Be My Baby (book)

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Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts, and Madness
Be My Baby (book).jpg
AuthorRonnie Spector, Vince Waldron
PublisherHarmony Books
Publication date
September 1, 1990

Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts, and Madness, Or, My Life as a Fabulous Ronette[1] (also published as Be My Baby: The Autobiography of Ronnie Spector)[2][3] is a memoir by Ronnie Spector co-written with Vince Waldron, which recounts her roller-coaster career as lead singer of the Ronettes and her emotionally abusive marriage to Phil Spector.[4] A film adaptation starring Zendaya has been announced.[5]

Publication

The book was published on September 1, 1990 by Harmony.[6]

Content

Be My Baby recounts Spector's roller-coaster career as lead singer of the Ronettes and her emotionally abusive marriage to Phil Spector.[4]

Born in Spanish Harlem, Veronica Bennett always loved to sing. As teens, she, her sister, and her cousin met an agent who introduced them to a producer, and they made a record. Soon they started performing at the Brooklyn Fox rock-and-roll revue alongside The Shirelles, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, and others. In 1963, Phil Spector signed them and Ronnie fell in love with him. "Be My Baby" became their first and biggest hit. The group toured England, where The Rolling Stones were their opening act and they became friends with The Beatles. Phil was fiercely possessive and became very controlling. He convinced her not to open for the Beatles. He became increasingly reclusive and violent after they married. Ronnie was imprisoned in their home and forbidden to perform. Finally, she left him and tried to relaunch her career.

Reception

The memoir has received widely favorable reviews across several decades since its publication. In Rolling Stone in 2012, Rob Sheffield named it as one of the 25 best rock memoirs of all time, saying "her book, like her voice, is full of cocky, smart, self-aware humor."[7] Writing of the book's sections "describ[ing]" her time with The Beatles and the Stones, both in the U.K. and stateside," at NPR in 2016 Alison Fensterstock said Be My Baby: "deliver[s] a wild, funny, intimate and detailed account of a bunch of kids navigating fame and fun; they also describe, essentially, the singer's last flush of freedom before her relationship with Phil Spector really got bad."[8]

The autobiography is excerpted in the 2013 Routledge anthology The Rock History Reader, which describes Be My Baby as "offering a little-seen window into the complex creative processes and inordinate power relationships behind the girl group phenomenon", in contrast to frequently trivializing depictions of the genre, or otherwise focused solely on the accomplishments of "their Svengali-like male producer or the song-writing teams that provided them with their hits."[4]

References

  1. ^ "HARDCOVERS IN BRIEF". The Washington Post. 28 October 1990. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Nonfiction Book Review: Be My Baby: The Autobiography of Ronnie Spector by Ronnie Spector, Author, Billy Joel, Illustrator, Vince Waldron, With Harmony $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-57499-7". Publishers Weekly. August 29, 1990. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Nonfiction". Library Journal. May 15, 1990.
  4. ^ a b c Cateforis, Theo (2013). The Rock History Reader. Routledge. p. 43. ISBN 9780415892124. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Zendaya Is Ronettes Singer Ronnie Spector in Be My Baby Biopic". MovieWeb. 2020-09-29. Retrieved 2021-11-23.
  6. ^ Light, A. (November 15, 1990). "The Ronnie Spector story: A Manual of survival skills". Rolling Stone. No. 591. p. 155.
  7. ^ Sheffield, Rob (August 13, 2012). "Rob Sheffield Picks 25 Greatest Rock Memoirs of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  8. ^ Fensterstock, Alison (April 4, 2016). "Songs We Love: Ronnie Spector, 'I'd Much Rather Be With The Girls'". NPR. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
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