"Here we go," you think, "just another famous entertainer's boring autobiography." Wrong! You never have and never will find another story like 'Carry Your Own Guitar.' Like the pieces of a puzzle, imagine, an emotionally and physically abused, little 8 year old 'white' boy abandoned by his Cherokee mother in the lobby of a California welfare office. Then, imagine a beautiful Mexican woman named, Lupe, working there. Childless, and against all the social taboos of that time, Lupe takes Billy home....to the barrio. Lupe's husband, Frank, is a classical guitarist. Together, under assumed identities, the Mexican duo perform as character actors and singers in Hollywood films. So, little Billy grows up, an adopted child of two cultures in the fantasy capitol of the world. But, this is only the border of the puzzle of Bill Mayorga Aken's life.
Next, we fill in the middle parts. The years go by. Bill's father, Frank, teaches him classical guitar, and Bill learns to sing. Along with his three teen age Amigos, Chico, J.D. and Able, they 'chase girls' by forming the first interracial band in the history of rock & roll called, Los Nomades. (The Nomads.) The world of Hollywood and recording studios becomes their playground. Then, with the help of Frank's show business friends, Ozzie and Harriet, Bill ends up going to the prestigious Juilliard School of Music in New York City. Late one night, he does a friend a favor and ends up in a horrendous automobile accident. In the hospital, the priest reads Bill the last rites, but once again, Lupe comes to her Nino's rescue. She gives up her film career and moves to New York to 'will' her son's broken body back to health.
Now, find the pieces of the puzzle, where Bill and his buddy, TV star, Rick Nelson, go on a fishing trip to Idaho. They stop to eat at a local restaurant, where fate changes the entire course of Bill's life. Their waitress is a beautiful, blond named, Minnie. Soul mates meet like rockets in the night, and three days later, they're married at the courthouse. Then, Bill takes his new bride back to 'face the music' and his parents in California. After another 'proper'ceremony arranged by Lupe and Harriet Nelson, in church, their crazy love is still going strong after more than fifty years.
Next, fiill in the pieces of the puzzle that fit the years Bill was a member of the 'First Call Gang,' later called, The Wrecking Crew. This elite group of L.A. studio musicians provided the amazing tracks to most of the major hit songs of the 60's and 70's. One of Bill's good friends, some guy named, Elvis Presley, gave Bill the nick name of, 'The Fixer.' When Elvis wanted music on a recording that nobody else could give him, he'd call the 'Fixer' with the unique musical ability to get it done.
Then, let's not forget the part of the puzzle, where Bill becomes the secret weapon who pioneers the lush, forbidden, 'strings' on Nashville's great country music hits. His innovative arrangements make 'cross over' the new Music City buzz word. However, never a stranger to trouble, back on the west coast, during an interview on a San Diego radio station, the young guitarist almost ends up being a 'missing piece,' when he makes fun of a foreign dictator over the air. It was no joke to Bill's family and friends, when word got out that he was on that ruler's international assination list. That could be one of the reasons Bill's life-long Amigos in 'Los Nomades' used to pray before their shows: "All for one, and one for all....and, don't let 'em kill the white kid." All this, and the puzzle's still not complete yet. So, I guess, you'll just have to read the book to see the whole picture. But, hold onto your sombreros....'coz, you're in for quite a ride. Can't wait for the film version. Holly-Rose Garrett, Front Row Lady Publishing, BMI
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Really interesting. Not the usual type of music biz autobio. They ought to make a movie out of this one....like American Graffiti. This guy fits that old joke about screeching into the Pearly Gates saying, 'That was one hell uv a ride.' And, who do you know that marries a total stranger after only knowing her for 3 days. LOL And, it stuck. I liked the part where Elvis flew Bill and his wife from LA to Memphis just to fix a guitar track on a recording, then took them out to dinner and flew them back. Mainly, big stars write books about their lives. This guy was a studio musician more than a singer, so you get the inside scoop on so much more behind the scenes stuff. The story might be about the 70's and such, but it sure is relevant today too. I mean, he was adopted by Mexican parents. Imagine being a white kid sent into a roadside restaurant to buy soda pop becoz they don't serve Mexicans. This was a real interesting read. And, I'm picky.