Wednesday, July 27, 2016

It's in the book, Bob-- a book review

With the recent announcement of the upcoming release of the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl Cd and vinyl being released (finally after all of these years of waiting!).   My timing of this book couldn't have been better.    Tonight's Wednesday Review is of a book called It's in the Book, Bob written by Bob Eubanks.

Sara, your happy Beatles blogger with Bob Eubanks at the Fest in August 2015

I bought this book directly from Mr. Eubanks last year at Beatlefest in Chicago and I just never got around to reading it until this summer.    Prior to learning about Bob's Beatles connection a few years ago, I knew of Bob as the host of the Newlywed Game, a game show that I frequently watched with my family in the 1980's, although Bob had been hosting the show since 1966.  

It's in the book, Bob is Bob Eubanks autobiography and was first published in 2004.   He goes through his life living mostly in southern California and his love for horses, ice skating and becoming a disc jockey.      He fulfilled his dream of becoming a DJ, when he was hired for the graveyard shift at a small station in California.

He progressed in the early 1960's to KRLA in Los Angeles, which  became one of the biggest Top 40 stations of it's time.    I always enjoy reading about radio in the '60's and found this part of the book very interesting.   It was also during this time Bob opened up the Cinnamon Cinder club for 18-25 year olds as the West Coasts' answer to the Peppermint Club in NYC.    The club was extremely popular and had many, many groups perform there including the Beach Boys, Stevie Wonder, Tina and Ike Turner and so many more.  

In 1964 Bob and his working partner decided to begin his career as a concert promoter.  And who did they decide they should first get?  The Beatles of course!    It wasn't an easy task, but Bob found a bank and put his house down to pay for them.   Tickets sold out quickly and Bob tried to talk to Brian Epstein to get a 2nd date at the Hollywood Bowl secured, but Brian wouldn't have it.   Bob also secured the Beatles' press conference at his Cinnamon Cinder club, which was actually a bad location because so many fans crowded around the guys.

Things went so well that Bob booked the Beatles again at the Hollywood Bowl in 1965 and was able to secure two performances from Epstein.   He had also learned from his previous mistake and booked the Beatles' press conference at the Capitol Records Tower.     After the press conference, the Beatles left their gold records that they were presented for Help! behind and so Bob helped himself to one of them!

Bob is standing behind George during the 1965 press conference

Bob did it again in 1966 and brought the Beatles to Dodgers Stadium.  Bob miss-remembers the press conference on that day as being held at the stadium before the concert, when really it was held a few days prior at the Capitol Records Tower again.    The best part of the entire book as far as I was concerned was reading Bob's account of how the Beatles were trapped in getting out of the stadium.  I have read that story from different view points, but I really enjoyed the way Bob told the story.

Bob and Tony Barrow at Dodgers Stadium n 1966

After 1966, Bob did not have any other encounters with the Beatles, but he did work briefly with Derek Taylor when Derek was in  between his Beatles jobs and was living in Los Angeles.    Bob goes on to talk about his career in game shows, especially the Newlywed Game.   He talked about how he made the switch from Rock n roll concerts to country and worked with Merl Haggard and Dolly Parton.    And then told his side of the story of the Michael Moore "Roger and Me" controversy.

The book was interesting and Bob Eubanks has a very humorous way of telling stories to keep you engaged.  I did have a few issues with the book.  The first was the style of writing.   He would say something like, "One day a young man with long hair walked into the studio and from the moment I met him, I knew he would become a star...."    But he wouldn't tell you who the person is that he was talking about until the last sentence.   It would drive me crazy!   I found myself skipping to the last sentence to find out who exactly he was talking about and then going back and re-reading the paragraph.    I also disliked that he left out his personal journey in life.   He talks about girls he dated when he was young and then goes into his career, making me think that he was a bachelor that entire time.    Then suddenly I am reading about when he moved his wife and kids to a new town.   When did he get married?  How did he meet his wife?  When did they have kids?    It seemed odd to me that he would write an autobiography and choose to leave those type of personal details out.    If he wanted the book to be totally professional, then why did he talk later in the book about his children and his wife's art?

Overall this was an alright book.    I don't think I will be reading it again, but it made for  a nice read while waiting at the doctor's office this summer on several occasions.   It seems to me like it would be a great candidate for a book to check out of the library, but if you'd like to purchase a copy, there are a lot of used ones for sale very cheap on Amazon.

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