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5.0 out of 5 stars unabashed and tell-it-like-it-is approach to a narrative which reminds me of the best of modern American storytelling, 15 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Bobby Whitlock: A Rock 'n' Roll Autobiography (Paperback)
I think there is a distinctly American way to telling a story. It is quite different to the way an Englishman would approach it. I don't know why that is but it is very evident with some authors. And although Bobby Whitlock is not perhaps an obvious author - but rather a musician telling his story about life on the road and elsewhere - he does also epitomise the ready, unabashed and tell-it-like-it-is approach to a narrative which reminds me of the best of modern American storytelling. I don't think it is too exaggerated a notion to say that aspects of it reminded me of what I like about Twain, Steinbeck and Kerouac - the stream of consciousness and natural expression without too much worry about structure and framework. I appreciate that Marc Roberty assisted with the work, but you can tell immediately that there is one dominant personality at work here. My only wonder is that Bobby waited so long to share his tale of the ups and downs of the world of rock and roll - and it certainly paints a less than pretty picture of it much of the time. I think the sections that gripped me the most involved his early life before even meeting Delaney & Bonnie. There is the link between the traditional rootsy rural life that once predominated the American folk music hero that one doesn't really find anymore. And yet just as much as this is the story of a Buddy Guy or Robert Johnson or Huddy Ledbetter - this is also the story of Bobby Whitlock. From rags to riches. From shacks to chateaus and back again. Talk about a roller-coaster of a life...

When growing up and following the bands and artists that I liked, quite a few of them were rooted in the blues. And quite a few of them were English or other British artists and I used to wonder what they could possibly find in this American folk music, that gripped them so strongly. It was so far away from our own experience. And I guess that was true for many American urban musicians too. But to think that the classic rural mid-American experience was still in existence had never occurred to me at all. And reading about Bobby's early roots in this very traditional and Bible-fearing community reads like a song in itself - something Dusty Springfield might have sung about. So if you consider the fabric of his life was living this classic almost cliched Joadesque existence - and then becoming a songwriter and being able to reflect back and imbue his material with reality based upon personal experience - it should not perhaps surprise us that he can pass muster as a decent literary exponent as well. There is a link right though modern American music and literature. It binds together people - real and imaginary - like Tom Joad, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Bobby Whitlock and Bruce Springsteen - because it is about struggle and success and dealing with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (OK that bit's from The Bard). As well as the colourful story BW tells there is also something of a morality tale at work here. Rags to riches indeed - but the riches proved illusory and the people occupying this world shallow and insubstantial for the most part. The real heroes are the small people - the field workers and blue-collar workmen and just plain ordinary folk, who knew what was right and what was wrong and gave BW his moral compass to which he constantly refers. That is the strength of it all - to rise to the top and travel the cosmopolitan world - and then to realise many of the greatest people you were ever to meet lived right on your doorstep all along...

I can't recommend this book too highly. Just another rock and roller turned author you probably think. Well why not? All the best singer songwriters are storytellers already. It is just another way of expressing the narrative.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bobby Whitlock: A Rock and Roll Autobiography, 13 Jun 2011
This review is from: Bobby Whitlock: A Rock 'n' Roll Autobiography (Paperback)
Bobby Whitlock is best known for being a key member of Derek and the Dominos with Eric Clapton, when he wrote many of the songs on the Layla album, and played Hammond and contributed some amazing vocals. Less well known is that he was a prolific session musician, with credits including George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, and the Stones' Exile on Main Street.
I found his book a compelling and informative read. Surprisingly, it evolved from an extensive dialogue with rock fans on a US internet forum. Clapton's autobiography is very thin on the Dominos period - perhaps EC cant remember much from that time! - which is surprising, since many people feel that the Derek and Dominos music was magic, and arguably the best of EC's career. There was certainly a special musical chemistry between them. Whitlock tells us a very great deal, including why it all came to an end so abruptly.
Nevertheless, neither BW's nor EC's autobiographies explain why they never worked together again until 2000, nor since. Maybe it has much to do with their 'rockstar lifestyle' together in the 1970s: fast cars, substance abuse, women, and some infamous incidents. Whitlock addresses these with surprising frankness. Their fans live in hope that there will be a reunion concert, or even a tour, one day. If their one-off performance on Later with Jools (see it on You Tube) was anything to go by, it would be sensational.
Whitlock has had chequered life and encountered many highs (!) as well as tragedy and turmoil, and the book contains some very frank, perhaps cathartic, self-analysis. The book provides some informative and entertaining insights into both Whitlock's life and the music industry of the late 60's and 70's. I strongly recommend it
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Rock n Roll Ride!, 9 Jun 2014
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S. Taylor (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bobby Whitlock: A Rock 'n' Roll Autobiography (Paperback)
Bobby Whitlock was (is) an influential figure in some of the most important music of the 70's working with George Harrison as well as a founder member of Derek and the Dominos with Eric Clapton. From a dirt poor background he rose to become a key player and composer of some of rock and roll's greatest songs and albums.

This book gives a great insight into his remarkable life his talent as a musician.

Not to be missed!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic to savour, 9 April 2014
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C. Montagu - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bobby Whitlock: A Rock 'n' Roll Autobiography (Paperback)
I have rarely enjoyed an autobiography more. Bobby writes with humour, humility and steering honesty. At times hilarious and, at others,l deeply moving, this is a book by a true musician about his roller coaster ride through the most pivotal decades of rock music. I cannot recommend this book too highly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thank`s Bobby for sharing your life with us., 18 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Bobby Whitlock: A Rock 'n' Roll Autobiography (Paperback)
When I first saw that Bobby had written a book about his life I thoght that this is going to be interesting. That is the understatement of today. What a life Bobby has lived, it can not have been that easy for him at all in a few aspects but on the other hand he had love from people who loved and cared for him and showed respect. If you are into the history behind Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, Derrek and The Dominoes and the making of the Layla Album, His friendship with Eric Clapton, Keith Moon and many many others during his years in England, This is It. And then what happend next in Bobbys life, the sometimes not so very nice bussines in the music bussines. Bobby has been both down in the mud, and up in the shine. Bobby`s book is very openhearted and full of music history from the mid sixties and on to this day.
One of, if not the best, book about music that I have ever read. This book are the words from the man himself, and not like many music book`s written by someone about someone. This is Bobby`s words direct from his big heart.
Thank you very much Bobby.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read ..., 8 Jan 2012
This review is from: Bobby Whitlock: A Rock 'n' Roll Autobiography (Paperback)
My wife bought me Bobby Whitlock's 'A Rock 'n' Roll Autobiography' for Xmas (after much hinting!). Once I started it I couldn't put it down. Having been a life long fan of Eric Clapton, I was particularly interested in the Derek and the Dominos section. But that's just one part of what certainly has been one very eventful and interesting life.

From an abusive and poverty stricken childhood, to being signed to the Stax label at 16 years of age, where he met legends of soul music like Duck Dunn and Steve Cropper. Moving to LA and meeting Delaney and Bonnie, which proved to be one of those pivotal moments in his life. Bobby was to meet Eric Clapton and form one of the most influential bands in the history of Rock 'n' Roll - Derek and the Dominos. The Layla album has stood the test of time (and will continue to) and Bobby was a key part of this. His soulful singing and mighty keyboards, coupled with his undoubted song writing abilities, coaxed Eric into the most creative phase of his 50 year career.

Bobby truly lived the life of the Rock 'n' Roll star for a while - the big house in Surrey, fast cars and as much booze and dope as he could ever want. There were plenty of highs during this time, but there were also many dark days that left Bobby fighting to hold on to his sanity.

Some say that a life of excess can lead to wisdom, and I think that proved to be the case for Bobby. But the most significant event to happen in his life was meeting CoCo Carmel - his soulmate, his lover and his best friend. Through meeting CoCo, Bobby was able to discover the simple things in life that we all miss when struggling to make a living or become a star. A shared cup of coffee in the morning; baking bread; cooking; walking the dog; watching the sun rise/ set. But the most important thing of all, he's fallen back in love with making music just for the sheer joy of doing it. The residency in the Saxon pub pays a few hundred bucks a week but that's not the reason he does it.

Bobby Whitlock is back doing what he does best - making sweet, soulful music with the beautiful CoCo Carmel and I'm sure many of us will say 'amen' to that. Will Bobby play with Eric again? I hope so, and I for one will do my best to be there when it happens ...

Last but not least, do yourself a favour and buy this amazing book and read all about a 'Piece of Rock 'n' Roll History' ...
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5.0 out of 5 stars In the words of the Author, 19 Dec 2011
This review is from: Bobby Whitlock: A Rock 'n' Roll Autobiography (Paperback)
This book is a must read for anyone who wants to know what it was like being a part of Derek and the Dominoes. Having worked with Bobby in the 1990's. and being used to his conversation, I can honestly say that as I was reading this book I was hearing Bobby's voice. To me that is the test of an autobiography and I can thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a truly absorbing read
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5.0 out of 5 stars A quite wonderful Book for anyone interestd in music, 21 July 2011
This review is from: Bobby Whitlock: A Rock 'n' Roll Autobiography (Paperback)
For your average rock fan the name Bobby Whitlock may not mean very much. For those who read the credits on records you may well know the name.

Bobby Whitlock of course was one quarter of Derek and the Dominos the band Eric Clapton formed in 1970. Bobby had met Eric Clapton through Delaney and Bonnie when Clapton joined the husband and wife led Delaney and Bonnie and Friends. Bobby was one of the Friends
Through many musical adventures both good and occasionally bad Bobby Whitlock has continued his journey through music and continues to make great music to this day these days working with his wife CoCo Carmel

This book written by Bobby with help from respected journalist and author Marc Roberty and a foreword written by Eric Clapton, will certainly be a revelation to those fans of Derek and the Dominos but more than that it is a fascinating story of a man for whom the music bug bit early. Tracing Bobby's life from his childhood ion the American South through California and rather strangely Surrey this book is more than just your average muso's biography. This is the story of a man with immense talent who has battled through his own demons just as surely as his former band mate Eric Clapton has over the last forty years.
A refreshingly honest account of his life both personally and also musically I found it almost impossible to put down.

Of course as I said earlier for fans of Derek and the Dominos this book finally lays bare just how the band came together, found immense success not to mention satisfaction by the music they created only to lose it through the almost depressingly familiar story of drug abuse. This is not a depressing read however it is one of the most uplifting books and story's I have ever read and not only that despite the wreckage that the Dominos left in their wake and bear in mind one member (Carl Radle) has subsequently died another closely associated musician (Duane Allman) has also died and one member (Jim Gordon) sits in jail serving a sentence for murder, Bobby Whitlock comes through this all a much wiser man but with his talent and more importantly his soul still intact.

These days Bobby seems happiest performing in a more low key manner although I like many people sincerely hope that Bobby and Eric manage to re convene perhaps as "Derek and the Domino" and produce more fine music together. That really would put the cherry on top of the already happy ending to the book and after all Clapton has recently worked with Steve Winwood performing Blind Faith songs and also Cream so a tour or an album featuring Bobby who really was along with Clapton the axis on which the Dominos revolved should in fairness be considered.

Another knock on effect of this book of course will be that it will point you in the direction of the music he has made and even if the Layla album was the only album he had helped create then that would be enough. Happily there is a whole lot of great music to be found bearing this man's name and that he continues to make music is one of life's pleasures.

This book ultimately Is a must read book for anyone remotely interested in music or LIFE!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Derek and the Dominos History, 5 July 2011
This review is from: Bobby Whitlock: A Rock 'n' Roll Autobiography (Paperback)
First book that I have read about this period in Eric Claptons life, and was delighted to read such detail of all those people / lives who lived and worked with Eric. Whilst charotic in many ways - out of this came some of the most memorable songs. A good read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Midnite Johnny (John Morana), 30 Jun 2011
This review is from: Bobby Whitlock: A Rock 'n' Roll Autobiography (Paperback)
In my opinion one of the best books ever written about "The World Of Rock and Roll" from someone that was smack it the middle of it all when some of the greatest music of all time was being created..This book seems to come strait from the heart..All though how else could it be??..Bobby writes like he plays music..~STRAIT FROM THE HEART~.. He talks openly about his childhood up through the days of The Memphis Stax Soul guys,Bonnie & Delaney/Delaney & Bonnie,George Harrison,Leon Russell,The Dominoes,Eric Clapton..Really the list is endless..Imagine livin' in L.A. and having like J.J. Cale,Jimmy Karstein,Jesse Ed Davis,Carl Radle,Leon Russell and many others hangin'around..Great way to learn your craft I would say!!Bobby also delves into all the crazy 60's/70's "shenanigans" that went on!!...This guy got to play with like all of my personal musical influences..The list is endless!!!For all you musicians reading this book..Lots of insight into how some of these "Classic" songs where created and recorded..I must admit my favorite parts are about the Dominos sessions..I actually picked up a lot of little tricks and licks that I've been tryin' to figure out for years!!! I tell you this guys got one hell of a memory!!!Bobby also gets into whats goin on with his life these days along with his lovely wife CoCo..I thing anyone that is into real music and maybe curious about the music world or what makes certain musicians what and who they are, will get something out of this book..In other words music fans and musicians will definately get something from this book..I've read this thing twice now..So not only is Bobby one of my favorite Musician/Songwriters..He is now one of my favorite writers!!!

Midnite Johnny....
Oh Yea, while I'm at it..If we can just get Eric and Bobby to write some new tunes!!!
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Bobby Whitlock: A Rock 'n' Roll Autobiography
Bobby Whitlock: A Rock 'n' Roll Autobiography by Marc Roberty (Paperback - 1 Oct 2010)
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