Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mark Bego - 2.0

re:  Mark Bego ... Biographer To The Rock And Roll Stars:
After the passing of keyboardist Jimmy Greenspoon of Three Dog Night a couple of weeks ago, we ran a heartfelt tribute by Mark Bego who, along with Jimmy, told the rock star's story by way of the musical biography "One Is The Loneliest Number". 
Here is Mark's original piece as submitted to Forgotten Hits:
Hello there.  I am sure you heard about the passing of Jimmy Greenspoon of Three Dog Night, March 11.  At a loss to find a way to immediately channel my grief for the passing of a dear friend, I composed the following.  Hopefully you can run it in Forgotten Hits.
Many thanks,
Jimmy Greenspoon of Three Dog Night (1948 – 2015)
Jimmy Greenspoon was one of the most upbeat, talented, energetic, and positive thinking people I have ever met. I had the rare privilege of writing his autobiography with him, "One is the Loneliest Number" (1991).  Along the way, we became close friends. I am so saddened to hear of his passing today. He came to New York City in the late 1980s, and together we plotted to tell his wild roller coaster ride to the top of the rock world, his descent into the depths of drug abuse, and his dramatic stint with rehabilitation.  We hit it off immediately, and we plotted to write what we thought was the ultimate rock & roll autobiography.  Being with Jimmy was like trying to harness a tornado.  He had such boundless energy.  Once we sold our proposal to a publisher, I moved into his house in Arizona, and we worked every day for over four months.  Together we created one of the best and most popular rock & roll books of my career.  When I came up with the idea of producing a radio show, it was Jimmy who stepped up to the plate and wrote me a theme song called “On the Mark.”  When I told him that I wanted to write a rock & roll cookbook, he was one of the first rock stars to give me recipes.  That was the kind of friend he was.  Whatever was needed, he was there to help.  Jimmy Greenspoon continues to be an inspiration to so many people—me included.  The world has lost a wonderful and talented keyboard player, and we have all lost a dear friend. Jimmy was truly the heart of Three Dog Night. His music and his talent lives on.
Mark Bego

While I have read a number of Mark's books over the years, I had NOT read "One Is The Loneliest Number" ... and, with Jimmy's passing, I was intrigued to do so.  However, in searching for a copy online, I discovered that this book is now out of print.  (Even Chuck Negron's excellent book "Three Dog Nightmare" ... aka "The Story of Chuck's Exploding Penis" ... a book we have highly recommended many times over the years ... is now out of print, too.)

Far too often this books disappear right before our very eyes before new fans discovering their existence have had a chance to read them.  (Sure, used copies can be found ... for $999!!! ... check Amazon! ... but AFFORDABLE copies are pretty scarce and hard to find.)

And, the fact of the matter is, that MANY of these books, with a little bit of serious updating, could easily become viable and desirable, sought-after collectible material again.  (Kind of like "Behind The Music: Remastered" ... where VH1 takes fantastic documentaries from their archives and then tacks on a new 10-15 minute epilogue, bringing the audience up to date with (what Paul Harvey used to like to say) "the rest of the story".

So I got to thinking ... what about a Bego 2.0 book series?  Mark has written SO many books over the years ... 61 and counting, to be exact ... why not pick some of the most desirable titles, commission an upgrade to bring these books up to date ... and make them available to the public again?  (I mean, technically Forgotten Hits is a publisher, right?  So who can we partner with to do a "soft launch" ... isn't that the radio term? ... put some feelers out there and make new and updated versions of these books available to the public.)  With all this new digital, on-demand printing and publishing available, wouldn't this make for a likely outlet to do so?  Make the books available through our service, Amazon ... and others LIKE Amazon ... the artists' websites ... etc, etc, etc ... they could be sold at live shows and places like Half-Priced Books ... and, in this way, brand new fans could discover their existence at an affordable price.

So I'm throwing it out there to all the movers and shaker on our list ... we're open to any ideas that might help to make this happen.  Drop me a line with your suggestions and we'll see where it goes from here.  (Hey, I figure that at the very least, I'll be able to read "One Is The Loneliest Number" for under a thousand bucks!!!)

I meant to write to you sooner to thank you for running my paragraph on my dear friend Jimmy Greenspoon.  I have just been stunned by the news of his passing.  I thought there would be at least several more weeks to do more and say more to him.
The book "One is the Loneliest Number" was such an important book in by career.  Unfortunately, at this point, the book is out of print, and in the last several weeks I have started to actively looking for a publisher who would be interested in purchasing it to publish an updated version.  I would love to get an advance that would be of help to Jimmy's widow, to offset the medical costs that I know they will be hit with for Jimmy's care.  If you have any suggestions, let me know.  I would love to have his book come out again, so that his story will live on.
Thank you so much for your letter.  I like your ideas, and I will put a list of titles together to send to you.  I have been thinking about the prime ones that are due for updating and I will put some thoughts down on paper and send them to you.
Many thanks to you Kent.
After reviewing Mark's list, we've flagged some of the most likely candidates for updating below ... obviously, we don't need (nor could we possibly afford) to do a ton of titles at once ... just pick the very best, mostly "timely" and deserving titles as a starting point ... and see who out there might be able to help us get this project off the ground.  Again, please drop me an email and we'll see if we can get the ball rolling from there.  Thanks in advance to all who might be willing to support our efforts!
Kent Kotal
Forgotten Hits
Books by MARK BEGO 
1. The Captain & Tennille (1977)  OUT OF PRINT
Might make for an interesting update ... now nearly 40 years out of date ... especially since the couple announced their split after nearly 40 years of marriage, reportedly with behind-the-scenes motivation tied to medical reasons that never really came out.  (kk)
2.  Barry Manilow (1977)  OUT OF PRINT
3.  The Doobie Brothers (1980)  OUT OF PRINT
4.  Michael! [Jackson] (1984)  OUT OF PRINT except IN PRINT IN JAPAN
5.  On the Road With Michael! [Jackson] (1984)  OUT OF PRINT U.S.
6.  Madonna! (1985)  UPDATE IN PRINT
7.  Rock Hudson:  Public & Private (1986) OUT OF PRINT
8.  Sade! (1986)  OUT OF PRINT
9.  Julian Lennon! (1986)  OUT OF PRINT
I'd be curious to see an update to this one ... although Julian has been out of the public eye for quite some time now ... he may have some interesting perspective to share, however, after nearly thirty years of new reflection  (kk)
10.  The Best of “Modern Screen” (1986)  OUT OF PRINT
11.  Whitney! [Houston] (1986)  UPDATE IN PRINT
12.  Cher! (1986)  UPDATE IN PRINT
13.  Bette Midler:  Outrageously Divine (1987)  UPDATE IN PRINT
14.  The Linda Gray Story (1988)  OUT OF PRINT
After the success of the Dallas reboot ... and the passing of Larry Hagman ... this might make for some fascinating reading.  (kk)
15.  TV Rock [The History of Rock & Roll on Television] (1988)  OUT OF PRINT
16.  Aretha Franklin:  Queen of Soul (1989)  UPDATE IN PRINT
Highly recommended  (kk)
17.  Between the Lines [with Debbie Gibson] (1990)  OUT OF PRINT
18.  Linda Ronstadt:  It’s So Easy (1990)  OUT OF PRINT
Definitely due for an update, with her current health condition and induction into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame  (FINALLY!!!)  kk
19.  Ice Ice Ice:  The Extraordinary Vanilla Ice Story (1991)  OUT OF PRINT
20.  One Is the Loneliest Number [with Jimmy Greenspoon of Three Dog Night] (1991)  OUT OF PRINT
With Jimmy's recent passing ... and the fact that two factions of Three Dog Night continue to perform around the globe ... this would make for a very interesting update  (kk)
21.  Madonna:  Blonde Ambition (1992)  UPDATE IN PRINT
22.  I’m A Believer:  My Life of Music, Monkees and Madness [with Micky Dolenz of The Monkees] (1993)  UPDATE IN PRINT
I might have to get the new version of this one ... Micky's been busier these past ten years that at any other time in his long-running career!  (kk)
23.  Country Hunks (1994)  OUT OF PRINT
24.  Country Gals (1994)  OUT OF PRINT
25.  Dancing In the Street:  Confessions of a Motown Diva [with Martha Reeves of Martha & The Vandellas] (1994)  OUT OF PRINT
26.  I Fall To Pieces:  The Music & The Life of Patsy Cline (1995)  OUT OF PRINT
I would think that there would ALWAYS be a market for this one!  (kk)
27.  Bonnie Raitt:  Just In the Nick of Time (1995)   UPDATE IN PRINT
28.  Rock & Roll Almanac (1996)  OUT OF PRINT
29.  Alan Jackson:  Gone Country (1996)  OUT OF PRINT
30.  Raised on Rock:  The Autobiography of Elvis Presley’s Step Brother [with David Stanley] (1996) OUT OF PRINT
31.  George Strait:  The Story of Country’s Living Legend (1997)  OUT OF PRINT
32.  Leonardo DiCaprio:  Romantic Hero (1998)  OUT OF PRINT
This is another one I think there will always be a market for ... Leo's grown up in the past 17 years!  (kk)
33.  LeAnn Rimes (1998) OUT OF PRINT
34.  Jewel (1998)  OUT OF PRINT
35.  Matt Damon:  Chasing a Dream  (1998)  OUT OF PRINT
36.  Will Smith:  The Freshest Prince (1998)  OUT OF PRINT
Another guy who's come a long, long way since 1998.  (kk)
37.  Vince Gill (2000)  OUT OF PRINT
38.  Madonna:  Blonde Ambition  Updated Edition (2000)  IN PRINT
39.  Aretha Franklin:  Queen of Soul Updated Edition (2001)  UPDATE IN PRINT
40.  The Marx Brothers (2001)   IN PRINT
41.  Cher:  If You Believe (2001)  IN PRINT
42.  Bette Midler:  Still Divine (2002)  IN PRINT
43.  Bonnie Raitt: STILL In the Nick of Time Updated Edition(2003)  IN PRINT
44.  Julia Roberts: America’s Sweetheart (2003)  OUT OF PRINT
45.  Tina Turner: Break Every Rule (2003)  IN PRINT
46.  I’m a Believer: My Life of Music, Monkees & Madness  [with Micky Dolenz of The Monkees] Updated Edition (2004) IN PRINT
47.  Joni Mitchell (2005)  IN PRINT
With talk of a Joni biopic in the works, this should be an interesting one to read  (kk)
48.  Jackson Browne:  His Life and Music (2005)  OUT OF PRINT
(49)  Yolana: Just One More Question [with Yolana Bard] (2006)  IN PRINT
(50)  Billy Joel: The Biography (2007)  IN PRINT U.K. / OUT OF PRINT U.S.
There's been a huge resurgence in Billy's music ... I think this would be a good one to update  (kk)
(51)  Macho Man [with Randy Jones of Village People] (2008)  IN PRINT
(52)  Elton John:  The Bitch is Back (2009)  IN PRINT U.K. / OUT OF PRINT U.S.
(53)  One Minute Before Midnight [with Ruth Mueller] (2009)  IN PRINT
(54)  Tina Turner: Die Biografie [in German only] (2009)  IN PRINT
(55)  Whitney Houston:  Die Biografie [in German only] (2009)  IN PRINT
(56)  Paperback Writer  a Memoir (2010)  IN PRINT
(57)  Where the Action Is! [with Freddy Cannon] (2011)  IN PRINT
Another good one ... written with our FH Buddy Freddy Cannon
(58)  Whitney Houston:  The Spectacular Rise and Tragic Fall of the Woman Whose Voice Inspired a Generation (2012)  IN PRINT
(59)  Aretha Franklin:  The Queen of Soul [Her 70th Birthday Edition] (2012)   IN PRINT
(60)  Murder at Motor City Records (2012)  IN PRINT
(61)  Life with My Father:  Glen Campbell [with Debby Campbell] (2014)  IN PRINT

Mark has a few ideas of where he'd like to start, too ... see below ...  

As you requested, below please find a list of all of my books, with notations about which ones are available and in print, and which ones are available for updating.
On the rock & roll list, the ones -- in my mind -- that most need updating are the Jimmy Greenspoon, and the Linda Ronstadt.  (Linda really wrote a shallow and unforthcoming book about herself two years ago, but she said almost nothing in it!)
Trailing close behind would be my books on Martha Reeves and Jackson Browne.  I would be thrilled if someone would take all four of these books for updating and for reprint.
Take a look at my list of books, their "in print" and "out of print" status, and let me know your thoughts.
PS -- Kent, also ... "thank you" very much for your interest in my books, and helping to keep these stories alive!
Again, PLEASE contact me if you think you might have an interest (and the resources) to help us relaunch some of these great titles.  Thank you!
Kent Kotal
Forgotten Hits