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Miss O'Dell: My Hard Days and Long Nights with the Beatles, the Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and the Women They Loved

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Chris O'Dell Wasn't Famous. She Wasn't Even Almost Famous. But She Was There. She was in the studio when the Beatles recorded The White Album, Abbey Road, and Let It Be, and when Paul recorded "Hey Jude," she sang in the chorus. She was at Ringo's kitchen table when George Harrison said, "You know, Ringo, I'm in love with your wife." And Ringo replied, "Better you than som Chris O'Dell Wasn't Famous. She Wasn't Even Almost Famous. But She Was There. She was in the studio when the Beatles recorded The White Album, Abbey Road, and Let It Be, and when Paul recorded "Hey Jude," she sang in the chorus. She was at Ringo's kitchen table when George Harrison said, "You know, Ringo, I'm in love with your wife." And Ringo replied, "Better you than someone we don't know." She typed the lyrics to George Harrison's All Things Must Pass. She lived with George and Pattie Boyd at Friar Park, developed a crush on Eric Clapton, and unwittingly got involved in the famous love story between Eric and Pattie. She's the subject of Leon Russell's "Pisces Apple Lady," a song he wrote to woo her. Other rock legends with whom she was intimate include Ringo, Mick Jagger, and Bob Dylan. She worked with the Rolling Stones as their personal assistant on their infamous 1972 tour and did a drug run for Keith Richards. She's "the woman down the hall" in Joni Mitchell's song "Coyote" about a love triangle on Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue tour. She's the "mystery woman" pictured on the back of the Rolling Stones album Exile on Main Street. She's the "Miss O'Dell" of George Harrison's song about her. Miss O'Dell is the remarkable story of an ordinary woman who lived the dream of millions -- to be part of rock royalty's trusted inner circle. Illustrated with private photographs and jam-packed with intimate anecdotes, Miss O'Dell is a backstage pass to some of the most momentous events in rock history.


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Chris O'Dell Wasn't Famous. She Wasn't Even Almost Famous. But She Was There. She was in the studio when the Beatles recorded The White Album, Abbey Road, and Let It Be, and when Paul recorded "Hey Jude," she sang in the chorus. She was at Ringo's kitchen table when George Harrison said, "You know, Ringo, I'm in love with your wife." And Ringo replied, "Better you than som Chris O'Dell Wasn't Famous. She Wasn't Even Almost Famous. But She Was There. She was in the studio when the Beatles recorded The White Album, Abbey Road, and Let It Be, and when Paul recorded "Hey Jude," she sang in the chorus. She was at Ringo's kitchen table when George Harrison said, "You know, Ringo, I'm in love with your wife." And Ringo replied, "Better you than someone we don't know." She typed the lyrics to George Harrison's All Things Must Pass. She lived with George and Pattie Boyd at Friar Park, developed a crush on Eric Clapton, and unwittingly got involved in the famous love story between Eric and Pattie. She's the subject of Leon Russell's "Pisces Apple Lady," a song he wrote to woo her. Other rock legends with whom she was intimate include Ringo, Mick Jagger, and Bob Dylan. She worked with the Rolling Stones as their personal assistant on their infamous 1972 tour and did a drug run for Keith Richards. She's "the woman down the hall" in Joni Mitchell's song "Coyote" about a love triangle on Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue tour. She's the "mystery woman" pictured on the back of the Rolling Stones album Exile on Main Street. She's the "Miss O'Dell" of George Harrison's song about her. Miss O'Dell is the remarkable story of an ordinary woman who lived the dream of millions -- to be part of rock royalty's trusted inner circle. Illustrated with private photographs and jam-packed with intimate anecdotes, Miss O'Dell is a backstage pass to some of the most momentous events in rock history.

30 review for Miss O'Dell: My Hard Days and Long Nights with the Beatles, the Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and the Women They Loved

  1. 4 out of 5

    Wileyacez

    Okay--I've been on a rock and roll memoir kick. I've read Pattie Boyd's book and Bebe Buell's book. They both kind of depressed me because those women were really not much outside of their relationships with rock personas. This book was great--Chris O'Dell is "one of us" in the sense that she landed, by some good luck and lots of hard work, a life surrounded by some of the cultural icons of the rock world. Her story is the first of the bunch that did not involve total sex--which occurred but was Okay--I've been on a rock and roll memoir kick. I've read Pattie Boyd's book and Bebe Buell's book. They both kind of depressed me because those women were really not much outside of their relationships with rock personas. This book was great--Chris O'Dell is "one of us" in the sense that she landed, by some good luck and lots of hard work, a life surrounded by some of the cultural icons of the rock world. Her story is the first of the bunch that did not involve total sex--which occurred but was kept side bar to the more important elements of the relationships--and total debauchery. She walked away from that world and created a new life for herself through higher education, so perhaps that's what resonates from the book. While it was a memoir, she comes out sounding like a real, whole person with a solid life. She had her time with these rock stars; now she has a functional life that any one of us could have. She never seems to become part of the rock world; she remains an observer right along. She talks about the friendships that she made in the same way that anyone would discuss their friends. That's what's really cool; in this case her friends are George Harrison and Ringo Starr! She also talks about how she sees her actions (and the actions of those she associated with) in hind sight--put into perspective. Of the three women, Chris O'Dell is the one that I think I'd enjoy actually meeting.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    Again, wishing I could give 1/2 stars because this would be a 3.5. Chris O’Dell moved to London in the late 60s and wormed her way into a job at Apple. She became friends with George, Paul, and Ringo and even ended up singing in the chorus on “Hey Jude.” She also became best friends with Pattie Harrison, and for a while lived with George as Pattie’s assistant. From there she toured with the Rolling Stones and hobnobbed with other rock luminaries, living the life of sex, excess drugs, and rock ‘n Again, wishing I could give 1/2 stars because this would be a 3.5. Chris O’Dell moved to London in the late 60s and wormed her way into a job at Apple. She became friends with George, Paul, and Ringo and even ended up singing in the chorus on “Hey Jude.” She also became best friends with Pattie Harrison, and for a while lived with George as Pattie’s assistant. From there she toured with the Rolling Stones and hobnobbed with other rock luminaries, living the life of sex, excess drugs, and rock ‘n roll. I alternated between not being able to put this down and wanting to throw it across the room. I was never sure if she was as important to these rock stars as she thought she was or if she was a little delusional. Even though she “worked” for these various celebrities, she never seemed to do an honest day’s work and would often invite herself to live with and sponge off various friends. However, her encounters with established and up-coming stars were interesting and sometimes insightful. After reading the memoirs by Pattie (Harrison) Boyd, Eric Clapton, and Ronnie Wood, I felt I knew most of what she talked about but it was fun getting her side of the stories. I need to get Pattie’s book again to read her interpretation of Chris O’Dell.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ashlee

    I liked this book better than Pattie Boyd's book, I felt I got a better idea of Pattie's and George's personalities than I did Pattie's book. Some negative comments first about the author: She for the most part works for these people (te exception is the Rolling Stones, they just liked having her around), so she has an income, yet she never has any money? She doesn't have a place of her own (for the most part anyway, she does sporadically) so she crashes at her friends house, they fly her out to I liked this book better than Pattie Boyd's book, I felt I got a better idea of Pattie's and George's personalities than I did Pattie's book. Some negative comments first about the author: She for the most part works for these people (te exception is the Rolling Stones, they just liked having her around), so she has an income, yet she never has any money? She doesn't have a place of her own (for the most part anyway, she does sporadically) so she crashes at her friends house, they fly her out to see them, and some pay for her to vacation with them (Eric Clapton actually gets mad at her for using him and ditching him as Pattie for George before the trip is over and not offering to pay for her stay. There isn't much I like about Clapton the more I read about him, but he's right on that one.). So yes she works for them, but she also kind of mooches off them too. She really seemed to identify herself through her friendships with these people. I suppose if you're in that world but on the outside, you would get swept up in who you know. It's not name dropping because she goes on to explain how she's connected with all these people, but her self-worth was definitely tied around who she was living vicariously through. I got bored by the end though, the last 60 or so pages dragged for me as I was ready to be reading something not revolving around drugs and self-absorbed rock stars. That said, this was mostly a very fun read. I loved reading about her friendships with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Eric Clapton is a jerk no matter what you read about him from this time period, but here she tries to show his good side too, and that humanized him for me and painted a better picture of what drugs and alcohol were doing to his personality. It was also fun I read the ins and outs of working on a tour, the details and drama that go along with that.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tori Momb

    Note: I read this book at least six months ago, so I am a little fuzzy on the details. Anyways, I have read Clapton's book, Pattie's book, Cynthia's book, etc. but this book gives the best view of all the players in the late 60s/ early 70s music scene. I think Miss O'Dell really gives a great view of the personalities of George and Pattie...a lot more than Pattie was able to do in her own book. She clearly loves both of them a lot and her stories of them at Friar Park are some of the best parts. Note: I read this book at least six months ago, so I am a little fuzzy on the details. Anyways, I have read Clapton's book, Pattie's book, Cynthia's book, etc. but this book gives the best view of all the players in the late 60s/ early 70s music scene. I think Miss O'Dell really gives a great view of the personalities of George and Pattie...a lot more than Pattie was able to do in her own book. She clearly loves both of them a lot and her stories of them at Friar Park are some of the best parts. It's amazing to compare this book to Pattie's. After I finished, I went through Pattie's book and saw all the same stories being told...while Pattie regards Chris very fondly, she comes off as a faceless/nameless person compared to all the other big names. However, Chris is there and their recollections are very similar. Next to George, Ringo is the only Beatle to get a lot of page time. John is nearly non existent and Paul comes in and out, but mostly only in passing (except for the story where he and Linda were trying to be incognito at George's concert and Chris almost outed them on accident...one of the more memorable anecdotes!) Her time after being at Apple Records and at Friar Park aren't as interesting to me. It's cool getting a look into Apple and some of the behind the scenes players during that period. Her romance with Leon Russell is pretty sad and you can tell he still holds a very strong place in her heart. Throughout most of this, Chris kind of seems to be a hot mess. I guess it's the pisces in her, but she is prone to substance abuse. Towards the end it is very sad until she turns her life around when her son is born. She seems to be one of countless casualties of that period. My favorite part of the book is when she screams "F*** you Eric Clapton!" out a car window. Clapton definitely comes off as the worst in this book. You kind of get the vibe in Pattie's book and even his own, but Chris holds nothing back with her distaste for the guitarist. I think it shows her loyalty and love for Pattie (and to a further extent, her love for George and resentment for the change that came when they broke up) that she sees just how awful Clapton and Layla are together.

  5. 5 out of 5

    C'lestial

    Chris was there in the 60's along with the start of Apple in England. It tells of her life coming from California from a lucky break to go to England to work for Apple along with the Beatles,the Stones, Dylan, Leon Russell, and many more of the greats of that time. It was great reading about being on the inside of life with Pattie and George Harrison, Maureen Starkey (Ringo's ex late wife),Eric Clapton and his addictions and several more. George even wrote a song about her! It's included in his Chris was there in the 60's along with the start of Apple in England. It tells of her life coming from California from a lucky break to go to England to work for Apple along with the Beatles,the Stones, Dylan, Leon Russell, and many more of the greats of that time. It was great reading about being on the inside of life with Pattie and George Harrison, Maureen Starkey (Ringo's ex late wife),Eric Clapton and his addictions and several more. George even wrote a song about her! It's included in his album, "Living in the Material World." Chris worked for Apple and then later for other biggies in the business as somewhat of an activities director helping the bands with their itineraries and all the stories behind the scenes. Her story goes on about her several affairs and mostly one night stands with some of the stars as well as her descent into addiction from drugs and alcohol. This story doesn't read as a groupie tell all though, as she really wasn't a groupie; the lifestyle back in the 60's was pretty free and she took advantage of it like many did. She wrote in such a style as if you were actually writing this story yourself. It was very easy to put yourself in her place throughout this book. I enjoyed the book and give kudos for her to climb out of the mess she made of her life and how she is now helping others. It was a good book and glad I got to read this.

  6. 5 out of 5

    J

    Since finishing Just Kids, I can't stop reading 60s rock and roll memoirs. Patti Smith's Just Kids isn't in the same league as any other book and I feel strange even lumping it into the category of memoir since it is so much more than that. Apart from Just Kids and maybe Bob Dylan's Chronicles, most of the other books have just been fluffy and fun. But there's nothing wrong with fluffy and fun sometimes, is there? Miss O'dell is one of the best 60s rock and roll memoirs I've read so far. Faithful Since finishing Just Kids, I can't stop reading 60s rock and roll memoirs. Patti Smith's Just Kids isn't in the same league as any other book and I feel strange even lumping it into the category of memoir since it is so much more than that. Apart from Just Kids and maybe Bob Dylan's Chronicles, most of the other books have just been fluffy and fun. But there's nothing wrong with fluffy and fun sometimes, is there? Miss O'dell is one of the best 60s rock and roll memoirs I've read so far. Faithfull will make you dislike Marianne. A Freewheelin' Time is poorly written and full of cliche. I'm With the Band is great; endearing and well written, but Pamela Des Barres writes from a different perspective than Chris O'dell does. Chris O'dell was a hard worker and a good friend to a lot of great musicians. I really enjoyed this book. And I never did like Eric Clapton.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne Mendez

    Talk about being at the right place at the right time. Chris O'Dell's life seems too unreal to be true. Thanks to her "can-do" attitude Chris finds herself working at Apple with the Beatles, living as an employee and later as a friend with some of them, as well as touring and managing tours with the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Queen, Linda Ronstadt and many others. She had her share of very famous lovers, but this book is by no means about her sexual exploits, it brings the reader right into the Talk about being at the right place at the right time. Chris O'Dell's life seems too unreal to be true. Thanks to her "can-do" attitude Chris finds herself working at Apple with the Beatles, living as an employee and later as a friend with some of them, as well as touring and managing tours with the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Queen, Linda Ronstadt and many others. She had her share of very famous lovers, but this book is by no means about her sexual exploits, it brings the reader right into the inner circle with its ups and downs and drama. She is candid about her own drug use and personal demons but overall she's down to Earth and doesn't brag. Chris O'Dell is simply sharing her amazing life.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

    I stayed up late a few nights in the row finishing this. Gave a really interesting insider look without feeling like she was telling every sordid detail. As a Beatles fan, I especially enjoyed hearing about her relationships with the various band members and their wives. I also was really shocked (well, not that shocked) to hear what big babies some of the rock stars she toured with are. Don't mistake her as just another groupie though - she earned her place as an Apple employee, personal assist I stayed up late a few nights in the row finishing this. Gave a really interesting insider look without feeling like she was telling every sordid detail. As a Beatles fan, I especially enjoyed hearing about her relationships with the various band members and their wives. I also was really shocked (well, not that shocked) to hear what big babies some of the rock stars she toured with are. Don't mistake her as just another groupie though - she earned her place as an Apple employee, personal assistant and later as a tour manager, one of the first female ones, if not the first. I definitely recommend the book if you're interested in 60's rock and/or The Beatles/Stones.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Peacegal

    Imagine an era when an ordinary fan could simply "fall in" with rock royalty and spend years working with popular music's most amazing talents...and biggest egos. I enjoyed Miss O'Dell more than the similar Wonderful Tonight; the author just seems to come off as more of a real person. Imagine an era when an ordinary fan could simply "fall in" with rock royalty and spend years working with popular music's most amazing talents...and biggest egos. I enjoyed Miss O'Dell more than the similar Wonderful Tonight; the author just seems to come off as more of a real person.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Oh to be young and free in Swingin' London in the Swingin' Sixties! What a time that must have been - I was around then, but just a little too young and a lot not with-it, to fully appreciate and experience the wonderful opportunities available. Of course, one still had to be smart and quick to see how best to fulfill a need that hasn't been met. That was Chris O'Dell's greatest talent, along with a love of music and the people who make it. She had the ability to quickly endear herself to people Oh to be young and free in Swingin' London in the Swingin' Sixties! What a time that must have been - I was around then, but just a little too young and a lot not with-it, to fully appreciate and experience the wonderful opportunities available. Of course, one still had to be smart and quick to see how best to fulfill a need that hasn't been met. That was Chris O'Dell's greatest talent, along with a love of music and the people who make it. She had the ability to quickly endear herself to people and earn their trust to the extent that she was invited into their private world, where she was a friend, confidant, employee, and sometimes lover to some of the biggest rock stars in history. It was an interesting world, and all the more so because, as much a part of the scene as she was, the author was also an observer, standing on the outside looking in and always assessing her role and how best to meet the needs of her "charges". Her perspective is an interesting one and I enjoyed reading this honest account of her life and the people in it, who she describes with affection and respect - she proves she was worthy of their trust.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stéphanie

    Loved it ! Chris O'Dell is a real sweetheart, very nice to her fans. Gave me a lot of new, personal info on Maureen, my favorite Beatle girl. There's also a lot of info on Pattie Boyd. She knew everyone : Leon Russell, The Beatles, The Stones, etc. I definitely recommend ! Loved it ! Chris O'Dell is a real sweetheart, very nice to her fans. Gave me a lot of new, personal info on Maureen, my favorite Beatle girl. There's also a lot of info on Pattie Boyd. She knew everyone : Leon Russell, The Beatles, The Stones, etc. I definitely recommend !

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

    What an incredible book! I believe it was the New York Times who said that Chris O'Dell was the Nick Carraway to The Beatles, The Stones, Bob Dylan, and Eric Clapton, and that's very very true. By pure luck and chance, Chris O'Dell was brought into the music world by a friend who happened to run into Derek Taylor, who at that time was working for The Beatles. From there, she got to work in Apple, then joined others to help The Beatles, became somewhat of a tour manager for The Stones and Crosby, What an incredible book! I believe it was the New York Times who said that Chris O'Dell was the Nick Carraway to The Beatles, The Stones, Bob Dylan, and Eric Clapton, and that's very very true. By pure luck and chance, Chris O'Dell was brought into the music world by a friend who happened to run into Derek Taylor, who at that time was working for The Beatles. From there, she got to work in Apple, then joined others to help The Beatles, became somewhat of a tour manager for The Stones and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, and also helped with Bob Dylan's tour, too. She really has seen it all. She became best friends with Pattie Boyd, fell in love with Leon Russell, had affairs with Ringo Starr and Mick Jagger, did lines of cocaine with Freddie Mercury, and told Eric Clapton to f*ck off. I suppose this really isn't a review, but I enjoyed the book so much that I don't really know how to write about it. If you're interested in the bands of the 60's and 70's, you're going to like this book. There's just no getting around that. However, a word of warning. Chris O'Dell is a brilliant woman, and she definitely worked her butt off, but she can come across as a user and a somewhat aloof woman. Many times throughout the book she says that musicians would get mad with her for mooching off of their things (though she doesn't see it as that), but it's kind of true. She, now as a more mature woman, owns up to some of these things, but she did have a tendency to live with people for a few months, then when they got sick of her, she'd go off and live with someone else. I say though, take that with a grain of salt. The fact of the matter is that she is one of the first women to work as a "manager" for huge rock bands, she negotiated her salary, and made herself a name within a circle of people who didn't think it was cool having to answer to a "chick". The book is not overtly feminist, but it is a really good source of seeing how women back then paved the way for women now. My only real complaint with this book though is how it ended! I know it was about her time working for the bands, but I want to know how she's getting along now with herself, how Pattie and Maureen are doing, how she felt and dealt with John and George's deaths, etc. The ending was nicely wrapped up, I just wanted more! Definitely, definitely read this is if you're interested in the classic rock bands and the musicians of the 60's and 70's. It's such a great, in depth view to the real people behind the stardom that they faced.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Thompson

    When you read books like this you shouldn't be looking for great writing, just great stories, true life events. That's what I found with Chris O'Dell's account of her life. She didn't just float around from band to band with the title of "groupie". She worked to be a part of the bands history. Although she was extremely lucky, she utilized every door that opened for her. Good for her to place herself in the scene without having to use sex to do so. Although, don't get me wrong, those other books When you read books like this you shouldn't be looking for great writing, just great stories, true life events. That's what I found with Chris O'Dell's account of her life. She didn't just float around from band to band with the title of "groupie". She worked to be a part of the bands history. Although she was extremely lucky, she utilized every door that opened for her. Good for her to place herself in the scene without having to use sex to do so. Although, don't get me wrong, those other books are great fun too, Pamela and Patti, but this one is different. For those who want to knock those girls from the 60's and 70's for their groupie antics remember this, they inspired those rock stars, their contributions are widely noted and I thank them all, not only for their stories but for those contributions.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    So I also gave Les Miserables 5 starts. Are they on par? Obviously not. The each got 5 stars for different reasons, and because I truly loved both. I totally dug this book;) It is just a cool insider (yet still outsider) view into a life I am ultimately jealous of (minus the drug addiction and what not). This chick basically by pure luck ended up an insider into some of the biggest deals of entertainment during some of the best times to be there. If you like the Beatles, or the Stones, or that who So I also gave Les Miserables 5 starts. Are they on par? Obviously not. The each got 5 stars for different reasons, and because I truly loved both. I totally dug this book;) It is just a cool insider (yet still outsider) view into a life I am ultimately jealous of (minus the drug addiction and what not). This chick basically by pure luck ended up an insider into some of the biggest deals of entertainment during some of the best times to be there. If you like the Beatles, or the Stones, or that whole time period of music, or the movie Almost Famous, or pretty much are cool I think you will like this book. It isn't fabulously written, she isn't really all that interesting a person on her own, but the stories and idea of living her life is pretty well worth the read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    I'm fascinated by the 1960's and 1970's. I was born in 1963, so I have vague memories of that era. I think that those years were a time of rapid change, especially in music. This book is a true story of a young woman's very fascinating journey into what would become Rock and Roll history. The coolest thing to me is you can friend her on Facebook....it really is amazing to see where life brought her! I'm fascinated by the 1960's and 1970's. I was born in 1963, so I have vague memories of that era. I think that those years were a time of rapid change, especially in music. This book is a true story of a young woman's very fascinating journey into what would become Rock and Roll history. The coolest thing to me is you can friend her on Facebook....it really is amazing to see where life brought her!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    Legendary moments in Rock n' roll history: Dylan's Isle of Wight performance, Beatle's rooftop gig, the Clapton/Harrison/Layla live triangle, Rolling Thunder Revue tour, Exile on Main St.... if these things mean anything to you and you'd like to re-live them from "the inside", then this book is for you. (Disclaimer: it's written by a Pisces though. Beware! :)) Legendary moments in Rock n' roll history: Dylan's Isle of Wight performance, Beatle's rooftop gig, the Clapton/Harrison/Layla live triangle, Rolling Thunder Revue tour, Exile on Main St.... if these things mean anything to you and you'd like to re-live them from "the inside", then this book is for you. (Disclaimer: it's written by a Pisces though. Beware! :))

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alice

    This was a different kind of female rock memoir in that it's by a woman who worked with all the greats, instead of who slept with all of them. As one of rocks first female tour managers, O'Dell worked hard for her spot amongst the stars, building close friendships but also suffering from insecurity and drug addiction. An insightful, honest, humble memoir that's not about name-dropping. This was a different kind of female rock memoir in that it's by a woman who worked with all the greats, instead of who slept with all of them. As one of rocks first female tour managers, O'Dell worked hard for her spot amongst the stars, building close friendships but also suffering from insecurity and drug addiction. An insightful, honest, humble memoir that's not about name-dropping.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marinela

    Am I completely biased when it comes to stories about the 60s and 70s rock scene? Why yes, yes I am. So after what seems forever, I finally picked up my first ever marked to-read book on goodreads, so it took some time, but I finally had enough time to read Miss O'Dell's memoir. And whoa, it was such a ride. Chris O'Dell is an American girl who lives in LA when a chance encounter leads to something of a job in London, more specifically Apple where she gets to meet The Beatles and develop long-las Am I completely biased when it comes to stories about the 60s and 70s rock scene? Why yes, yes I am. So after what seems forever, I finally picked up my first ever marked to-read book on goodreads, so it took some time, but I finally had enough time to read Miss O'Dell's memoir. And whoa, it was such a ride. Chris O'Dell is an American girl who lives in LA when a chance encounter leads to something of a job in London, more specifically Apple where she gets to meet The Beatles and develop long-lasting friendships with people from the company and people who were around the band like Pattie Boyd, Maureen Starkey Tigrett and many, many more. I felt like I stepped in a whole new world - where people were a lot more free and all were friends, helping each other out, partying and getting involved in all kinds of love triangles while all being heavily influenced by drugs and alcohol. To be honest, in the beginning I can't tell you what Chris O'Dell's job was, but it makes you feel like she is just a girl who honestly wants to help out and isn't there for the spotlight. She just felt so down-to-earth and friendly and reading about her troubles to fit in and how she manages to befriend even the most serious people was really interesting to read. Now I won't go into details about the numerous tours she was on and how many famous rock stars she has worked with or with whom she had romantic relationships or more casual ones. However, I want to point out that the way she describes George, Paul, John and Ringo and also, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan was refreshing, she doesn't worship them, but represents them as real human beings, who have positive and negative traits. Just immersing yourself in the pages, you feel like you're there, too and those legendary musicians are all searching for some normalcy in their lives - whether it's through family, friends, parties, romantic relationships and get entangled in all kinds of weird situations. It was truly an amazing read for me and I really loved the Cameron Crowe cameo, because I felt this Almost Famous vibe that made me just so happy, because that is my all-time favourite movie.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Conrad Wesselhoeft

    Four and a half stars (the extra half star being for sheer fly-on-the-wall readability, not to be confused with voyeurism). In the rock world of the 1960s and 70s, Chris O'Dell, an enterprising young woman from Tucson, fell into favor with many of the rock headliners on both sides of the Atlantic. Then she fell out of favor. Then back into favor. And so on. But she never falls out of favor with the reader, at least, not me. Mainly, this is because she is so refreshingly human when recounting her Four and a half stars (the extra half star being for sheer fly-on-the-wall readability, not to be confused with voyeurism). In the rock world of the 1960s and 70s, Chris O'Dell, an enterprising young woman from Tucson, fell into favor with many of the rock headliners on both sides of the Atlantic. Then she fell out of favor. Then back into favor. And so on. But she never falls out of favor with the reader, at least, not me. Mainly, this is because she is so refreshingly human when recounting her gaffes and failed best intentions. A rock pantheon strolls through these pages, including the Beatles and their spouses (especially George and Pattie), the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Leon Russell, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Phil Collins, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Miss O'Dell serves them in various roles: as personal assistant, hard-partying friend, confidante, muse, tour manager and sometimes lover. She's the inspiration for at least three songs: "Miss O'Dell," by George Harrison; and "Pisces Apple Lady," and "Hummingbird," by Leon Russell. Because she relates intimate details with discretion her story feels neither salacious nor ego-driven. For a time, she falls into the rock-strewn abyss of drugs and alcohol but emerges sober and wiser. Her later years are spent as a substance-abuse counselor in Tucson. "Miss O'Dell" is a frank, engaging account of a golden time in rock 'n' roll history.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dierregi

    Having read a few other "memoirs" about rock bands in the 60s / 70s, I found this one confirming that at the time most everybody in the rock 'n' roll scene was addicted to one or all of the following: drugs, liquor, fame, partner-swapping and sex. The American Miss O'Dell started her career by chance in London, as a "helper" in the newly founded Apple and worked her way to become best friends with the fab two George and Ringo, and especially with wives Pattie and Maureen. She was smitten by the r Having read a few other "memoirs" about rock bands in the 60s / 70s, I found this one confirming that at the time most everybody in the rock 'n' roll scene was addicted to one or all of the following: drugs, liquor, fame, partner-swapping and sex. The American Miss O'Dell started her career by chance in London, as a "helper" in the newly founded Apple and worked her way to become best friends with the fab two George and Ringo, and especially with wives Pattie and Maureen. She was smitten by the rock lifestyle and tried desperately to cling to it, even without having any of the prerequisites, such as being a musician, a singer or an official wife/girlfriend. She actually was an "official girlfriend" to Leon Russell, but only for a few weeks. After Apple demise, she spent her time between the UK and the US, working odd jobs for tour companies or directly for big bands such as the Rolling Stones. She ended up as a tour manager, but by her own account, she self-sabotaged her career due to her boozing and drugging. She had short affairs with Ringo Starr, Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan and Sam Shepherd and none of them comes across as a particularly likable character. However, O'Dell is always very diplomatic when mentioning the rock royalties she dealt with. Her most troubled relation seems to have been with Eric Clapton, who's notoriously grumpy and ill-mannered, but even for him she manages to find some good words. Her tone is usually mellow and I tend to believe her statement about wanting to please everybody and being committed to be a great female tour manager (not a small achievement, given the misogyny of the rock world). She is also honest enough to admit her restlessness, which can be endearing in your twenties, but starts to look like callous selfishness past your thirties. Especially when you expect your rich friends (such as George, Ringo and even Clapton) to pay for your hotel bills, plane tickets and business enterprises. Since we get only her point of view, it is difficulty to gauge whether her famous friends considered her as an equal or as one of the least annoying hangers-on. O'Dell complains more than once that occasionally she felt humiliated by George and Ringo, who treated her as a poor relative, but their attitude can be explained by the fact that she spent weeks in their homes, as an uninvited guest - and even asked for loans. Which proves that you should not mix friends and money. O'Dell story has a happy ending of some sort. Luckily the last chapter in her book - not involving rockers - is a short one. She married a British aristocrat and got pregnant at 38. The marriage collapsed due to both spouses being addicts, but O'Dell decided to straighten up for the sake of her son and she has been sober and running a consulting business ever since.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sacramento Public Library

    Miss O'Dell : my hard days and long nights with the Beatles, the Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, and the women they loved by Chris O'Dell with Katherine Ketcham Chris O’Dell’s story is a remarkable case of being in the right place at the right time. In 1968, at the age of 21, while working for a radio station in Los Angeles, by pure happenstance she meets Derek Taylor, an executive with the Beatles’ Apple Records. Apple was just starting up at the time. Taylor likes her and encourages her to com Miss O'Dell : my hard days and long nights with the Beatles, the Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, and the women they loved by Chris O'Dell with Katherine Ketcham Chris O’Dell’s story is a remarkable case of being in the right place at the right time. In 1968, at the age of 21, while working for a radio station in Los Angeles, by pure happenstance she meets Derek Taylor, an executive with the Beatles’ Apple Records. Apple was just starting up at the time. Taylor likes her and encourages her to come to London and apply for a job at Apple. Initially she dismisses the idea as absurd, but a few weeks later after talking to Taylor again on the phone, she decides to take a chance. She flies to London, visits Taylor at his Apple office shortly after arriving, and while chatting with him, in walks Paul McCartney! So begins her life as an employee, personal assistant, friend, and (in some cases) lover of some of rock’s most famous musicians, their wives, and other members of their inner circles. Her portrayals of various personalities is mostly sympathetic, although she makes it clear she didn’t get on well with Eric Clapton, who would eventually marry her good friend Pattie Boyd Harrison. O’Dell became close friends with Pattie while living with her and George Harrison at their Oxfordshire estate, Friar Park. She also became good friends with Maureen Starr, Ringo’s first wife. After leaving her job at Apple Records, she stayed in the industry in various capacities, eventually becoming a tour manager. Along the way she worked with many famous rock groups including the Rolling Stones and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. I enjoyed O’Dell’s impressions of famous musicians and close associates: their personalities, relationships, and lives. It’s interesting to find out what they were like as people. I strongly recommend it, especially for fans of the Beatles.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mike Hickey

    Chris O'Dell's new book MISS O'DELL is like having a backstage all-access pass to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. At the ripe old age of 20, she manages to not only land employment at Apple Records and work for the Beatles but to actually become intimate friends with them, their wives, and their world. Her charmed life then takes her on a magical mystery tour with the Stones, Dylan, CSNY, Queen, Zeppelin, and Echo and the Bunnymen (you'll just have to read the book). As a genuine lover of 60's a Chris O'Dell's new book MISS O'DELL is like having a backstage all-access pass to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. At the ripe old age of 20, she manages to not only land employment at Apple Records and work for the Beatles but to actually become intimate friends with them, their wives, and their world. Her charmed life then takes her on a magical mystery tour with the Stones, Dylan, CSNY, Queen, Zeppelin, and Echo and the Bunnymen (you'll just have to read the book). As a genuine lover of 60's and 70's rock, I was completely engaged in the compelling scenes behind the scenes and living vicariously through the ups and downs, the highs and lows of my musical heroes. Its down-to-earth narrative style is almost matter-of-fact and never salacious or smarmy yet doesn't fail to deliver the raw details, warts, track marks, and all. It is so much more than just "Wow, I can't believe I'm singing on the 'Hey Jude' chorus" or, "George Harrison really wrote a song just for me?" If it was just star-gazing from close up, it would have been plenty for me, but this book also shows the propensity one has for getting burned when one gets too close to the fire. It's been a long time since I said, "I couldn't put it down", but I put this book down long enough only to sleep four hours then wake up and finish the journey. After reading Miss O'Dell, it's a wonder that there weren't more tragedies like Jimi and Janis. Bravo to Chris for telling her story and for triumphing over the kinds of excess that made rock 'n' roll famous and infamous.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Chris O'Dell's life is pretty much just a string of good luck. A chance meeting in LA of a guy by the name of Derek literally changes her whole life. From there she goes onto work (and get to know) with some of biggest names in the music world - The Beatles, The Stones, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Santana, CSNY, among others. She also becomes intimate friends with Pattie Boyd and Maureen (Ringo's ex wife). Her life was a series of extreme ups and downs, including terrible drug use, but in the end s Chris O'Dell's life is pretty much just a string of good luck. A chance meeting in LA of a guy by the name of Derek literally changes her whole life. From there she goes onto work (and get to know) with some of biggest names in the music world - The Beatles, The Stones, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Santana, CSNY, among others. She also becomes intimate friends with Pattie Boyd and Maureen (Ringo's ex wife). Her life was a series of extreme ups and downs, including terrible drug use, but in the end she was able to break free from those evils and ultimately live a full life. Her stories are extremely fun to read because you feel like you're getting to know these musicians in an intimate way. I didn't always sympathize with her and her choices but at the same time I don't think O'Dell was trying to get you to agree with everything she said or did, she merely wanted to relay how she came to know and work in the heart of rocknroll. I appreciate her honestly and it kept me reading. Definitely recommend this book to lovers of the artists' mentioned music & those who enjoy a good autobiography. I think this book is a real gem among the unauthorized biographies about theses same artists. Chris O'Dell is one of us, she isn't famous, but she got to run with some of the most famous people ever and that to me makes her story worth reading.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Ann

    Actually this book was better than I expected.... (have I been saying this a bit lately). I had no idea who Chris O'Dell was or that she was more than a groupie, but the title of the book intrigued me, so I pulled it from the shelf. It turns out Chris O'Dell was in the right place at the right time..... A friend of hers invited her out one night to meet Derek Taylor who worked with the Beatles at Apple. Derek invited Chris to go back to London to Apple and once there she volunteered at Apple unti Actually this book was better than I expected.... (have I been saying this a bit lately). I had no idea who Chris O'Dell was or that she was more than a groupie, but the title of the book intrigued me, so I pulled it from the shelf. It turns out Chris O'Dell was in the right place at the right time..... A friend of hers invited her out one night to meet Derek Taylor who worked with the Beatles at Apple. Derek invited Chris to go back to London to Apple and once there she volunteered at Apple until she was offered a job. She worked w/ Neil Aspinall, Peter Asher, George & Patti Harrison, Eric Clapton and many other well placed recording industry people. She was once the short-term girlfriend of Leon Russel.... Some of her stories are pathetic, how drugs & alcohol made some of the musicians just freaking nuts, how the addictions almost destroyed her..... Not too much name dropping going on (which I was worried there would be), just the relationships she had with these people. I have to hand it to her, she stuck to it and made a pretty good life for herself.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alexa Silver

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this book, if it was going to be more of a catalog of the times or if the author would be able to capture the personalities of some of the most honored musicians of their age--or any age. From the very first page, I was completely and utterly charmed with Chris O'Dell. Her story was heartfelt, affectionate, and softly nostalgic at times, and very hard hitting at others. I really respected that she didn't pull any punches when artists behaved badly, Throughou I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this book, if it was going to be more of a catalog of the times or if the author would be able to capture the personalities of some of the most honored musicians of their age--or any age. From the very first page, I was completely and utterly charmed with Chris O'Dell. Her story was heartfelt, affectionate, and softly nostalgic at times, and very hard hitting at others. I really respected that she didn't pull any punches when artists behaved badly, Throughout, I kept mentally referencing her first moments with rock royalty, when she expressed a hope that Pattie Harrison would help her with her makeup. There was something so fresh and innocent (though not naive) about that girl, and as Chris evolved, I could still sense that young woman inside the more seasoned lady. Thanks for sharing your story, Chris! I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the music world of the late sixties and seventies through your eyes!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alex Davis

    Chris' stories are juicy enough without revealing too much (i.e. her trysts with Mick Jagger and her eventual son's godfather Ringo Starr). I read Pattie's book and I felt like this book was able to portray both Pattie and George more vividly than her book was able to. She writes about both of them with such love and adoration and didn't hold back on how awful Eric Clapton was to Pattie and everyone around her. I also haven't seen very many books describing Maureen and it was great reading abou Chris' stories are juicy enough without revealing too much (i.e. her trysts with Mick Jagger and her eventual son's godfather Ringo Starr). I read Pattie's book and I felt like this book was able to portray both Pattie and George more vividly than her book was able to. She writes about both of them with such love and adoration and didn't hold back on how awful Eric Clapton was to Pattie and everyone around her. I also haven't seen very many books describing Maureen and it was great reading about her fearless, take no shit attitude. The anecdote about George and Olivia's blossoming relationship was also incredibly adorable: he wanted Chris to take a photo of her when she went to LA so he could know if the girl he was speaking to on the phone for hours at a time was "as beautiful as she sounded".

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marc V.

    Miss O'Dell is not a literary genius but she does chronicle an era that many of us had either grown up in or had watched our siblings and older friends explore. Though I did nt get to Woodstock (I was in Florence) upon my return the following week I heard some of the amazing stories. Miss O'Dell tells the stories of what was actually happening at Apple records and on various recording studio outings. The pages are filled with ' Sex Drugs and Rock & Roll . Her writing style is similar to a "mater Miss O'Dell is not a literary genius but she does chronicle an era that many of us had either grown up in or had watched our siblings and older friends explore. Though I did nt get to Woodstock (I was in Florence) upon my return the following week I heard some of the amazing stories. Miss O'Dell tells the stories of what was actually happening at Apple records and on various recording studio outings. The pages are filled with ' Sex Drugs and Rock & Roll . Her writing style is similar to a "mater of fact" story over tea. I loved hearing these tales , and found myself living vicariously through her memories. This is a great read for all of the parents of teenagers who have forgotten what it was like when we were growing up. O

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lovely Rita

    I stayed up late a few nights in the row finishing this. Gave a really interesting insider look without feeling like she was telling every sordid detail. As a Beatles fan, I especially enjoyed hearing about her relationships with the various band members and their wives. I also was really shocked (well, not that shocked) to hear what big babies some of the rock stars she toured with are. Don't mistake her as just another groupie though - she earned her place as an Apple employee, personal assist I stayed up late a few nights in the row finishing this. Gave a really interesting insider look without feeling like she was telling every sordid detail. As a Beatles fan, I especially enjoyed hearing about her relationships with the various band members and their wives. I also was really shocked (well, not that shocked) to hear what big babies some of the rock stars she toured with are. Don't mistake her as just another groupie though - she earned her place as an Apple employee, personal assistant and later as a tour manager, one of the first female ones, if not the first. I definitely recommend the book if you're interested in 60's rock and/or The Beatles/Stones.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bunny

    Finished reading it and returned it to the library. The very next day, found a copy at a thrift store. It's fate! ---- Love. this. So much. Not only do I adore her casual way of telling a story, but the stories themselves fill me with so much envy that it's a little hard to breathe. It's not difficult to get pulled into the stories, and if you're as big a fan of the musicians she discusses as I am, you can see and hear what she saw and heard. Her descent into addiction was hard to read, but still so Finished reading it and returned it to the library. The very next day, found a copy at a thrift store. It's fate! ---- Love. this. So much. Not only do I adore her casual way of telling a story, but the stories themselves fill me with so much envy that it's a little hard to breathe. It's not difficult to get pulled into the stories, and if you're as big a fan of the musicians she discusses as I am, you can see and hear what she saw and heard. Her descent into addiction was hard to read, but still so perfectly done. I really, really enjoyed this. And did I mention the jealousy? 'Cause WOW.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I really loved reading this. Chris has a great style of writing that made me feel like I was right there too. And I felt she was humble and honest about her thoughts and insecurities at the time. She is a very real person living an extraordinary life and shared it with us. I find the whole late 60s and early 70s time period fascinating. The book definitely delivers on that. She also had a way of really bringing to life the musicians and others in the book. It was very insightful and I wish the b I really loved reading this. Chris has a great style of writing that made me feel like I was right there too. And I felt she was humble and honest about her thoughts and insecurities at the time. She is a very real person living an extraordinary life and shared it with us. I find the whole late 60s and early 70s time period fascinating. The book definitely delivers on that. She also had a way of really bringing to life the musicians and others in the book. It was very insightful and I wish the book didn't end and she had more stories. That is because I enjoyed the experience of reading it so much.

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