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Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon - And the Journey of a Generation Hardcover – 3 Apr 2008
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"Weller has picked her three subjects because of their different demographic appeal, the better to tell her social history ... Weller puts it all in great context ... Weller has done them - and girls like us - proud" (Critic’s Choice by Ray Connolly Daily Mail)
"Eminently readable ... a racy read that may tell you more than you need to know about the boyfriends, break-ups and breakdowns of its subjects" (Sean O'Hagan Observer)
"How Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Bill Clinton's favourite Carly Simon embodied a generation's dreams; perfect bedtime reading for baby-boomers" (Observer Music Monthly)
"charts this trio's rocky marriages, their struggles with success and , perhaps most poignantly, their fading with age" (Sheryl Garratt Mail on Sunday)
"A page turner ... fills a gaping hole in the history of the counterculture of the '60s by providing a juicy and politically astute chronicle of the careers of three women who turned pop music upside down" (Peter Biskind, author of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls)
The lives, loves, songs and times of Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon - and how they mirrored and fuelled the journey of a generation of womenSee all Product description
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The Music Business and all its obstacles are thrown into sharp relief. The chapter on Carly Simon's first months in the studio in the mid-sixties makes disturbing reading. The sexual bylaws Carly would often use to her advantage, she learnt through jarring humiliation. She conquered all this and more, all the while journalising her experiences in her song-writing.
Carole King rivalled Joni Mitchell in her tangled personal life. She showed her naturally compassionate nature - and considerable balls, I think - in accepting her husband Gerry Goffin's adultery and child with another woman into her life, while bringing up their two children and working full-time as a songwriter and musician in New York's legendary Brill Building. Carole would go on to enrapture her fellow singer/songwriters as a resident of Laurel Canyon, California. Her album 'Tapestry' is still a high-watermark of her profession, and still a wonderful album the listener can return to; like the embrace of an old and trusted friend.
As for troubled, feisty, self-absorbed, passionate, ambitious and always confrontational Joni...
Read all about it. Sheila Weller's book is an absorbing, beautifully detailed history of three women, a tumultuous personal history and a powerfully evocation of a heady era. I cannot recommend it enough!
At times, and probably naturally, the preferences of the author seep through; in particular she is damning of pretty much all (though, admittedly, not actually ALL) the men that have anything to do with Joni. Carole or Carly. Perhaps they were for the most part a bunch of self serving bastards?!
Overall this book is a very evocative and easy to read account of an important period of social history in which these women, it is argued, contributed greatly to the enhancement of women's independence (from men) by showing, in both their lives and their songs, the different ways in which women can lead a fulfilling life.
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