The Wrecking Crew

  • by Kent Hartman
  • Narrated by Dan John Miller
  • 9 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Winner, History, 2013
If you were a fan of popular music in the 1960s and early '70s, you were a fan of the Wrecking Crew - whether you knew it or not.
On hit record after hit record, by everyone from the Byrds, the Beach Boys, and the Monkees to the Grass Roots, the 5th Dimension, Sonny & Cher, and Simon & Garfunkel, this collection of West Coast studio musicians from diverse backgrounds established themselves as the driving sound of pop music - sometimes over the objection of actual band members forced to make way for Wrecking Crew members.
Industry insider Kent Hartman tells the dramatic, definitive story of the musicians who forged a reputation throughout the business as the secret weapons behind the top recording stars. Mining invaluable interviews, the author follows the careers of such session masters as drummer Hal Blaine and keyboardist Larry Knechtel, as well as trailblazing bassist Carol Kaye, who went on to play in thousands of recording sessions. Listeners will discover the Wrecking Crew members who would forge careers in their own right, including Glen Campbell and Leon Russell, and learn of the relationship between the Crew and such legends as Phil Spector and Jimmy Webb.
Hartman also takes us inside the studio for the legendary sessions that gave us Pet Sounds, Bridge Over Troubled Water, and the rock classic “Layla”, which Wrecking Crew drummer Jim Gordon cowrote with Eric Clapton for Derek and the Dominos. And the author recounts priceless scenes, such as Mike Nesmith of the Monkees facing off with studio head Don Kirshner, Grass Roots lead guitarist (and future star of The Office) Creed Bratton getting fired from the group, and Michel Rubini unseating Frank Sinatra's pianist for the session in which the iconic singer improvised the hit-making ending to “Strangers in the Night”.
The Wrecking Crew tells the collective, behind-the-scenes stories of the artists who dominated Top-40 radio during the most exciting time in American popular culture.

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What the Critics Say

"[The Wrecking Crew] has the...potent excitement of a collection of greatest hits. It makes good music sound better." (Janet Maslin, The New York Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Familiar names to any 70's rock fan

The Beach Boys were always a mystery to me. I have gone to see them several times, each time they were worse than the last. The voices intermittently hit the mark, but the musicianship would embarrass a 3rd grade band. I wondered how the same people who recorded Pet Sounds could be in front of me with a minimal knowledge of their instruments. Now I know.
This book is good.
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- Lee

Fascinating Story Well Told

What made the experience of listening to The Wrecking Crew the most enjoyable?

Bought this book after watching the documentary and found that it contains many more stories and interesting details than the documentary (which was equally good). Who knew?


What other book might you compare The Wrecking Crew to and why?

I can't think of another book to compare this to - it is unique.


What about Dan John Miller???s performance did you like?

Good voice well paced.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I wish.


Any additional comments?

Anyone who likes rock and roll would like this book.

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- deeva

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-18-2012
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio