When We Get to Surf City
Bob Greene
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Buy *When We Get to Surf City: A Journey Through America in Pursuit of Rock and Roll, Friendship, and Dreams* by Bob Greene online

When We Get to Surf City: A Journey Through America in Pursuit of Rock and Roll, Friendship, and Dreams
Bob Greene
St. Martin's Press
Hardcover
352 pages
May 2008
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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The author sang backup vocals for the legendary Jan & Dean duo. For 15 years, starting in 1990, Bob Greene lived the life of the second-tier rock star - performing in concert, touring, and living his dream. Here he writes about that experience, talking about life on the road with the singing surfers and other musicians like Chuck Berry, the Beach Boys, the Everly Brothers, the Monkees, the Kingsmen, Lesley Gore, and others.

Greene describes how it all happened at the beginning of Chapter Three:

It started simply enough.

Someone picked up a paperback book in an airport.

I found this out when, in the middle of a stack of letters in the Chicago newspaper office where I was working, I came upon one addressed to me with a Panorama City, California, postmark.

The letter was from Gary Griffin, the keyboardist for Jan & Dean. He had read Bob's book, Be True To Your School (a non-fiction book based on Greene's diary), and wrote to him. At 45, the author became a pseudo-rocker.
A skilled writer, Greene describes his experiences: what it was like after Jan's nearly-fatal car crash in 1966; what it felt like singing harmonies with the famous Wilson boys in front of 55,000 people; and how cool it was to stand alongside Jerry "Leave it to Beaver" Mathers at one of the shows. The author leads us without pushing us and talks about himself without allowing his ego to overshadow the event.

This is a great summer book. Download a Jan & Dean album onto your Zune, slather on some sunscreen, and open to page one.



Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Steven Rosen, 2008

buy *When We Get to Surf City: A Journey Through America in Pursuit of Rock and Roll, Friendship, and Dreams* online
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