Reviews

“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

“Whether you realize it or not, over the past 60 years, rock ’n’ roll has shaped your world, your culture and even your way of thinking and being. Musical genius, and recipient of the Musician’s Hall of Fame “Road Warrior Award,” Jimmy Ryan was an ever-present, integral and dynamic part of that scene all along the way. With the light-hearted, approachable style of a best friend, Jimmy offers us a “seat” next to him in the studio, concert hall, back stage, 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. He also offers priceless wisdom and simple sage-like advice to would-be musicians and stars. Highly entertaining, intimate and deeply fascinating, BEHIND: Autobiography of a Musical Shapeshifter features photos and foibles of the fun and famous; friends and folks like Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, Jim Croce and Paul Simon, to name but a few. If you are a fan of rock and pop music, or even the psychology of life and the story of humanity, you will want this book for your coffee shop or fireside reading. What an incredible and timely gift to the world!  Thank you, Jimmy Ryan!” – Brett Wilson—M Music & Musicians magazine

GREAT READ! THE AUTHOR PROVIDES A VERATIBLE ROADMAP TO SUCCESS.  “Great read. Rarely in this current world of hype does a person get to see the people behind their famous personas. Jimmy Ryan is one of the few exceptional musicians who can elevate a session to the point where the music sounds like a hit. People like him not only have incredible musical skills but their very presence at a session or live shows provide the confidence needed for the performance to supersede expectations. The incredible combination of people and musical skills is what makes him invaluable to the stars. Through the author’s lens, we get to see Carly Simon, George Harrison, Billy Joel, and countless other household names as real people. The author does it with compassion, empathy, and humanity that is engaging and compelling. What is revealed through the narrative is not only stories about the multitude of gifted stars Mr. Ryan has worked with, but it illuminates the hard work, discipline, humility, and talent of the author himself. People who succeed at the level Jimmy Ryan has don’t get there by accident. This book is a nod not only to the stars but the brilliantly gifted people that assist them in realizing the exceptional work that they create. Behind is a must-read for anyone considering a career in a creative field because the author provides a veritable roadmap to success.” – B. Goodman

THIS BOOK IS A TRUE INSPIRATION!  “It is obvious, from the people who Jimmy Ryan played music with and for, that he is master musician. And now, with the publication of Behind, he will be known as a master storyteller as well. His tales of stars like Carly Simon, Harry Chapin, Paul and Linda McCartney, the Beach Boys, Sly and the Family Stone, Cat Stevens, and many more are all fascinating glimpses into the “behind the scenes” world of popular music. But this is not a gossipy volume. In fact, the real story is Jimmy Ryan’s. He documents his life in music in an intimate, honest, open way. His hits and misses, his highs and his lows, all add up to a fascinating and eye-opening look into what it means to follow one’s passion. The book is a real inspiration. I read Behind straight through in two sittings. This musician knows how to write!”Arthur Kurzweil

WOW…WHO KNEW!  “This well written and organized compilation of Jimmy Ryan’s life in the spotlight’s shadow demonstrates what talent and a true love of music means. Humble beginnings, hard work, mining the best relationships, knowing when to step in and just as importantly, step aside, this is a life story of perseverance. The detail and recollections of dates, names and venues are extraordinary helping the reader join the author on a ride few have experienced. Anyone who is involved with music, especially writing and performing, will love this book. And those who are music fans will have eyes opened to the astonishing world behind the spotlight.” – B. Podstawski

TALES OF A HITMAKER  “Buy this book, sit or lay back, and enjoy it! I thoroughly did. You will laugh, and you will cry and you will not want it to finish!! Jimmy Ryan has a special gift as a writer and has a fantastic tale to tell. Surely one of the most hard-working guitarists in the business, Jimmy has seen it all in a six-decade career, and quite prepared to tell it all in such a heartwarming and hilarious way. From the opening few pages describing his very own “bad boy” episode with the New York police, you won’t want to put this book down. It’s a light-hearted roller coaster ride that takes you behind the scenes at recording studios, concert halls and hotel rooms to reveal some very candid and eye-opening glimpses of the star-studded world he has had the privilege and pleasure to have been a part of. But aside from all the backstage revelations, this is also the story of a remarkable journey of a young boy with a dream who, through sheer hard work and determination, with a little bit of Irish luck thrown in, to become one of those many anonymous heroes who all too often are overlooked and do not get the credit they deserve. Jimmy has played on some of the greatest recordings of all time and well-deserves the title of Hitmaker. Thanks to him, and hundreds of unsung musicians like him, we can now listen to those songs that make up the soundtrack to our lives and appreciate the hitmakers and their musicianship that are simply in a class of their own”Michael Taylor

GREAT READ!  “An honest and quite often humorous look at the ins and outs of one man’s decades-long music career. There are many surprises here. Though you probably don’t know his face, you’ll absolutely know his music. Jimmy’s story takes us from his childhood through his experiences performing with a Who’s Who of top name bands. His teenage hometown band quickly morphed into big success and hit record sales. From there, it’s a wild ride across the US and Europe. His self-deprecating humor and “foot in mouth” situations will put you in stitches. Jimmy’s love and dedication to his craft is inspiring and I guarantee you’ll be thoroughly entertained.”Stephen W. Hipsley

A MUST READ!  “A fantastic journey through the career of one of the greatest guitarists of our era. Jimmy Ryan tells a story that runs as smooth as his stories on stage. Tremendous insights on the stars of yesterday and today. How one man can play with so many different superstars is mind-boggling, but Jimmy did it and continues to do it today. A fantastic read that begs for more. Easily my favorite read this year.” – Mark A. Ketley

A JOYOUS TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE!  “For those who grew up with the music of the 60s and 70s this book not only transports one to a time of youthful exuberance but, unfortunately, ends too soon. It is such a revealing and enjoyable read that you want the experience of getting to know your musical idols and Jimmy to go on forever. Beyond that, Jimmy’s insights into the workings of the music industry and the level of commitment and dedication required to succeed as a musician and performer are fascinating. I found my trip down memory lane was made even more fun with my ability to use modern technology to access any of the songs or performances mentioned in the book.” Alan Costell

UPLIFTING AND EXCITING!  “What a journey! Thank you Jimmy Ryan for taking us with you on the trip of a lifetime– to the source of so many musical memories, beginning with the fabulous Critters’ “Mr Dieingly Sad,” and, “Younger Girl,” which had me hooked from the start. The unexpected but totally sensible outcomes of your auspices beginnings were delivered with grace, humor and insight into your work ethic. “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” gives the reader a sense of how you came to work with stars like Carly Simon and Cat Stevens, and the sometimes sad truth of these encounters takes out any shades of showboating and endears you to us. Your positive attitude exudes from every page, as does your grounded humanity. Bravo on a life well lived, and thank you for sharing it with us! Encore!”John in Malibu, CA