[REMOVE ADS]




Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1,602
    Rep Power
    164

    Duke Fakir Autobiography Disappointing

    I was so eager to read this when it was announced months ago that Duke had penned his memoirs that maybe my expectations were too high? But in any event, running barely 160 pages is hardly the depth that a 50 plus career deserves.

    I was put off by some of the inaccuracies and changed stories in Duke's tome. Disappointed that no mention was made of the three lps the guys did with The Supremes. He spent very little time on the Dunhill years and it made no sense to me that after four lps the group came to a loggerhead with Dunhill, yet the label released several more albums.

    His recollections of leaving Motown in 1972 are in stark contrast to interviews given later. The guys said that Motown only offered them $40K to re-sign with the label. In the book Duke reveals that Ewart Abner essentially dropped them. No offer to re-sign was made. I think the previous explanation of why they left Motown is the most plausible one.

    Especially confusing was his take on Walk Away Renee. Supposedly this was recorded on a bet with BG and when he heard it, according to Duke, it was rushed out. That is not what happened. It was on the Reach Out lp and didn't get released as a single until almost a year later, and was only a moderate hit for them here in the USA. Renee and Carpenter was essentially released because HDH had left and Motown was scrambling to find a suitable new producer for the Tops.

    No explanation was given on how the guys signed a contract with Casablanca, had two lps, then somehow jumped back to Motown. Also the chronology of the last two lps were wrong, Magic would be their last 80s Motown set.

    The Tops were well known to be party guys. Duke only fessed up to some of this. No mention was made of Levi being arrested at Heathrow in 1970 on a drug charge that Motown quickly quieted down. If anything this book seemed to be more aimed at damage control than expose. His affair with Mary Wilson is given little mention other than they remained close after it ended.

    The only touching part of the book for me was his descriptions of the illness and deaths of his singing buddies. He touts his new Four Tops group, but anytime I have even seen them, they are a shadow of what they had been. Let's face it, without Levi especially, there are no Four Tops.

    I wouldn't say that the book is a bad read, but I finished it in one sitting feeling like the story was only partially told.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,661
    Rep Power
    162
    thanks for your honest review.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    915
    Rep Power
    62
    I appreciate this honest review. I’m alway interested in what you say and bring to SDF.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    5,223
    Rep Power
    192
    Yes, I third that. I would have loved to have heard better things about the book, but I have to say that at this point in time I'm not shocked that Duke has faulty recollections. I wish the book well, and I will see if my library can get a copy for me to borrow.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    1,461
    Rep Power
    98
    BayoMo, you said it's not [[A bad read." That sealed it enough for me. Your review stopped me ticker, until that line! Thanks. Like Toni Braxton, I can [[breathe again!" Not gung ho to return to the library...because of your honesty Duke's tome is on my To Buy list.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1,602
    Rep Power
    164
    Quote Originally Posted by nativeNY63 View Post
    BayoMo, you said it's not [[A bad read." That sealed it enough for me. Your review stopped me ticker, until that line! Thanks. Like Toni Braxton, I can [[breathe again!" Not gung ho to return to the library...because of your honesty Duke's tome is on my To Buy list.
    It's worth buying just to read the chapter where he goes into detail about losing the other three Tops. I just expected more about the Motown days, the years after HDH when they struggled for a hit record and became second to the Temptations, the Dunhill years which started with a bang and ended with a thud. And the mysterious Casablanca years where, again, they started out well then ended up back at Motown without hit records. Dukes life and career merited far more than 161 pages. So much is left out

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    3,877
    Rep Power
    234
    Really well written, insightful review. To me, a good book review helps you decide whether you should actually read the book or not. Your review gives a very fair and honest assessment of how you view the contents and will help people decide if this book is worth reading or not. For me, I’m always most interested in the days before the celebrity became famous, which is why Mary Wilson’s book to me was so well worth reading. She has so much detail and such great recall as to times, dates and events. It sounds like that’s missing from Duke’s book, so I likely will not be reading it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1,602
    Rep Power
    164
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    Really well written, insightful review. To me, a good book review helps you decide whether you should actually read the book or not. Your review gives a very fair and honest assessment of how you view the contents and will help people decide if this book is worth reading or not. For me, Iím always most interested in the days before the celebrity became famous, which is why Mary Wilsonís book to me was so well worth reading. She has so much detail and such great recall as to times, dates and events. It sounds like thatís missing from Dukeís book, so I likely will not be reading it.
    No he spends time on his youth and on the formative years of the group. He especially delved into his dad's Muslim background and the effect his parents had on him. When it comes to Rock star bios, Mary still to me has the best and most balanced.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    698
    Rep Power
    150
    Thanks for this review. I wasn't hopeful that it would be all that it could be. After the Eddie Holland book, I thought this is a money grab. You would think with the ghost writer and an editor that they would have checked for accuracy. Too bad.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    70
    Rep Power
    145
    Having read ‘dukes’ book,as already said disappointing.
    Levi is more important than I ever thought,not just motown’s finest but up their with Nat,Frank and others.

    Obis lovely bass
    Lawrence nice singer[[best moment ‘one woman man’ what would Levi have done with that)
    Duke not sure

    David

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    441
    Rep Power
    148
    Quote Originally Posted by BayouMotownMan View Post
    I was so eager to read this when it was announced months ago that Duke had penned his memoirs that maybe my expectations were too high? But in any event, running barely 160 pages is hardly the depth that a 50 plus career deserves.

    I was put off by some of the inaccuracies and changed stories in Duke's tome. Disappointed that no mention was made of the three lps the guys did with The Supremes. He spent very little time on the Dunhill years and it made no sense to me that after four lps the group came to a loggerhead with Dunhill, yet the label released several more albums.

    His recollections of leaving Motown in 1972 are in stark contrast to interviews given later. The guys said that Motown only offered them $40K to re-sign with the label. In the book Duke reveals that Ewart Abner essentially dropped them. No offer to re-sign was made. I think the previous explanation of why they left Motown is the most plausible one.

    Especially confusing was his take on Walk Away Renee. Supposedly this was recorded on a bet with BG and when he heard it, according to Duke, it was rushed out. That is not what happened. It was on the Reach Out lp and didn't get released as a single until almost a year later, and was only a moderate hit for them here in the USA. Renee and Carpenter was essentially released because HDH had left and Motown was scrambling to find a suitable new producer for the Tops.

    No explanation was given on how the guys signed a contract with Casablanca, had two lps, then somehow jumped back to Motown. Also the chronology of the last two lps were wrong, Magic would be their last 80s Motown set.

    The Tops were well known to be party guys. Duke only fessed up to some of this. No mention was made of Levi being arrested at Heathrow in 1970 on a drug charge that Motown quickly quieted down. If anything this book seemed to be more aimed at damage control than expose. His affair with Mary Wilson is given little mention other than they remained close after it ended.

    The only touching part of the book for me was his descriptions of the illness and deaths of his singing buddies. He touts his new Four Tops group, but anytime I have even seen them, they are a shadow of what they had been. Let's face it, without Levi especially, there are no Four Tops.

    I wouldn't say that the book is a bad read, but I finished it in one sitting feeling like the story was only partially told.
    I anxiously awaited the arrival of the book, although in another thread someone cautioned against the bad language. I grew up on the streets of Philadelphia and was never mistaken for a choir boy, but the bad language is too much IMHO.

    Very touching was the chapter on the 3 Tops becoming ill, and Going To Glory.

    As someone who was born again in my 50's I greatly respect Dukes talking a walk with his faith late in life.

    As a proud father of a daughter who is a newly minted Lawyer, I delighted with knowing that his wife Piper and daughter are both Black Female Attorneys a group that makes up less than 1% of all Lawyers in the US.

    I really really enjoyed reading about Dukes early years, and the history of The 4 Tops. Not much was known previously by myself, or most Forum Members I am sure.

    On the other hand; 160 pages is light. Inaccuracies abound. David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks did not leave The Temptations in 1968 for example. I was looking for more meat, but the Motown years were I felt lacking in detail, and the post Motown era could have used more information as well.

    In closing, the book was okay, it will join the other more than 140 Motown themed books that I have in storage. Will I read it again, no. Do I recommend it? If you are a collector, absolutely! If you are a fan, yes. To most of my fellow Forum members, I humbly submit a rating of 6 out of 10. Would I buy it again...yes. Bon Chance Mr. Fakir!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,490
    Rep Power
    160
    I'm still on the fence as to whether I will get this book.

    The excessive profanity leads me to think that this book might just be a transcription of an audio recording of Duke's recollections rather than a story written around those recollections.

    Do those of you who have read the book think this might be the case?

    A few of the Motown biographies have seemed to read, in part, like transcriptions of recorded interviews rather than a story written based on those interviews. I understand it's nice to hear a story in the voice of the person telling the story but editing is needed to avoid rambling, poor grammar and excessive profanity. That's the fault of the co-author[s] and editor[s] rather than the person being interviewed.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,011
    Rep Power
    170
    This is just the prude side of me; however, after reading here that the book contains more than just occasional profanity turns me off from getting it. I just can't get on the bandwagon of accepting the common use of the 'f' bomb, or the like, in order for one to get their point across. I now will quietly, or not, stumble off my soapbox. Just my opinion.
    Last edited by jobucats; 05-12-2022 at 09:14 AM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Posts
    503
    Rep Power
    37
    Was the book self published? Might explain the lack of fact checking.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2,648
    Rep Power
    171
    So is the book better or worse at behind the scenes stuff at Motown in the 60s than the Hollands' or Lamont Dozier's book?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    3,877
    Rep Power
    234
    Quote Originally Posted by jobucats View Post
    This is just the prude side of me; however, after reading here that the book contains more than just occasional profanity turns me off from getting it. I just can't get on the bandwagon of accepting the common use of the 'f' bomb, or the like, in order for one to get their point across. I now will quietly, or not, stumble off my soapbox. Just my opinion.
    I totally get that. I am not above dropping an F bomb now and then, but I do it so seldom that when I do people really notice it. In a way, I guess that’s the point. I think it’s an example of lazy writing and not being able to describe events any better if the book is full of F bombs. I wouldn’t refuse to read it just for that reason, but it doesn’t sound like it’s a very informative book anyway.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    1,443
    Rep Power
    179
    A 6 page spread article/interview in the june 2022 Record Collector

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,011
    Rep Power
    170
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    I totally get that. I am not above dropping an F bomb now and then, but I do it so seldom that when I do people really notice it. In a way, I guess that’s the point. I think it’s an example of lazy writing and not being able to describe events any better if the book is full of F bombs. I wouldn’t refuse to read it just for that reason, but it doesn’t sound like it’s a very informative book anyway.
    I believe the F bomb, with the -ing added, should be listed in a thesaurus as an alternative word for "seriously".

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

[REMOVE ADS]

Ralph Terrana
MODERATOR

Welcome to Soulful Detroit! Kindly Consider Turning Off Your Ad BlockingX
Soulful Detroit is a free service that relies on revenue from ad display [regrettably] and donations. We notice that you are using an ad-blocking program that prevents us from earning revenue during your visit.
Ads are REMOVED for Members who donate to Soulful Detroit. [You must be logged in for ads to disappear]
DONATE HERE »
And have Ads removed.