After the dance My life with Marvin Gaye

Jan Gaye

Book - 2015

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Subjects
Genres
Autobiographies
Published
New York, NY : Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2015]
©2015
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
viii, 290 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : portraits (some color) ; 24 cm
ISBN
9780062135513
0062135511
Main Author
Jan Gaye (author)
Other Authors
David Ritz (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

She had just turned 17 when she met singer Marvin Gaye in 1973, but she'd had a crush on him since the mid-1960s, when she used to watch him performing on American Bandstand. Even though he was twice as old as she was, and married, the author began a relationship with Gaye that led to marriage and that lasted until Gaye's murder in 1984. This is the first time Jan Gaye has spoken at any real length about her life with Marvin; she tells a story of love, fame, addiction, triumph, and tragedy—in other words, she tells the story of being a music star's wife in the 1970s. Although the book doesn't break any new ground (this kind of story has been told so many times there might not be any new ground left to break), it is a story told honestly and directly, with real passion and plenty of behind-the-scenes insight. Fans of soul music in the sixties and seventies will be curious to read this one. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Gaye's tell-all about her decadelong relationship with legendary R&B musician Marvin Gaye (1939–84) is a tragic story about an illicit romance that burned bright but flamed out in a tangled web of abuse. Her account begins with a tortured upbringing as one of bebop singer Slim Gaillard's neglected 17 children, raised in foster care until she was returned to her drug-addicted mother at 14. Jan's relationship with Marvin began shortly after her 17th birthday, and she became a mother to two children with the singer while still a teenager. The narrative gets darker as Jan describes her and Marvin's addiction to freebase cocaine, his bouts of violence, his declining career fortunes, and their subsequent divorce. The author is an astute and generous critic of Marvin's music, despite the tumultuous nature of their relationship, providing insightful commentary on Gaye's most cherished recordings. The book is at its most powerful, though, when it describes a woman's attempts to escape from a sexually, physically, and psychologically abusive relationship. VERDICT This title will surely interest and disturb fans of Marvin Gaye. Jan's writing, with help from Ritz (Divided Soul), is engaging, steamy, harrowing, and insightful. [See Prepub Alert, 11/10/14.]—Brian Flota, James Madison Univ., Harrisonburg, VA [Page 88]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The second wife of the late, legendary R&B star, describes how she met the Motown superstar when she was 17 and began a torrid love affair and marriage that was eventually shattered by drugs, family dysfunction and the burdens of fame. 50,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A "cautionary tale about the ecstasy and dangers of loving Marvin Gaye, a performer passionately pursued by all--and a searing memoir of drugs, sex, and old school R & B from the wife of [the] legendary soul icon"--Amazon.com.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

The second wife of the late, legendary R&B star describes how she met the Motown superstar when she was seventeen and began a torrid love affair and marriage that was eventually shattered by drugs and family dysfunction.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

In the 1970s, Marvin Gaye was the soulful prince of Motown with the seductive liquid voice; his chart-topping, socially conscious album What's Going On made him a superstar. Primarily silent since Marvin's tragic death in 1984, Jan Gaye gives a riveting cautionary tale about the ecstasy and dangers of loving him-- and a searing memoir of drugs, sex, and old school R & B. She reveals what it's like to be in love with a creative genius who transformed popular culture and whose artistry continues to be celebrated today.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

A riveting cautionary tale about the ecstasy and dangers of loving Marvin Gaye, a performer passionately pursued by all—and a searing memoir of drugs, sex, and old school R&B from the wife of legendary soul icon Marvin Gaye.After her seventeenth birthday in 1973, Janis Hunter met Marvin Gaye—the soulful prince of Motown with the seductive liquid voice whose chart-topping, socially conscious album What’s Going On made him a superstar two years earlier. Despite a seventeen-year-age difference and Marvin’s marriage to the sister of Berry Gordy, Motown’s founder, the enchanted teenager and the emotionally volatile singer began a scorching relationship.One moment Jan was a high school student; the next she was accompanying Marvin to parties, navigating the intriguing world of 1970s-‘80s celebrity; hanging with Don Cornelius on the set of Soul Train, and helping to discover new talent like Frankie Beverly. But the burdens of fame, the chaos of dysfunctional families, and the irresistible temptations of drugs complicated their love.Primarily silent since Marvin’s tragic death in 1984, Jan at last opens up, sharing the moving, fervently charged story of one of music history’s most fabled marriages. Unsparing in its honesty and insight, illustrated with sixteen pages of black-and-white photos, After the Dance reveals what it’s like to be in love with a creative genius who transformed popular culture and whose artistry continues to be celebrated today.