on 7 February 2010
WHAT a fantastic read.
Easily one of the best music books to COME OUT EVER. --and i have hundreds.VERY differcult to put down poignant,tearfull,cheerfull, honest it tells the story of what a fairly attractive women COULD acheive in the late 60's/70's innocent fun,starting as a gofer, getting to know the beatles, getting into the *inner circle* always on the edge of getting finished/sacked Chris O'Dell tells her story graphically, from friendships with the various wives of RINGO,GEORGE,CLAPTON her various flings with stars on the road moving up from secretary to assistent to full road manager and life on the road and JUST how differcult that job can be, -I REALLY enjoyed her discription of managing CSNY in 74 well in realitly managing Crosby and Stills-- enfant terribles--and acting like spoilt brats.
HER RUN INS WITH ERIC CLAPTON --who disliked her friendship with pattie and had some terrible put down lines__ like on her wedding day party
* so how did it take you so long to hook up to the aristocrasy miss O'Dell??* Lord Bristol laughted that one off.
but HOW indeed?? how did a young girl from Tucson, Arizona manage to work with the Beatles, Stones, CSNY, the rolling thunder revue with Dylan Santana, Linda Ronstadt, be involved with the concert for Bangladesh?? eventuaaly get married to a english lord?? The drink. The drugs. WELL BETTER BUY THE BOOK AND FIND OUT!!
on 3 August 2011
As it says on the jacket cover, this lady was there. There on the rooftop on Jan 30 1969 with Yoko and Maureen, one of just a handful of insiders who watched the concert from just a few feet away. And whilst this concert is not talked about as much as it could have been, she certainly makes up for it with priceless recollections of the Bangla Desh concert (including Keith Richard's rather unkind reaction to the press reaction praising George), an intimate meeting with John and George in her hotel room in 1974, dancing with Bob Dylan in 1976 (very well written, in what she doesn't disclose...hilarious!). And her obvious love of the music is apparent througout, apart from when one of her dubious partners played it day and night! I find it quite funny that whenever she felt down she was able to call George Harrison and ask if she could stay for a few days! Nice position to be in for sure, but she never abused their friendship and has a true treasure chest of memories here to disclose, without scandal or fudging the facts. There have been hundreds of Beatles books over the years but this one makes a deserved entry into the Top 10, 40 years after the event. Well worth the wait, thanks Chris :- )
Books by axe-grinding groupies like Frannie Schwartz and Pamela des Barre make me tired. This book is a refreshing change of pace from the groupie genre and let it be known that Miss Chris O'Dell was NOT a groupie. She was friends with many professionals in the music business and, like Olivia Arias (later Mrs. George Harrison) had a job that placed her in contact with these professionals. This is a serious memoir that is not meant to be titillating nor shocking. Unlike the books by authors such as Ms. Schwartz and des Barre, this is NOT of the "National Enquirer" ilk.
Miss O'Dell provides fresh, personal insights and information about some of the world's greatest musicians, such as George Harrison and Eric Clapton and Leon Russell. She is a bright, conventional woman who keeps her head and her character intact. She is impressed with her rock friends and her respect for them and her rise above sycophantism make her someone to respect. Nobody likes or can respect a toady.
Chris O'Dell has had many interesting life experiences. She even typed the lyrics to some of George Harrison's works. She was also present when George declared that he was in love with Maureen "Mo" Starkey, Ringo's wife. Ringo point-blank told George that he was glad it was someone he knew who was interested in his wife as opposed to some stranger.
Miss O'Dell worked at Apple records during its inception and very early days and was friends with Derek Taylor. Her friendship with drummer Jim Gordon would end on a tragic note. In the early 1980s Gordon committed a heinous crime, matricide and is currently serving a life sentence.
George Harrison would dedicate a song to her, the eponymously titled "Miss O'Dell" and Leon Russell would later pen "Pisces Apple Lady." Chris' Magical Mystery Tour across the Atlantic put an Arizona girl right into the middle of a musical maelestrom!
Miss O'Dell knew George's father, Harold Sr. and was friendly with the man for years. A previously unpublished picture of the man is included in this book.
Parts of this book made me laugh, such as her description of Friar Park and how cold her room was. George's response was equally funny. She decribes the George Harrison that she knew and provides a fresh look into the characters of famous musicians that she got to know personally. In time, she would return to Arizona laden with a treasure chest of memories and experiences.
I thought it was funny when her son Willie, then 6 first met Ringo. He thought Ringo was a 6" conductor from "Shining Time Station" and had no idea that the former Beatle was not small enough to fit into his pocket! I thought it was so adorable when Willie, who was born May 10, 1986 asked Chris O'Dell if she was famous. A bright, insightful young man, Willie has grown up to appreciate Miss O'Dell's life in England and appears to be thoughtful and well rounded.
on 16 November 2010
An incredible story of life in the life of the Beatles and Apple. After a party an American girl follows up a throw-away remark from Derek Taylor when he says 'OH, You should come to London and work for me at Apple...' Weeks later she literally takes up the offer, borrows money from her parents for a plane ticket and finds herself at the centre of Beatles life - and she has the photos to prove it.
An engrossing read. If I had known that it had been so easy to get a job at Apple with the Beatles I would have done it - even though I was only 13 years old at the time!
on 24 November 2010
A great read. Chris worked closely with the Beatles, the Stones, Bob Dylan, CSNY and many others. Plus she was right there at the George/Eric/Pattie love triangle. This insider account has much wit and pathos. So many brilliant stories and very eloquently told. Highly recommended.
on 30 May 2013
While I found this book an interesting read,I found it hard to believe how easy it was for her to integrate with so many different stars of that time.The fact that she was treated like an old and trusted friend by everybody so soon after meeting up with Derek Taylor and how everything just fell into her lap after that,intrigued me.What intrigued me even more was the fact that,after having read many books about the Beatles including Richard DiLello's 'Longest Cocktail Party',I don't actually recall seeing many references to her in any of them.I may have missed some,and indeed if anyone can point them out to me,please leave a comment to that effect.A good interesting read,nevertheless.
on 26 January 2013
This american woman just sort of lucked into being at the epicentre of "swinging" end-of-sixties London and meeting and befriending various members of the royal family of rock n roll. Cue the Beatles, cue Eric Clapton, cue the Stones, cue Dylan etc etc. While not a groupie ---more of a glorified PA then road manager Miss O'Dell's story is fascinating. Talk about being at the right place at the right time.....serendipity meets fate meets happenstance. Rags to riches to rags and then some. Highly entertaining.
on 22 November 2012
Chris O'Dell was a 20 year old American who happened to cross paths with Derek Taylor, the Beatles' and other rock royalty's publicist, in LA. Her charm, enthusiasm and good nature endeared her to Derek, who later encouraged Chris to come to London. She took the gamble and as a result of her tenacity, courage and quick wits, ended up in her dream job, working firstly for Apple, then in a relationship with Leon Russell, then back with George and Pattie at their new home in Friar Park, then many other long and winding twists and turns as an insider helping out Eric Clapton and the Dominoes, the Stones and more. These accounts are all highly plausable and vividly brought to life. I particularly enjoyed the 1970 period of moving into Henley on Thames, at a time when Friar Park was pretty spartan and freezing cold, and George was adjusting to life post Beatles, at times enjoying his drugs, at other times lost for days in his Hare Krishna chanting, and at yet others, scornful and bad tempered.
Chris O'Dell is never arrogant or boastful , in fact she describes pretty well the neurosis that accompanies the perilous position of someone on the edges of life with such famous artists and their wives - a little like living with Roman Emperors, who could tire of you suddenly and banish you back to the real world, reminding you that you may share the same breakfast room as them but at the end of the day you are not one of the family!
Fascinating stuff, easy to digest and really enjoyable.
on 25 November 2009
loved this book - recounts the bands of that time brilliantly - very honest about her life good and bad. not like some "star" autobiography where you feel the writer is trying to create an image of themselves. she is an ordinary girl in an extraordinary situation but i think she's great. loved it.
on 9 November 2014
Fabulous read I couldn't put this book down I love the stones and the 60s and 70s and this delivered brill and upset when I finished reading it I wanted it to go on and on