February 24, 2024

JAN & DEAN – Jan Berry Official Site

Life can have a higher meaning in a Carnival of Sound

Review – Ugly Things Magazine

“One of the most compelling music biographies you’ll ever read . . .”

“With Dead Man’s Curve, [Mark A. Moore] has written what is surely the definitive biography of Jan Berry—scrupulously researched and rich in color and detail. Moore was in an enviable position as a biographer [with] a huge amount of contemporaneous documentation to work from. In addition, he interviewed practically everyone who knew Jan or worked with him over the years . . .  With all of this material to draw upon, Moore was able to craft a meticulous account of Berry’s life without any missing pieces or chronological holes. It’s an incredible story in two acts: the first filled with excitement, humor, confidence, creativity, and triumph; the second with pain, struggle, challenges, rip-offs and some smaller victories along the way . . . Berry’s role as one of the principal architects of the West Coast sound has been forgotten to some extent, an oversight that this book should go a long way towards putting right . . . Berry’s clean, spacious, ornately-sculpted production and arrangements on Jan & Dean records like “Ride the Wild Surf,” “Dead Man’s Curve,” “The Little Old Lady From Pasadena,” “Honolulu Lulu” and “You Really Know How to Hurt A Guy” (to name just a few) still sound remarkable today. Working with engineers Bones Howe and Lanky Linstrot, he pushed the limits of the recording process, spending countless hours getting the sound he was looking for . . . The triumphs and tragedies of his life, the highs and the lows, the thrills and the pain, make [Dead Man’s Curve: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Life of Jan Berry] one of the most compelling music biographies you’ll ever read.” — Mike Stax, Ugly Things #58, Winter 2021. Read the full review in Ugly Things Magazine.

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