Patsi Bale Cox - 'The Garth Factor: The Career Behind Country's Big Boom'
From Jennifer Webb, for About.com
From the first trip made to Nashville in 1985, through the present-day state of his career, Garth Brooks managed to take not only the country music genre by storm but the music industry as a whole. Patsi Bale Cox has done a wonderful job documenting the process using a style that's both informative and entertaining. That's no easy task, but she's managed to find that happy medium readers will be able to appreciate.
It's All About Balance
A re-occurring theme found throughout the pages of The Garth Factor: The Career Behind Country's Big Boom is that Garth Brooks has always been consistent in his actions and has never shown himself as being too big-headed and full of himself. This fact goes for his career and personal life. He had his share of ups and downs, but I think the way he handled them all made him the superstar he is. If he had not remained such a grounded person, there would have been no way he could have made it through such high times without being virtually unscathed. Not only did the artist look after himself and his own family, but also he quietly took care of close friends and others who surrounded him. For a superstar to take the time to recognize those who have helped him along the way is an impressive feat.
Garth Brooks' Career
The subject of Garth's career is a big one in this book and there is a lot of ground covered. With any profession there are the inevitable ups and downs or variable roller coasters. There was no way Garth would walk away with a flawless collection of years in the spotlight. Though he's sold millions of albums, received numerous awards, sold out many concerts, and even played for the largest crowd in New York Central Park's history, there have also been infidelity rumors, video controversies ("Thunder Rolls"), and even people at his own record label trying to change the way he went about making his music. What tells a lot about a person is how they handle the calm and the storm. Garth has been able to gracefully stand up for himself and prove that he never plans on changing the person he is - no matter who tells him otherwise.
A Few Interesting Facts:
• Garth Brooks made sure that his band members were paid on the basis of a salary.
• Band members were also provided with medical insurance.
• During a time when a label head was making negative comments to and about staffers, Garth held a meeting with the staff to hear what they had to say and see if he could make things better.
• Even though the "Thunder Rolls" video controversy sparked many supporters and donations for abused women causes, Garth often felt the song itself was overshadowed and regretted that fact.
• Before each major concert gig, Garth would spend hours sitting in seats throughout the stadium/arena in order to ensure the best possible show for anyone who attended.
• Through Garth's entire career he has always kept his fans first and foremost in his heart while considering the music he records.
Behind the Scenes Knowledge
The most fascinating thing about The Garth Factor: The Career Behind Country's Big Boom is the breadth of knowledge readers get about the music business and various goings-on that most regular folks aren't privy to. Although the general idea is to get a better picture of Garth's beginnings and then rise to superstardom, Patsi Bale Cox did a great job of keeping it interesting by talking about the people who Garth not only got along with, but those who seemed to clash with him when in the same room. Being let in on the small details is wonderful for not only fans but I would also say those who want to be in the business. That statement goes for future music acts, promotional staffers, a secretary position and everything in-between. The good and bad parts of things - as Garth experienced them - are all laid out on the table without any nonsense. Good advice and words of wisdom can be found in varying degrees within each chapter.
Release date: May 28, 2009 - Center Street