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Cool, Hot Hollywood Tales Want sex, drugs, and rock n roll? It’s all here. But what is so moving about Staci Layne Wilson’s unconventional coming-of-age story is that in spite of her rocky childhood, she describes her parents with deep affection, generosity, and pride. Hers is a story of triumph over a legacy of alcoholism, suicide, and Hollywood burnout, but more than th Cool, Hot Hollywood Tales Want sex, drugs, and rock n roll? It’s all here. But what is so moving about Staci Layne Wilson’s unconventional coming-of-age story is that in spite of her rocky childhood, she describes her parents with deep affection, generosity, and pride. Hers is a story of triumph over a legacy of alcoholism, suicide, and Hollywood burnout, but more than that, it’s a tender, gripping tale of unconditional love (with a healthy dose of humor). Despite the downsides, her upbringing gave her the powerful determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms. Vintage Los Angeles Staci Layne Wilson tells tales of bygone eras – she grew up with showbiz parents in L.A. in the sixties and seventies, had ponies in the backyard and a psychotic monkey in the house, mingled with the stars on the Sunset Strip rock scene in the eighties, partied at the Playboy Mansion, nearly died (twice!). She ultimately found love, purpose, and success as an author, film director, screenwriter, pop culture pundit and notable red carpet reporter has interviewed the biggest celebs in the world. First-hand stories about: The Doors Led Zeppelin Guns N’ Roses Metallica Keanu Reeves Heath Ledger Liam Neeson Jennifer Lawrence Denzel Washington Ben Stiller Mia Farrow …to name just a few! Dozens of full-color photos PRAISE “A touching, laugh-out-loud memoir.” – Daily Sweets “Refreshingly honest look at Los Angeles, past and present.” – Curb Appeal “Charming, self-deprecating.” – Los Angeles Readers & Writers “As a music fanatic, I was in heaven over all the inside stories about The Ventures (through their 50+ year career!), Metallica, Led Zeppelin, and the glam-rock scene on the Sunset Strip. There’s also a whole master class on the heavy metal hangouts of Hollywood: The Rainbow, The Roxy, The Troubadour… Staci’s seen it all!” – Gene Katz, director of The Hair Band Tease If you want to read a time capsule of a specific period in Southern California pop cultural history, look no further. If you want to read a book that’s as delightful as it is insightful, one that stays with you long after you close its covers, this is that book. If you want to be simultaneously educated and entertained, you won’t find a better reference than this one. Staci Layne Wilson not only has a penchant for detail, she has a memory like a bear trap. Nothing escapes her notice, and she has been kind enough to let us see the world through her keen, sentimental (but never maudlin) eyes. The book should come with one caveat emptor, however: if you read it at night, you can forget about sleeping. Not all the coffee in the world can knock down the reading hangover you’re going to have the next day after flipping page after page the night before. – Stacey Keith, author of Stripped Down: A Naked Memoir A book that rivals the best of Huell Howser's TV shows digging up the cherished as well as perished landmarks of the City of Angels.


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Cool, Hot Hollywood Tales Want sex, drugs, and rock n roll? It’s all here. But what is so moving about Staci Layne Wilson’s unconventional coming-of-age story is that in spite of her rocky childhood, she describes her parents with deep affection, generosity, and pride. Hers is a story of triumph over a legacy of alcoholism, suicide, and Hollywood burnout, but more than th Cool, Hot Hollywood Tales Want sex, drugs, and rock n roll? It’s all here. But what is so moving about Staci Layne Wilson’s unconventional coming-of-age story is that in spite of her rocky childhood, she describes her parents with deep affection, generosity, and pride. Hers is a story of triumph over a legacy of alcoholism, suicide, and Hollywood burnout, but more than that, it’s a tender, gripping tale of unconditional love (with a healthy dose of humor). Despite the downsides, her upbringing gave her the powerful determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms. Vintage Los Angeles Staci Layne Wilson tells tales of bygone eras – she grew up with showbiz parents in L.A. in the sixties and seventies, had ponies in the backyard and a psychotic monkey in the house, mingled with the stars on the Sunset Strip rock scene in the eighties, partied at the Playboy Mansion, nearly died (twice!). She ultimately found love, purpose, and success as an author, film director, screenwriter, pop culture pundit and notable red carpet reporter has interviewed the biggest celebs in the world. First-hand stories about: The Doors Led Zeppelin Guns N’ Roses Metallica Keanu Reeves Heath Ledger Liam Neeson Jennifer Lawrence Denzel Washington Ben Stiller Mia Farrow …to name just a few! Dozens of full-color photos PRAISE “A touching, laugh-out-loud memoir.” – Daily Sweets “Refreshingly honest look at Los Angeles, past and present.” – Curb Appeal “Charming, self-deprecating.” – Los Angeles Readers & Writers “As a music fanatic, I was in heaven over all the inside stories about The Ventures (through their 50+ year career!), Metallica, Led Zeppelin, and the glam-rock scene on the Sunset Strip. There’s also a whole master class on the heavy metal hangouts of Hollywood: The Rainbow, The Roxy, The Troubadour… Staci’s seen it all!” – Gene Katz, director of The Hair Band Tease If you want to read a time capsule of a specific period in Southern California pop cultural history, look no further. If you want to read a book that’s as delightful as it is insightful, one that stays with you long after you close its covers, this is that book. If you want to be simultaneously educated and entertained, you won’t find a better reference than this one. Staci Layne Wilson not only has a penchant for detail, she has a memory like a bear trap. Nothing escapes her notice, and she has been kind enough to let us see the world through her keen, sentimental (but never maudlin) eyes. The book should come with one caveat emptor, however: if you read it at night, you can forget about sleeping. Not all the coffee in the world can knock down the reading hangover you’re going to have the next day after flipping page after page the night before. – Stacey Keith, author of Stripped Down: A Naked Memoir A book that rivals the best of Huell Howser's TV shows digging up the cherished as well as perished landmarks of the City of Angels.

30 review for So L.A.: A Hollywood Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Armand Rosamilia

    A moving, honest story about not only the author's life, but her two famous parents and the family dynamics they had to share and sometimes fight through. Lots of great stories about L.A. and the many, many celebrities she either knew in person or interviewed in her job. This isn't just a bunch of name-drops wrapped between egotistical accounts, this is warts and all. A moving, honest story about not only the author's life, but her two famous parents and the family dynamics they had to share and sometimes fight through. Lots of great stories about L.A. and the many, many celebrities she either knew in person or interviewed in her job. This isn't just a bunch of name-drops wrapped between egotistical accounts, this is warts and all.

  2. 5 out of 5

    J.H. Moncrieff

    So L.A. is really two memoirs in one: half of Wilson's epic story is actually about her parents' lives--her parents being Don Wilson of the Ventures and model/pin-up/entertainment journalist Nancy Bacon. Wilson's own story, when it takes over, doesn't appear all that unusual at first, considering she was raised by two famous parents who were struggling with their own demons. Her memoir hits its stride when she shares stories of her own years of being an entertainment journalist. She is unusually So L.A. is really two memoirs in one: half of Wilson's epic story is actually about her parents' lives--her parents being Don Wilson of the Ventures and model/pin-up/entertainment journalist Nancy Bacon. Wilson's own story, when it takes over, doesn't appear all that unusual at first, considering she was raised by two famous parents who were struggling with their own demons. Her memoir hits its stride when she shares stories of her own years of being an entertainment journalist. She is unusually candid about her celebrity encounters, naming those who were rude, inappropriate or strange, but also including many sweet moments, like her conversations with an endearingly awkward Heath Ledger. Wilson may have been surrounded by stars throughout her life, but she's extremely relatable and not shy about detailing her challenges to find a fulfilling career and true love in a city that has a rep for being shallow and superficial. Her lack of ego is refreshing, as is her lack of vices--this is not the typical child-of-famous-parents memoir you may expect. Instead, she writes honestly about her love, respect, and gratitude for her parents and the life they gave her, refusing to drag them through the mud or do more than briefly touch on some of their failings. In short, she has class. If Wilson is truly "So L.A." the celebrated city has a lot more substance than the rest of us have been led to believe.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andie Fessey

    Excellent read. Eyecatching and eye-opening memoir, which has me returning to its pages repeatedly. I highly recommend this to anybody looking for an honest, frank and revealing insight into living in that place of dreams...LA.

  4. 4 out of 5

    gloria segal

    Don Wilson's daughter This is the story of Staci Layne Wilson daughter of Don Wilson of The Ventures. Half of the book reiterates the story and tours of The Ventures and it would be good if it was interesting. What strikes me off is the fact that she is obsessed with this, however when they are inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1980 she didn't go to the event. This was a monumental journey that Don Wilson's mother, a first female manager and record producer of that era who made the Ve Don Wilson's daughter This is the story of Staci Layne Wilson daughter of Don Wilson of The Ventures. Half of the book reiterates the story and tours of The Ventures and it would be good if it was interesting. What strikes me off is the fact that she is obsessed with this, however when they are inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1980 she didn't go to the event. This was a monumental journey that Don Wilson's mother, a first female manager and record producer of that era who made the Ventures famous did not live to see her dream come true of their induction to the Hall Of Fame. Why spend a half of a book expressing the virtues of this band when you don't partake in what they accomplished. As for the rest of the book it's nothing more than name dropping and exuding her B movie attempts. Save yourself a lot of time, unless you are a speed reader and bored.

  5. 4 out of 5

    sara shuert

    A GenX love letter to LA As a GenXer who moved to LA, and spent my early 20's there (so many of us did), I couldn't sum LA up better. Not seeking fame or fortune, just something to belong to, I found it and then some. Staci captures that vibe, that energy, that something special that is not the trendy lounges, Rodeo Drive boutiques or red carpet affairs, but the true LA, the strip and grime and colorful characters that is what LA is, or was....Sadly I think the things that made it the playground A GenX love letter to LA As a GenXer who moved to LA, and spent my early 20's there (so many of us did), I couldn't sum LA up better. Not seeking fame or fortune, just something to belong to, I found it and then some. Staci captures that vibe, that energy, that something special that is not the trendy lounges, Rodeo Drive boutiques or red carpet affairs, but the true LA, the strip and grime and colorful characters that is what LA is, or was....Sadly I think the things that made it the playground of the young and carefree are slowly disappearing. But those of us who were there will never forget and So L.A. - A Hollywood Memoir will serve as an important reminder of an LA that should never be overlooked or forgotten.

  6. 5 out of 5

    karen grimm

    So L.A. Rocks Thoroughly enjoyed Stacy Payne Wilson's memories of growing up in L.A. Being a San Francisco girl myself, i enjoyed her tales of the southern part of the state i didn't know. The stories of people she got to meet, either because of her famous father and semi famous mother or of her own initiative through jobs and her writing, are told with easy candour and lively wit. Every much enjoyed So L.A. Rocks Thoroughly enjoyed Stacy Payne Wilson's memories of growing up in L.A. Being a San Francisco girl myself, i enjoyed her tales of the southern part of the state i didn't know. The stories of people she got to meet, either because of her famous father and semi famous mother or of her own initiative through jobs and her writing, are told with easy candour and lively wit. Every much enjoyed

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lara

    Not something I’d normally pick up, if not for being an old pen pal of the author’s, but it was a fun romp! The parts detailing her many pets and horses were of course my favorite. This book also has the distinction of being the first read on my gifted Kindle, a tech toy I long resisted but now love!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gary R Borman

    Fun and informative Hollywood memories I could not put this down! I knew the Ventures and have Cds by them. This gave insight into so many venues if interest to me. The writing was so lyrical and hypnotic I read until the end. I also read her mother's fantastic tell all the day before. Talented family Fun and informative Hollywood memories I could not put this down! I knew the Ventures and have Cds by them. This gave insight into so many venues if interest to me. The writing was so lyrical and hypnotic I read until the end. I also read her mother's fantastic tell all the day before. Talented family

  9. 5 out of 5

    Timothy J Bandy

    I really liked it Old time Angelo here, so L.A. references were a kick. So much gone, so much remaining. Also enjoyed "unusual" family. Have my own, just try to live at least an hour away from them. All good! I really liked it Old time Angelo here, so L.A. references were a kick. So much gone, so much remaining. Also enjoyed "unusual" family. Have my own, just try to live at least an hour away from them. All good!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sherry Thomas

    Read this! I am a voracious reader (and reviewer) who loves everything related to music, Hollywood, and horror. This memoir has all of this and more! A wonderful read!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dot

  12. 4 out of 5

    Helen E. Slocomb

  13. 4 out of 5

    charleen r collins

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eric V Dunbar

  15. 4 out of 5

    Linda Pullen

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Glennon

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joanne Gordon

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sally A.Herkel

  19. 5 out of 5

    Maxwell Monk

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jo-Ann Breukel

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jim McFiver

  22. 5 out of 5

    catherine q johnson

  23. 5 out of 5

    Billie Miles

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tina Tessina

  25. 4 out of 5

    Susan Morse

  26. 5 out of 5

    Frances

  27. 4 out of 5

    Molly Broderick

  28. 5 out of 5

    Hal Miller

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mark Slattery

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shawn O'Friel

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