A groundbreaking and irresistible biography of three of America’s most important musical artists—Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon—charts their lives as women at a magical moment in time.
Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon remain among the most enduring and important women in popular music. Each woman is distinct. Carole King is the product of outer-borough, middle-class New York City; Joni Mitchell is a granddaughter of Canadian farmers; and Carly Simon is a child of the Manhattan intellectual upper crust. They collectively represent, in their lives and their songs, a great swath of American girls who came of age in the late 1960s. Their stories trace the arc of the now mythic sixties generation—female version—but in a bracingly specific and deeply recalled way, far from cliché. The history of the women of that generation has never been written—until now, through their resonant lives and emblematic songs.
Filled with the voices of many dozens of these women's intimates, who are speaking in these pages for the first time, this alternating biography reads like a novel—except it’s all true, and the heroines are famous and beloved. Sheila Weller captures the character of each woman and gives a balanced portrayal enriched by a wealth of new information.
Girls Like Us is an epic treatment of midcentury women who dared to break tradition and become what none had been before them—confessors in song, rock superstars, and adventurers of heart and soul.
The epic story of three generational icons, this triple biography from author and Glamour senior editor Weller (Dancing at Ciro's) examines the careers of singer-songwriters Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon, whose success reflected, enervated and shaped the feminist movement that grew up with them. After short sketches of their early years, Weller begins in earnest with the 1960s, switching off among the women as their public lives begin. A time of extremes, the '60s found folk music and feminist cultures just beginning to define themselves, while the buttoned-down mainstream was still treating unwed pregnant women, in Mitchell's terms, "like you murdered somebody" (thus the big, traditional wedding thrown for King, pregnant by songwriting partner Gerry Goffin, in 1959). Pioneering success in the music business led inevitably to similar roles in women's movement, but Weller doesn't overlook the content of their songs and the effect they have on a generation of women facing "a lot more choice," but with no one to guide them. Taking readers in-depth through the late '80s, Weller brings the story up to date with a short but satisfying roundup. A must-read for any fan of these artists, this bio will prove an absorbing, eye-opening tour of rock (and American) history for anyone who's appreciated a female musician in the past thirty years. B&w photos.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Healing/made me whole
Wonderfully intimate portraits of these women who not only provided the soundtrack of my teenage years, but also influenced my life profoundly. This book is full of astonishing stories which filled in blanks I didn't know I had. It also gives me an eye opening picture of that era in history, much of which I'd been oblivious to or, I now realize, from which our parents protected us, allowing us childhood free from some of the fears regarding what was happening in the wider world. PS the book catalyzed me to read Memoirs by Carole King & Carly Simon, helping to fill in, round out much of my past I hadn't realized was piecemeal & fragmented before. Much gratitude!
I scarfed this very fascinating triple bio. SO disapointed that no pics were included in this iBook version. WHY?!?!
I couldn't put this book down. Geinously weaves the biographies of four of my favorite singer songwriters. (James Taylor is in so many of the chapters I had to count him as well.)