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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Lake Shore Drive: Stories of the Road & Tales of the Tropicana is a collection of nonfiction memoirs written by Skip Haynes. Haynes was the guitarist in the rock and roll group, Aliotta, Haynes, and Jeremiah, which made a mark in the music scene with their hit, Lake Shore Drive, that they recorded in 1970. The author, who had written the lyrics for that song, recounts those more memorable, and often funny moments, as the three young musicians were on the road. The early tales center around their time spent in New York City, most notably their performance at the Bitter End on Bleecker Street, and the crazy antics they indulged in during those years when drugs, sex, and alcohol fueled their days and nights. Lake Shore Drive is based on their move to the west coast and tenancy in Sandy Koufax’s Tropicana Motor Hotel.
Skip Haynes’ nonfiction collection of memoirs, Lake Shore Drive: Stories of the Road & Tales of the Tropicana, gives the reader an in-depth look at the lifestyle of an aspiring group of young musicians during the early 1970s. Haynes has a fluid and conversational writing style that engages the reader as he recounts the crazy times he and his fellow musicians had back then. He intersperses his memoirs with the lyrics of his songs, including Lake Shore Drive, which catapulted the group to some measure of local and national fame. His lyrics are intensely personal and honest, especially those in For Eddie, which was written in honor of an aspiring and gifted concert pianist who had lost one hand fighting in the Spanish Civil War when he was younger, and cleaned glasses in a bar for a living. Ever wonder what it was like for the young rock and roll gods of the sixties and seventies? Skip Haynes has a few stories to tell you about it. Lake Shore Drive: Stories of the Road & Tales of the Tropicana is highly recommended.