ABOUT THE BOOK...From The Publisher
He's that regular guy from Astoria, Queens, who left his heart in San Francisco. He's the postwar heartthrob who inspired hundreds of young girls to wear black outside St. Patrick's Cathedral on his wedding day.
He's the darling of the MTV generation who made music history when, at the age of 68, he won the coveted Grammy Award for Album of the Year. He's the consummate artist known worldwide for his paintings. He's Tony Bennett, whose star shines brighter than ever as he enters his fifth decade of performing. Now, for the first time, this legend shares his amazing life story -- in a voice that's pure Tony Bennett: warm, resonant, and unforgettable.
"Tony Bennett has not just bridged the generation
gap, he has demolished it," praised The New York Times. Since his appearance
with the Red Hot Chili Peppers of the 1993 MTV Video Awards, and the addition
of his seminal video, 'Steppin' Out,' to the MTV playlist, Bennett has
become the hottest -- and coolest -- pop-culture icon for today's younger
listeners, while remaining beloved by their parents and grandparents. An
astonishing four generations have experienced the Tony Bennett magic --
the mesmerizing spell of a singer in love with singing, who embraces his
audience with a soulful serenity communicated by both the man and his music.
Bennett follows up a remarkable singing career
with this biography. Look for the A&E "Live by Request" performance
and a 50th-anniversary prime-time TV special.
From Publisher's Weekly - Publishers Weekly
With Frank Sinatra at eternal rest and Mel Torme felled by a 1996 stroke, Bennett has assumed the mantle of America's greatest crooner. This memoir tracks the singer's life from his birth in 1926 in Astoria, Queens, as Antonio Dominick Benedetto, through adolescent dalliances with music and art, an overseas stint in the Army and a series of stateside breaks that established him as a jazzy, technically masterful interpreter of popular standards. There are delightful bits of trivia, such as that Bennett, during his late-1980s comeback, became the first animated real-life character on The Simpsons. There's philosophy of a mild sort as Bennett lets off some steam about America's failure to deliver on its birthright of equality; he also laments that race, religion and sexual orientation divide people of like minds. Most of all, there are names, swarms of them. Bennett's list of influences, collaborators, acquaintances, employees and friends reads like a phone book of 20th-century celebrity. For all its star power, the book is ultimately undermined by a shortage of musical insight. Bennett only hints at his well-known animosity toward the rock music that derailed his career in the late '60s and early '70s.
And while he is forthright about his demons,
particularly two failed marriages and a nasty cocaine habit that almost
ended in an overdose, this confessional strain is overpowered by a seeming
preoccupation with portraying himself and his loved ones as fair-minded
and affable. Bennett's book would have been better if he had left a little
bit less of his heart in San Francisco and put a little bit more into this