The Chicago Syndicate: Me, the Mob, and the Music: One Helluva Ride with Tommy James & The Shondells

Monday, November 04, 2019

Me, the Mob, and the Music: One Helluva Ride with Tommy James & The Shondells

Everyone knows the hits: “Hanky Panky,” “Mony Mony,” “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “Crimson and Clover,” “Crystal Blue Persuasion.” All of these songs, which epitomize great pop music of the late 1960s, are now widely used in television and film and have been covered by a diverse group of artists from Billy Idol to Tiffany to R.E.M. Just as compelling as the music itself is the life Tommy James lived while making it.

James tells the incredible story, revealing his complex and sometimes terrifying relationship with Roulette Records and Morris Levy, the legendary Godfather of the music business. Me, the Mob, and the Music: One Helluva Ride with Tommy James & The Shondells, is a fascinating portrait of this swaggering, wildly creative era of rock ’n’ roll, when the hits kept coming and payola and the strong-arm tactics of the Mob were the norm, and what it was like, for better or worse, to be in the middle of it.

Now in paperback, after five hardcover printings, Tommy James’s wild and entertaining true story of his career—part rock & roll fairytale, part valentine to a bygone era, and part mob epic—that “reads like a music-industry version of Goodfellas” (The Denver Post).


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