Nostalgia for the music of the 1960s has spawned countless memoirs from musicians of that era and those in their immediate circle. Kirkus Indie reviewed a few of these intriguing autobiographies, including two by people behind chart-topping hits.
Mary Travers was a member of the superstar folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, who had a No. 1 hit with “Leaving on a Jet Plane.” The posthumously published Mary Travers: A Woman’s Words includes her essays, remembrances, and 1980s newspaper columns. Kirkus’ reviewer called her “a keen, observant writer,” and her book offers her insights on the music business, her onstage monologues, and transcriptions of her 1970s radio interviews with Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia.
Bobby Hart is best known for his work as the co-songwriter of hits for the Monkees, including the No. 1 single “Last Train to Clarksville.” In Psychedelic Bubblegum, he writes of his early days in Hollywood (a “circus of extremes for the senses with its bright lights and colorful characters”), where he first launched his music career, and the eventful years that followed. Kirkus’ reviewer called his book a “snappy yet reflective” memoir that “will interest historians and pop-culture aficionados alike.”
Fewer readers know who meditation teacher Prudence Farrow Bruns is, but they know the song she inspired: the Beatles’ “Dear Prudence.” In her memoir, also called Dear Prudence, the sister of actress Mia Farrow tells of her difficult teen years and how meditation helped to transform her life. Readers may be most interested, however, in her memories of a 1968 trip to India, during which she met the Beatles and became John Lennon’s songwriting inspiration.