Another Little Piece of My Heart: My Life of Rock and Revolution in the 60s by Richard GoldsteinA deeply felt and largely compelling portrait of an age that indelibly marked everyone who took part in it. Indispensable for understanding the culture of the 60s and the music that was at its heart. - starred review, Kirkus Reviews
In 1966, at the ripe age of 22, Richard Goldstein approached The Village Voice with a novel idea. I want to be a rock critic, he said. Whats that? the editor replied.
It was a logical question, since rock criticism didnt yet exist. In the weekly column he would produce for theVoice, Goldstein became the first person to write regularly in a major publication about the music that changed our lives. He believed deeply in the power of rock, and, long before it was acceptable, he championed the idea that this music was a serious art form. From his unique position in journalism, he saw the full arc of events that shaped culture and politics in the 1960s--and participated in them, too. He toured with Janis Joplin, spent a day at the Grateful Dead house in San Francisco, and dropped acid with Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys. He was present for Martin Luther Kings I Have a Dream speech, the student uprising at Columbia, and the riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention. He was challenged to a boxing match by Norman Mailer, and took Susan Sontag to her first disco. Goldstein developed close relationships with several rock legends--Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison, to name two--and their early deaths came as a wrenching shock, fueling his disillusionment as he watched the music he loved rapidly evolve from a communal rite to a vast industry--and the sense of hope for radical social upheaval fade away.
Another Little Piece of My Heart is the intimate memoir of the writer as a young man with profound ambition. It is also a sweeping personal account of a decade that no one else could provide--a deeply moving, unparalleled document of rock and revolution in America.
Review Roundup: PIECE OF MY HEART: THE BERT BERNS STORY Off-Broadway
Jersey Boys , which should have been a cautionary tale, has become instead a how-to guide. Half a billion in Broadway receipts will do that. It has not only spawned an infestation of jukebox biomusicals but also codified the key elements of the genre. Optional: These songs should be plunked out on a piano by a Jewish shlemiel before a trio of bespangled black singers magically materializes to apply the shamalamadingdong. Throughout, characters should use dialogue not to advance the plot but to provide information everyone onstage would already know.
Piece of My Heart: The Bert Berns Story, a new musical based on the life and songs of legendary songwriter Bert Berns, opened tonight, July
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Indeed, each act could have been a play unto itself, there was so much detail to take in. When they return to the USA, they all have difficulty fitting back into so-called real life, and are treated as if their years of service did not happen, if not being spit on by war protestors. Many of the nurses are questioned about their ability, even sent to a remedial CPR course. Her post-war life is also marred by post-traumatic stress disorder, to the point where she cannot even go shopping for jeans. The cast is rounded out by Justy Kosek and Marcus Kirlew, skillfully playing all of the men in the play. In fact, all of the actors segue in and out of other characters without minimal costume changes, but instead with changes in voice and mannerisms, and in lighting and sound. This combination of acting and tech made it easy to keep track of the story.
At the end of "A Piece of My Heart," Shirley Lauro's new play about the unsung American women who served in Vietnam, the characters appear before a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington and place homely mementos of the war at its base. It is a powerful tableau -- like every other glimpse of that long, dark wall -- and it allows Ms. Lauro at last to stir up the feelings of grief and anger that she has been chasing all night. Yet, for me at least, the feelings evaporated the moment I was back on the street, at which point I resented having my buttons pushed so cheaply. Right until its coda, "A Piece of My Heart," a Manhattan Theater Club presentation by way of the Actors Theater of Louisville, is embarrassingly cliched in its efforts to bring home the stories of forgotten survivors of the Vietnam nightmare. Are we to applaud a playwright who uses the wall to prop up what is otherwise an incompetent piece of work?
Book by Daniel Goldfarb. Music by Bert Berns. Directed by Denis Jones. Running time: 2hrs 20mins. One intermission. Guess which of those characters and her brother produced this show? As a labor of love and copyright control, Piece of My Heart does its job to some extent.