Archive for December 4th, 2013

GIFT WE WANT

Clue Luxury Edition Board Game from Brookstone.

HOLIDAY FIND

The Nick & Nora Men’s Vintage Santa Flannel Pajama Set from Target.

WAY TO GIVE BACK

Help Kellogg’s Share Breakfast with underprivileged children.

BACHI just finished Burt Bacharach’s candid and entertaining memoir, Anyone Who Had a Heart: My Life and Music – which I enjoyed very much.

I have mentioned before that I have been reading biographies (auto and otherwise) of cultural figures of the 20th century. Perhaps there is no songwriter whose work clearly defines a certain stretch of the second half of the last century than Mr. Bacharach’s. His life story is the very story of the entertainment industry in mid-century America, and he tells it all in this no holds barred memoir.

His songs, many now standards, as well as his high-profile celebrity lifestyle, made Mr. Bacharach an icon of popular culture in the 1960s and 70s. In his book, we hear the background of his creative life and many details of his private life, which often was not very private.

About Anyone Who Had a Heart: My Life and Music a memoir by Burt Bacharach: “In his memoir Anyone Who Had a Heart, Burt Bacharach, one of the greatest songwriters of all time, offers a frank and riveting account of his unparalleled life. From his tumultuous marriages and the tragic suicide of his daughter, to his collaborations with Hal David, Carole Bayer Sager, Neil Diamond, Elvis Costello, and others, Bacharach details his long-lasting success as well as the never-before-told stories behind the hits. Candid and emotional, and with 16 pages of color photographs, Anyone Who Had a Heart: My Life and Music is Burt Bacharach in his own words—a powerful and personal look at the award-winning songwriter and composer.”

My impression of Mr. Bacharach before reading this book was that he was a creative genius and an unabashed narcissist. After reading the book, the former and the latter were confirmed. However, he opens up and takes responsibility for bad decisions he made in his life, mostly surrounding failed marriages and sabotaged creative alliances – most notable with Dionne Warwick and his writing partner Hal David. His feuds with Ms. Warwick and Mr. David, which lasted well over a decade, arguably deprived the world of untold gems from one of the greatest creative alliance in the history of popular music.

But it is by allowing people in his life to add their own impressions of Mr. Bacharach and the events of his life that sets this memoir apart. We hear his view of things and then he allows others to give their side of the story. In the end, with Anyone Who Had a Heart, we have a compelling oral history of a complicated man who has given the world a great gift of music.

Anyone Who Had a Heart: My Life and Music by Bacharach is available form Amazon and other fine book retailers.