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Review of "Marathon Man" Book


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A review I wrote of the most excellent book MARATHON MAN has been published in Goldmine Magazine, and should be on newsstands now. It's in the March 18th issue, with Percy Sledge on the cover.

Great book, but then again, I'm sure most all of you already knew that!

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Alright John!!!! Congratulations on your review being published in Goldmine! Hmmm, how auspicious and appropriate is the name of that magazine?! We are finding our pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and it's not even March 17th yet! Ahhh, "the little people" are workin' overtime on this one, me darlin's! Thanks again, John, and congratulations! The luck 'o the Irish (and everybody else's too!) be with ya!

smile --Darlene

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  • 2 weeks later...

In case anyone here might be interested, here's my review of MARATHON MAN that was recently published in Goldmine Magazine:

Eric Carmen: Marathon Man

By Bernie Hogya and Ken Sharp

www.ericcarmen.com (softcover, 432 pages, $24.95)

In his 30+ year career, singer/songwriter Eric Carmen has done it all. He’s been lauded as one of the founding fathers of power pop for his efforts in Raspberries, written classic popular songs that have been covered by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Celine Dion, toured with Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band and penned instantly recognizable tunes that were featured in two of the biggest films of the 1980’s (“Dirty Dancing†and “Footlooseâ€). Not bad for a kid from suburban Ohio, to be sure, and the comprehensive biography Eric Carmen: Marathon Man details all the highs and lows of his career to date.

Marathon Man is the first book to delve in-depth into the career of Carmen and Raspberries, and it’s quite an entertaining and informative read. Expertly and exhaustively researched and written by Bernie Hogya (the man behind www.ericcarmen.com, one of the finest fan-run music sites on the ‘net) and Ken Sharp (musician, rock journalist and longtime Raspberries/Carmen fan), the book also contains more than 100 rare and unpublished images, such as hand-written song lyrics, previously unseen photos, contracts and more.

Beginning with Carmen’s musical baby steps with local Cleveland-area garage bands and continuing through his years pursuing his rock and roll dream with combos such as The Quick and Cyrus Erie, finding fame with Raspberries and eventually going solo and hitting it big with “All By Myself†and “Never Gonna Fall in Love Again,†Hogya and Sharp paint a vivid portrait of an artist determined to “make it†and see his pop vision come to fruition. While the authors make no bones about their love for Carmen’s music, they never resort to fawning over their subject, instead presenting fair and balanced looks at such dramatic moments as the breakup of Raspberries (precipitated by guitarist Wally Bryson dragging Carmen around by his hair and banging Carmen’s head into a wall – yikes!), the relative commercial failure of Carmen’s solo masterpiece Boats Against the Current and the controversy surrounding the recording sessions for Carmen’s self-titled 1985 Geffen Records release.

This being an authorized biography, Eric Carmen made himself readily available to the authors and is quoted extensively throughout, adding to the book’s high level of readability. In addition, all former members of Raspberries were interviewed for Marathon Man, as were other former band members, childhood friends, producers, managers, roadies and fellow musicians (Bruce Springsteen, Joan Jett and Courtney Love are all fans). The stories regarding Raspberries witnessing a gangland murder in Germany, their fateful evening backing up Chuck Berry and Carmen’s run-ins with producer Gus Dudgeon are worth the price of admission by themselves.

In addition to the biography itself, Marathon Man includes a chapter titled “Musical Rorschach,†where Carmen comments on pretty much every song he’s ever written (“One hell of a copyright,†he laughs, when asked about “All By Myselfâ€), as well as a discography and a comprehensive appendix listing rare and unreleased cuts, demos, live recordings and other rarities.

Stunning in its scope and lovingly assembled---it has the look and feel of a major publishing house tome---Marathon Man will stand as the definitive look at Eric Carmen and his music, music that rocked and popped, music that that both power pop freaks and lovers of sincere balladry continue to enjoy to this day. (In addition to the softcover book, there is also a $75.00 hardbound limited edition, which features a full-color, wrap-around cover with each copy individually numbered and personally autographed by Eric Carmen.)

- John M. Borack

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