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Be My Baby Hardcover – 7 Feb 1991
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Then Ronnie, rock's original bad girl, half-American Indian, half Puerto Rican, and a proud product of New York's East Harlem barrio, as were the cousins who backed her, married New York's Bronx-born Spector. He became increasingly eccentric, reclusive, and violent. She became a solo star, when and if he would let her out of the house, or the castle, as the case might be, in a marriage that drove her literally to drink -- Manischevitz, the sweetest drink she could find. It was an epically bad marriage, as people might guess who are aware of Phil Spector's current California imprisonment for murdering a woman who wanted to leave the castle.
But Ronnie busted out, endured some tough times -- Phil, who had written her greatest hits, wouldn't allow her to sing them in performance. She beat the alcoholism, and finally found her way back to her career, and, perhaps more importantly to her, to creating the family she'd always wished for.
Ronnie has given us, and continues to give us, a lot. In his introduction to this autobiography, Long Island born Billy Joel tells us that as teenagers, he and his friends always knew they were going to get lucky with the girls when "Be My Baby" boomed out of the jukebox. I've been lucky enough to see her live, several times, once at an outdoor summer concert at New York's World Trade Center, no longer on the skyline, as we all know, and watched a thousand people singing -- "For every kiss you give me, I'll give you three--" and dancing along with her: including a man who appeared to be African by his dress, dancing, transfigured, on top of a big urn.
Her autobiography, written with Vince Waldron, with a Foreward by Cher, and the Introduction by Billy Joel, is honest, open, and informative about the good years, and the bad. It stands on its own, as a good read.
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