Recommendations · Worth a Watch

Worth a Watch: From Cradle to Stage

A couple of days I ago I posted my review for the book From Cradle to Stage: Stories from the Mothers who Raised Rock Stars by Virginia Hanlon Grohl. After listening to the audio book I discovered that it had been turned into a documentary series. It was released in May of 2021 and can been seen on Paramount.

As with the book, I would recommend this show for music fans of all genres. Check out the trailer below.

Book Reviews · Recommendations

From Cradle to Stage by Virginia Hanlon Grohl

From Cradle to Stage:
Stories from Mothers who Raised Rock Stars
By: Virginia Hanlon Grohl

Book Cover

Published: April 2017
Published by: Hachette
Format Read: Audio book, Audible
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography, Memoir

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis

Written by Virginia Grohl, the mother of Dave Grohl—former Nirvana drummer and current frontman for the Foo Fighters—From Cradle to Stage shares stories and exclusive photos featuring mothers of rock icons, the icons themselves, and their Behind the Music-style relationships

While the Grohl family had always been musical-the family sang together on long car trips, harmonizing to Motown and David Bowie-Virginia never expected her son to become a musician, let alone a rock star. But when she saw him perform in front of thousands of screaming fans for the first time, she knew that rock stardom was meant to be for her son. And as Virginia watched her son’s star rise, she often wondered about the other mothers who raised sons and daughters who became rock stars. Were they as surprised as she was about their children’s fame? Did they worry about their children’s livelihood and wellbeing in an industry fraught with drugs and other dangers? Did they encourage their children’s passions despite the odds against success, or attempt to dissuade them from their grandiose dreams? Do they remind their kids to pack a warm coat when they go on tour?

Virginia decided to seek out other rock star mothers to ask these questions, and so began a two-year odyssey in which she interviewed such women as Verna Griffin, Dr. Dre’s mother; Marianne Stipe, Michael Stipe of REM’s mother; Janis Winehouse, Amy Winehouse’s mother; Patsy Noah, Adam Levine’s mother; Donna Haim, mother of the Haim sisters; Hester Diamond, Mike D of The Beastie Boys’ mother.

With exclusive family photographs and a foreword by Dave Grohl, From Cradle to Stage will appeal to mothers and rock fans everywhere.

My Thoughts

While you may not know who Virginia Hanlon Grohl is by name, you will most likely know her son Dave Grohl, as one of the most influential musicians of the past 30 years. In her book From Cradle to Stage, she takes readers along as she learns about the familial and maternal influences behind some of the most successful musicians. Along with these stories are vignettes about her son, the early years of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters.

I admit that I decided to listen to this audio book specifically to learn more about the lead singer of one of my favourite rock bands; Foo Fighters. I was pleasantly surprised to have enjoyed all the chapters, ranging from those I was familiar with to the ones I had never heard of before.

Chapters I especially found intriguing were that of; Bev Lambert (mom of Miranda Lambert) and Mary Weinrib (mother of Geddy Lee).

Aside from learning about how these musicians got their start, readers and listeners will see the importance of a strong support system behind big dreams. As a mother this only makes me even more eager to help and support my own child to cultivate his strengths and talents.

Virginia Hanlon Grohl also stresses the importance of funding arts programs in schools and how the lack of this education can negatively impact the success of some children.

I highly recommend From Cradle to Stage to music lovers and mothers alike.

Articles · Recommendations · Worth a Watch

My Firefly Lane Playlist

Kristin Hannah’s Firefly Lane has been on my TBR for years, however in light of the release of the Netflix adaptation, I decided to bump it up my list. I finally read this book in April and enjoyed the coming of age story of two best friends.

For those who are not familiar with this book here is the synopsis:

Book Cover

From the New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah comes a powerful novel of love, loss, and the magic of friendship. . . .

In the turbulent summer of 1974, Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the eighth-grade social food chain. Then, to her amazement, the “coolest girl in the world” moves in across the street and wants to be her friend. Tully Hart seems to have it all—beauty, brains, ambition. On the surface they are as opposite as two people can be: Kate, doomed to be forever uncool, with a loving family who mortifies her at every turn. Tully, steeped in glamour and mystery, but with a secret that is destroying her. They make a pact to be best friends forever; by summer’s end they’ve become TullyandKate. Inseparable.

So begins Kristin Hannah’s magnificent new novel. Spanning more than three decades and playing out across the ever-changing face of the Pacific Northwest, Firefly Lane is the poignant, powerful story of two women and the friendship that becomes the bulkhead of their lives.

From the beginning, Tully is desperate to prove her worth to the world. Abandoned by her mother at an early age, she longs to be loved unconditionally. In the glittering, big-hair era of the eighties, she looks to men to fill the void in her soul. But in the buttoned-down nineties, it is television news that captivates her. She will follow her own blind ambition to New York and around the globe, finding fame and success . . . and loneliness.

Kate knows early on that her life will be nothing special. Throughout college, she pretends to be driven by a need for success, but all she really wants is to fall in love and have children and live an ordinary life. In her own quiet way, Kate is as driven as Tully. What she doesn’t know is how being a wife and mother will change her . . . how she’ll lose sight of who she once was, and what she once wanted. And how much she’ll envy her famous best friend. . . .

For thirty years, Tully and Kate buoy each other through life, weathering the storms of friendship—jealousy, anger, hurt, resentment. They think they’ve survived it all until a single act of betrayal tears them apart . . . and puts their courage and friendship to the ultimate test.

Firefly Lane is for anyone who ever drank Boone’s Farm apple wine while listening to Abba or Fleetwood Mac. More than a coming-of-age novel, it’s the story of a generation of women who were both blessed and cursed by choices. It’s about promises and secrets and betrayals. And ultimately, about the one person who really, truly knows you—and knows what has the power to hurt you . . . and heal you. Firefly Lane is a story you’ll never forget . . . one you’ll want to pass on to your best friend.

Source: Goodreads

I loved all the cultural references to the time periods it covers. Kristin Hannah really transports her readers back in time. Another aspect I loved, was how much amazing music was incorporated into this book and how it played such a pivotal role in the different chapters of Tully and Kate’s lives.

Today I would like to share with you some (and I could add tons more ha) of my favourite songs that were mentioned in Kristin Hannah’s Firefly Lane.

For What It’s Worth by Buffalo Springfield

Daydream Believer by The Monkees

Takin’ Care of Business by Bachman Turner Overdrive

Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

Book Reviews

My First Experience With Graphic Novels

During the month of April, I decided to read a graphic novel, for the first time. It is a genre, I have been curious about, but I didn’t really have any interest in typical superhero comics. Then I came across one that was more to my interest. Here are my quick thoughts on the graphic novel I read.

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The Beatles in Comics!
By: Michels Mabel and Various Artists

Genre: Graphic Novel, Biography, Non-fiction
Rating: 2.5 Rating
Quick Thoughts: The Beatles in Comics! is a graphic novel telling the rise and breakup of the Fab Four. Each chapter begins with a paragraph on a certain era of The Beatles career and is illustrated by different artists. It was interesting how each artist depicted their sections and I enjoyed re-visiting the biography of one of my favourite bands. However I did find it quite repetitive and decided on a 2.5 rating.

My overall first impression of graphic novels:

Although I am happy to have finally experienced this genre with a topic of my interest, I don’t think that it is a format I will be picking up on a regular basis. That is unless I come across more that really grab my attention.

What do you think of graphic novels? Have you read any? Leave me a message in the comments.

Book Reviews · Charlie's Corner · Recommendations

Charlie’s Corner: Book Review: Saltwater Joys

Welcome to Charlie’s Corner, named after my little boy. Here I will share baby/children’s product and book reviews.
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Saltwater Joys
By: Wayne Chaulk
Illustrated by: Dawn Baker

Published: August 2012
Published by: Pennywell Books
Format Read: Paperback
Genre: Children’s Lit, Picture Book, Lyrical, Cultural

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis

“Saltwater Joys” is perhaps one of the most popular and well-known songs to come out of Newfoundland and Labrador. Written by Wayne Chaulk of Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers, the song is a celebration of the simple pleasures of outport life.

This beloved song is now available in book form, with Dawn Baker’s stunning illustrations capturing the joys of living in Newfoundland. From enjoying quiet mornings in the cove, to admiring icebergs in the spring and brightly coloured leaves in the fall, to breathing in the salty ocean smells and watching the sun set over the water, the words to the song come alive within these pages.

Complete with sheet music at the back, Saltwater Joys is as beautiful as the song that inspired it.

Finalist for the 2014 Heritage and History Book Award

Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts

On our last trip to Newfoundland, I was lucky to find a signed copy of Wayne Chaulk’s book Saltwater Joys. As I am eager to continually expand our collection of literature from the province, I am very pleased to say that it is currently in heavy rotation among my toddlers numerus books.

This children’s picture book, follows the lyrics to the song of the same name, that was made popular by Chaulk’s band Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers. It tells the story of a young boy who takes pride in his island home.

Beautifully illustrated by artist Dawn Baker, the scenes depict each line of the song in vibrant colours that capture life in Newfoundland, past and present. This copy also includes the sheet music, for those who are so inclined to play the song themselves.

I believe that everyone (young and old) could enjoy this picture book. Especially those who are interested in Newfoundland culture and those who are fans of musician Wayne Chaulk.

Additional Notes

Saltwater Joys by Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers