Jeff Smith 2 p.m., May 22
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You Are Not Alone (Unless You're a Genius)
I'm not so sure I should have written a book recommend for The Christian Science Monitor this week. Once I got further along in the book, Jermaine Jackson or "Ermes" as Michael called him, admits to setting his pet tiger--he spent years taming it in hotel rooms to prepare it for the wild--free in a national park in Oregon. Once it reached its fighting weight of 170 pounds, it was just too much trouble to have around.
In his novel, which was released in September of 2011, he also mentioned my best buddy, Gene Page.
"One afternoon, Hazel decided to get me out of the house and take me shopping on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills," Jermaine says. "While out, we bumped into Barry White's right-hand man, Gene Page--the composer and producer whose deft touch and arrangements underpin most of Barry's pillow-talking songs. That evening, Barry was having a party and Gene was inviting us along. It would be the most meaningful introduction of my life."
In this paragraph, Jermaine definitely understated not only Gene's importance in the music business but in the Jackson 5's career as well. Gene was the guy who arranged "Never Can Say Good-bye," "Got to be There," and later "Daddy's Home," the biggest hit of Jermaine's solo career. "Never Can Say Good-bye" may have only made number two on the billboard charts among a string of number one hits (as Jermaine makes clear), but that song stole the show when played over and over again at Michael's memorial service at the Staples Center more than forty years later.
Show some gratitude, dude!
I'm very excited that my recommend made The Christian Science Monitor. I haven't been published anywhere in a very long time and was starting to think I'd lost my mojo.
In case you want to see it, here's the link.
It will also appear in the printed edition on June 11, 2012.