Published by Faber & Faber 2012
John Barry has been called the most important popular British composer of the 20th century. Winner of five Oscars, and composer of the James Bond films, "Born Free", "The Ipcress File", "Midnight Cowboy", "Out of Africa" and "Dances with Wolves", as well as classic TV themes such as the "Persuaders", he became a cultural icon and an inspiration to countless musicians. Throughout the 1960s Barry was at the heart of swinging London, with two flats in Chelsea, an E-type Jag and friends like Michael Caine, David Bailey and Peter Sellers. Jane Birkin was his wife and his "Goldfinger" soundtrack was second only to the Beatles in the US. His career reflected the evolution of post-war British music from big band to rock and roll and the birth of pop, and his beginnings in the film world coincided with the renaissance of British cinema. Written with the cooperation of the late John Barry himself, and including insights from friends, "John Barry - A Sixties Theme" captures a time when London was the international focus for music and film. Against a backdrop of enormous social change, it reveals how John Barry came to write his music and why.
“Fiegel's take is illuminating - the most original of recent music books." The Times
“You could not hope for a better life” - The Daily Telegraph
“A mouth-wateringly good read” – Uncut
“Fiegel’s book is one you can’t put down” Mojo
“With cracking quotes (including insights from Caine, Birkin and Schlesinger), a flair for stirring research and a sensuous evocation of the Brit-capital at its hippest, Fiegel has pulled off a revealing appraisal of the movie-music maestro. A mouth-wateringly good read." Total Film.
Click here to buy John Barry - A Sixties Theme by Eddi Fiegel in print or e-book format.
Published by Macmillan (UK) 2004. Macmillan ebook 2013. Chicago Review Press (US) 2005
The greatest white female singer ever' is how Boy George described pop icon Cass Elliot, the sixties diva who was at the epicentre of US popular culture and music during the Californian hippy movement. Hailed as America's answer to the Beatles, the Mamas and the Papas' hits such as 'California Dreamin' and 'Monday Monday' became the soundtrack of a generation. Cass's uniquely emotive voice, charismatic wit and outsized multicoloured kaftans singled her out as a popstar who refused to conform to traditional female stereotypes. When she left the Mamas and the Papas, she immediately had a top ten hit with her debut single, 'Dream a Little Dream of Me' and became the queen on Los Angeles society. Her Beverly Hills villa was the scene of legendary parties, becoming the second home of stars such as Jack Nicholson and Grace Slick, but there was a darker side to her fame - after years of continuous dieting and drug addiction, she died mysteriously in London at the age of 33.
Including interviews with Cass's friends and family, co-band members and many of the famous names who knew her, this is both an insightful biography of an extraordinary singer, and a fascinating glimpse into free-living, free-loving ideals of the sixties.
'The product of over 100 interviews and four years of research across three continents, it's a fantastic read that goes way beyond thorough . . . Fiegel's fine, all-encompassing tome restores much of the great woman's dignity' - Mojo
"Exceptional .... a compelling story." Uncut
‘By tracing the making of an iconic musical legend against the key movements of the decade, Fiegel manages to turn this diverting personal account of folk music, LSD and heroin, the Summer of Love and the emergence of feminism, into the portrait of an age.' The Observer
'Does Elliot a service, not just in scotching the nonsense that her death at 32 was down to choking on a ham sandwich, but in reinstating her as an
outsize feminist icon.' The Guardian
'Fiegel's book is sensitive, never sensationalist, with exhaustive research and in-depth interviews with friends, family and band members. Difficult to put down, this is a respectful and compelling biography of a larger-than-life character. Daily Express
'A classic rock 'n' roll story.' Daily Mail
'A compelling page-turner', Time Out
“The first book I’ve finished in years. I couldn’t put it down." Vic Reeves
"This extremely well-researched book examines the triumphs and tragedies of Cass's life against the backdrop of the Swinging Sixties and its beautiful denizens. Thoroughly entertaining!" Peter Buck, R.E.M.
"This revelatory and entertaining biography . . . successfully captures the spirit of Elliot's personality through insightful and revealing interviews with Elliot's relatives and famous colleagues, as well as through the author's own exhaustive research. . . . A fast-paced and engrossing read." Library Journal
"Thoroughly researched, colorfully written, and powered by a critical appreciation of Elliot's music, . . . the book stands out from the never-ending slew of '60s hagiographies, and with any justice, it will spur an overdue reassessment of Elliot's musical legacy." --Jim DeRogatis, Chicago Sun-Times
"Fiegel demonstrates that her tormented subject was fascinating both before and after she had hit records." Variety
"Impressive . . . comprehensive and accessible." Publishers Weekly