REVIEWS FOR `Music City Babylon, Inside the World of Country Music’
KIRKUS REVIEWS October 15, 1992: A Machiavellian manual on what’s really happening in the Nashville music industry-including the stars stripped of glitz. Here’s a Nashville you’ve never seen. Everyone is smiling and looking good, but all-performers, managers, booking agents, investors-have so many stab marks in the back they look like shark bait. Faragher-who owns his own booking agency and has handled the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Ronnie Milsap, Barbara Mandrell, Randy Travis, Lou Rawls, James Brown, and Fats Domino-explains what really goes down in the deals, both legal and illegal. Just as Mark Eliot (Down Thunder Road, 1991) exposed the mechanics of the rock business’s handling of Bruce Springsteen, here Faragher rips the top, sides, bottom, and doors off the whole double-dealing, byzantine country music business. And he explains the trading pieces-the performers themselves-along the way. The performer Faragher lusted to represent was Jerry Lee Lewis, whom he revered despite Lewis being an “egomaniac, a drug abuser, a heavy drinker…and having been married almost as many times as Henry VIII…” Ricky Skaggs was “the perfect example of an agent’s nightmare,” always whining and refusing to play where alcohol was served and cigarettes were smoked-although he did play for a Marlboro-sponsored concert for twice his usual fee. James Brown-called, according to Faragher, a “Living Legend” by the public but a “Living Nightmare” by those involved with him on a daily basis-insisted on being addressed as “Mr. Brown,” and always put on a dirty white glove before shaking hands. Faragher also devotes a fascinating chapter to the “hustlers of all shapes and sizes” that fill Nashville. Most common among these are the “wallet surgeons” who relieve the life savings of rubes who want to be stars. Straightforward writing, unique anecdotes, and everything you’re not supposed to know about the music biz.
“Most people in Nashville have no idea what’s really going on. His (Faragher’s) style is clear and straightforward” Roberta Bernstein-Literati
“Twisted Logic” Tom Graves-Washington Post
“I laughed my ass off” Daniel Cooper-Nashville Scene
“Faragher’s tale holds a grim and darkly entertaining fascination” Rick Mitchell-Houston Chronicle
“The amateurish writing only underscores the books banality” James Stephenson Society of the Cincinnati Lib. NOTE: As soon as I saw this review, I called Jimmy, but he’d already either resigned or been cashiered. I was going to explain to him that I considered his `negative review’ to be an honor, since he obviously had no business even having an opinion about a subject of which he knew absolutely nothing, and suspected even less.
REVIEWS FOR: `Making it in Country Music, An Insider’s Guide to Launching or Advancing Your Career’
NASHVILLE BANNER September 11, 1996 Scott Faragher raised many an eyebrow with his 1992 memoir `Music City Babylon’, in which he related his experiences as a Nashville booking agent. He has parlayed lessons gleaned from those experiences into a new book, Making It In Country Music. The purpose is to keep newcomers on track, dodging all disasters that await them before-as well as after-they become successful (“It is rare that the really talented leave Nashville in defeat.” he writes). Every chapter contains detailed. clear information on what to do and how to do it-from cutting demos, to utilizing attorneys, to maneuvering with publicists through the seemingly parodoxical system (“You won’t be on the radio until you are famous, and you won’t be famous until you are on the radio.”). The incredible life “on the road” is documented in exciting, sometimes chilling detail. (Faragher has worked with Ronnie Milsap, Johnny Lee, Jerry Lee Lewis, among many, and he discovered-but couldn’t sell-Billy Ray Cyrus). Faragher focuses on how to become a songwriter and/or singer-but he also offers sharp suggestions on how to be an agent, a manager, a publicist, even a disc jockey. Not everything he says will make Music Row happy: (“Outsiders have flocked to Music City to feed off a form of music for which they had nothing but contempt a few years ago.”) but he does think any job in music beats some standard “day job.” No pictures, no index,but the price is right. Buy two copies-one for your shelf, and one to mark up with your pencil and keep in your guitar case.
REVIEWS FOR `Beer Signs for the Collector’
American Breweriana Journal, November-December 2001: If you like beer signs, this one’s for you. Not those rare pre-Pro lithos, or the hard to find signs from long-gone brewers, but the kind you can still find. ABA member Scott Faragher paid $5 for his first Bud sign while a school boy. When other kids played ball after school, Scott visited local beer distributors looking for old signs. That was 5 years and several hundred signs ago. Over the years, he noticed that many of the signs were made by the Thomas A. Schutz Co. of Illinois. His inquisitiveness took him to that company (now HMG Schutz International), and he was able to acquire many photographs of signs from 1950-1975. Scott considers this the Golden Age of beer signs. His book starts there and ends with classy signs that can still be found in neighborhood bars. There are hanging lights, lighted signs, plastic pieces, back bar lights and clocks, all photographed in color. Sign values are given for each of the 450 items shown. Most dealers will say the prices are too low. Collectors will call them realistic. Scott values most mirrors and plastic signs at about $15; pseudo neons average $20. Bud’s hanging Clydesdale Clock is valued at $150. Signs are arranged alphabetically by brand name-Alpen Brau to Zima-with plenty of familiar names in between. Current brands are well represented with signs from Coors, Budweiser, Michelob, Miller, Pabst, and Old Style. You’ll also find Blatz, Cooks, Falstaff, Fehr’s, Hamm’s, Schmidt’s, Stroh, and many smaller regional brands.
COMMENTS ABOUT `The Hammond Organ, An Introduction to the Instrument and the Players Who Made it Famous’
Steve Winwood (Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith): “The Hammond Organ book is an incredibly comprehensive book on the Hammond organ which covers everything one would need to know about this innovative and inspiring instrument. From its history to informed technical details and and accurate accounts of the many artists and recordings that have used the sound of this remarkable and unique sounding instrument, this is an extremely accurate and informative book that will give the enthusiast many pleasurable hours of reading.”
Isaac Tigrett (Founder Hard Rock Cafe, House of Blues): “I’ve always been intrigued and fascinated by the Leslie speaker. Faragher’s book explains its operation and covers all of the important models. Buy this book!”
Rudy Van Gelder: “I’ve spent many happy hours recording the Hammond Organ with many wonderful musicians, and I’m still recording new sessions with the Hammond. This book brings it all back.”
Gregg Rolie (Santana, Journey, Greg Rolie Band): “There is nothing like a Hammond B-3…It’s like driving a Mack Truck while everyone else is driving a Vespa.”
Dr. Lonnie Smith: “You’ve done a great job. I really enjoyed this. It’s been a long time overdue.”
Melvin Rhyne (Wes Montgomery Trio, Melvin Rhyne Trio): “Finally somebody got down to what the Hammond Organ is really all about, and this book is it.”
Dennis Capiga (Former Executive Vice President, Hammond-Suzuki): “Scott Faragher really tells the story of the King of Instruments. Mr. Hammond would be proud.”
Brian Auger (Steam Packet, Oblivion Express): “This book has so obviously been a labour of love, and is the most comprehensive history of the Hammond Organ I have ever seen. The wealth of information about the different models of the Hammond, and in particular, the researching of all the artists who have had careers using the Hammond must have been a work stretching over several years. I take my hat off to Scott Faragher for making us aware of the amazing spectrum of influence that the Hammond has stamped on all types of music worldwide since its design in the late thirties by Laurens Hammond. In my tours across the world, I am seeing more and more interest by young musicians in this magnificent instrument, and with this book Scott Faragher has provided them, and us older players, with an important book of reference to the instrument itself, and the musicians of all styles who have developed their careers playing it.”
Goldy McJohn (Steppenwolf): “The book is absolutely brilliant and I’m happy to have been asked to be a part of it.”
Al Kooper (Blood, Sweat & Tears, Blues Project): “This book you have in your hands is filled with keyboard maniacs like myself who are members of the Hammond Fraternity. You, obviously, are also a member, or reading this book constitutes your `pledging the frat…’ Either way, its an amazing read, and how can you pass it up if you’re married to a B-3, or merely engaged to one?”
Tom Tuson (Former director of marketing Hammond-Suzuki, USA, and president and co-founder of Diversi Musical Instruments): “I just received the pre release copy of your book and dove right into it. What I’ve read so far is very enjoyable and has a great deal of good information about the Hammond Organ. You are to be complimented on recognizing that the Hammond Organ is not just a Rockers or Jazz/Blues organ and that the Hammond tone wheel organ was and is really a unique part of music history. Pipe organs may have been the `King of Instruments,’ however, the Hammond tone wheel organ made its way into so many more areas of musical life that it really deserves the attention and acknowledgment that you have given it. I also find your homage to the many players of all styles of music fantastic. I don’t think there is a modern electronic musical instrument that has such diverse musical styles applied to it., let alone that it created a whole new style of music or form. From classical to pop to church to rock to gospel to jazz to blues and anything else musically, only that unique sound of the tone wheel Hammond Organ can do it all. Anyone that says they play the Hammond Organ should take the time to read your book so they can `know’ the rich history of their instrument.”
Joe Fields (HighNote Records): “The most complete book I’ve ever seen on the Hammond Organ and the musicians who play it. A must have for organ buffs.”
Marc Myers (JazzWax.com, Wall Street Journal ): “Scott Faragher pulls out all the stops. Everything you’ll ever want to know about the Hammond Organs-and those who put the soulful instruments on the map.”