A superb new study of Jerry Lee Lewis that's as intense and fast paced as the life of "The Killer" himself, from the height of fame to the bumpy road that followed.
"The category in which Jerry Lee Lewis truly belongs is 'Jerry Lee Lewis.' The Killer is as big as Mount Rushmore, and he's also as American, as revered, as cliched, as misunderstood, as corny, and as taken for granted as that monument. The curse of iconoclastic American success. Elvis felt it, so does Dylan. So will others who haven't been born yet."
The story of Louisiana hellcat Jerry Lee Lewis and his 1958 wedding scandal-it was discovered that at 22 he had married his 13-year old second cousin, Myra, before he was divorced from his second wife-long ago took precedence over the man himself and the music he makes. In Jerry Lee Lewis: Lost and Found, author Joe Bonomo lets others focus on the scandal and delves more deeply into the accidental intersection between fading American Rockabilly and ascending Beatlemania. By first taking a look at the critical years before his famed night in 1964 at West Germany's Star-Club - what that meant not only for him but the entire live album-making world - then the tumultuous years that follow, culminating in his time on the American Country charts in the late 60s/ early 70s, Bonomo brings Jerry Lee Lewis to life in new and fascinating ways.
In spite of plummeting record sales and concert fees, a media savaging of his personal character, a change of record labels and management, and a considerable upturn in his drug and alcohol abuse, Jerry Lee Lewis has persevered. In between being betrayed and ignored, he would record one of the greatest rock & roll performances in history. Bonomo's thorough research includes new interviews with Live at the Star-Club producer Sigi Loch, members of the Nashville Teens, and other musicians and fans who were at the Star-Club performance, as well as with music industry figures ranging from famed Nashville producer Jerry Kennedy and legendary Memphis stalwart Jim Dickinson to Killer-influenced contemporaries John Doe and Dave Alvin. This passionate book examines and explains the almighty impact of the Father of Rock'n'Roll.
"The compelling story behind the greatest live record ever! Thoroughly researched and beautifully written. They should teach this book in schools." (Blaine Cartwright, Nashville Pussy) "Joe Bonomo manages to tell the (fascinating) back story while capturing the excitement of what may be the greatest live album ever recorded." (James "The Hound" Marshall) "Jerry Lee Lewis: Lost and Found is the greatest book ever written on the making of an album. It also dispels any lingering doubt about the profound musical impact of Jerry Lee Lewis." (Josh Alan Friedman, author of Tales of Times Square) "Besides "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and "Great Balls of Fire," the best-known fact anent Jerry Lee Lewis is that marrying his 13-year-old second cousin scuttled his rocketing young career. Bonomo launches his appreciation of Lewis from that event, homing in on Lewis' first British tour, at the beginning of which the news was broken. A mass cancellation followed, and back home it became hard to get new Lewis records airplay. Lewis hit the road heavily to maintain his lifestyle (which came to include hitting booze and pills pretty hard, too) and eventually scored big time on the country charts in the late 1960s. Between rock and country stardom, however, he returned to Britain in 1962 and 1963 and, concluding the '63 jaunt in Hamburg, Germany, recorded one of the acknowledged greatest live albums ever. Accounting for every aspect of that record is the loving heart of Bonomo's tribute, and he continues to thoughtfully evaluate Lewis' country albums." (Booklist) "Way back in the early 1960s, Hunter S. Thompson established what came to be known as gonzo journalism. Popular music journalists such as Lester Bangs and Nick Tosches adapted the form to fit their needs. Bonomo channels their styles in this three-part study about rock and 'n' roll star Jerry Lee Lewis's fall from grace owing to his marriage with a teenage second cousin; his return to artistic and commercial viability in 1964 when, in Hamburg, Germany, he recorded one of the greatest live rock 'n' roll albums; and, finally, his turn toward country music in the late 1960s. Writing in a no-holds-barred style, Bonomo is at times vulgar, intriguing, controversial, insightful, and inciting.... Those willing to take a chance on this nonstandard biography, complete with graphic sexual allusions, musings on commercialism, and shots of raw emotion, is recommended for pop culture hounds." (Library Journal) "...it's hard to imagine [Jerry Lee Lewis] will ever find himself championed by a more enthusiastic and persuasive advocate." (Washington Post Sunday, December 2009) "Particularly convincing in capturing the thrill of live performance." Joe Muggs, The Word, February 2010. (9 stars out of 10) "The book is flush with a passion for music and life, all further enhanced by Bonomo's keen understanding of the human impulse to create, the quest for honesty and commitment, and the unshakable fallibilities that dog us all. One needn't even be conversant in that album in particular or Lewis in general to be captivated the common threads that tie us to music, or anything that we care about deeply. Between this and his 2007 book on the Fleshtones (Sweat), Bonomo has earned permanent shelf space in any vital music library." (Blurt Magazine) "Bonomo has managed a thoroughly exciting and thoughtful story that should delight both Jerry Lee Lewis fans and anyone who's had their world shook up by a live performance." (Country Standard Time) "I've read most of the books about him and will now put Jerry Lee Lewis: Lost and Found on the indispensable list. It's one of the best books about the man and his music." (Lincoln Journal Star) 'The contentiousness of [this book] is refreshing, and a welcome alternative to merely rehashing facts and figures.' (Record Collector Terry Staunton) "Bonomo doesn't shy away from the gory details, but he doesn't bury his subject in myth either. A welcome rarity among books about rock legends, Bonomo lets the music and the history do the actual talking." (Country Roads Magazine) "When dealing with the career of rock 'n' roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis, the star's marriage to his 13-year-old second cousin overshadows the years that led up to one of his most important recordings: his album Live at the Star-Club. In this meaty volume, Joe Bonomo looks in depth at how this amazing performance came to be, examining the improbable intersection of rockabilly's tail end and the first stirrings of British Beat on stage in Hamburg. The book includes new interviews with album producer Sigi Loch, members of the Nashville Teens (who backed Lewis during the performance), and musicians and fans who were there at the Star-Club that night. An essential guide to Lewis' "lost years" and later career, this book will be devoured by readers interested in Jerry Lee Lewis and the history of rock." (Eithne O'Leyne, BOOK NEWS, Inc.)"
Introduction; 1. Lost; 2. Found; 3. Down the Line; 4. Longing for Home; Sources.