Swimming with the Blowfish: Hootie, Healing, and One Hell of a Ride

Swimming with the Blowfish: Hootie, Healing, and One Hell of a Ride

Swimming with the Blowfish: Hootie, Healing, and One Hell of a Ride

Swimming with the Blowfish: Hootie, Healing, and One Hell of a Ride


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The ultimate front-row seat to the rise, fall, and rebirth of a band that was—for a time—the biggest in the world, Hootie & the Blowish, and Jim Sonefeld’s shattering and redeeming spiritual path from addiction to recovery and a more fruitful life

For a time, there was no bigger band in the world than Hootie & the Blowfish—rock & roll’s unexpected foil to the grunge music that dominated the early ’90s airwaves. In Swimming with the Blowfish, Jim Sonefeld, drummer and one of the band’s principal songwriters, reveals the inside story of the band’s humble beginnings, meteoric rise, sudden fall, and ultimate rebirth—and in the telling he opens his heart to readers about addiction, recovery, and faith.

Hootie became ubiquitous in the ’90s—their debut album Cracked Rear View was one of the best-selling in the history of rock music; they won two Grammy Awards; their live performances were played alongside the Dave Matthews Band, R.E.M., and even Willie Nelson and Neil Young; and they appeared at the biggest venues in the world. Though Jim enjoyed the perks that came with fame—the parties, the relationships, the money, the drugs and alcohol—eventually it all became a camouflage that hid a deeper spiritual malady. As his life was careening toward disaster, he reached out his hands to seek relief in twelve-step recovery, eventually settling into a loving, but by no means uncomplicated, homelife.

  A book that encapsulates a band still beloved by legions of fans, Swimming with the Blowfish is much more—an unpretentious, emotional story of one man’s spiritual path to a more fruitful life. Jim’s journey is shattering, redeeming, and ultimately as comforting as your favorite flannel shirt.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635767674
Publisher: Diversion Books
Publication date: 06/28/2022
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 506,765
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Hootie & the Blowfish drummer Jim “Soni” Sonefeld dreamt more of being a professional soccer player than a successful musician. But with the unsuspected success of the band’s 1994 debut release, Cracked Rear View, he and his bandmates found themselves traveling the world to support what would become the 16th best-selling album of all time in the United States. The band would record four more studio albums and receive numerous awards, among them, two Grammys. During this era, Sonefeld’s lines of truth became blurred and his addictions began to take over his life as he relied heavily on drugs and alcohol to cope with the emptiness growing inside of him. He struggled to find peace and to hold his personal life together, and in 2004 Sonefeld finally accepted that he was powerless over drugs and alcohol and that his life had become entirely unmanageable. In sobriety Sonefeld discovered there were parts of his life that had incurred damages beyond repair, but that God would heal him if he turned his life over to His care.

Since then, a full spiritual awakening led to a complete lifestyle change and inspired Sonefeld to follow a new path of clarity, and nothing was clearer to him than God’s calling to recreate himself as a Contemporary Christian artist. He also helps others in recovery by sharing his story and his music with Celebrate Recovery groups around the United States.

Table of Contents

Foreword Darius Rucker xi

Prologue xiii

1 Naperville via Everywhere 1

2 Kick Ball, Kick Drum 6

3 An Ounce 12

4 The Beautiful (College) Game 17

5 Bachelors of Art 24

6 Fire 29

7 From Tootie to Hootie 35

8 On the Road 46

9 Carolyn 53

10 Kootchypop 59

11 Earthquakes 63

12 Earnie Stewart, Bill Clinton, Dave Letterman 77

13 Big Head 82

14 Back Here on the Riser 92

15 Neil, John, and Willie 97

16 Ol'Blue Eyes 101

17 Fairweather "Friends," and Friends 106

18 Can't Stay Put 116

19 The Ass of Alexi Lalas 119

20 Cameron Shay 128

21 All Those Missed Calls 135

22 The Truckee Bench 138

23 Was Not Was 144

24 Back to Naperville 152

25 Mason James and Mom 163

26 Lean on Me 168

27 Tiger's Wedding 178

28 Taking Stock 186

29 The Duffle Bag 196

30 I Can Only Imagine 203

31 Laura 210

32 Kneeling in the Sand 215

33 From Lost to Found 222

34 California Dreamin' 234

35 Getting the Band Back Together 237

36 On the Road Again 243

Acknowledgments 260

Index 265

About the Author 269

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