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Publisher's Summary

Everyone knows the hits: "Mony Mony," "I Think We're Alone Now," "Crimson and Clover," "Crystal Blue Persuasion." They are nuggets of rock and pop history. However, few know the unlikely story of how these hits came to be. Tommy James had been performing in rock bands in the Michigan area since the age of 12. Prompted to record a few songs by a local disc jockey in 1964, Tommy chose an obscurity titled "Hanky Panky," which became a minor local hit that came and went. Then, in 1966, the record was rediscovered by a Pittsburgh DJ who started playing it on heavy rotation, prompting a tremendous response. Soon every record mogul in New York was pursuing Tommy and the band. Then an even odder thing happened: every offer except one disappeared, and Tommy found himself in the office of Morris Levy at Roulette Records, where he was handed a pen and ominously promised "one helluva ride." Morris Levy, the legendary "godfather" of the music business, needed a hit, and "Hanky Panky" would be his. The song went to number one; Tommy went on to do much more; and Levy continued to reign.
Me, the Mob, and the Music tells the intimate story of the complex and sometimes terrifying relationship between the bright-eyed, sweet-faced blonde musician from the heartland and the big, bombastic, brutal bully from the Bronx, who hustled, cheated, and swindled his way to the top of the music industry. It is also the story of this swaggering, wildly creative era of rock 'n' roll---when the hits kept coming and payola and the strong arm tactics of the mob were the norm---and what it was like, for better or worse, to be in the middle of it.
©2010 Tommy James (P)2010 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Dave on 03-25-10

What a ride - excellent story, well told

I played Tommy James music as a DJ in the 60's. Who knew? I enjoyed the ride and, for me, this was a page-turner. I like Tommy's sincerity and directness. He does not "bad-mouth" anyone, and is open about his mistakes. A great listen for those interested in the music business - especially from this era.

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9 of 10 people found this review helpful


By Doug Cox on 01-25-13

An excellent listen!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes - it's a great look at part of the history of pop music that isn't often talked about and I read and listen to lots of music books.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Tommy Jame's openness to talking about his success and his failures was very refreashing.

Have you listened to any of David Colacci’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

n/a

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

His reference to how he treated those in his personal life vs. his career.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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