- Copertina flessibile: 296 pagine
- Editore: Bear Manor Media (12 agosto 2008)
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 1593933061
- ISBN-13: 978-1593933067
- Peso di spedizione: 386 g
Googies, Coffee Shop to the Stars: 1 (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – 12 ago 2008
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This remarkable memoir is loaded with anecdotes, none of which I'll repeat here because I hope you'll support this author and purchase both volumes. Suffice it to say, in these pages you'll encounter Errol Flynn, Tyrone Power, Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Alan Ladd, Lana Turner, Ernest Hemingway and even Aldous Huxley among many others.
For a decade Steve supported himself as an actor, manager of the Googies coffeeshop adjacent to Schwab's Pharmacy, and by taking jobs as they were offered. Along the way he met and often befriended many of Hollywood's popular stars. His insight into these personalities goes against the grain of what you'll normally encounter in books where the allure relates directly to the geek fan base salivating for more celebrity gossip. What Steve Hayes has accomplished is the creation of a memoir lacking in egotism and animosity. What I appreciate is this man's honesty when talking about his successes and failures, and his unabashed look back at an era he knew was ending even as he experienced it. There is an underlying tone of sadness, but without being maudlin. I was particularly taken by his sensitivity when talking about his marriages, girlfriends and friendship with the stars he encountered. For example, his view on Clark Gable is right on, and ultimately heartbreaking. Ditto with Flynn, Ladd and others.
He devotes ample space to Errol Flynn, a man that Hayes admits remains his idol, but he avoids the idolatry as well as the gossip. No truer portrait of Flynn has hitherto been published. Here is Flynn the writer, the caring father, the raging alcoholic, the talented actor, the man's man who took care of his friends while sometimes also letting them down. First hand accurate accounts have always been scarce and that's what makes "Googies: Coffeeshop to the Stars" such a valuable resource for fans and scholars alike. Steve Hayes wrote it down the way it happened and the result is a smorgasbord of insight, layered with a generous portion of compassion. That's a rare and delectable combination.
Steve Hayes has a big heart that complements his talent - he's a successful novelist and screenwriter - and forgive the cliché, but I couldn't put his book down. He was there at the tail end of a Golden Era, sparkling with talent, sex appeal, hard work, humorous escapades, tragic loss and epic voyages, but it's no mistake that section three of volume two is titled "The Decline of Camelot."
The book is prefaced by a short but fascinating piece titled "I Remember Googies" by John Saxon. "Googies: Coffeeshop to the Stars" offers an authentic look back at a bygone era and we can be thankful the author is such a splendid raconteur. Kudos to Steve Hayes for taking the time to pen such a heartfelt and fascinating memoir.
During which time, the author befriended stars like Errol Flynn, Tyrone Power, Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, Lana Turner and Robert Middleton. He says that they all influenced his life and gave him material for his autobiography. The author has also written movies and television.
Volume One starts out with the foreword by the legendary John Saxon, who was as famous for his looks as his acting skills. Chapters one and two are lead ups to some of the most fascinating stories of any book I have read in months. I thoroughly enjoyed his first meeting with the horror icon Bela Lugosi. Mr. Lugosi by this time was becoming an older man and had been typecast as a scary character in his movies. But it was also the author's opinion of Jayne Mansfield that impressed me most about his knowledge. Jayne has been a bombshell, a sex symbol, but few people, other than those close around her, realized that she was actually very smart and a very loyal person. She did, however, as the author points out, never met a camera she didn't like. I like his quote from Jayne, in which she uttered, "I wish I had been born thirty years earlier, because the movie stars of the twenties and thirties wore exotic costumes like Theda Bara and Gloria Swanson and Pola Negri. They lived in luxurious mansions, walked around with leopards on leashes, threw wild extravagant parties that lasted for days and were treated like Cleopatra. Oh my God, Steve, how incredible that must have been!"
Both volumes are filled with incredible stories by the author explaining his incredible interactions with some of Hollywood's '50s and '60s royalty. That although the stars of that era thought the previous era icons were elegant and beautiful and fun. Today we long for the era that Hayes describes in such organic and yet exciting details. The author's book is planned out in small chapters, each filling your mind and your heart with the love and admiration of yesteryear.
Though this author speaks wildly and with admiration of Hemingway, I find myself feeling the same way reading his books. Hayes is extremely talented and like Hemingway, he has a style that is forthright and yet leaves a lot to your own imagination. Though this book is thoroughly researched, it isn't opinionated and the author had no axe to grind with any of the subjects. This is rare in today's writing.
"Googies, Coffeeshop to the Stars" is a must-read for anyone who has ever wondered what movie stars and icons are like when they don't think anyone is around to tell on them. Yet Steve Hayes does so with respect.
Steve is a gifted writer, bringing words on paper alive. It's been a very long time since I have read a book cover to cover without putting it down. I can say the same for Part 2 of his work. If you want a bird's eye view into the actors who made Tinseltown famous, want to know the human side of them, and want to spend a day lost in a wondrous time gone by, buy this book! (and Part 2!)