From having three top-forty hits before he was twenty, to being an in-demand studio musician recording with hit artists, Jimmy Ryan tells about his early years with The Critters, sharing the playbill with pioneers of rock ‘n roll like The Rascals, The Ronettes, Little Anthony & the Imperials, Jay and the Americans; and, later, collaborating and recording with megastars such as Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, Elton John, The Doors, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart and many others. Behind is an adventure told in a series of revealing, entertaining, sometimes hilarious, sometimes tragic tales that take the reader into the minds of pop stars, the shadier side of the music business, the struggle with setbacks, and the joys of success. From partying at the Playboy Mansion to panicking in a local prison with his bandmates, Ryan shares the experience of over six decades in the upper echelons of the music business. Behind is an insider’s look into the people and business of the music industry. It examines how superstars and their musicians handle stress, their humanity, frailty, insecurities, and neuroses. It chronicles one musician’s lifetime in the profession, sometimes in the spotlight, more often behind it, and most often in the recording studio as a composer, arranger, musician, producer, and engineer.
Though by no means a tell-all hit piece, it instead employs humor, humility, occasional touches of gentle sarcasm, and masterful storytelling to craft a portrait of those who achieved stardom, their rewards, and their excesses, the alcohol and drugs, the emotional breaks, and self-destruction that befell so many, as well as those who failed in its pursuit. Ultimately, Behind is a lighthearted and joyful narrative that documents important moments in rock history. At the same time, its colorful stories and collection of personal photographs evoke memories of youth, concerts with friends, turbulent times of social change, and the delight of hits that made up the soundtrack of our lives. I invite you to take a first-hand look into the wonderful, often insane world of music through the eyes of a lifer, a musician who has found success and fulfillment by shapeshifting his way through a lifetime Behind the stars.
Jimmy and I discovered the music scene together, writing songs and listening to every new LP that shouted out to us from the bins at Sam Goody’s. Jimmy led me. He inspired and directed me. He taught me and he made me laugh. We were in Greenwich Village together. Ditto: London, ditto: L.A. ditto: as many backstages as you’d care to drop the names of. It’s all in this book. We cared about each other and continued to throughout those tender years of getting to know ourselves. It could have been other gentle souls or not so gentle souls, but no, I got lucky. It was Jimmy.– Carly Simon
Not only is Jimmy Ryan a great musician but he is also a gifted storyteller. In his new book Jimmy gives his readers a backstage pass to his life in the frenetic and star-studded world of Rock & Roll.- Magda Katz, Time Square Chronicles
A rollicking read, Jimmy Ryan’s autobiography, Behind, recalls a rock ‘n’ roll life full of concerts, carousing and crazies. Ryan shares mind-boggling stories of the famous and the infamous with gentle wit, making Behind the next-best thing to being a celeb yourself. -Suzanne Cadgene, Elmore Magazine
This is a well written, informative and humorous reflection on the past six decades of being in the music spotlight. Jimmy Ryan takes you to worldwide auditions, rehearsals, recording studios, and stages with a great variety of the biggest stars of our lifetime.– Warren Kurtz, Goldmine Magazine
Jimmy Ryan has been one of the fortunate few to be a part of rock music history. He worked in the studio and on stage with artists like Carly Simon and Jim Croce-on some of their biggest hits. He is now pulling back the curtain to give us a glimpse into those stories. Having co-written one of my favorite Michael Johnson 1980s hits “After You,” one will recognize Ryan as a triple threat-a fantastic studio musician, entertaining live performer and a wonderful songwriter. – Merlin David, M Music & Musicians Magazine
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