From the Grammy-nominated singer, drummer, and percussionist who is world renowned for her contributions throughout the music industry, a moving memoir about the healing power of music and spiritual growth inspired by five decades of life and love on the stage.
She was born Sheila Escovedo in 1957, but the world knows her as Sheila E. She first picked up the drumsticks and started making music at the precocious age of three, taught by her legendary father, percussionist Pete Escovedo. As the goddaughter of Tito Puente, music was the heartbeat of her family, and despite Sheila's impoverished childhood in Oakland, California, her family stayed strong, inspired by the music they played nightly in their living room. When she was only five, Sheila delivered her first solo performance to a live audience. By nineteen, she had fallen in love with Carlos Santana. By twenty-one, she met Prince at one of her concerts. Sheila E. and Prince would eventually join forces and collaborate for more than two decades, creating hits that catapulted Sheila to her own pop superstardom.
The Beat of My Own Drum is both a walk through four decades of Latin and pop music—from her tours with Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie, Prince, and Ringo Starr to her own solo career. At the same time, it’s also a heartbreaking, ultimately redemptive look at how the sanctity of music can save a person’s life. Having repeatedly endured sexual abuse as a child, Sheila credits her parents, music, and God with giving her the will to carry on and to build a lasting legacy.
Rich in musical detail, pop, and Latin music history, this is a fascinating walk through some of the biggest moments in music from the ’70s and ’80s. But as Sheila’s personal story, this memoir is a unique glimpse into a world-famous drummer’s singular life—a treat for both new and longtime fans of Sheila E. And above all, The Beat of My Own Drum is a testament to how the positive power of music has fueled Sheila’s heart and soul—and how it can transform your life as well.
In this extraordinary story of talent and drive overcoming the damages of early childhood sexual abuse, Sheila E., n e Escovedo, has produced a standout celebrity memoir. Drawn to drumming from a young age as the daughter of famed percussionist Pete Escovedo, she discovers the full extent of her passion while performing for the first time with her father in West Oakland, Calif. At six years old, the victim of rape by a baby-sitter, Escovedo finds solace in performing music. "I didn't realize it at the time, but letting me play with Pops and his Escovedo Brothers Latin Jazz Sextet must have been some kind of reward," she writes of her family's guilty silence over the assault she initially tried to conceal. In a tone free of self-pity, Escovedo finds that telling her story frees her of the shame she had been carrying around since she was a girl. The darker material is well-balanced with engaging anecdotes about performing Marvin Gaye's final tour, her romantic involvement and professional collaboration with Prince, and the much-left-unsaid story of her niece, Nikki better known to the world as Nicole Ritchie. Escovedo goes well beyond name-dropping and doesn't spare herself; in describing her relationship with Carlos Santana, she recalls finding out that he was married and that she was a mistress. A scene of her encountering his family members and realizing the gravity of the role she played in the destruction of a marriage is among the book's most raw, compelling moments. In what is ultimately an inspiring story of survival over adversity and fulfilling her potential as an artist, Escovedo's disarming honesty, humble nature, and levelheaded sweetness are the memoir's steady beat.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Truly an amazing person!
I grew up in the 80's listening to Sheila E and I thought she was always so beautiful and talented. After reading her life story I can only admire someone who stayed strong and was able to defy the odds and become very successful. She is truly beautiful inside and out. Definitely a good read.
Proud of Sheila
A great artist, a great soul. A very uplifting and insightful memoir.
DEF a Page Turner (or iPad flipper LOL)
Downloaded at midnight based on early press of the book. I can't wait to read more. This is an EPIC addition to the legacy of Sheila E. Who knew she was in love with Carlos Santana at 19? This is gonna be juicy!