Howling at the Moon: The Odyssey of a Monstrous Music Mogul in an Age of Excess
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Howling at the Moon: The Odyssey of a Monstrous Music Mogul in an Age of Excess

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  156 ratings  ·  12 reviews

he music industry’s most outspoken, outrageous, and phenomenally successful executive delivers a rollicking memoir of pop music’s heyday.

During the 1970s and '80s the music business was dominated by a few major labels and artists such as Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Barbra Streisand and James Taylor. They were a

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 2nd 2004 by Broadway (first published January 1st 2004)
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Howling good read. The story of a nice Jewish boy who grew up into a raging power-addicted "milk" monster, was called "Good Father" by Michael Jackson, was bested in an flash economics quiz by Mick Jagger, played a great practical joke with a bagel, and refused to bathe a festering wound for fear of "arm clap."
Rock fans need beach reading, too.
Matt Ringler
If you've read anything about the music industry from the 70's-90's, you've no doubt had Walter Yetnikoff's name come up. But to hear these legendary tales told straight from the source puts a whole other spin on them. Major industry shifts and huge decisions were made heavily under the influence of drugs and alcohol, spite, revenge, and just because he could. The author playfully speaks of these times as if they are the everyday occurrences we all encounter. His fall from the top was mighty and...more
Tom Elliott
Velvel has a certain bombastic charm, and the behind the scenes music biz anecdotes make this worth reading. In the end, though, it's just a prolonged sobriety story from a guy who is self-important even in his humility. The account of his growing up is an interesting snapshot of 1940's Brooklyn, but as he moves into the years of moguldom, the narrative loses focus and only really regains it at the end when he shares his sobriety message. But I guess that in itself is a reflection of his life.
I loved this book. It's a laugh out loud romp of a read of a subversive child, grown up. It also is that rare memoir by a person who actually has power and control over lots of things, (rather than by a person who was a victim) and remains likable. If you like music and insider music industry gossip (eighties and nineties) you will like this a lot. It reminded me of "You'll never eat lunch in this town again" only with music rather than film.
Mar 20, 2010 Andrew added it
The opening chapter of this book reminds me of the paranoid sequence where the feds take down Henry Hill in GOODFELLAS. Yetnikoff is a crazy egomaniac with a pretty amazing rise/fall story. I devoured this in about a day and a half.
Filled with crass humor and a reference on every page to either a Jap, a Jew, or a skirt. Occasionally he throws in a story about Michael Jackson that makes Michael seem, if you can believe it, even creepier.
Sergio GRANDE films
The Don Simpson of the music business. One of those original assholes who gave the human race a bad name, Yetnikoff on drugs was just a monster. And he was on drugs almost full-time.

This book is equivalent to the hair of the dog the morning after when you're still technically drunk
Wow! What a life. Sad but wonderful all at the same time. This was a much better read than the Clive Davis book.
Heather Rudulph
Easy, fun read; good rock 'n' roll dish from one of the industry's top enablers.
Bob Frank
wish it was longer with all the stuff the lawyers told him to take out included
Rick Cummings
Rick Cummings marked it as to-read
Jun 22, 2014
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Clint Valladares
Clint Valladares marked it as to-read
Mar 31, 2014
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Feb 09, 2014
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