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Through A Lot of Adversity

Mike Shields
Mike Shields Author Interview

Life of a Lounge Lizard is the insightful and authentic memoir of your life on the road as a musician and things you learned along the way. Why was this an important book for you to write?

The era of the cover band in America is pretty much forgotten now. But it was a way of life back in the mid-60s through mid-80s. For entertainment, people of all ages, (i.e. twenty-one to fiftyish), went out to a club, hotel, or restaurant to watch and dance to a band. This was before home theatres and VCR tape players and it was the perfect time to earn a living as a musician. Nowadays, unless you’re famous, you’re lucky to have a gig or two a week. You need a Real job!

I appreciated how candid you were. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?

I did not want any person mentioned in the book to have their feelings hurt by my words. I wanted to be honest but not vindictive.

What were some ideas that were important for you to explore in this book?

In addition to the whole cover band phenomenon as stated above, I wanted to show the reader that you can reinvent yourself as you go through life. Keeping a positive attitude gets you through a lot of adversity.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your story?

I think everyone should write their own life story. Each of us have had many life-defining experiences that would make for a very interesting memoir. It’s very important to leave “Little Memories of You.”

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon Music | YouTube

You get only one shot to make it big, right? For Mike Shields, that just wasn’t true. Seeking adventure, this rock star wannabe and club performer followed the music wherever it led him. In his teens, he scribbled down his first song and teamed up with some amateur musicians to create a garage band, and from there, he took his life on the road, moving from one band and performance to the next.He has performed over many musical decades, changing band names and members along the way, while looking up to inspirations such as the Beatles and Jethro Tull. With his honest, humorous, and down-to-earth style, Shields offers a compelling account of landing gigs, finding love, and watching life take many unexpected turns, from meeting and playing with music legends to living through historic events such as the assassination of JFK. He invites you to share in the most profound moments of his career and personal life, illustrating how music has been the unifying passion that has pushed him forward and helped him recover from tragedy and heartbreak.

Life of a Lounge Lizard

Life of a Lounge Lizard by Mike Shields tells the expansive story of Mike’s life through music.  We follow him from the sixties all the way to the present day as he reminisces on the unique experiences that shaped his growth. Set to the soundtrack of classic bands like The Beatles, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, and Metallica, this book transports the reader to different eras. From Shields’ days as a kid trying to start his first band, to his hippie years, to spanning romantic trysts, the reader travels with Shields and watches his world unfold.

Life of a Lounge Lizard is a whirlwind of hippie-life and on-the-road adventures. The first half of the book carries us through Shields’ early years, where starting new bands, writing songs, and traveling around the country with barely any money was the norm. Simultaneously, Shields suffers from stereotypes against hippies and a strained relationship with his father. The second half of the book goes into sporadic and passionate romances alongside numerous bands and gigs that eventually end up in a beautifully happy ending. The life of a musician is shown to be glamorous at times and a struggle at others, and this story feels raw and real.

I loved the vulnerability in Life of a Lounge Lizard. Topics like grief, divorce, familial strain, marriage, and childhood are all explored with an open mind. Shields tells the story of his life without leaving out the harder parts, and the story benefits from that raw honesty. You feel like you’re a part of this world with him, experiencing life on the road and all the adventure that comes along with it.

I loved learning about Shields’ experience writing and playing songs, and I thought the photos included in the book were amazing. I found myself trying to imagine what their music was like throughout the story. I think the inclusion of notes, lyrics, or even more photos as we read would have helped me imagine the sound of the band and what they were creating.

If you want to feel like you’re living life on the road in the prime years of music, this book will provide you with beautiful nostalgia and inspiration while also giving you hope for the future. As a reader, you can almost feel every moment of Shields’ life. You’re a part of the romance, the joy, the struggle, and the excitement. Life of a Lounge Lizard is the perfect story for music lovers and dreamers around the world.

Pages: 197 | ASIN: B092PZ2HQ9

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