Friday, June 15, 2012

Miss O'Dell review!

Miss O’Dell is a memoir written by Chris O’Dell. Although she is not a household name in music, she has been present at some of the biggest events in music history.

She was  on the roof of Apple studios when the Beatles played their final performance

She was co-organizer and sitting up front at the concert for Bangladesh that George Harrison put on (The first benefit concert EVER!)

She was in the room when George Harrison told Ringo that he was in love with his wife

She was one of the backup singers when Hey Jude was recorded

She hung out the window flashing the finger yelling out “Fuck you Eric Clapton!” when she left his home one day. (Ok this wasn’t a big moment in music history but I still thought it was cool!

Even more important than actually being there, she was welcome at all these events (except the Eric Clapton one... she may not have been welcome there). She was friends with some of the biggest artists in rock and roll! She was/is best friends with Pattie Boyd (former wife of George Harrison and later, Eric Clapton), she worked her way through positions ranging from general assistant to tour manager for artists such as: The Beatles; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, James Taylor, Linda Ronstandt, The Rolling Stones.. This list just keeps going.

Miss O’Dell was a hard book to put down. It really gave a feeling of what it must have been like being around all of these musicians. Most interesting is how it was not written about being a crazed fan, a groupie or a worker, but just being a friend. She never thought any of the musicians were better than her or that she was better than any of them. This book is her writing about her co-workers and friends, who just so happened to be some of the most influential people ever!

It gave a feeling of what some of these artists were/are actually like as people. Everything from an inside view of various drug addictions to just various attitudes and personalities. I always thought of David Crosby as one of the greatest singer/songwriters ever... but Chris saw him as a drug fuelled idiot who acted like a baby when he didn’t get what he wanted. I see Eric Clapton as one of the greatest artists ever... She sees him as a complete asshole that would be jealous because his wife would spend time with a friend rather than himself.

Of course since she lived around the rock stars, she had a hard time avoiding the rock and roll lifestyle. This was proven when she obtained her own substance abuse problems. But this book is not focused on that. It touches on the topic as this was a major event that happened in her life, however this is a memoir of living in the most significant time of music history and she never lets you get bored! Just when you think there will be a dull moment, in comes another huge name. She gets fired from Apple, boom, she is on tour with the Rolling Stones. She is done with the Stones, boom she is living with George and Patty Harrison in their mansion planning the concert for Bangladesh.

At the end of this book I felt like Chris was a close friend. She comes across as a very kind woman who never took for granted her good fortune.

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