Fire and Rain
David Browne
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Buy *Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story of 1970* by David Browne online

Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story of 1970
David Browne
Da Capo Press
Hardcover
392 pages
May 2011
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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When you think about critical years in the development of music - and culture - you tend not to think about 1970. But author Browne does find significance in what transpired at the outset of the '70s, and here he brings together the beginnings and endings of several artists as detailed in the book's title. Four seminal albums are notated here - Let It Be, Bridge Over Trouble Water, Sweet Baby James and Deja vu - and against the backdrop of Kent State, Apollo 13, domestic terrorists and the trial of monster Charles Manson, he looks at the importance of these records and why we need to take note of them.

Browne has undertaken new interviews to explain:

  • Paul McCartney's split from The Beatles and the pursuit of a solo career.
  • Why CSNY almost splintered after Deja vu.
  • The disintegration of Simon and Garfunkel.
And much more. Here, the author talks about what it took to write this book.
"I reached out to anyone and everyone I could who was still alive and willing to talk. I interviewed Crosby, Stills and Nash, former employees of the Beatles' label Apple, former managers and backup musicians, music industry figures like Clive Davis, and photographers who shot these artists' ablums covers. Vincent Bugliosi, who prosecuted Charles Manson in the summer and fall of 1970, took me through that trial and how he linked the Beatles to the murders. Arthur Janov and his ex-wife Vivian told me about John and Yoko's primal scream treatments that summer. And that's all just for starters."
There is a whole lot to digest here and it makes for an engaging read. Browne is a studied writer - he's written other books, including Goodbye 20th Century: A Biography of Sonic Youth and Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jett and Tim Buckley - and combines a real narrative style with journalistic reporting. This is a unique look at a year that has heretofore been somewhat forgotten in terms of a turning point moment in rock history.



Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Steven Rosen, 2011

Also by David Browne:

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