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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And then, 24 Nov. 2014
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Jeremy Walton (Sidmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No Beethoven: An Autobiography & Chronicle of Weather Report (Paperback)
Peter Erskine joined Weather Report as their drummer for 1979's Mr. Gone, and stayed with them for four years which many view as that stimulating band's finest hour. This period forms the central focus of his memoir - in particular his relationship with Joe Zawinul, the irascible, creative leader of the band. In an illuminating anecdote, this begins with Zawinul asking Erskine what music he was listening to during their first flight to Japan, and responding with a robust, magisterial dismissal when Erskine told him. Later on, after Erskine describes playing on Joni Mitchell's Mingus album, he reveals that she'd wanted Weather Report to back her on the subsequent tour (documented on the great Shadows and Light set), only for Zawinul to scotch the idea with the immortal comment "We ain't no f*****g LA Express" (an unflattering reference to her backing band on her earlier Miles Of Aisles tour).

The book is packed with such anecdotes and insights from Erskine's life and playing career with Weather Report, Mitchell (he also played on her orchestral albums Both Sides Now), and other luminaries such as Steely Dan (he drummed on their 1993 tour, partly documented on their Alive In America), Steps Ahead, Diana Krall, Kenny Wheeler (for example, on his interesting Music For Large And Small Ensembles), Elvis Costello (on North) and many others. For a fan of this music such as I, it's all fascinating stuff, and Erskine comes across as a gracious, grounded individual who takes care to acknowledge the contributions and skills of his colleagues, teachers and students, and only rarely allows any personal criticisms of individuals to slip out. A pleasant, entertaining read, which is strongly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent insight into life as a jazz musician, 27 May 2014
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This review is from: No Beethoven: An Autobiography & Chronicle of Weather Report (Paperback)
Really enjoyed this book. It gives an insight into the surprisingly rock and roll world of jazz. The antics of those in Weather report (Joe Zawinul and Jaco Pastorius in particular) are fascinating and even though Peter Erskine obviously had a lot of affection for his fellow bandmates he doesn't hold back in revealing the dark sides of these jazz geniuses. Being able to play well was only part of the qualifications needed to tour with Weather Report as going by this book Joe Zawinul was a pretty hard taskmaster. Throughout all the craziness Peter Erskine comes across as a down to earth guy who finds himself playing with some of the worlds greatest jazz musicians and does his best to enjoy of much of it as he can. It's a fascinating insight into what it takes to be a top class musician and what you have to put up with to work with the best.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read...., 27 May 2015
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A good read and insight into life before and after a high profile band. Who hasn't he played with?!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love peter erskine, 25 May 2014
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This review is from: No Beethoven: An Autobiography & Chronicle of Weather Report (Paperback)
Really great read, I could not put this book down much to my partners frustration. Inspirational reading regardless of you like music , drumming , weather report or all of the above. I love peter erskine even more than before...
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Roll Over Beethoven", 31 Mar. 2014
This review is from: No Beethoven: An Autobiography & Chronicle of Weather Report (Paperback)
Hi folks,

I visited the Peter Erskine website and posted a question to which I got a reply the same day !! So, what a top guy !! lol In fact everyone should visit his site if only to look at his photo collection. There are some fantastic shots which all look wonderful in black&white.

I bought this book on eBay because the shipping costs worked out cheaper here in the UK.

I am a keyboard player so primarily I am hoping there are lots of discussions about Zawinul.

Anyway, looking forward to getting further into it as its a superb read up to now..............

Paul David Seaman
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No Beethoven: An Autobiography & Chronicle of Weather Report
No Beethoven: An Autobiography & Chronicle of Weather Report by Peter Erskine (Paperback - 1 Aug. 2013)
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