The Most Famous Musician You’ve Never Heard Of
A Rock And Roll Scrapbook Starring Hendrix, Ringo, Nilsson, The Turtles, Little Richard, Dr. John, Seals & Crofts, Billy Bob Thornton, Ray Bolger, Grace Slick and more!
Author: Andy Cahan
If you are a rock music fan, you are undoubtedly familiar with such major artists as Harry Nilsson, Little Richard, The Turtles, Ringo Starr, Jimmy Webb, Seals and Crofts, Frank Zappa, Dr. John, Chuck Berry, Kinky Friedman, Lou Reed, Eric Carmen and Jimi Hendrix.
What you probably don’t know is that all of them, at one point in their career, crossed paths with a musician named Andy Cahan, either musically or in other ways. And those names just scratch the surface!
For more than five decades, the New York-born Cahan has served as one of the most in-demand collaborators in the music business, for both studio sessions and live performance work.
Andy Cahan is truly The Most Famous Musician You’ve Never Heard Of!
Now, for the first time, Andy Cahan tells his complete story, in a copiously illustrated memoir that doubles as a virtual history of the American rock music scene from the 1960s to the present day. Starting out in local teen combos in suburban NewYork, Andy relocated to the Los Angeles area just in time to become a vital cog in the California rock world of the ’60s and ’70s. As a virtuoso keyboardist who could double on drums and other instruments, and also sing, Andy was a guaranteed boon to any recording project or live performance. His talents extended to record production, songwriting, bandleading and more. Andy Cahan was the glue that held many a band and project together, both in the studio and on the road.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Wrecking Crew, the troupe of L.A. studio musicians who provided the accompaniment on thousands of hit records of the ’60s and ’70s? Well, Andy Cahan has been called a one-man Wrecking Crew, and this is his story.
In this detailed memoir, Andy takes us through the entire saga, from his earliest days of playing music to his rise in L.A., his years as a member of The Turtles (of “Happy Together” fame), his work with dozens of famous artists, right up to today. Best of all, each page is lavishly and generously illustrated with photographs from throughout Andy’s life and career—many of them never before published! Andy, fortunately, kept all of his photos and memorabilia in great condition—pictures from gigs and sessions, candid shots of behind-the-scenes hijinks, plus hundreds of advertisements for concerts and record releases—everything from contracts to setlists, reviews, album and 45 RPM single sleeves, newspaper articles and what we now call selfies with some of his close friends and associates in the music world. The Most Famous Musician You’ve Never Heard Of is not only a great read but a visual treat!
But best of all are the stories. The diversity and sheer number of amazing people with whom Andy worked is staggering. Just as you think you’ve seen everything he’s done and everyone that Andy Cahan could possibly have worked with, another surprise greets you on the next page.
Among the many questions answered in The Most Famous Musician You’ve Never Heard Of:
* What eye-opening question did the legendary Little Richard ask Andy when they were on the road together?
* Why was Chubby Checker, of “The Twist” fame, chasing Andy around a hotel lobby?
* Why did Ringo Starr choose to work with, then threaten to sue Andy?
* How did the great actor and musician Billy Bob Thornton scare Andy half to death when they were recording together?
* How did Andy end up being in a popular band with several of Frank Zappa’s original Mothers of Invention?
*Why did Dr. John have a close call with the law—while Andy waited for him in the car, sweating it out?
* What was it like to jam with Jimi Hendrix?
* Why was Andy billed as a “half man” during one series of tours?
* Which soft-rock duo took Andy’s advice to change their name, leading to great success?
* How did Andy become an independent entrepreneur, launching his own record label and demo production company?
* Why was a 1996 outdoor gig in Michigan the most unusual that Andy ever played?
* And what was it like to spend many years as a vital member of The Turtles, one of rock’s most beloved hitmaking bands, and with their spinoff group, Flo and Eddie?
The Most Famous Musician You’ve Never Heard Of is a nonstop rock ’n’ roll joyride, dotted with cameo appearances by such unlikely characters as Al Pacino’s father, Roseanne Barr and John Goodman, Ray Bolger of The Wizard of Oz, and numerous oddball hangers-on, willing young women, music biz charlatans, tragic figures and underrated geniuses, and more.
It’s all here, in more than 300 pages packed with eye-poppingly cool photos from Andy’s private collection. It’s part scrapbook, part diary and all completely fascinating!
After reading The Most Famous Musician You’ve Never Heard Of, the only question music fans will still have is why wasn’t Andy Cahan a superstar in his own right?!
Born in 1947 in New Rochelle, New York, Andy Cahan knew he was put on this Earth to play music from the time he was a child. With the arrival of the Beatles and the other ’60s greats, he formed his own rock combos that became moderately successful on the New York scene before he took off for Southern California. Once there, he quickly became one of the most in-demand musicians on the scene, both for studio and live performance work. A longtime member of the legendary band The Turtles, Andy realized that his calling was not to be a famous frontman in his own right but rather to assist others by lending his virtuosic talents to their own studio and stage projects.
His countless credits include serving as the musical director for rock ’n’ roll pioneers Little Richard and Chuck Berry, membership in a band formed by former members of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, collaborations with everyone from his good friend Harry Nilsson to the actor/musician Billy Bob Thornton, and run-ins of the musical and non-musical kind with the likes of Dr. John, Alice Cooper, Levon Helm, Clint Eastwood, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison, Linda Ronstadt, Eric Carmen, the Monkees, Timothy Leary, Jimmy Webb, Jefferson Starship, John Bonham, Michelle Phillips, Booker T. Jones, Steve Perry, Elvira, Lowell George, Seals and Crofts, soccer star Pele, actors Ed Lauter, Walter Mathau and Jack Lemmon, comic Martin Mull and many others!
The Most Famous Musician You’ve Never Heard Of will appeal, of course, to rock music fans who came up during the music’s heyday, but also to younger fans who want to know what it was like to spend your life in the thick of the music scene during rock and pop’s most creative and wild years! Featuring countless anecdotes and tons of music trivia, the memoir will resonate with baby boomers, their kids and their grandkids! The Most Famous Musician You’ve Never Heard Of is different from other rock memoirs because it’s not written by a superstar but rather from the point of view of a virtuoso musician who saw everything from deep inside while avoiding the spotlight himself.
Andy Cahan seemingly knew everyone, and he’s not afraid to tell it like it was! The book is a page-turner because of its “you are there” perspective as well as the author’s usage of literally hundreds of photos that illustrate everything he writes about. Andy Cahan leaves no stone unturned in his recollections, naming names, sparing no one and giving all of the details. The book will sell itself to anyone who wants to know what it was like to live the rock ’n’ roll life as a consummate insider.
Suggested Reading Links
Andy Cahan’s website: http://www.allentertainment.net/index.html
Shell Shocked: My Life with the Turtles Flo and Eddie and Frank Zappa etc., by Howard Kaylan The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll’s Best-Kept Secret, by Kent Hartman Rockin’ Through Troubled Waters: Memoir -Surviving the West Coast Music Scene 1966-1971, by Don Jung
Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and the Music of Laurel Canyon, by Harvey Kubernik
Waiting for the Sun: A Rock & Roll History of Los Angeles, by Barney Hoskyns
Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock-and-Roll’s Legendary Neighborhood, by Michael Walker
Riot On Sunset Strip: Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Last Stand In Hollywood, by Domenic Priore
Freak Out! My Life with Frank Zappa, by Pauline Butcher
Glam! An Eyewitness Account, by Mick Rock
Rock Seen, by Bob Gruen