For over 30 years, Terre and her sisters Maggie and Suzzy were the successful singing group known as The Roches. Terre has written a funny, wise and very candid memoir of her life, both before and after fame.
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Feb 13, 2014
I really enjoyed this short book and found it hard to put down. Although a long-time fan of the Roches, I was surprised (and fascinated) to learn about their lives before success. Terre is an excellent writer and the book was touching, sad and funny at times. My only complaint is that the book was too short. The years when the Roches were enjoying their success were given short shrift and I would love another volume that treats those years with same detail as Terre gave her more formative years; I'm sure she has plenty more good stories to tell. Highly recommended.
It’s always a rare treat for fans when one of their favorites comes out with a memoir, and Terre Roche’s “Blabbermouth” is a great read, very candid and revealing about what the Roches’ journey was really like behind-the-scenes. Roches fans will be riveted as they time-travel back with Terre to the hippy scene of the late Sixties Haight-Ashberry, to her Village venues of the Seventies like Folk City, and to Hammond, Louisiana, source of early Roches hit “Hammond Song.” But they will also be surprised and saddened by some quite tragic stories in Terre’s past, which were well-hidden behind her merry eyes and performer’s cheery exterior, until this memoir. I recommend it highly.
Blabbermouth by Terre Roche is a brave, tender and disturbing book. In Blabbermouth, Terre Roche tells the story of her origins, her adventures as a young teenage girl who leaves the “lilac walls” of her childhood bedroom with the support of her close-knit suburban family, her rise to fame with Columbia Records, her travels on the road from coast to coast, alone with her slightly older sister. (“A teenage Thelma and Louise but without the murders,” Terre describes them.) Terre tells of her early mentoring by Terri Thal and Dave Van Ronk, Paul Simon and Michael Tannen, of how the towns of Park Ridge, Hammond, Baton Rouge, San Francisco and Greenwich Village shaped her. She tells riveting tales of her early auditions, her first lover, her first male friend Derek; reveals the sources of her sense of safety – notably her family – and relates violent encounters that she meets in the world as a teenager. Particularly absorbing are her personal experience of Catholicism, the times in CA and... More > in Louisiana, the cross-country hitchhikes, the horrific threats to her personal safety, the Boarding House in San Francisco, the daily walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, the rise to fame with instincts intact, the decision not to promote the first album, the lessons Paul Simon taught her; her boyfriend Cosmo and companion Derek; the martial arts Lotus Temple; her father as a sounding board and imperfect moral compass. Blabbermouth details an unusual and intriguing rise to musical fame through keeping faith with one’s authenticity, and the glory of having that be rewarded rather than the cause of defeat. The book is not cryptic. It’s an explorer’s thrust into the hyperspace beyond cryptic. It’s a dispelling of shadows and shame. She simply trusts us with the story. That kind of trust is endearing. The family is at the heart of this story, and an engaging, prolific and gifted family it is, deep and vibrant; yet full of the “heaviness” that obedience to Catholicism transmits. You feel that everyone is held in her esteem, but there is a cry for help: an act of mutual betrayal is central to the book. Blabbermouth inhabits an uneasy place where injustices are unresolved. Terre Roche is choosing to “see each other in the big picture,” (as she calls it) by telling her story without apology. Her prose’s clear tone is like that from the gold-leaf rim of a glass stroked by a conductive finger. It’s quite an accomplishment.< Less
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