Author(s): David Browne
"Fire and Rain" tells the stories of four classic albums of 1970 - The Beatles' "Let It Be", "Crosby", "Stills", Nash & Young's "Deja vu", James Taylor's "Sweet Baby James", Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" - the musicians who made them, the songs they created, and how the tumultuous cultural shifts of that pivotal year are reflected in the music. The first book written on the musical, political and cultural changes of the year 1970, "Fire and Rain" examines a pivotal, transitional, and under-documented year that was as important as the much-studied 1968 and 1969. Featuring new interviews and access to previously unseen documents, the book follows the careers of the Beatles, CSNY, Simon and Garfunkel and Taylor throughout that year - the music, tours, lives tensions, varying degrees of excess, and constantly intertwining personal ties between them (Stephen Stills and Ringo Starr's friendship in London, Joni Mitchell's breakup with Nash in the spring and her hookup with Taylor that summer, Art Garfunkel meeting Taylor at the first-ever Greenpeace benefit concert that autumn, Simon's marriage to the ex-wife of Simon's manager and how that impacted on he and Garfunkel's ever-tenuous rapport). Written in a novelistic, narrative fashion in the style of period studies, "Fire and Rain" features candid interviews with over 100 luminaries. The month-by-month, increasingly bitter and petty breakup of the Beatles will be chronicled like never before thanks to access to previously unpublished legal documents from the National Archives in London and interviews with members of their inner circle; the same with Simon and Garfunkel. "Fire and Rain" also includes interviews with a wide range of witnesses to history.
David Browne is the author of Goodbye 20th Century: A Biography of Sonic Youth; Dream Brother: The Lives & Music of Jeff & Tim Buckley; and Amped: How Big Air, Big Dollars, and a New Generation Took Sports to the Extreme. The former music critic of Entertainment Weekly, he contributes to the New York Times, the New Republic, Spin, the Huffington Post, and other outlets, and his music reviews appear on National Public Radio's Web site. He lives in New York City with his wife and daughter.