Psychedelic Bubble Gum: Boyce & Hart, The Monkees, and Turning Mayhem into Miracles - Bobby Hart, Micky Dolenz, Glenn Ballantyne

Ask me if I prefer authorized works/memoirs to unauthorized, and I'll hesitate. When I pick up a non-fiction book I hope to learn as much as possible about the subject, and when a public figure writes an autobiography you get what that person is comfortable revealing. When it comes to musicians, some are franker than others, and often those are the most fun to read. Going into Psychedelic Bubble Gum (AMZ / BN / KOBO / ITUNES), the most I knew about Bobby Hart involved the songs he wrote for The Monkees and the few hits he enjoyed with his partner, Tommy Boyce...that and they composed the Days of Our Lives theme. If you read this, you'll find Boyce and Hart (and Hart on his own and with other partners) claim a prolific legacy in popular music. Hart has gold and platinum records, an Oscar nomination, and other accolades to his credit, and an interesting story to tell.

However, all through Bubble Gum I got the impression Hart kept up his guard. Indeed, he ends the book on an upbeat note, focusing on the blessings rather than the hardships. The epilogue in which he talks about Boyce's death is very brief, though he seems to seed hints that foreshadow the tragic end of his writing partner throughout the book (see the frequent mentions of a particular song made popular by The Monkees). Speaking of the Pre-fab Four, Hart's memories of the group comprise a smaller percentage of the book than I expected. The mid-70s "reunion" tour of Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart aside, there isn't much new information to learn there. Doesn't mean it's not interesting - one can sense Hart's exasperation with having to work with four unpredictable personalities - but I found myself more drawn to Hart's earlier history in music.

Like I said before, though, Bubble Gum lives up to its name in that it focuses more on the positive. Hart's spiritual journey takes up the latter third of the book, and while it's interesting to read how various forces came to influence him that wasn't the story I hoped to read. You won't find much in the way of salacious gossip here, and in some places Hart downplays a liaison or two. I respect that Hart likes to keep things positive, but it's not conducive to a well-rounded story.

Still, if you enjoyed the 60s pop era, and if you aspire to write music, you will find anecdotes here to enjoy.

Source: http://booksthatrockus.blogspot.com/2015/07/psychedelic-bubble-gum-boyce-hart.html