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Luvsbway    2,045

I got Mike's book for Christmas and really enjoyed it. In the same vain as Lee's book you got these great stories about Lucy which highlighted such a not very much talked about part of her life. Both books I enjoyed because those friendships were so genuine, and you learned Lucy really was such a warm person despite what some have said, tough yes, but I think sometimes out of love.

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C L A U D E    2,006

Hmm...interesting Claude, thanks for the tip. Yeah he mentioned to me about his health troubles and how he discussed it in his book (and the funny connection to the title) but I had no idea it was more about him. I'll still have to check it out. I assume it's not better than "I Loved Lucy" by Lee Tannen, eh? Now, that book I throughouly enjoyed.

So did I, the Tannen book was terrific. The funny thing is i joked that the title meant he only had one ball left and he told me, HOW DID YOU KNOW? Had no idea, was just joking. I just expected more tidbits about Lucy and found the book lacking in that department.

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Justin    10

I got Mike's book for Christmas and really enjoyed it. In the same vain as Lee's book you got these great stories about Lucy which highlighted such a not very much talked about part of her life. Both books I enjoyed because those friendships were so genuine, and you learned Lucy really was such a warm person despite what some have said, tough yes, but I think sometimes out of love.

 

Agreed luvsbway...I find this part of her life so interesting mainly because she was living life basically as a retired woman...playing backgammon, hanging out at home and doing mostly normal everyday things that we all do. It's still hard for me to imagine it but what I would give to have been in Lee or Michael's place, hanging out with Lucy...even if she was tough!

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Taylor    427

Agreed luvsbway...I find this part of her life so interesting mainly because she was living life basically as a retired woman...playing backgammon, hanging out at home and doing mostly normal everyday things that we all do. It's still hard for me to imagine it but what I would give to have been in Lee or Michael's place, hanging out with Lucy...even if she was tough!

 

That would've been awesome to hang out with her. But I have to say I probably would've gotten too excited around her and annoyed the crap out of her. LOL

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Justin    10

haha totally know what you mean, Taylor. if Lucy and I hung out I'm sure I would've gotten a few "Oh, for pete's sake...don't you have anywhere else you can go, Justin?" from Ms. Lucy.

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Taylor    427

haha totally know what you mean, Taylor. if Lucy and I hung out I'm sure I would've gotten a few "Oh, for pete's sake...don't you have anywhere else you can go, Justin?" from Ms. Lucy.

 

Nah, it would've been more like, "What the hell is wrong with you?!" :lucythrill:

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C L A U D E    2,006

Agreed luvsbway...I find this part of her life so interesting mainly because she was living life basically as a retired woman...playing backgammon, hanging out at home and doing mostly normal everyday things that we all do. It's still hard for me to imagine it but what I would give to have been in Lee or Michael's place, hanging out with Lucy...even if she was tough!

Which is fine if you like playing backgammon, at least she went with Lee to a few Broadway shows and nice places to eat.

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C L A U D E    2,006

In the words of Lucy Ricardo, TELL YA WHAT I'M GONNA DO . . . i'll give the book another chance, this time not expecting the moon and just read it knowing there's no gossip in it and i might like it more, my expectations were much too high.

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Justin    10

You'll find out that it's all about Stern and not ENOUGH about Lucy. Glad he finally got the book OUT but wish he had realized that we want to hear more about Lucy, not him so much.

 

I've finally gotten around to starting "I Had A Ball." I'm 8 Chapters in and things are picking up---albeit slowly. The book is definitely very breezy but just a tad too casual for my liking. I feel like I'm reading a blog not a book. Some of the "info" Stern shares with us about certain details about himself, other celebrities or about Lucy seems very tedious. He doesn't go to Freddie Prinze's funeral because he doesn't have a ride...he would've needed to have taken 3 buses to get there? Alright man, we don't need to know EVERY little detail lol! The overall tone of the book is very open and friendly but so far I feel like I'm reading the adventures of an autograph collector than a Lucy bio. I think the book needs another voice for the narrative---yes, I know it's HIS book and he can share it any way he wants but I think the book could have benefited from a collaborator to help give the book a more sophisticated tone than what Stern can deliver on his own. Stern isn't a writer and it shows.

 

It's still early though, he's just finished talking about the course Lucy taught that he attended. I'm sure the stories will begin to pick up as their relationship grows closer. We'll see!

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Taylor    427

I've finally gotten around to starting "I Had A Ball." I'm 8 Chapters in and things are picking up---albeit slowly. The book is definitely very breezy but just a tad too casual for my liking. I feel like I'm reading a blog not a book. Some of the "info" Stern shares with us about certain details about himself, other celebrities or about Lucy seems very tedious. He doesn't go to Freddie Prinze's funeral because he doesn't have a ride...he would've needed to have taken 3 buses to get there? Alright man, we don't need to know EVERY little detail lol! The overall tone of the book is very open and friendly but so far I feel like I'm reading the adventures of an autograph collector than a Lucy bio. I think the book needs another voice for the narrative---yes, I know it's HIS book and he can share it any way he wants but I think the book could have benefited from a collaborator to help give the book a more sophisticated tone than what Stern can deliver on his own. Stern isn't a writer and it shows.

 

It's still early though, he's just finished talking about the course Lucy taught that he attended. I'm sure the stories will begin to pick up as their relationship grows closer. We'll see!

 

I have to agree with you, Justin. It is a very nice book but compared to something like Lee Tannen's, it really doesn't cut the mustard. I'm sure Stern's a nice guy, but frankly I would be a bit freaked out if I were a celebrity he was hounding for an autograph. And like I've said before, had he had been 22 instead of 12 years old when he went backstage at that show to meet Lucy with his scrapbook, she would've probably called Security. Awww, a budding stalker in the making... LOL. :marionstrong:

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Justin    10

Yup, Taylor, Tannen's book is really a keeper. In fact, I'm intending to re-read that one after I finish "I Had A Ball."

 

Stern is indeed a very nice guy, I spoke to him for about 10 minutes when I bought the book from him last year. I had not heard about his book when I met him so after speaking with him, I was impressed by him and very curious about what he had to say in his book. After reading the Tannen book--I didn't know there was yet another "insider" perspective out there. Finally, now reading Stern's book...most of my feelings of being "impressed" with Stern dissipated pretty quickly, unfortunately. As I said, I'm basically reading the biography of Michael Stern: Super Autograph Collector. As an avid autograph collector myself, I know what he's talking about---but the "stalker"-ish stories aren't really the most glamorous parts of the hobby---even if they were taking place during the more innocent times of the seventies. Something tells me that someone along the way must have persuaded Stern to put all his "stories" in a book. "You should write a book!" and so here we are. Not a bad thing, per se, but it's a little too "Hey look at all the cool things I did!" and show-offy for my liking.

 

Anyway, just read about him sneaking into the Lucy Friar's Club roast. Nice little story but he's coming off as a little obnoxious now! I'm hoping this isn't me being jealous that he got to see Lucy so many times. It shouldn't be---I wasn't even born when he was doing all these things!

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Justin    10

Just finished "I Had A Ball"...things really didn't improve from my earlier review. It looks as though he and Lucy got close enough to be genuine friends but this wasn't necessarily something to devote an entire book to. Stern had scraps of stories that barely wove into one large narrative worthy of a book. A chapter about how Lucy yells at him for not buying enough bed sheets?? Please. He goes on and on about who's autograph he collects at whichever function as if the reader is really that interested to know. This book is really for the common autograph collector/stalker...not necessarily Lucy fans. Stern prides himself so much on who he's met, who he's befriended or who he's scored an autograph from that you wonder exactly what the focus of this book really is? Either Stern has a terrible memory to remember specific details about conversations he's had with Lucy or perhaps he wants to keep those conversations private---the book really didn't reveal too much in terms of what exactly Lucy shared with him. They spent hours playing backgammon together...what did they talk about? Did Lucy talk about her past often? When they looked at her scrapbook together---what did she say about her childhood? What did she say about Desi? Nada. All we get is that they hung out at her house, she said hello to him at the Oscars---as if all this is supposed to impress us.

 

Anyway, not a hugely productive read. It's good enough to pass the time...nothing earth shattering here.

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Taylor    427

Just finished "I Had A Ball"...things really didn't improve from my earlier review. It looks as though he and Lucy got close enough to be genuine friends but this wasn't necessarily something to devote an entire book to. Stern had scraps of stories that barely wove into one large narrative worthy of a book. A chapter about how Lucy yells at him for not buying enough bed sheets?? Please. He goes on and on about who's autograph he collects at whichever function as if the reader is really that interested to know. This book is really for the common autograph collector/stalker...not necessarily Lucy fans. Stern prides himself so much on who he's met, who he's befriended or who he's scored an autograph from that you wonder exactly what the focus of this book really is? Either Stern has a terrible memory to remember specific details about conversations he's had with Lucy or perhaps he wants to keep those conversations private---the book really didn't reveal too much in terms of what exactly Lucy shared with him. They spent hours playing backgammon together...what did they talk about? Did Lucy talk about her past often? When they looked at her scrapbook together---what did she say about her childhood? What did she say about Desi? Nada. All we get is that they hung out at her house, she said hello to him at the Oscars---as if all this is supposed to impress us.

 

Anyway, not a hugely productive read. It's good enough to pass the time...nothing earth shattering here.

 

Yep, it's a nice book full of fluff but not enough substance. It was mostly about him and his love and hounding of celebrities. I have to chuckle every time I go on Facebook and a celeb has recently passed, and sure enough Michael's got a picture of them together posted on his page. I don't know, maybe I'm a tad jealous, but it sure looks to me like he's bragging half the time with all the celebs he's met. :lucydisgust:

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Neil    1,345

I thought Michael's book was likeable and easy going--much like Stern himself. His Lucy Carter-esque enthusiasm for the celebrities he's met is charming. The book was a lot about him, but I did not find that annoying because it was not about how great and witty he is--unlike the other two volumes of the "I Knew Lucy" trilogy. And whatever you think of Gary, it's nice for him that there's ONE book where he doesn't get constantly slammed. I feel a little sorry for the guy----who should have written his own book "How to Succeed in Show Business Without Really Trying or Much Talent"

 

Speaking of Lucy books, there's a blurb in the January 1, 1955 edition of TV Guide that says "Karl Freund has written a book '50 years: From Nicelodeon to Lucy"" I've never heard of it. Has anyone else? Perhaps it did not get published. By the way, the new I Love Lucy episode that week was "Lucy Learns to Drive". Wouldn't that have been a great time to be watching television? In its 4th season, most of the best episodes were yet to come. In the same paragraph with the Freund book mention is this: "I Love Lucy has added guest stars this season: Hedda Hopper, Bill Holden and Eve Arden along with an episode that's loaded with wives of movie stars"---including one who was loaded!

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C L A U D E    2,006

Just finished "I Had A Ball"...things really didn't improve from my earlier review. It looks as though he and Lucy got close enough to be genuine friends but this wasn't necessarily something to devote an entire book to. Stern had scraps of stories that barely wove into one large narrative worthy of a book. A chapter about how Lucy yells at him for not buying enough bed sheets?? Please. He goes on and on about who's autograph he collects at whichever function as if the reader is really that interested to know. This book is really for the common autograph collector/stalker...not necessarily Lucy fans. Stern prides himself so much on who he's met, who he's befriended or who he's scored an autograph from that you wonder exactly what the focus of this book really is? Either Stern has a terrible memory to remember specific details about conversations he's had with Lucy or perhaps he wants to keep those conversations private---the book really didn't reveal too much in terms of what exactly Lucy shared with him. They spent hours playing backgammon together...what did they talk about? Did Lucy talk about her past often? When they looked at her scrapbook together---what did she say about her childhood? What did she say about Desi? Nada. All we get is that they hung out at her house, she said hello to him at the Oscars---as if all this is supposed to impress us.

 

Anyway, not a hugely productive read. It's good enough to pass the time...nothing earth shattering here.

You're absolutely right, ADVENTURES IN AUTOGRAPH HUNTING might have been a better title. Reread the Tannen book or even the Brochu book for more insights on Lucy, the final years. Which we certainly do NOT get here.

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C L A U D E    2,006

Last Sunday, went into all the bookstores to read any Lucy mentions in any book. Found some, bios on Sullivan, MacLaine among others. Then they had that great Elizabeth Edwards coffee table book, both the 50th anniversary edition and the revised expanded 60th anniversary one. What a beautiful book, the pictures so great, loved it and perused my own copy from cover to cover when i got home. I had forgotten how senastional looking some of those pictures were when seen in a giant page and some in color made them even more spectacular. :peachonthebeach::lucydesi::professor::lucy2::gasp::ill:

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Annaleigh    296

Last Sunday, went into all the bookstores to read any Lucy mentions in any book. Found some, bios on Sullivan, MacLaine among others. Then they had that great Elizabeth Edwards coffee table book, both the 50th anniversary edition and the revised expanded 60th anniversary one. What a beautiful book, the pictures so great, loved it and perused my own copy from cover to cover when i got home. I had forgotten how senastional looking some of those pictures were when seen in a giant page and some in color made them even more spectacular. :peachonthebeach::lucydesi::professor::lucy2::gasp::ill:

Oh yes! I love the soft color revised copy but love the original hard cover! Also I adore the Edwards 60th book too! Such great info about what else was happening in those marvelous 1950s!

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C L A U D E    2,006

Today, my day off, reread two Lucy books, the fabulous Madelyn Pugh, Martin, Davis' recollections of working with Lucy and others, a great book, forgot how good it was. AND the Howard Rafael book, WHERE TE HELL IS DESILU? Now Mikidiki, if you thin i'm zaggeratin about gary and his escapades, read this book and you'll swish sides. At one point, Lucy came right out and asked Howard, whose opinion she truly respected, WHAT'S GARY'S PROBLEM? To which Howard replied, well, it centers around his mouth, he's always telling everybody how to do their jobs, yet he knows nothing about any of those jobs, they want to tell him but he just talks and never listens.

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desilufan2    32

Today, my day off, reread two Lucy books, the fabulous Madelyn Pugh, Martin, Davis' recollections of working with Lucy and others, a great book, forgot how good it was. AND the Howard Rafael book, WHERE TE HELL IS DESILU? Now Mikidiki, if you thin i'm zaggeratin about gary and his escapades, read this book and you'll swish sides. At one point, Lucy came right out and asked Howard, whose opinion she truly respected, WHAT'S GARY'S PROBLEM? To which Howard replied, well, it centers around his mouth, he's always telling everybody how to do their jobs, yet he knows nothing about any of those jobs, they want to tell him but he just talks and never listens.

 

 

Herb Solo said pretty much the same thing in the Desilu book and in his Archive of American Television interview. He said that Gary would carry on with more importance than he deserved because he was Lucy's husband and that he was not Desi Arnaz creatively. In other respects Gary may have been a very nice man but this really gets my goat. Why couldn't he just admit he wasn't very good in this perticular area and saved everyone a lot of frustration?

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C L A U D E    2,006

Herb Solo said pretty much the same thing in the Desilu book and in his Archive of American Television interview. He said that Gary would carry on with more importance than he deserved because he was Lucy's husband and that he was not Desi Arnaz creatively. In other respects Gary may have been a very nice man but this really gets my goat. Why couldn't he just admit he wasn't very good in this perticular area and saved everyone a lot of frustration?

I know, and we're still on topic as gary is mentionned in most books. Herb Solow was just devestating when it came to talking about the garester. Didn't the story about serving beer instead of champagne at studio parties come from him? Lately, i've been thinking gary was Lucy's own Terry Melcher, the man who wiped out his wife Doris Day's fortune and he had signed her for that tv show she never wanted to do. Gary wasn't as overt as Terry though, but he did seem to require a CUT or BRIBE on any deal he got for her. There always had to be something in it for him. Howard's book has loads of stories on missed opportunities for Lucy as her lawyer Mickey Rudin and gary would veto all these great jobs for her. There was this one job, Pivot Pool, arranged by Howard without the two schmucks meddling in where Lucy cleared a million dollars in one year for one commercial filmed at her home in Palm Springs and her face on the boxes of the game. Another great deal was for Lucy reading children's stories and recording them, which might have gotten her a Grammy AND Howard said it would have provided a fortune in annuities for Lucy and then her kids as they would still be selling today. But Mickey said, OH THERE'S NO MONEY IN CHILDREN'S STORIES RECORDINGS, so Howard shot back, ever hear of Disney?

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desilufan2    32

I know, and we're still on topic as gary is mentionned in most books. Herb Solow was just devestating when it came to talking about the garester. Didn't the story about serving beer instead of champagne at studio parties come from him? Lately, i've been thinking gary was Lucy's own Terry Melcher, the man who wiped out his wife Doris Day's fortune and he had signed her for that tv show she never wanted to do. Gary wasn't as overt as Terry though, but he did seem to require a CUT or BRIBE on any deal he got for her. There always had to be something in it for him. Howard's book has loads of stories on missed opportunities for Lucy as her lawyer Mickey Rudin and gary would veta all these great jobs for her. There was this one job, Pivot Pool, arranged by Howard without the two schmucks meddling in where Lucy cleared a million dollars in one year for one commercial filmed at her home in Palm Springs and her face on the boxes of the game. Another great deal was for Lucy reading children's stories and recording them, which might have gotten her a Grammy AND Howard said it would have provided a fortune in annuities for Lucy and then her kids as they would still be selling today. But Mickey said, OH THERE'S NO MONEY IN CHILDREN'S STORIES RECORDINGS, so Howard shot back, ever hear of Disney?

 

 

Yep. My favorite Gary story comes from Howard. When Gary tried to give Elizabeth Taylor Barbara's trailer during during the Here's Lucy episode. That just killed me. He was so clueless he didn't even realize they didn't own the trailer! Poor Lucy. "NO! Gary didn't give them the trailer!" Click. lol

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C L A U D E    2,006

Yep. My favorite Gary story comes from Howard. When Gary tried to give Elizabeth Taylor Barbara's trailer during during the Here's Lucy episode. That just killed me. He was so clueless he didn't even realize they didn't own the trailer! Poor Lucy. "NO! Gary didn't give them the trailer!" Click. lol

I know, that's such a great story and a perfect example of how he operated. Can i fill in some blanks for people who did not read it? When Lizzie and Dicky appeared on Here's Lucy, they were treated like a King and Queen. They got this HUGE trailer for her that Streisand had used on On a Clear Day. It was so sumptuous that Liz showed it off to the press the night of the wrap party after they shot the show. When gary saw how impressed she was with it, and wanting to show off in front of everybody, he told Lizzie it was hers! And he promised to ship it to their home, not realizing that the home was in Gstaad, Switzerland. And this was promised in front of the press too. So, the next day, it was up to Lucy to clean up his mess. She called Howard and told him gary had NOT promised her the trailer, Howard kept repeating that he had and Lucy kept saying No he didn't! LOL! Howard said it took him years to clear up that trailer mess with Liz and Dick and all other parties involved. Punchline is Lucy wanted that same trailer for a project she was doing years later and they tried to lift it with TWO giant lift trucks and it fell and broke in two never to be used by anyone again.

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