Thursday, October 23, 2008

One Wild and Crazy Book

Born Standing Up By Steve Martin (5 scoops of Bosco)
Reviewed By Allen Bacon, Editor, The Daily Bosco

I've always liked Steve Martin. From the first time I saw him doing his "Ramblin' Guy" banjo routine on the Smothers Brothers Show ("This half of the room sing along. Now this half. Now a quarter of the room. This three quarters. Now, 1/8. ...7/8") I was hooked. Then I found out that he was from my home county Orange County, CA. And I found out that he was a great writer. He has penned some great plays and novelas over the years.

So, it was with interest I read his book "Born Standing Up" a biography of Martin's life in standup comedy. The book is a quick read and not too long. What I found most fascinating is the accounts of his life in Orange County. From going to Garden Grove High School to working at Knott's Berry Farm at the Birdcage Theatre and at Disneyland in the Horseshoe Revue, it was like going on a romp of my childhood as well.

It's like reading a T. Jefferson Parker or Bentley Little novel for me. I know Orange County like the back of my hand and when Martin and the aforementioned authors reference my former childhood haunts, it's fascinating. All the fun he was having as a kid in the OC away from home is juxtaposed against his home life which by his admission was dull and strict and the history of the time (like the JFK assasination and other historical moments) form the backdrop for this book.

I also found interesting his friendships with future music stars like Linda Rondstadt, and Don Henley and the rest of the Eagles before they named themselves. He was intimidated of Rondstadt because of her sexuality and Henley and Martin debated whether the band should be called The Eagles or simply Eagles, as they became. Then of course there is the relationships with the Saturday Night Live casts which are also interesting.

As you would imagine, Martin injects his quirky humor and sensibilities for writing into the book. Complete with a great cover design with dull graytone and Gloss UV coated embossed yellow writing, it looks great. I highly recommend it for an afternoon read. You will not be disappointed if you have enjoyed Martin's career.

Born Standing Up was released in paperback this past week. The Bosco rating system is based on a scale of one to five...five being best.

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