Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Jimmy Greenspoon

A few months back, we ran a poll asking which Mark Bego rock and roll biographies we'd most like to see back in print.

Well, now comes word that this may soon be a reality!  Bego's book on Jimmy Greenspoon, keyboardist of Three Dog Night, titled "One Is The Loneliest Number", originally published in 1989, is one that meant a great deal to Mark personally ... and he is working on restoring this manuscript right now.

I'll let Mark Bego tell you all about it in his own words ...

Dear Kent and Forgotten Hits:

It always amazes me when there is some sort of convergence of events that happens in life, which makes it clear that there is some sort of rhyme and reason to what you are doing. 

At the moment I am in Tucson, Arizona, retyping the entire book I originally wrote with Jimmy Greenspoon of Three Dog Night back in 1989, "One Is the Loneliest Number."  In the middle of it all, last Saturday (August 22, 2015) who should come to Tucson for a concert but Three Dog Night!  Well, that I take as some sort of sign that my hunch was correct, and that I should be working once again on this book, and putting Jimmy Greenspoon's entertaining and amusing rock and roll life story in order for a new, updated reprint.

As I am sure you all know, Jimmy tragically lost his battle with cancer last March, and ever since then I have been deliberating on what to do, and how to do it, as far as this book is concerned.  In 1989, it was still six years before I bought a computer of my own.  However, for this book Jimmy rented a huge computer for us to use when we did the original version, and it was all stored on 5 1/2 inch floppy discs.  Pack rat that I am, last winter I found those discs in my garage!  However — much to my horror — they were completely blank!  So, several weeks ago I made the decision to start retying the entire book, and putting it for the first time in a proper and modern "Word" document.  What a tedious process!

I am sure that you are wondering why I am not scanning this into a computer program and doing it that way.  Well, to be perfectly honest, in the 26 years since I wrote this book with Jimmy, I had forgotten some of what I had written, and I type about as fast as I read.  Also, I am finding some details and punctuation was inconsistent the first time, so I am correcting those stylistic things.  And, on top of that, I located the original "full version" of the book, and I am able to add some of the highly amusing "never-before published" material back in the manuscript.  This will be the deluxe version, as my personal tribute to keyboard master Greenspoon.

For me, the most important aspect of this long typing process, is that for the hours that I sit at the keyboard, I can see, feel, and envision Jimmy sitting right next to me dictating these words to me just the way he did it the first time around. For me, for several hours each day, my dear friend — the wild & crazy Mr. Greenspoon — is alive once again through his words.

And now we come to the Three Dog Night concert I saw last Saturday night.  The band's "Suitable for Framing" album (1969) was one of the first ten LP's I ever purchased as a teenager, and I first saw them live in the 1970s at Michigan State University.  Since then I have seen them at least a dozen times, including one of Jimmy's last shows in Phoenix in 2014.

First of all, the concert was entirely sold-out, which instantly was a very encouraging sign.  Although I lamented the fact that Jimmy Greenspoon was no longer at the keyboards, I was really happy to see that Three Dog Night is sounding great, and still delivering the infectiously joyful music that first made them true rock stars back in 1968.  Danny Hutton and Cory Wells are still both in great voice, and their hits like "Mama Told Me Not to Come," "Old Fashioned Love Song," "One," and "Joy to the World" all come to life with all of their magical charm just the way they always did.  It was also great to hear and see that original Three Dog Night guitarist Michael Allsup is just as lively, enthusiastic, and in fine form as he has always been.

Although the rest of the band (originally a septet) is now comprised of three replacement players, they are all top-notch.  And, as for my missing buddy Jimmy:  I am happy to say that he is reverently and lovingly mentioned several times amidst Three Dog Night's current show.  When Danny mentioned from the stage "I know that Jimmy is here somewhere, causing some sort of mischief," I knew he was 100% correct.

And what is to become of this latest updated incarnation of the "One is the Loneliest Number" book that Jimmy and I wrote all those years ago?  Stay tuned, Kent and Forgotten Hits:  I have a scheme up my sleeve for its re-publication, and you will be amongst the first to know.

I can't tell you how much I miss my friend Jimmy and his fun-loving sense of humor.  However, in my mind, thanks to this book — and the new material I am adding to it — Jimmy Greenspoon's creative lives on!

Mark Bego

This is GREAT news, Mark!  I never got to read the book the first time around and can't wait to read it now.  And who knows, maybe Cory Wells, Danny Hutton and Chuck Negron may wish to contribute some brand new memories of their long-time friend and companion as an addendum to your work!  Please keep us posted!  (kk)

Got a bunch of extra money you don't quite know what to do with?

You can pick up original pressings of Mark's Jimmy Greenspoon biography on ... but it's gonna cost you!!!