|About the Book|
Alex grew up in Mill Valley, California, in the 1950s, the third child of well educated, musical parents. His father was a charming man who was also an alcoholic packrat who couldnt finish building their house. Alex lived in a dingy basement roomMoreAlex grew up in Mill Valley, California, in the 1950s, the third child of well educated, musical parents. His father was a charming man who was also an alcoholic packrat who couldnt finish building their house. Alex lived in a dingy basement room co-inhabited by spiders and rats. He was afraid of the critters, the dark, and the H-bombs they told him about at school. He took refuge in baseball, Superman, and the songs he heard at night on the radio when his parents thought he was sleeping. Alex discovered at an early age that he loved music and that he could escape the tough-guy world of the early 60s by singing in rock bands. He lucked out in going to a progressive high school where he started his first band, was exposed to Dylan, the Beatles, and the Stones, and was given a glimpse of what it might be like to be an agent of positive change in the world. Alex was signed to a record deal at age nineteen as the lead singer and songwriter of his legendary San Francisco country rock band Clover, whose members included Huey Lewis and John McFee of the Doobie Brothers. Clover gained a local following in San Francisco and made two albums for Fantasy Records, which unknown to Clover became cult classics in the U.K. Then Clover lost their deal and fell on hard times. They fought their way back and in 1976, thanks to meeting British pub-rock-hero Nick Lowe, a fan of the early Clover records. Clover toured England with Thin Lizzy and Lynyrd Skynyrd, made two more albums on Phonogram/Mercury produced by Mutt Lange, and backed Elvis Costello on his famed first album, My Aim is True. When Clover broke up in 1978, Alex fell into despair. He had been at the edge of the big time, but now he was on his own, down and out. At rock bottom he found his salvation by writing a series of classic rock songs, including 867-5309/Jenny, one of the most iconic songs of the last thirty years. In 1982, as 867-5309/Jenny was making its way up the charts, he quit his temporary construction job and signed a record deal with Arista Records and a major publishing deal. But his travails were far from over. His album failed to catch on and he learned the hard way about the duplicity of people in the music business. Alex took a plunging and bucking ride on the rollercoaster of fame and rejection, persevered, and once again reached the top of the charts with more big hits for his old band mate Huey Lewis and the News, Pat Benatar, and others. In the 1990s Alex began going on writing to trips to Nashville, where he moved in 1998. He has written songs for country artists and made two albums. In addition to songwriting and making videos for YouTube, Alex has written several books and stories: 867-5309/Jenny: The Song that Save Me and a funny novel about an aging band titled Second Childhood, which will be released by Charles River Press in 2012 and 2012. He also has written a baseball story, a sci-fi thriller, an historical epic about the early Bronze Age, and an adventure series for adolescents. Alex lives with his wife, singer Lisa Carrie, his second son, Aidan, three dogs, and two cats. His older son, James Call, is a budding music star in New York. Alex is a lifelong student of history and loves baseball, fly fishing, and politics. 867-5309/Jenny: The Song that Save Me is always captivating. Heartbreaking, insightful, and funny in turns, his lively and deeply descriptive personal narrative takes you for a ride in cold vans, onto arena and club stages, backstage with some of the most influential musicians of the 60s 70s and 80s, behind the scenes with double-dealing music biz people, and into crazy situations where a sense of humor, a song, his band mates, and a willingness to keep on trying against long odds were his best companions.