The book is the autobiography of Ronette, Ronnie Spector and her very crazy life. The things this woman has lived through is just amazing. Even if she didn't have an amazing singing voice, the things she has endured makes her pretty awesome.
The book explains how Ronnie, Estelle and Nedra got their start as the Ronetts and how they first danced at the Peppermint Twist club and then Murry the K saw them and hired them and got them to perform at his shows every week in New York. From there Phil Spector saw the girls and they started recording and had a huge hit "Be My Baby."
There is a LOT of Beatles stuff in this book. Much more than I ever thought. In January 1964, the Ronettes traveled to England to do some concerts. And while they were there, the first night they went to a party and John, Ringo and George were there. They had a really fun time dancing and it became obvious that Estelle and George were flirting and the two of them went off to a private room. Ronnie and John also went off to a private room and they started to kiss, but Ronnie stopped it after that. However the four of them double dated several times at fancy London restaurants and George even flew back to London during a short break in the Paris tour to spend some time with Estelle.
The next month the Beatles came to America and the Ronettes were leaving England. They almost flew of the same plane together---but they didn't. But Phil did in a sneaky way....
While at the Plaza, the guys invited the Ronettes over (and they brought along Murray the K.). There is a pretty wild story about a naked girl having sex with one of the Beatles entourage while everyone is snapping photos and about John trying to get Ronnie to sleep with him, but Ronnie turned him down. Honestly----I am not sure if I totally believe this. Cynthia was with John on this trip. They shared a hotel room. So how did John get Ronnie into his room without Cyn knowing about it? Something about that story didn't add up to me.
Anyhow---Ronnie and Phil have an insane relationship. Phil basically kept her prisoner in their home in California. He wouldn't allow her to go into the kitchen and eat, or leave the house very much and he was so mean to her. He had a golden coffin with a glass top made and told her that is where she will be if she ever tried to leave, because he would kill her! But she still ended up married to the guy and became an alcoholic to escape the craziness of Phil Spector.
Then in 1971 they went to London and Ronnie recorded a song written by George Harrison, "Try some Buy Some" on Apple records. Ronnie's explanation about this made me laugh. She really disliked that song and wasn't surprised that it wasn't a hit.
Ronnie eventually does divorce Phil, and it was a big mess of a divorce hearing. John and May Pang even go to court one of the days.
|Pete Bennett, Ronnie and John during the Lost Weekend|
The last time Ronnie saw John Lennon was in 1976 outside of the Dakota. They chatted for a bit and John told her how happy he was being a househusband. And then he introduced her to someone in the music business that helped her get back on track a bit.
I really liked this book, and not just the Beatles stuff. Ronnie Spector (who took that name after George and John suggested it) lived a life of a strong woman. Especially knowing what we do now about Phil Spector, it is amazing to know that she made it out alive.
I give "Be My Baby" my recommendation. It honestly was a hard book for me to put down, because I couldn't wait to see how she overcame her next obstacle.