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Best Seat in the House: Drumming in the '70s with Marriott, Frampton, and Humble Pie [Paperback]

Jerry Shirley , Jon Cohan , Tim Cohan
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 1 2011
(Book). Here is a hard rock memoir essentially an authorized bio on the endearing British rock band Humble Pie as told from the drum throne and backstage hallways during the emerging days of the Seventies classic rock era. In 1969, Jerry Shirley was chosen to drum in a new band led by Steve Marriott and Peter Frampton. He had just turned 17. Along with bassist Greg Ridley, and manager Dee Anthony, the Pie started a 6-year journey that stormed the US and defined Arena Rock bigger sound, bigger contracts, and bigger parties. Along the way Jerry meets with future legends that make for a star-studded bio and rare glimpse into the rock music industry. Written in his own voice and with a wicked musician sense of humor, Jerry details the vibrant scene that created the explosive sound of heavy rock. He explains how sessions were conducted by iconic engineers like Glyn Johns and Eddie Kramer, describes his session work with Syd Barrett and George Harrison and tells amusing tales like drum shopping with the Who's Keith Moon. What was it like to perform a sold-out show at Shea Stadium, play for 250,000 in Hyde Park, charter a private jet for tour, record the trend-setting live record at the Fillmore East (that spawned the FM radio staple "I Don't Need No Doctor"), get hyped for the stage by Dee Anthony, and deal with the drugs and excesses of this inhibitive era of rock? This book definitely answers those question as well as "What was it like to meet, play, record, tour, party, and fight with cult hero Steve Marriott?" No other book can cover it like this.

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Best Seat in the House: Drumming in the '70s with Marriott, Frampton, and Humble Pie + Truth...: Rod Stewart, Ron Wood and The Jeff Beck Group
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About the Author

Author: Jerry Shirley (London) was Humble Pie's drummer throughout the group's entire career. From 1969 to 1975, the band had 3 gold records and played hundreds of tour dates. From 1986 to 1999 Shirley fronted a reformed Humble Pie in the US and also worked as a radio DJ in Cleveland, Ohio. Jerry stills plays out and currently performs with the Deborah Bonham Band.Editor: Jon Cohan (Boston) is a drummer, studio drum tech (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dropkick Murphys, Fall Out Boy), author (Zildjian: A History Of The Legendary Cymbal Makers, Star Sets, A Drummer's Almanac), magazine writer (DRUM!, Traps, Rhythm), drum consultant, and recovering drum maker. He writes a daily blog called All Things Loud.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The titles says it all. A "fly-on-the-wall" look at the history of Humble Pie from drummer Jerry Shirley. A great read . . . well written and full of great detail. A glimpse into one of the best pure rock and roll bands to ever come out of Britain.
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5.0 out of 5 stars buy it Nov. 8 2013
Format:Paperback
excellent history of one awesome band....jerry Shirley is one of the most down to earth rockers there is, told with honesty and humour....well done jerry!
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great stories about Humble Pie & Steve Marriott Dec 8 2011
By George Manney - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wonderful stories of the great rock band Humble Pie and the late Steve Marriott! Humble Pie played the Spectrum in Philly a number of times but for me the best was at the Electric Factory in 1970 for their 1st Philly performance. Hats off to Jerry for his witty & candid memories of being on the road with the magical & best white British soul singer, Steve Marriott. Had the pleasure to meet the band backstage at the Spectrum in Philly-1973 via my good friend, Bob Kelly. Steve gave me a red guitar pick with Humble Pie - Steve printed in white... still have that in my collection. Thanks mate!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Puts the "humble" in Humble Pie Jan. 3 2012
By Jet - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was jazzed to read about one of my favorite bands from the 70's and Jerry did not disappoint. He comes across not only as a funny and quick-witted individual, but also as a humble person devoid of all the negative rock-star attributes. He also avoids writing a tawdry tell-all book, as he occasionally hints at some band member activities without going into gory details.

I've always lamented the lack of any full concert footage of the band in their heyday, and in the book we learn that a film crew was scheduled to document them in Japan during the "Eat It" tour, but never showed up! The band and management were so deep into drugs at the time that their reaction was "oh well" and a shrug of the shoulders.

Understandably, a good deal of the book deals with the joy and frustration of dealing with the complex personality of Steve Marriott, although I would have liked to read a bit more about Greg and Clem. I deduct a star from the rating because the photos, while interesting, are barely the size of a postage stamp!
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Road Warrior's of the '70's Nov. 1 2011
By Robert W. Zachary, Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A credible book by someone who's lived it. Jerry Shirley tells it like it is during the boom times of the '70's British invasion of the 1970's--from his unique perspective, Shirley tells a story of becoming a Rock legend at the young age of 16. Jerry tells of his joining a band with Peter Frampton and the often mercurial Steve Marriott--from playing to 250,000 people in Hyde Park to a sold out Shea Stadium and Madison Square Garden. Humble Pie epitomized what has come to be known as Stadium Rock--touring constantly and signing one of the first multi-million dollar record deals. Humble Pie helped write the model for what became the standard party-central routine that defined an era--Humble Pie earned a fortune--they spent a fortune. To quote Jerry Shirley, "We ended up with some brilliant memories of the greatest times of our lives." This is the story of those times--a great read with a lot of insight from someone who experienced what some may call, "The Greatest Age of Rock 'n Roll."
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who knew drummers could write? Sept. 10 2012
By humbled mac - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Thank you Jerry Shirley for sharing your story of Humble Pie! It is a shame that the history of this great band has been off the radar for so long. A fun read, "Best Seat" follows the rise and fall of the hardest rockin' band in show business, and Shirley tells his tale with humor, honesty, and gratitude. Rock on! Also check out epic Pie albums Smokin', Rockin' the Fillmore, and Rockin' the Winterland, and Small Faces: Ultimate Collection. Essential listening.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book.. Oct. 18 2012
By John H. Chaffer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are a drummer or working musician -you need to buy this fantastic book.Jerry nails it...straightforward with no whining-just the real deal....best money you will ever spend -then go out and get all Small faces/Humble Pie you can-the Cds/records are out there..

I love it...
Period.
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