Tag Archives: Martin Scorcese

Book Review: “The Magic Years: Scenes from a Rock-and-Roll Life” by Jonathan Taplin

The Magic Years Jonathan TaplinA couple weeks ago, while performing my side hustle as a publicist, I stumbled upon a website where I can get ARC copies of new books for free in exchange for a review. The site is filled with mostly self-published fiction authors, but a quick search on “music” and “biographies” turned up The Magic Years: Scenes from a Rock and Roll Life by Jonathan Taplin.

Published May 7, 2021, this 286 page memoir is a real page turner…I only wish I had read a hard copy and could have actually turned pages instead of reading a .pdf, but that’s my problem…not the authors! I love a good page turner…literally!

If you’re a Bob Dylan fan, you’re going to love this book. If you’re a fan of The Band, you’re going to love this book. If you’re a fan of folk music, rock and roll, Martin Scorcese, George Harrison, this is the book for you. Jonathan Talpin has worked with all of them one-on-one and so many more famous names.

A lonely child, sent off to boarding to school and pegged by his father to follow in his footsteps and become a lawyer, somehow the universe had other plans for Jonathan when he would take a train into Boston on weekends to go to the folk music clubs. By the time he was in Princeton, he was already working as a tour manager for some of the biggest names in the folk music industry.

Excellent book…but sometimes it can leave you scratching your head as to what was happening in between a lot of the excitement. And then there is the question of how he managed to have $500k to lend to Martin Scorcese to finance a film? I’m sure there is a terrific explanation, but for now we’re all going to have to just keep guessing.

I will add a warning that this book does get a bit political leaning in the last couple chapters and is bound to irritate some people. This is the man who wrote Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy Which left me asking, how the hell he got into that field? And for that reason…

I rate this book, 3 out of 4 Beetles!

 

 

 

 

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Movie Review: “George Harrison: Living In A Material World”

This is the movie I had attempted to watch several weeks ago while I was traveling.  I ended up in a battle to watch it on my iPad mini for weeks now, before finally giving up and having to watch it on my PC.  I really dislike watching any type of movie on my computer.  I’d much rather do it from the comfort of my couch, especially a 3.5 hour documentary like this.

George Harrison: Living In The Material World, directed by Martin Scorsese, came out in 2011.  Even I had tears in my eyes when I saw the trailer for the movie before it’s release.  Was I going to be able to sit through this film about a beloved Beatle who left us way too early?

The movie actually starts out quite poorly.  Several times during a scene, the music just drops off and  the scene goes to an interview.  There’s no fade out.  I kept thinking, “Is this going to happen through the entire film?  Is this really a Martin Scorsese film?  I guess I should be happy he didn’t cast Leonardo as George!”  Then I started thinking, “Thank god it’s not a Tim Burton film with Johnny Depp as George!”  But I digress…

For some unknown reason, the music stops dropping off and begins fading out between scenes, but still the first half off this film felt more like a Beatles documentary than a movie about George.  I paused it and got up several times to get a drink, let the dog out, etc.  I almost dreaded having to sit through Part Two after the intermission, but that’s actually where the movie picks up and becomes George’s story.  (Except the part where Derek Taylor’s wife shows up and, just like Derek, only wants to talk about doing LSD with the Beatles.  Do these people talk about anything else?!)

Part Two of this movie is a delight and kept me in my chair until the end as George’s friends, colleagues, wife and son telling us about the real George.  If you can make it through the Blah-Blah of the first 1.5 hours,  you’ll love the rest.  Though I wouldn’t call this Scorsese’s best cinematic production, the scenes with George and Friar Park are beautiful.

It was not available on my Fios OnDemand, but you can rent from Amazon.com, iTunes or Netflix.

Buy at Amazon.com or any major retailer where movies are sold.

I rate this movie: 3 out of 4 Beetles!

 

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