Jimmy Ryan’s first book, Behind – Autobiography of a Musical Shapeshifter, 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 sixty years in the upper echelons of the music business.
THE PERFORMANCE and READING
In this unusual, lively and entertaining presentation, Jimmy will demonstrate the methods and mindset of creating hit records, with a live performance and step-by-step breakdown of several popular hits and what musicians like himself contribute to try and make them timeless treasures. Finally, he will do a live reading of select chapters from his book, and conclude with questions from the audience.
“With the light-hearted, approachable style of a best friend, Jimmy offers us a “seat” next to him in the studio, concert hall, backstage, hotel room, tour bus and plane — and invites us to join him on a whirlwind adventure few have ever lived and earned the right to tell. Highly entertaining, intimate and deeply fascinating!”
– Brett Wilson, M Music & Musicians Magazine
“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
“Guitarist Jimmy Ryan, who we first heard with The Critters in the 1960s, shares his behind-the-scenes stories in Behind, a well-written, informative and humorous reflection on the past six decades of being in the music spotlight. Ryan takes the reader to worldwide auditions, rehearsals, recording studios, and stages with a great variety of the biggest stars of our lifetime.”
– Warren Kurtz, Goldmine Magazine
BOOK READING AND PERFORMANCE REVIEWS
“Jimmy’s book presentation was a two-in-one gift of entertainment and enrichment. The excerpts he read were pure fun and I learned a lot about how music is created from his masterful demonstrations.I can honestly say that I actually hear so much more when I listen to my favorite music.”
– P. Hirshhorn.
“A very unusual book presentation. To musically go through songs and show how their recordings were created by studio musicians was fascinating and a real eye opener. Then when the reading from the book followed, I felt I knew so much more about the author, making the reading that much more engaging!”
– E. Fossum
“We rarely see inside the recording studio as great music is composed, developed, nurtured, and produced. We hear the song, love it, love the artist, and remain ignorant about the talented studio musicians behind the artist. This is Jimmy Ryan’s unique insight described in his book, Behind: Autobiography of a Musical Shapeshifter. The book is a wonderful read, exploring the creative process and the studio energy that is crucial to producing a great song and a successful record. Jimmy’s in-person presentation is even more rewarding for he elaborates further on the music he helped create, such as “You’re So Vain”, one of Carly Simon’s greatest hits. Jimmy performs live on his guitar, describing in detail the evolution of a handful of well-known songs, so that the audience gains a deeper understanding of the creative discipline and multiple iterations it takes before a song is ready for release. Jimmy’s discussion, accented by his performance on the guitar, brings fun and great clarity and appreciation to the music itself that only a live presentation from someone who has `been there’ can provide.”
– Bruce Leslie
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