Memoir Mondays: BRUCE

“There are many things I could and should be doing right now, but I am not… I am reading and rereading this book. Why did you do this to me?” – John Stewart

I grew up listening to the Boss, specifically the vinyl recording of his 1984 hit single “Dancing in the Dark,” which–crucially–also had “Pink Cadillac” on its B-side. To this day, “Pink Cadillac” remains one of my all time favourite songs, and it also explains my obsession with that particular vehicle. That’s the thing about Bruce Springsteen’s music: it’s an experience that stays with you, and can shape who you are in little to big ways. Only the best kind of music can do that, and it’s elevated Bruce the Rockstar to almost mythic levels in the past four decades. You can imagine then how thrilling it was for me to finally learn about Bruce the Man in what his manager Jon Landau calls the Boss’ definitive biography: Bruce, by Peter Ames Carlin.

This sweeping biography of one of America’s greatest musicians is the first in twenty-five years to be written with the cooperation of Bruce Springsteen himself. With unfettered access to the artist, his family, and band members—including Clarence Clemons in his last major interview—acclaimed music writer Peter Ames Carlin presents a startlingly intimate and vivid portrait of a rock icon.

For more than four decades, Bruce Springsteen has reflected the heart and soul of America with a career that includes twenty Grammy Awards, more than 120 million albums sold, two Golden Globes, and an Academy Award. He has also become an influential voice in American culture and politics, inspiring President Barack Obama to admit: “I’m the president, but he’s the Boss.”

Built from years of research and unparalleled access to its subject and his inner circle, Bruce presents the most revealing account yet of a man laden with family tragedy, a tremendous dedication to his artistry, and an all-consuming passion for fame and influence. With this book, the E Street Band members finally bare their feelings about their abrupt dismissal in 1989, and how Springsteen’s ambivalence nearly capsized their 1999 reunion. Carlin deftly traces Springsteen’s often harrowing personal life: from his lower working- class childhood in Freehold, New Jersey, through his stubborn climb to fame and tangled romantic life, and finally to his quest to conquer the demons that nearly destroyed his father.

In Bruce, Carlin encompasses the breadth of Springsteen’s astonishing career and explores the inner workings of a man who managed to redefine generations of music. A must for fans, Bruce is a meticulously researched, compulsively readable biography of one of the most complex and fascinating artists in American music.

Learn more about Bruce.

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Visit Carlin’s website.

Arnold Caption Contest: Pumping Iron

Update: Thank you for participating. This giveaway is now closed. 

Congratulations to bozpictures for winning our Arnold Schwarzenegger caption contest!

We received lots of really good captions, but this one really gave us a chuckle.
An honourable mention goes to Joseph A. for “Is this just a routine blood check? Because you might need a bigger needle!”

Come back Monday, September 16 for another fun Arnie picture and another chance to win a copy of Total Recall.

From bodybuilder to actor to politician. We’re celebrating the extraordinary life of chameleon Arnold Schwarzenegger and the upcoming release of his memoir Total Recall with a caption contest.

Every Monday for the month of September, we’ll post a new photo to this blog.Submit your best caption (in 30 words or less) for these photos as a comment and you’ll be entered to win one of four copies of Total Recall! One winner will be selected and announced every Friday.

Here is our next photo: young Arnie during his days of training for the Mr. Olympia competition.

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Learn more about the book.
Like Arnold on Facebook and follow him on TwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

And the winner is…

Congratulations to Dexter for winning our first Arnold Schwarzenegger caption contest!
With over 40 movies under his belt we’d say Arnie has a lot of screening to do.

Thanks to everyone who entered, the S&S Canada team got a good chuckle from all the entries. But don’t put away your thinking cap yet, we’ll have another photo for you on Monday. Come back for more Arnie fun times and another chance to win a copy of Total Recall.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger

What does this name make you think of? Muscles? Politics? Phone calls from friends in Arnie’s prerecorded voice?

Arnold Schwarzenegger makes me think of my dad. The name and the man evoke memories of late nights spent in our old, falling-down house – Arnold’s voice booming through the living room and into the kitchen- drawing us together, cringing and laughing: Arnold is escapism. He is power and fantasy and action enough to keep your eyes glued to the TV far beyond exhaustion. He is The Predator. He is True Lies. He is The Terminator.

Some will think of him as a pregnant man in Junior, a brother in Twins, a bodybuilder shaking our understanding of strength and forming new ideas about The American Dream. Regardless, this iconic man has touched many lives. Now, with the October 1, 2012 release of his autobiography, we have the opportunity to learn about him – the man behind the image – in his own words.

ImageLearn more about the book.


Like Arnold on Facebook and follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Every Monday for the month of September, we’ll post a new photo to this blog. Submit your best caption (in 30 words or less) for these photos as a comment and you’ll be entered to win one of four copies of Total Recall! One winner will be selected and announced every Friday.

Here is our first photo:

By leaving a comment you’ve agreed to our Official Rules, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Update: Thank you for participating. This giveaway is now closed. Find out who won here.

What’chu talkin’ bout?

A new celebrity memoir hits bookstores tomorrow, and this one is full of shocking stories you won’t want to miss!

Former child star Todd Bridges, best known as Willis Jackson on Diff’rent Strokes, bares all in his shocking but inspirational memoir Killing Willis: From Diff’rent Strokes to the Mean Streets to the Life I Always Wanted.

Todd has been in the news recently because of the sad and untimely death of fellow child actor and friend Corey Haim. In 2008, Todd Bridges appeared on an episode of the A&E reality show The Two Coreys in an attempt to help Corey Haim get sober.

Bridges was quoted as saying, “Corey Haim was a good friend of mine and he will be missed. Too many people are dying way too young and it’s sad because of the loved ones who are left behind to understand what happened and to feel the loss. I hope he’s in a better place. I understand his pain, but I also know now there is a way out. I hope anyone who is dealing with the same stuff gets out before it’s too late. Don’t let the death of others fool you into thinking that it cannot happen to you. If you play with fire, you will get burned. 

Bridges also said he hopes that Haim’s passing will help people who are struggling with sobriety to look closely at their lives. 

In his book, Bridges opens up about his life before and after Diff’rent Strokes: the incredible reversals of fortune brought on by fame and the precipitous–and very public–descent that followed; the persecution from police; the drug addiction that nearly consumed him; and the criminal charges that almost earned him a life sentence.

In his 20’s, Bridges battled a cocaine addiction for several years. In 1988, he was arrested and tried for the attempted murder of Kenneth “Tex” Clay, a Los Angeles area drug dealer, who prosecutors argued had been shot by Bridges while on a binge. Bridges pleaded not guilty to the charges and was represented by the high-profile defense attorney Johnnie Cochran. Cochran successfully portrayed Bridges as an abused minor who had been driven to drugs by an exploitive entertainment industry, and was now being unfairly framed. A witness finally testified that Bridges was not present at the time of the shooting. Bridges was acquitted of all charges by a jury.

In 1993, Bridges was involved in an altercation with a tenant, David Joseph Kitchen, in his house after a disagreement about unpaid rent. Kitchen attacked Bridges with a sword, then Bridges retaliated by stabbing him in the chest with a kitchen knife. The prosecutors dropped the charges, concluding Bridges had acted in self-defense

He appeared as a contestant on the Fox reality show Skating with Celebrities, but was eliminated on the second episode of the show. Bridges defeated Vanilla Ice on a 2002 episode of Celebrity Boxing. Additionally, Bridges appeared along with Gary Coleman and Vanilla Ice on a VH-1’s celebrity-reality show The Surreal Life.

Todd has lived a life of remarkable twists and turns and through this book offers his ordeal as a positive example for those struggling to overcome similar challenges. Today he is a working actor, director, and producer who travels the U.S., speaking at schools and churches about the dangers of drug use.

Todd will be appearing on a number of national TV shows in the coming weeks to promote the release of his book. Look out for him on Larry King Live, Access Hollywood, The Today Show and more.