New Clive Davis autobiography due in February

Veteran music industry king- and queen-maker Clive Davis will relate his lifetime of experience in a new autobiography slated for publication early next year.

Currently chief creative officer for Sony Music Worldwide, Davis had a central role in launching and/or developing the careers of Janis Joplin, Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston, Barry Manilow, Patti Smith, the Grateful Dead, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson and countless others over more than half a century as a top record executive.

Davis is said to have been working on the book for more than two years with Rolling Stone contributor Anthony DeCurtis.

“No one has had a life, or a career, quite like the one described by Clive Davis in these remarkable and fascinating pages,” Jonathan Karp, publisher of the Simon & Schuster imprint, said in a statement announcing the book’s publication in February.

The announcement also said the book will include “never-before-heard tales” of his dealings with various pop and rock stars.

One example: when Springsteen turned in the first version of his debut album, “Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.,” Davis asked him if he could come up with some additional material because he didn’t hear any potential hits in what the man who would become The Boss had delivered.

 “I went to the beach and wrote ‘Blinded by the Light’ and ‘Spirit in the Night’,” Springsteen said later. “That was a good call. They ended up being two of my favorite songs on the record.”

The new book also will include updated perspectives on the evolution of the music business, which has changed dramatically since his first book, “Clive Davis: Inside the Music Business,” appeared in 1976.

"The business itself is not as healthy as it was five years ago,” Davis said earlier this year, a few days before his annual pre-Grammy Awards party in Beverly Hills. But he took great satisfaction in the runaway success of Adele’s “21” album, a project he wasn’t personally associated with. “The Adele story is a great message to the industry: When you have an unusually gifted artist, when you have material as strong as this, an album as strong as this, the public all over the world will respond in huge numbers."

He also spoke glowingly of the potential new media held for helping revitalize the industry to which he’s devoted most of his life.

“I'm encouraged now by YouTube and the social media and Vevo and the visual avenues,” he said in February. “There's going to be much more on the horizon to look at, many more vehicles, many more trigger points.”

Davis, who turned 80 in April, is involved in several high-profile albums slated to surface in coming months, including new collections from Aretha Franklin, Hudson, Leona Lewis, “X Factor” winner Melanie Amaro and an undisclosed project with Elvis Presley’s estate.


Davis doesn't change tune

Clive Davis on Whitney Houston: 'She love this night'

Tupac projection maker Digital Domain seeks bankruptcy protection


PHOTOS: Iconic rock guitars and their owners

PHOTOS: The Rolling Stones at 50

John Cage, radical composer for the 20th century

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World