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Shaq's Third Autobiography
Where he reveals he's pretty much the best at everything
DAILY Sports  November 29, 2011, by Will Schmidt
"...Autobiographies by professional athletes are often known for their motivation, their inspiration, and for their humility in what it takes to be the best. But of course, this is Shaquille O'Neal, and with his mighty pen comes an autobiography of a different breed...."

'Celebrity Autobiography'
The twaddle peddled by celebs in memoirs is even funnier when read aloud
Arts Story  November 5, 2010, by Robert Faires
"...Granted, celebrities are prone to saying idiotic things, and we have no shortage of cultural outlets where their inanities can be loaded uploaded up for public consumption. Still, there's something special about celebrity twaddle from an autobiography; the pretension toward the literary – hey, it's in a book! – and the seal of authorization – it's the official life story, as the celeb presumably wants it told – ramp up the level of self-importance and make any howlers five times as ludicrous and hilarious..."

Willie Nelson’s Autobiography at Gruene Hall
Thirty tunes in 90 minutes details a epic Lone Star life
DAILY Music  November 18, 2013, by Raoul Hernandez
"...Sunday night, under a full moon in New Braunfels at “Texas’ Oldest Dance Hall,” Gruene Hall, Willie Nelson & Family ran through the litany of misadventures in “Me and Paul.” Backbone beat and song subject Paul English behind him, Austin’s oldest country outlaw proved he never has to pen another book. His songs are all the autobiography needed...."

Crafting the Autobiography of Another Man
AFS Documentary Tour: The Windmill Movie
Screens Story  September 11, 2009, by Anne S. Lewis
"...In his footage, and through everyone's stories, I came to know him – or at least create a vision of him – as a man. So in the end, the film is exactly the film I wanted to make – an imagined autobiography...."

Autobiography of the Other Woman
The real-life affair of a director and his star inspires On the Beach at Night Alone
Screens Story  January 25, 2018, by Jenny Nulf


Maddin Comes Alive
'Cowards Bend the Knee': the autobiography of an original in all senses
Screens Story  October 1, 2004, by Marc Savlov
"...I worked with them and we agreed that I would do a series of 10 peepholes in the wall behind which would be these little films. I'd been sort of a naughty little boy and had spent many years drilling holes in walls and staring at people, so I thought I would return the favor and balance the books a little bit by filming my autobiography (or at least its most lurid moments) and letting people peep back in at me...."

JLG by JLG
The JLG of the title is film great Jean-Luc Godard (and if you have no idea who Jean-Luc Godard is or what makes him one of the greats, that's probably...
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Film Review  June 16, 1995, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...And so is Godard; he seems to welcome this humorous self-deprecation as his salvation. My personal reaction to JLG by JLG is almost as intriguing to me as the movie itself because it seems to be telling me as much about my own autobiography as the director's..."

Trumpet Colossus Kenny Dorham Towers Alongside the Jazz Gods
The Austin musician stands alone in showing up Miles Davis in his autobiography
Music Story  September 13, 2018, by Kahron Spearman
"...In Miles Davis' autobiography, one of the mightiest forces in music, let alone jazz, recounts a 1956 winter date at Cafe Bohemia, a onetime Greenwich Village staple. The trumpeter hadn't yet banished saxophonist John Coltrane and all-time drummer Philly Joe Jones from his short-lived "first great quintet" despite both addicts having become liabilities..."

10 Minutes with Stephen Stills
CSN bandleader stops in for a lesson on the blues
DAILY Music  July 23, 2015, by Jim Caligiuri
"...Texas-born Stephen Stills talked about his unfinished autobiography, teaming up with guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg in the Rides, and his love of the blues, all while throwing the occasional barb in the direction of his bandmates of almost 50 years, David Crosby and Graham Nash. Stills performs tonight at the Paramount Theater...."

Tale of the Lion Tamer
Former WWE wrestler Chris Jericho's autobiography, released today, talks about the art that makes choreographed entertainment out of a sport.
DAILY Sports  October 25, 2007, by Richard Whittaker
"...Pro-wrestler Chris Jericho must have a bucket of hyphens somewhere, since he seems to be setting new records for the term "wrestler-turned-". Since his "retirement" from the WWE, he's recorded successful heavy metal albums, gained a good rep as an improv comedian with LA's the Groundlings, become a VH-1/E-Network regular talking head, and now finally pumped out an autobiography..."

Beautiful Boy
Steve Carell soars above this overly-earnest addiction biography
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Film Review  October 26, 2018, by Richard Whittaker
"...Which, in many ways, is exactly what true-life addiction drama Beautiful Boy is. Adapted from Rolling Stone writer David Sheff's autobiography of the same name, and his son Nic's parallel work Tweak, it's a well-executed paint-by-numbers story of a family with a troubled teen, with David trying to work out how to derail Nic's fast track to an overdose...."

Backstabbing for Beginners
Diplomacy and corruption mix in true-life drama.
Film Review  May 11, 2018
"...Based on former U.N. staffer Michael Soussan's autobiography, Backstabbing for Beginners: My Crash Course in International Diplomacy...."

It's a Long Story: My Life
Austin outlaw updates his 1988 autobiography
Music Story  May 28, 2015, by Tim Stegall
"...Country music's at-large outlaw already boasts one autobiography, 1988's Willie: An Autobiography, co-written with Texan man of letters Bud Shrake. Two decades later, Joe Nick Patoski's Willie Nelson: An Epic Life put forth a biographical last word on the pride of Abbott..."

Dior and I
This sharp doc is as close as most of us will ever get to fingering the Dior merchandise
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Film Review  May 1, 2015, by Kimberley Jones
"...Onto this fly-on-the-wall portrait of an atelier at work, writer/director Frédéric Tcheng appliqués an ethereal narration drawn from founding designer Christian Dior’s own autobiography, Dior by Dior. (Tcheng employed a voice-from-beyond-the-grave technique less successfully in 2011’s Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, which he co-directed.) The narration is a nifty double-tasker: both contextual aid and artistic statement..."

The Dance of Reality
Cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s first feature in 23 years is a labor of mad, passionate love
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Film Review  June 6, 2014, by Marc Savlov
"...Eschewing the phantasmagorical weirdness of El Topo and considerably less gaudy and blood-spattered than 1989’s utterly unhinged Santa Sangre, The Dance of Reality is based on Jodorowsky’s autobiography, and, in particular, his wild childhood. You could even go so far as to call it something of a family film, but then, really, what Jodorowsky film isn’t?..."

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Idris Elba is spellbinding in this biopic that reveres the man but slights the movement.
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Film Review  December 20, 2013, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...The film draws from Mandela’s autobiography; but 95 years is an awful lot of life to cover, even in a movie that’s 139 minutes long. Much of the story of the movement against apartheid, the African National Congress, and Mandela’s 27 years in prison is gravely condensed, as perhaps it needs to be..."

The Art of Getting By
As coming-of-age dramas go, this one is flaccid and endlessly irksome.

Film Review  June 17, 2011, by Kimberley Jones
"...The Art of Getting By premiered at Sundance in January as Homework, a title that more accurately reflects the arduousness of sitting still through this flaccid, endlessly irksome coming-of-age drama. First-time writer/director Wiesen has called the film "personal," which reads to me like code for "autobiography about how that hot girl in high school wouldn't give me the time of day, probably because I was a cookie-cutter rebel with a battered copy of The Stranger and nothing remotely distinctive to say." But that's pure speculation..."

Mao's Last Dancer
In this film based on a true story, a Chinese ballet dancer defects to the U.S. when he falls in love with a Houston dancer while on tour.
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Film Review  September 3, 2010, by Marc Savlov
"...Embraced and accepted upon delivery by Houston Ballet Artistic Director Ben Stevenson (Greenwood, wisely pirouetting over what could have been borderline ballet-master satire), Li faces the usual social stumbling blocks (he confuses the word "muffin" for cow patty, among other vaguely silly social blunders) but comes through in the end. Based as it is on Li's autobiography, the end is never in doubt, although Beresford and company wring the utmost suspense from a sequence in which associates of the Chinese consulate in Houston attempt to kidnap Li in a doomed effort to force his return home..."

The Informant!
Soderbergh's corporate whistleblower comedy is tuned in the key of Richard Lester.
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Film Review  September 18, 2009, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Although The Informant!’s screenplay (by Scott Z. Burns) is based on the identically titled autobiography of the real-life whistle-blower Kurt Eichenwald, the movie’s addition of an exclamation point to its title is revealing..."

Fuel
Fuel is a two-hour infomercial for biodiesel and the virtues of other alternative energy sources that won the Audience Award for a documentary at Sundance.
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Film Review  November 21, 2008, by Josh Rosenblatt
"...He’s an alternative-energy zealot who once drove cross-country in a car powered only by fast-food cooking oil and then wrote a bestselling book about it called From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank: The Complete Guide to Using Vegetable Oil as an Alternative Fuel. So from the first scene of his film, we know he’s happily in the tank for alternative fuels, singing the praises of Mother Nature and American populism and wondering out loud things like, “Is our government for sale?” (That he has to ask such a question is probably indication enough of what kind of big-hearted but perhaps softheaded hero Tickell is.) Taking his cues from Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) but lacking their verve and moviemaking instincts, Tickell has put together a good-intentioned but dull mishmash that’s part autobiography, part first-person travelogue, part history and ecology lesson, and part shamelessly inspirational call to action..."

Persepolis
This remarkable animated film tells a contemporary story about an Iranian girl’s coming-of-age while navigating the usual pitfalls of adolescence and the Islamic revolution of the Eighties.
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Film Review  February 1, 2008, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Directed by: Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud. Persepolis is at once a confessional autobiography, historical re-enactment, graphic art object, and deeply involving contemporary story about a girl’s coming-of-age while circumventing not only the usual pitfalls of adolescence but also the enforced repression brought on by Iran’s Islamic revolution of the Eighties..."

The Hoax
Playing the con artist Clifford Irving, who notoriously forged the autobiography of Howard Hughes, Richard Gere has one of the best roles of his career.
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Film Review  April 6, 2007, by Josh Rosenblatt
"...Was there ever a guy whose life was more tailor-made for the movies? The Hoax begins with Irving (Gere) in 1970, despondent after a series of critical and commercial failures has left his career in a ditch. He’s desperate for recognition, so he sells his skeptical editor (Davis) on the idea that he’s sitting on “the most important book of the 20th century”: an authorized, tell-all autobiography of famed billionaire and aviator Howard Hughes..."

The Kid Stays in the Picture
Say what you will about infamous Hollywood producer/shark Robert Evans: He makes terrific copy. His autobiography, upon which this film is based, was a tell-all, read-all maelstrom of back-stabbing, drug-taking,...
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Film Review  August 16, 2002, by Marc Savlov
"...Say what you will about infamous Hollywood producer/shark Robert Evans: He makes terrific copy. His autobiography, upon which this film is based, was a tell-all, read-all maelstrom of back-stabbing, drug-taking, filmmaking debauchery..."

The Loss of Sexual Innocence
I've just seen one of the purest examples of unmitigated artistic self-indulgence since the Seventies heyday of Ken Russell. So why am I feeling humbled? Probably because, for all this...
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Film Review  July 16, 1999, by Russell Smith
"...However, this film's visionary richness, tireless cinematic invention, and power to stir the emotions most certainly do. Reputedly a sexual autobiography of sorts, The Loss of Sexual Innocence tells an episodic story of a character named Nic at various stages of his life..."

Infinity
Matthew Broderick's directing debut may seem an unlikely choice -- it's a chapter from the early years of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman's autobiography -- but then Broderick has always...
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Film Review  October 4, 1996, by Marc Savlov
"...Starring: Matthew Broderick, Patricia Arquette, Peter Riegert, Dori Brenner, James Legros and Peter Michael Goetz. Matthew Broderick's directing debut may seem an unlikely choice -- it's a chapter from the early years of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman's autobiography -- but then Broderick has always struck me as a fairly cerebral kind of guy..."

From the Journals of Jean Seberg
French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard supposedly described film history as a history of boys photographing girls. For American actress Jean Seberg -- herself one of the girls photographed by...
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Film Review  June 21, 1996, by Alison Macor
"...For American actress Jean Seberg -- herself one of the girls photographed by boys like Godard in his film Breathless -- this history proved fatal, resulting in a career that had more stops than starts and a sense of self ground to nothingness by the time of her death, an apparent suicide, in 1979 at the age of 40. Fashioning a fictional autobiography from Seberg's career highs and lows, director Mark Rappaport (Exterior Night, Rock Hudson's Home Movies) engages actress Mary Beth Hurt (Light Sleeper, Interiors) to play an older, cynical Seberg who examines her career and personal life within the political and social context of the 1960s and 1970s..."

The Slingshot
Ten-year-old Roland Schutt (Salen) has more than his share of troubles growing up in 1920s Stockholm. His father's a socialist and his mother's a Jew and young Roland wonders what...
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Film Review  August 19, 1994, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Roland's lightest moments come when he steals condoms from the store to create toys -- “balloons with knobs” and condom slingshots -- he can sell to the neighborhood children for cash. The movie is based on the autobiography of Roland Schutt, who grew up to become a Swedish inventor..."

The Wonderful Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl
At three hours and one minute, this (along with Leni Riefenstahl's recently released autobiography) has got to be the final, exhaustive say on the life of the most important and...
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Film Review  June 10, 1994, by Marc Savlov
"...Starring: Eric Stoltz, Mary-Louise Parker, Jill Clayburgh, Tony Curtis, Timothy Dalton, Ralph Macchio, Lynne Thigpen, Kathleen Turner, Whoopi Goldberg, Roscoe Lee Browne, Griffin Dunne and David Johansen. At three hours and one minute, this (along with Leni Riefenstahl's recently released autobiography) has got to be the final, exhaustive say on the life of the most important and controversial female documentarian/filmmaker of all time..."

Stepping Razor -- Red X
Judging from this insightful documentary, Jamaican reggae superstar Peter Tosh was a strange blend indeed. Part paranoid, part religious mystic, and part genius entertainer, Tosh's success never quite managed to...
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Film Review  February 11, 1994, by Marc Savlov
"...Nevertheless, it was Tosh who arguably possessed the more mellifluous vocal talents. Campbell's documentary employs a unique take on the time-honored notion of the voiceover: Tosh himself, dead since 1987, narrates his life story via the “Red X” tapes, a series of microcassette recordings that were originally to be used for the singer's autobiography..."

Chaplin
Robert Downey Jr. received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor with this portrayal of the film-comedy pioneer in a biopic that focuses on the tragedy that haunted Chaplin's life and his battles with the U.S. government.
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Film Review  January 15, 1993, by Louis Black
"...Attenborough's Chaplin, wanders in the wrong direction, somberly exploring two major themes: Chaplin's affection for underage girls (he married two of them) and his wars with the government that resulted in his being denied permission to return to the United States when he left to visit Europe in the Fifties. The film occurs as told to a fictional editor of Chaplin's My Autobiography, which desperately needs an editor and fact-checking, and upon which this movie is based (with Chaplin: His Life and Art by David Robinson)..."

An Angel at My Table
On the surface An Angel at My Table is a straightforward biopic about the life of celebrated New Zealand author Janet Frame. But Frame's life story is anything but your...
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Film Review  September 20, 1991, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Angel... is based on Frame's three-part autobiography..."

Evolution of a Criminal Airs on PBS
Texas filmmaker probes his own criminal past in searching doc
DAILY Screens  January 12, 2015, by Kimberley Jones
"...In his debut documentary Evolution of a Criminal, Texas filmmaker Darius Clark Monroe weaves together autobiography and atonement, dramatic reenactments and talking head interviews. It airs tonight on PBS’ Independent Lens...."

From Doug to Dax
Austin Film Festival announces early lineup
DAILY Screens  August 24, 2010, by Kimberley Jones
"...The Austin Film Festival announced ten titles for its 2010 fest today, with the regional premiere of Doug Liman's Fair Game**, based on the autobiography of famously exposed undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame and starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn...."

Tinkering With Death
Texas Defender Service attorney David Dow's memoir covers his his work defending the condemned
DAILY Books  February 22, 2010, by Jordan Smith
"...University of Houston law professor and Texas Defender Service litigation director David Dow's new memoir The Autobiography of an Execution (Twelve, $24.99) is a quietly written and devastating indictment of the death penalty in general, and of its practice in Texas in particular...."

Tony Visconti Part 2 (The Encores)
DAILY Music  June 23, 2008, by Raoul Hernandez
"...Wrapping, I asked him if I could lob a couple more questions. Really, with someone of Visconti’s stature, you could elicit music history ‘til Elvis comes back for a snack, but that’s why last year he set his autobiography down in print..."

Page Two: Fictional Fiction According to John Irving
Louis Black interviews his former writing teacher about his latest novel, Avenue of Mysteries
Columns  November 5, 2015, by Louis Black
"...The Hotel New Hampshire, The Cider House Rules, and A Prayer for Owen Meany established Irving as one of our most important contemporary novelists. What Irving taught was that writing was work, not inspiration; craft, not literary intoxication; and, at its best, an act of imagination, not autobiography..."

And Then Some
The Best American Short Stories of the Century
Books Story  June 24, 1999
"...What Mendelson's tome amounts to is high-quality, intellectually profound back story on Auden's work, which Mendelson quotes to the tune of approximately one poem per page. If, as Auden himself said, "an autobiography is redundant since anything of importance that happens to one is immediately incorporated, however obscurely, in a poem," then this biography is simply a faithful clarification of Auden's own self-commentary..."

Love Story
Brett Morgen and Nanette Burstein's The Kid Stays in the Picture documents the larger-than-life story of Robert Evans, actor, producer, and "legendary cocksman."
Screens Story  August 16, 2002, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"..."With Bob Evans I think we found an amazing storyteller with an extraordinary life," says Brett Morgen, who, with Nanette Burstein, co-directed and co-produced the feature-length documentary The Kid Stays in the Picture. Based on Robert Evans' autobiography of the same name, the movie draws even more heavily on the book-on-tape version of the autobiography, which is narrated in Evans' distinctive leathery voice, full of swagger, mythologizing self-love, and disarming self-deprecation..."

Let It Rock
Rock & Roll Books Spring 2000
Books Story  March 17, 2000, by Margaret Moser
"...What's Welsh for Zen: The Autobiography of John Caleby John Cale and Victor Bockris..."

The Hurricane
Despite all the pre-release hype and the torrents of critical acclaim that continue to patter down like earlobes in a Tyson match, Norman Jewison's tale of falsely convicted Sixties-era prizefighter...
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Film Review  January 14, 2000, by Marc Savlov
"...It's a powerful story but only an occasionally powerful film, and those passages that linger in the mind's eye have everything to do with Denzel Washington's phenomenal acting abilities and precious little to do with either Jewison's heavy-handed direction or the film's revolving cast of marginally insufferable do-gooding characters. And then, of course, there's the fact that Armyan Bernstein and Dan Gordon's script (from Carter's recently reissued autobiography The 16th Round) condenses much of the truth about their subject's less palatable aspects as well as creating an entirely fictional bad cop character to stand in for an entire, morally bankrupt justice system..."

The Bio of John Wesley Hardin The Fortysomething Killer
Arts Story  September 8, 1995
"...John Wesley Hardin left a trail of words as well as blood, and according to Marohn, that trail tells us an awful lot about what made him tick. Letters Hardin wrote while imprisoned in Huntsville (from 1878 to 1894) and his autobiography, written after his release, provide a gold mine of insight, information, and strangeness..."

15 Minutes With Kasey Chambers
Aussie songstress promises to leave the lights on
DAILY Music  August 15, 2012, by Jim Caligiuri
"...We spoke last weekend about Chambers' recent autobiography, A Little Bird Told Me, and its companion CD Storybook, a covers collection of songwriters including Lucinda Williams, Gram Parsons, John Prine, and Hank Williams...."

Superstar
In an excerpt from Bobby Whitlock: A Rock 'n' Roll Autobiography, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends sow the seeds of Eric Clapton's Derek & the Dominos
Music Story  July 15, 2011, by Bobby Whitlock and Marc Roberty
"...Last Labor Day weekend at the Pedernales Recording Studio, Whitlock overdubbed finishing touches to "Got To Get Better in a Little While," from Derek & the Dominos' aborted second LP and now residing on March's deluxe Layla reissue. In his new memoir, A Rock 'n' Roll Autobiography (see review), the local legend remembers the Dominos' precursors, Delaney & Bonnie, whose frontman was later married to CoCo Carmel..."

Riding the 'Wave'
Bud Shrake compacts his far-flung, storied career in his new collection
Books Story  April 25, 2008, by Spencer Parsons
"...Shrake has experienced a lot more of Texas in his 50-year career than most writers could imagine, and his writing has been equally varied, from pounding out police blotters to bringing New Journalism to the pages of Sports Illustrated, from long-form magazine essays to novels (Strange Peaches, Custer's Brother's Horse) to feature films, not to mention co-authoring Willie Nelson's autobiography and the golfers' bible, Harvey Penick's Little Red Book. Land of the Permanent Wave brings all these streams together while folding in personal letters and fascinating excerpts from unproduced screenplays..."

Amber Current Flowing From My Mind
Drowning Johnny Bush's spasmodic dysphonia in a "Whiskey River"
Music Story  April 6, 2007, by Jim Caligiuri
"...Currently living in San Antonio, the 72-year-old Bush is likely to see his star rise this year. UT Press recently published his highly readable, informative autobiography, Whiskey River (Take My Mind): The True Story of Texas Honky-Tonk (see the Chronicle review here), and a companion CD, Kashmere Gardens Mud: A Tribute to Houston's Country Soul, contains some of the best vocals of his career..."

Ashlee Simpson
Texas platters
Music Review  September 3, 2004, by Matt Dentler
"...Ashlee SimpsonAutobiography (Geffen) Only seconds into her debut, Autobiography, Ashlee Simpson reveals something even her hit MTV reality show couldn't: She's lying. "I walked 1,000 miles while everyone was asleep..."

The Facts of Life and Other Dirty Jokes
Sheet Music
Music Review  January 18, 2002, by Jerry Renshaw
"...Random House, 202 pp., $21.95 In some circles, this book is being talked up as Willie Nelson's autobiography. If to you "autobiography" means detailed recollections that follow a chronological order, then an autobiography this ain't..."

Spotlight: Ike Turner
Ike Turner is about to be 70 and still a mack.
Music Story  March 16, 2001, by Margaret Moser
"...In 1959, the Ike & Tina Turner Revue was born. Their pairing was never a formal marriage, but as Ike says in his 1999 autobiography, Taking Back My Name, "We didn't recognize marriages." What he says is true by the rural Southern standards of the times -- a good thing, because he formed a number of similar alliances with women...."

Take Me to the River
Rock & Roll Books
Books Story  December 29, 2000, by Jay Hardwig
"...The Brothers Neville: An Autobiographyby Art, Aaron, Charles, and Cyril Neville and David Ritz..."

Postscripts
Remembering Austin poet and musician Glen Alyn.
Books Column  June 16, 2000, by Clay Smith
"...When Glen Alyn was asked to write a brief autobiography in 1999, he began it like this: "Glen Alyn was born on May 24, 1947, by the National Fish Hatchery on the Trinity River in Ft. Worth, Texas." There's a very particular reason the Austin poet and musician, who died on June 4 in a car wreck along with his 19-year-old daughter Sequoia Myers, decided to invite the Trinity River into his birth..."

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