to say about Berry Gordy's first check and what he did with it,It showed their determination and loyalty to each other through the good times as well as the bad.This book also shows how good of a person Smokey Robinson was and is, to his friends and people close to him and also that he's just a human being and even a genius can make mistakes in life. This book goes in detail about his drug addiction and how he was able to bounce back from it all. You will appriecate his honesty. So i recommend this book to you and all your friends. Thanks for reading my opinion Shawn
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
All You need to know About Smokey Robinson the Legend 11 Jan. 2000
By Lorraine Romero - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
From page 1 until the end of this book my eyes kept reading and reading and thanking God that this man is still alive today to give us his talent and energy and love. Smokey has come a long way from the 1st page of his biography. This is one you cannot put down. Believe ME.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I love Smokey but this is one of the most boring biographies I've read 9 Jan. 2012
By Malika - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I see that this book got mostly glowing reviews from the other readers, but I beg to differ. I don't know if they've read as much about Motown as I have, but I expected way more. I'll start by saying that I was raised on Motown music, despite being a child of the 80's. I remember watching Motown 25 on my floor model tv, surrounded by my family. We were even one of the first families on the block to own a vcr and I took joy in watching it repeatedly. I grew up listening to my mother and father tell me the various stories they'd heard about Motown. My father instilled a love of David Ruffin and Smokey that is unmatched by nearly anyone. I've got family from Detroit and my mother was a wealth of information about the golden days of Motown.

I'd wanted to read this book for some years but since it was out of print and people were charging too much, I never got the chance. However I've managed to read Divided Life (also by David Ritz) 2 or 3 times and knowing how fantastic that book was, I expected Smokey's book to be just as thrilling.

I read the 260 page book in about 12 hours. I kept reading it and thinking "when do we get to the good part?" I don't know if I was spoiled by other music biographies that I've read that gave me much more soul and depth than this one, but I was truly disappointed and couldn't help but to feel that Smokey wasn't giving the whole story.

To his credit, he did talk about drug use and infidelities, but in some ways I felt that they were kind of glossed over. In Divided Life, Ritz does a fantastic job of talking about how Marvin's drug use effected his whole family, and his personal and professional life but I didn't get the feeling of it being that way here. Again, it was mentioned, but not really. He also talks about his love affairs with 2 other women, but the skeptic in me has a hard time believing that a fox like Smokey only stepped out on his wife with 2 other women and he was madly in love with both of them. So there were no other affairs? Really Smokey? If there were any casual ones, he didn't mention it here, although he did state that his wife wasn't crazy enough to think that her husband didn't possibly do his thing while he was on the road.

I also found myself waiting for some inside info on Motown. I read Martha Reeves'Dancing in the Street: Confessions of a Motown Diva book and I read the book on Michael Jackson Michael Jackson: The Magic, The Madness, The Whole Story, 1958-2009 and they gave a good little bit of the inside scoop on Motown and some of their more questionable business practices (including not allowing artists to take their contracts to lawyers before signing them). Again, Smokey glossed over the whole thing, and made it seem that the artists were all simply irresponsible with their money.

While I'm sure that if you give most young kids from the ghetto a lot of money, a lot of them aren't going to know how to act. But still how can you have a roster with dozens of acts and most of them walk away nearly penniless? Or again with MJ and the Jacksons, how about Gordy's refusal to let the Jackson 5 keep their name, resulting in them calling themselves "the Jacksons" once they left Motown? Gordy even owned the names J5 and J5ive and other variations. Maybe Smokey had a different set of circumstances because he was there from the beginning and wrote most of his own hits, but I was disappointed to see Smokey act as though Gordy was just a misunderstood saint.

At the end of the day I tried to say that perhaps Smokey just had (and has) a rosy outlook on things, but still I got the feeling that despite his best intentions to be candid, he held back a lot. Perhaps it was his desire to respect and protect the guilty, and while that makes him an admirable man, it makes for a lackluster read that leaves real Motown fans unfulfilled.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Pat's Opinion 7 April 2000
By Pat Chisolm - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Smokey Robinson is not afraid to honestly and frankly outline the events that have transpired in his life. One has to appreciate the clarity and detail he uses in expressing the downfall of his marriage and his drift into drug use. Clearly a movie should be in the making.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HEART AND SOUL 1 Aug. 2012
By DIRTBAG - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've probably read over 100 musician biographies and autobiographies. So far, this is the best. It almost reads like a letter from a friend. It's candid and honest, with Smokey's talent for words sprinkled throughout. You can hear the music in his thoughts.

There are more than enough names and dates to satisfy ones need for the events of Smokey's life, but they're embraced by his words. I couldn't put it down.

I'll be seeing Smokey in concert on 08/11, and I'm certain that this book will only bring me closer to the man on stage.

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