the music man | OUTVisions for LGBT Professionals

the music man

the soundtrack of my life

the music man
alex johnston

The Soundtrack of My Life, by Clive Davis with Anthony DeCurtis; Published by Simon and Schuster; Available in Paperback (2013)

Consummate pop music impresario Clive Davis started in the music industry in 1960, missing the start of rock and roll by about 10 years – and hasn’t missed a minute of it since.

Founder or president of five different record companies, Davis’ index is a literal who’s who of the last five and half decades of popular music. Sadly if you’re looking for tell-alls or exposes, this is not the book for you. His reminisces of working with Whitney Houston form a microcosm of the whole. Davis discovered Houston and worked with her closely through most of her career: his reprinted letters to Houston provide the most concentrated insight in the book into his approach to music – his strategies, priorities, work ethic, and approach to personal relationships. Ironically, when he lovingly describes his relationship with Houston, we learn the most about him.

Though nominated for a Lambda Literary Award in the Bisexual Nonfiction category, Davis’ bisexuality comes up only seven pages from the end of a 551 page book. Elder statesman of an industry which veers wildly between the sexual liberalism of the old Studio 54 days to the intense homophobia of some of the Hip Hop artists he had a hand in promoting, Davis does make some bold statements against the stereotypes that surround bisexuality. Nonetheless to call it “bisexual non-fiction” is a bit generous.

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Authoralex johnston

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