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About Chris Epting
Chris Epting is the author of 40 travel/history books, including James Dean Died Here (Santa Monica Press), Roadside Baseball (McGraw Hill), Hello It's Me, Dispatches From a Pop Culture Junkie (Santa Monica Press) and many others. He is also an award-winning travel writer and has contributed articles for such publications as the Los Angeles Times, Westways and Travel + Leisure magazine, among other publications. In addition, Chris is a veteran music journalist and recently co-wrote Def Leppard's Phil Collen's memoir, "Adrenalized," and the John Oates Memoir "Change of Seasons." He also co-created and co-hosts the REELZ Channel docu-series "It Happened Here."
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He was a hardworking child actor in the early 1970s, appearing on dozens of popular films and TV programs. Then he was offered a chance to make a record and “Leif Garrett, teen idol” was born. Millions of teenage girls all over the world covered their walls with his picture. His face adorned hundreds of international magazine covers as he became one of the biggest and most desired heartthrobs in history. There were jet-setting tours, TV specials, and hit records, along with an endless supply of beautiful women, alcohol, and ultimately, the drugs that sent this shooting star into the darkest depths of addiction. Idol Truth is a harrowing survivor’s story as well as a charmed tale filled with compelling pop culture characters—from Michael Jackson and Brooke Shields to John Belushi, Freddie Mercury, and many more. It’s the first time ever that Leif Garrett has come clean about his life, revealing all the details of his spectacular journey.
John Oates was born at the perfect time, paralleling the birth of rock ‘n roll. Raised in a small Pennsylvania town, he was exposed to folk, blues, soul, and R&B. Meeting and teaming up with Daryl Hall in the late 1960s, they developed a style of music that was uniquely their own but never abandoned their roots. John uncovers the grit and struggle it took to secure a recording contract with the legendary Atlantic Records and chronicles the artistic twists and turns that resulted in a DJ discovering an obscure album track that would become their first hit record. This is not your typical rock and roll story. John was focused creating great music. Along the way he achieved incredible success, battling the ever-changing pop music landscape and coming to terms with complex managerial, business, and personal challenges.
Daryl Hall and John Oates have over 20 albums together, more than 60 million records sold, and 29 Top 40 hits. They are the most successful pop duo in the world and members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And yet John’s story has never been told. Relying on his many hand-written journals, he brings to light many fascinating stories spanning his entire life with a journalist’s eye and a poet’s heart.
In Change of Seasons, John shares his highs, lows, triumphs, and failures. He takes the reader on a wild ride through all the eras, personalities and music that has shaped him into what he is.
Dona Speir’s new memoir, ‘Naked Truth: The Fall and Rise of Dona Speir takes you from the depths of child abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, being preyed upon by powerful men like Bill Cosby, to the rarified world of international modeling and global jet-setting, being a Playboy Centerfold photographed by the world-famous Arny Freytag to be the star of seven Andy Sidaris action adventure films. And that’s really just the beginning of her life journey toward recovery.
This study of her survival is a provocative, powerful blueprint of how to not just survive, but recover and thrive. Dona is 32 years sober and CEO of Recovery Coaching Experts. She has mentored hundreds of women with substance abuse and behavioral issues, she has also founded women’s recovery homes, and her book can help others learn how to identify the traits of sexual predators and prevent your child from falling for their persuasive charms.
Dona’s experiences can help women understand and survive the social, physical and emotional aspects of substance abuse and lead a peaceful, complete, whole and safe family life. It’s a cautionary tale to be sure, but it’s also a triumphant one; filled with many uplifting, exciting stories of perseverance that are both timely and timeless.
“Dona Speir proves to be as revealing, engaging and entertaining — and, yes, as courageous — as she’s ever been on screen in the pages of her riveting autobiography.” Joe Leydan, Variety
Meet Phil Collen. You may know him as the lead guitarist in Def Leppard, whose signature song Pour Some Sugar on Me is still as widely enjoyed as when it debuted in 1988. Maybe you’ve heard of him as the rock star who gave up alcohol and meat more than 25 years ago. Most likely you’ve seen him shirtless - in photos or in real life - flaunting his impeccably toned body to appreciative female fans.
But it wasn’t always like this. Collen worked his way up from nothing, teaching himself guitar from scratch as a teenager by imitating his heroes. He slogged it out in London-based pub bands for years, long before Def Leppard formed and transformed from unknowns to icons (all thanks to a little album called Pyromania), from playing openers in near-empty arenas to headlining in those same stadiums and selling them out every night. But as Collen discovered, true overnight success is a myth. Like the other band members, he had to struggle and fight his way to the top; in the end, he says, 'our work ethic saved us'. Just as it still does.
This is Collen’s story, starting with his first real taste of success and wild rock and roll excess as a member of the seminal glam rock outfit Girl. But once he joins Def Leppard, it’s also an amazing underdog tale featuring a bunch of ordinary working-class lads who rose to mega-stardom, overcoming incredible obstacles - such as the drummer, Rick Allen, who lost an arm in a car crash, and the tragic death of guitarist Steve Clark, Phil’s musical soul mate, who lost his fight with alcoholism. Featuring personal, never-before-seen photos of Collen and his band mates on stage and off, Adrenalized is a fascinating account of the failures, triumphs, challenges, and rock-hard dedication it takes to make dreams come true.
Brian Wheat is far from your typical rock star. As bassist for the multi-platinum band, Tesla, he’s enjoyed the spoils of success and lived the sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll lifestyle to the hilt. But it came at a cost, one that took years to repair.
In this deeply honest and utterly revealing memoir, Wheat sheds light on the many challenges he faces, including bulimia, weight issues, and the crippling anxiety and depression caused by his conditions. Just like the songs his legendary band made, this is no-nonsense, blue-collar storytelling at its best. While revealing the vulnerable human behind the bass guitar, this autobiography also offers tremendous stories of life on the road, and collaborations and encounters with legendary figures like his pals in Def Leppard, David Lee Roth, Alice Cooper, and Paul McCartney. Son of a Milkman will entertain, surprise, and inspire longtime fans of this enduring band.
Packed with historical data, trivia, photographs, and baseball lore, entries include the birthplaces of baseball legends, ballparks, museums and halls of fame, final resting places, and many locations that are no longer standing. From out-of-the-way spots to the most popular stadiums in the U.S. and Canada, no site is too small or insignificant to be included in this comprehensive guide.
The third edition of Roadside Baseball includes hundreds of newly discovered landmarks, including the former locations of stadiums that have been torn down since the last edition of the book (Yankee stadium, Shea stadium, Tiger stadium, etc.), information on the Negro Leagues Baseball Marker project which has placed headstones around the country to honor forgotten African-American ballplayers, new exhibits at existing MLB parks, and suggested daytrip itineraries located near your favorite stadiums.
Other new entries include the actual diamond used for the classic film, The Sandlot; the exact location where Mickey Mantle’s legendary 565-foot blast landed; the baseball field in Orange County, California where many believe Babe Ruth hit the longest home run of his career against the great Walter Johnson (along with extremely rare photos of Ruth both batting and pitching during that very game); the newly marked location in Kekionga, Indiana where the first major league game was played in 1871; all 29 markers along the new “Hot Springs Baseball Trail” celebrating baseball history in Arkansas; and Heckscher Fields in Central Park, New York, where Larry David’s softball team played in an episode of “Curb Your Enthusisam.”
Entries from the previous edition include the Buckminster Hotel in Boston, where the Black Sox planned their fix of the 1919 World Series; the original little league field and museum in Williamsport, Pennsylvania; the birthplace of Jackie Robinson; the place where Mickey Mantle was discovered by a scout from the New York Yankees; and the site of the original Wrigley Field, erected in Los Angeles in 1925.
The third edition of Roadside Baseball is the most comprehensive book ever written on the locations of baseball landmarks, and the perfect gift for baseball fans of all ages!
Heading into the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Babashoff was pictured on the cover of Sports Illustrated and followed closely by the media. Hopes were high that she would become the female Mark Spitz.”
All of that changed once Babashoff questioned the shocking masculinity of the swimmers on the East German women’s team. Once celebrated as America’s golden girl, Babashoff was accused of poor sportsmanship and vilified by the press with a new nickname: Surly Shirley.”
Making Waves displays the remarkable strength and resilience that made Babashoff such a dynamic champion. From her difficult childhood and beginnings as a determined young athlete growing up in Southern California in the 1960s, through her triumphs as the greatest female amateur swimmer in the world, Babashoff tells her story in the same unflinching manner that made her both the most dominant female swimmer of her time and one of the most controversial athletes in Olympic history.