Books by Todd Gold

KEEP MOVING by Dick Van Dyke
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"Those with fond memories of the author's wholesome movies and TV shows may take pleasure in this dose of good cheer; others not so much."
In this follow-up to his memoir, My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business (2011), song-and-dance man Van Dyke relishes his approaching 90th birthday and shares some tips for readers on reaching and enjoying that venerable age.Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 9, 2001

"Sheer charm."
Texas-born Hagman, the son of Mary Martin of Peter Pan fame, tells of his life, loves, and liver. Read full book review >
Released: May 30, 1995

Pryor reflects on a life of humor and hard living altered forever by the recent diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Pryor has always been a fearless black man. His foul language, his willingness to address race and racism directly and intimately revolutionized comedy in the '60s and '70s and made way for comedians such as Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, and Joe Torry. But as Pryor explains here, aided by Gold of People magazine, he never equated people's laughing at his jokes with their liking him. His cocaine addiction and the escapades that addiction prompted led him on a wild road that some, like comic John Belushi, didn't survive. His addiction to women was equally as destructive. As he recounts in the book, he was married six times, twice to the same woman, with countless affairs in between. He recognized himself as ``the dark comic genius, the Bard of Self Destruction'' and calls MS ``the light'' that transforms his life, making him slow down and stop using drugs. What is so painful to read here is the way our culture's obsession with celebrity distances those who become famous from the honesty and love they once had. When Pryor had a heart attack scare, he says, ``My family worried themselves sick. They were probably closer to death than I was. They saw their money supply gasping for air, moaning and writhing in pain.'' It is even more shocking to read that his doctors offered all sorts of explanations for his heart troubles, but never once mentioned his cocaine addiction. They simply told him to take it easy. Pryor's analysis of Hollywood's reaction to him is similarly insightful. After the massive box-office success of his movie Richard Pryor: Live In Concert, he says that Hollywood rediscovered him. He wasn't black. He wasn't white. He was green. There are no big surprises here, this is not a celebrity tell- all. This is a powerful autobiography of a talented man who made every effort to ruin his body and his career and lived to tell the tale. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen) Read full book review >
WOULDN'T IT BE NICE by Brian Willson
Released: Oct. 23, 1991

An express train to hell and back with the leader of the Beach Boys. Wilson begins with his darkest days, in November 1982. Then, weighing over 340 pounds, smoking six packs of cigarettes and snorting five grams of coke a day, failing to bathe for weeks at a time, ``I stank. I was dirty...I was insane.'' How did the founder of ``America's band'' reach this bottom? According to the equally frank life-review that follows, father Murry Wilson, a would-be but talentless composer, had a lot to do with it, taking out his frustrations on his sensitive son (born in 1942) through mind- twisting beatings and ridicule. And then there were the drugs and the relentless pressure to produce hit tunes; by the late 60's, Wilson, wealthy and renowned for such songs as ``Good Vibrations'' and ``I Get Around,'' was drifting into a paranoid schizophrenia that would envelop him for 15 years. Salvation finally came in the person of Eugene Landy, an unorthodox psychologist who took Wilson by the hand in 1983 and turned his life around through a rigorous program of diet, exercise, and therapy. Wilson devotes nearly half of his text to his resurrection, and it's an inspiring story (although recent moves by the other Beach Boys to sever him from Landy—for reasons Wilson ascribes to greed and jealousy—find the self-admittedly ``brain-damaged'' author unsure about his mental future). Most readers, though, will find of even greater interest Wilson's detailing of his early encounters with the Beatles, Elvis, and other rock luminaries; of his stormy relationship with the other Beach Boys; of his now-dead brother Dennis's ties to Charlie Manson; and, in a recurrent motif that illuminates his troubled tale, of how he goes about composing his exquisite music. A bold and genuinely affecting account by a founding father of rock 'n' roll: a must for popular-music fans. (Fifty-plus b&w photographs—not seen.) Read full book review >