||April 16, 2012
This work has several elements. It is part self help, part novel and part autobiography. It is also a philosophical, social-political commentary about the times in which we live. Though often satirical, the author has chosen to include topics near and dear to his heart. The writer has drawn from his range of experience, success and failures, in hopes that he inspires the reader to grab the world by the tail. If you think life is a spectator sport, then this book is not for you.
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This humorous, irreverent and honest work combines storytelling, self help, socio-political and theoretical perspectives for improving life. The writer offers his often audacious insights about better living through planning, action, discipline and attitude. This book amusingly chronicles the author’s dysfunctional childhood, relationships and experience as a rock musician.
Hardy, who eventually completed several business management degrees, conveys his techniques for leadership, working well with others, initiative and self realization. He describes that as a young, clueless man, he was booted out the house two weeks after high school graduation. His writing style combines a Horatio Alger meets Charles Bukowski approach, to illustrate how he used natural leadership abilities at jobs and for accomplishing goals. Hardy also communicates his message via historical examples such as the race to the South Pole; as well as better living in a Machiavellian world. One of the central themes of the book is the author’s tumultuous relationships with his bi-polar father and demanding stepfather. From those experiences, Hardy stresses the importance of stimulating a child’s interest, which he firmly contends was not his lot in life.
Singing for My Supper, the Greatest Self Help Book Ever Written It is part self help, part novel and part autobiography. It is also a philosophical, social-political commentary about the times in which we live. Hardy was described by one his high school instructors as “one of the finest natural historians he ever taught.” The book utilizes his insights about the past, as well as his cheeky interpretations of the philosophical doctrines of Immanuel Kant, Ayn Rand and Jean Paul Sartre. In later chapters, he amusingly weaves elements of their theories into his narrative, which includes a climactic encounter with the Prince of Darkness. At the beginning of this work, Hardy cautions the reader by stating “If you think life is a spectator sport, then this book is not for you.”
Every story should have a strong opening line. If I were Dickens, I might start off by saying “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” but it wasn't. For me, 1979 was more akin to the tepid of times. The only obsession that kept me from dying of boredom was the precious few hours I had behind the drums. One of the things I recall about that year was those prick Iranians taking our diplomats as hostages. Worse yet, the biggest wimp in the weak sister family, Jimmy Carter let them get away with it. Though this former President couldn't lead a one-car parade, I understand he now does a passable job building houses for the poor.
I spent the first half of the year as band leader for the Millionaires. Since we had nothing going on, I dropped them similar to a child with a broken toy. This happened when my friend Billy called, asking if I wanted to play with the Fad. They had a sizable following and had graduated to playing weekend gigs at some of the local LA venues.
In spite of their early success, their first drummer had a nervous breakdown. As a symptom of his meltdown, he began worshipping a little known ancient Egyptian deity. This was precipitated by his accusation that Billy considered him a sex object, which was a complete fabrication. Billy was too busy for extracurricular sex during this time. He was involved in torrid affair with an Austrian geneticist whose experimentation on Schnauzers caused quite a stir in the scientific community. This overseas liaison and the band rehearsals took up most of his time.
With my impeccable record of mental stability, I was the perfect choice to replace Fad drummer number one. The band offered four college graduates who ran circles around me with their super sized vocabularies. In those days, I thought beat poetry was verse you read while kicking someone's ass, thespians were women dating one another and Davy Jones Locker was a storage container.
Singing For My Supper, The Greatest Self Help Book Ever Written
C. MacDonald Book Review from www.seecalifornia.com
HOLLYWOOD, CA--Writing from the heart and soul, exposing your warts, along with your achievements, offering advice to smooth the trail for others, and expressing a sense of humor while doing it, is not easy. Yet Phil Hardy, a , sometimes spitfire Hollywood drummer/singer in bands that sizzled in the famous Whiskey, Troubadour, Starwood, Madame Wongs, Gazzaris and Club 88, manages to pull it off in this entertaining and insightful book that's woven part self-help, autobiography, novel, shock and humor.
The title will suck you in. In the first pages, Hardy's humor oozes like fresh syrup on a pancake. Thanking his editor, he adds, "Any word omissions or grammatical errors may be attributed to his poor attitude, shoddy attention to detail and generally foul disposition." Next, he dedicates the book to his wife, Kelly, "who is beautiful on the outside and inside. She is too good for me, which is a fact she constantly reminds me of in perpetuity." He talks about one manager, who "smelled like a high school locker room." One of the funniest tales by the progressive rock and jazz man, who's now highlighting the blues, is about how he very creatively and cleverly deals with a foreign scam artist regarding a potential inheritance. The drum-beating bammer hilariously turns the tables on the scammer. Read his wonderfully-written letter and you'll laugh out loud.
Although Phil is now a professional project manager with a Master of Management Degree, Hardy's Hints for success and survival definitely were earned through the the university of hard knocks. He grew up in what he calls "a dysfunctional family;" he once had to fire his father at work and he called his mom, "a man magnet." He learned how to pass a Spanish class by asking the teacher how she was every day; "I could always turn on the charm when I wanted something." He even was able to stop substance abuse on his own and overcame being overweight and unfit with some help.
Hardy said he sometimes shot first from the mouth--saying what he thought or what some didn't want to hear--causing him to be fired, ostracized or lose a girlfriend. But, during a try out, his sometimes abrasive behavior was actually appreciated by the lead singer and bassist of Bent Antenna, who had grown up in New York City.
The multi-talented fellow, who mentions Clint Eastwood, Jimi Hendrix, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Jethro Tull, The Who, and James Dean, once helped The Millionaires get booked all over and even open for the popular group, The Motels. The Millionaires also played a catchy reggae rock song he wrote called, "New York City." The author, who could be a stand-up, Jerry Seinfeld-type comedian someday, was drummer for a band playing a USO show aboard the aircraft carrier USS Constellation in San Diego. He bangs the sticks with his latest band, New Blues Revolution. To see him in action and get him to autograph his new book, find out the group's bookings at www.newbluesrevolution.com.
The largely self-taught sticksman, who played and still plays with passion and abandon, writes with style: "It was a murky afternoon right out of an Edgar Allen Poe story."
His book, which should be studied in business school and in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, covers everything but the kitchen sink: business, problem-solving, losing weight, finding a mate, discipline and more.
Some of the Stanford University Certified Project Manager's business advice:
--Never walk into a job or business relationship with the assumption you know more than the next person.
--The best confidant is a closed mouth.
--If you want a friend you can trust, buy a dog.
--Wisdom has taught me that I should speak less and act more.
--Attitude is everything.
--Be an excellent listener (one of the most valuable skills but hardest to master)
"Remember, you're never done learning," Hardy reminds us. "Life is a carnival, enjoy the ride." (Just like his book, which is available in hardcopy at www.lulu.com; and Kindle at amazon.com.).
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