The 1950s is unquestionably one of the most intriguing ages in the modern history of the entertainment industry. It was during this period that audiences saw the release of what are some of the greatest science-fiction movies of all time. Many of those movies also made some very powerful social and political statements through their stories, believe it or not. It was also during the 1950s that the music industry saw the rise of the vocal quartet as the major musical act. From The Tour Tops to the Four Aces to The Four Preps (the industry had a thing for groups of four back then, apparently), vocal groups were obviously all the rage during the 1950s. Early this month, the story of one of those groups – The Four Preps – through Bear Manor Media and Shadow Bear Productions in the form of the new biography, Icons, Idols and Idiots of Hollywood: My Adventures in America’s First Boy Band. Written by the band’s lead singer and founding member Bruce Belland, this biography of the so-called “first boy band” is an engaging and entertaining read for any “oldies” fan and those of vocal pop groups from that era. That is due in no small part to the story that Belland shares. The manner in which he shares the story also plays into the book’s appeal and will be discussed a little later. The story’s transitions round out its most important elements, completing its presentation. They will be discussed later, too. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the book’s presentation. All things considered they make Icons, Idols and Idiots of Hollywood: My Adventures in America’s First Boy Band quite the unsuspecting success of a biography.
Icons, Idols and Idiots of Hollywood: My Adventures in America’s First Boy Band, the new music bio from The Four Preps lead vocalist Bruce Belland, is quite the surprisingly entertaining read for any oldies fan. That is due in no small part to the story that is featured through the book’s nearly 400-page span. The story in question starts with Belland’s earliest days, living in the Midwest with his ultra conservative pastor father and his mother. Audiences will be interested to read about the divide that gradually forms between Belland and his father as he grows into not only a young man but a young, up-and-coming pop vocalist. Further, the celebrity connections that he makes after he and his parents move to Hollywood and how they happen makes for its own share of interest. As the story progresses, readers are treated to stories of the group’s ups and downs, all of which are so vivid in their simplicity, including navigating being drafted by the United States Army and what happens after the fact. The story featured herein is just so engaging because of everything that Belland shares from beginning to end. It forms a solid foundation on which rests the very manner in which Belland shares the story.
The manner in which Belland shares The Four Preps’ story is important to note because it is also so simple. There is no sense of pretense at any point during the recollection. Reading Belland’s words is like listening to an old friend recall fond memories one on one. From his little jokes to his laid back nature in telling his story, it makes following each part of the group’s growth and development actually fun. Honestly, it would be so easy for Belland to have gotten lost in his story telling as he continued chapter to chapter and even section to section, but he never once allows himself to digress that much. The result is a story that flows so easily from one chapter to the next just from the way in which the author shares the tale.
While the way in which Belland shares the story featured in his new book does so much to make the book readable, the transitions that he incorporates into his story telling finish off the most important of the book’s elements. Belland knows exactly how and where to cut sections and chapters so as to keep the story flowing. Within chapters, there are plenty of section breaks that give readers moments to stop and catch themselves. At the same time they also serve to help generate clear beginnings and endings to the anecdotes that Belland shares. The result is clear transitions that are sure to keep readers engaged and entertained just as much as the story itself and how Belland delivers the tale. When all three elements are considered together they make Icons, Idols and Idiots of Hollywood: My Adventures in America’s First Boy Band a book that is well worth reading by any oldies fans and a welcome addition to this year’s field of biographies.
Icons, Idols and Idiots of Hollywood: My Adventures in America’s First Boy Band, the new biography from Bruce Belland, is an engaging and entertaining look at the history of one of the groups that formed the foundation of today’s pop music community. The book proves so enjoyable in part because of its very story. The story is that of how The Four Preps came together during the group’s youth and of all of the challenges that it faced along the way. The way in which Belland shares the story makes for its own interest because it is so simple and personal. The transitions that he uses throughout the story works directly with how he tells the story, rounding out the book’s most important elements. Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the book. All things considered they make Icons, Idols and Idiots of Hollywood: My Adventures in America’s First Boy Band a book that proves surprisingly engaging and entertaining for any fan of oldies and specifically of The Four Preps.