The River's Badge

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Don't Buy This Book


Writing a memoir is a tricky endeavor. There's the right (interesting) way and the wrong ("WTF") way. I think I wrote my memoir the right way, and I'm not even a professional.

I'd always heard that Jimmy Webb was a master songwriter, and as a songwriter myself, I was naturally interested in reading his story. Let me expand on that a bit: Truthfully, I never thought Webb was a "master" songwriter, but everybody says he is. I hated "Wichita Lineman" when it was first released in 1968. I like it now and I appreciate the writer's craft. "Galveston" wasn't as good, but it was good. Webb obviously thought he was good. One doesn't really know much about that, however, in this memoir. One does learn a lot about the properties of various street drugs. I guess I could write a history of my love of nicotine, but you really had to be there.

It's kind of sad if one's legacy consists of naked orchestral concerts performed after swallowing random little white pills. Let's just say the anecdote doesn't heighten my admiration.

"The Cake And The Rain" is a drug book.

I'm no prude. I'm a live and let live kind of gal. But again, I prefer not to define my life by my cigarette addiction. Jimmy revels in his pharmaceutical dependence. At his (advanced) age, one would expect a bit of clearheaded wisdom.

Here's a synopsis of the book (so you don't have to buy it): he had affairs with various married women and one of his concubines inspired one of the goofiest songs of all time:


I think Webb mentioned that he brought the song to the Association at one of their recording sessions, and their combined reaction to it was, WTF?? Kind of a universal sentiment.

Also, balloons.


I mean, come on... 

I think I borrowed the book from my library (I thankfully didn't purchase it) because Glen Campbell had recently passed away and I was feeling sentimental. This book just made me feel icky.

The author comes across as glib and severely out of touch. But he did buy drugs for Nillson and John Lennon, so there's that...

I don't know why I read the book the whole way through. I was perhaps hoping for a morsel of hard-fought wisdom. I didn't find it.

There's one thing I found admirable about Jimmy's songwriting -- and it was only found in the index -- apparently not worth but a cursory mention:


I'm told this book was only Chapter One. 

Good luck there, Jimmy. I don't know what else is left to say, but I won't be finding out. 

You should read mine sometime. It's actually interesting, and I'm not even famous.












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