Want free BRUCE multi-media? Here it is!

Tons of stuff to get to in this post! Which is another way of saying that I know we didn’t post hardly anything last week, but don’t go hating on us because, Christ, how about that hurricane? (full disclosure: Carlindustries HQ is 3,000 miles west of the Jersey shore) Also, given the official Oct 30 publication date things got hectic in a way that seemed to redefine hecticity with each passing hour.

Being pathologically disorganized didn’t help matters, either.

But check THIS out — it’s a new video trailer for BRUCE, all about Clarence Clemons and the intense impact he and Bruce Springsteen had on one another’s lives!

But don’t stop there…here’s something even cooler: A 10-minute preview of the BRUCE audiobook, with Bobby Cannavale making it sound so awesome. And trust me, you HAVE to hear him reading Bruce’s parts. Floors me every time.

Check out the extended audio excerpt by clicking on the cover below.

BRUCE Audiobook Excerpt







Publisher’s Weekly on BRUCE: ‘….the definitive treatment…by far the best…’

From this week’s Publisher’s Weekly review. The author is speechless, though his ego is clearly rolling with the weevils in high cotton. 


Peter Ames Carlin. Touchstone, $28 (480p)

Rock biographer (Paul McCartney) delivers a straight-on, rockin’ and rollin’ life of the Jersey youngster who sold his soul to rock and roll the night he saw Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1957. Drawing on exclusive interviews with members of the E Street Band, including Clarence Clemons’s final interview, and unrestricted conversations with Springsteen’s family, friends, manager Jon Landau, and Springsteen himself, Carlin takes us on a fascinating journey through Springsteen’s childhood, youth, and his rise to fame out of his early years playing in bands such as the Castiles, Earth, and Child to his most recent concerts in support of his Wrecking Ball album. Carlin energetically drives through the streets of Asbury Park, the bars and arenas around the world where Springsteen continues to work his magic. Carlin gives Springsteen the definitive treatment, and this is by far the best of the many books about the rock and roller, capturing his many moods, his desire to retain his privacy, but his secret craving for superstardom, and, above all, his consummate musicianship and his deep passion for pleasing audiences with rollicking, energetic shows. (Nov.)

Breaking up is hard to do: Four vignettes about quitting your job

I quit my job.

I’d worked at The Oregonian for more than a decade, first as a TV critic, then a feature writer. I’d worked at People magazine for the 4.5 years before I came back to Portland, so that’s 16 years of non-stop employment, with all the privileges, pains and joys of corporate-style journalism under my belt. Almost all of it was fun and exciting, but then things changed (see also: economic collapse; massive cutbacks; editorial panic; etc.) and despite my love for reporting and telling stories, this feeling in my viscera kept insisting it was time to go.

There’s a whole gut-wrenching-to-me story about my particular circumstances, but I’m going to leave that for now. Instead, some observations on the human story behind daily journalism in the 21st century, and why a fellow who truly does want to do nothing more than collect facts and stories and then tell them to people might feel compelled to abandon that job for a highly abstract future.

1. The diminished horizons of modern daily journalism, with its endless cutbacks, lay-offs, buy-outs and etc. makes for a grim and unhappy working environment. Remember in “Toy Story 3” and the twisted autocratic society created by all those daycare toys, driven mad by years of abuse? That’s your modern newsroom. At least the one I experienced. Any culture governed by fear is inevitably going to be an ugly place, governed less by the common good than by a feedback loop of panic, anger and joylessness. No one is happy. Good people are made to do things you know they can barely stomach, let alone feel proud of.

2. Breaking up is hard to do. I’ve never really had a spectacular, bitter romantic break-up, but now I’m in the midst of one at my now-ex-office. I loved working for my boss for all this time, but now we’re yelling at each other over email because both of us (definitely me, I’m guessing him too) feel double-crossed and unappreciated. This has never happened to me. When I left People in ’00 they were very nice about counter-offering a promotion, etc., but my family wanted to move back west so that was that, and no hard feelings. We had a really nice party in the conference room and it was all smiles and congratulations.

3. What it came down to, ultimately, is simple: One part of my career was moving quickly in a good direction; the other was sliding just as quickly the other way. Given the choice of working with people who are hugely supportive of what I’m trying to do, and another group that lost their patience with me a few years back…well, what would you do?

4. Did I make mistakes at the newspaper? Of course. Did I contribute to the bad vibes? Indeed I did. Did I just slit my own economic throat? Quite possibly. But screw it. I’m going to take this other path for a stretch. I’m going all-in on the Bruce Springsteen biography I’m currently writing, and then charge after whatever looms on the other side. At some point you either have faith in yourself or you don’t. And while I know full well that my auto-adoration may be a symptom of some psychiatric misfunction, it’s too late to stop now.

Publisher's Weekly, Jan 4, 2010

First blog topic of the year, to start in a day or two: Guilty pleasures of the past reconsidered: The secret joys of Chicago, Steve Miller and the Doobie Brothers, and more,

But first, a message from our sponsor, as per Publisher’s Weekly:

S&S Gets the Jersey Boy

Zach Schisgal, at Simon & Schuster’s Touchstone/Fireside imprint, nabbed North American rights to a Bruce Springsteen bio by rock biographer Peter Ames Carlin, who’s written about such heavies as Paul McCartney (Paul McCartney: A Life) and Brian Wilson (Catch a Wave). Simon Lipskar at Writers House brokered the deal and the book, per S&S, will trace Springsteen’s life from his working-class roots in Freehold, N.J., through his life as a superstar and cultural icon.

A Review Of PMAL Reviews

Hey – the reviews are coming in…. here’s a sampling!

THE ONION-AV CLUB: (12/2/09) “A fleet, engrossing read.”

SONIC BOOMERS (11/30/09) “Strikingly good writing…Carlin doesn’t just get the facts and arrange them into a compelling narrative; he’s a good rock critic.”

BOSTON GLOBE: (11/27/09): “Cast(s) the ‘cute one’ in a more complete light from Beatles to legend.”

BOOKPAGE: (Nov 2009): “A page-turner….be prepared to be convinced.”

THE SUN (UK): 11/20/09: “This well-researched biography offers additional insights…definitely worth a read.”

PROVIDENCE JOURNAL-BULLETIN: (11/15/09): “A treasure trove of new reporting.”

PEOPLE (11/9/09): “Illuminates the complex man behind the myth.”

NY POST (11/08/09): “A must for Beatles completists.”

THE OREGONIAN (11/7/09): “A fitting complement to the current resurgence of Beatlemania — a literary remastering of a familiar tale, one that grants its subject a new dynamic range, long muddled and long deserved.”

KIRKUS REVIEWS: (8/09) “Carlin’s balanced portrayal of all the Beatles’ strengths and flaws is commendable. . . an excellent pop culture biography.”