By Mitch Ryder
Jane Wesman Public Relations, Inc., $25.95, 260 pages

Any music fan who grew up in the Midwest in the late sixties will have no trouble remembering Mitch Ryder’s classic song, “Devil With A Blue Dress On”. Reminiscent of Little Richard, Ryder, whose real name is William Levise, unleashed performances that drew even the most inhibited to their feet. I wish I could say the same about his new memoir Devils & Blue Dresses in which he rambles through what was obviously a traumatic childhood into a very troubled adulthood with a career full of ups and downs. I expected to empathize with him, but I ended up wishing he had left that stuff buried. He ends with a list of all the “famous” people he met during his life as a musician. Most of the meetings were merely encounters such as with Delaney and Bonnie, about which he comments, “Kimberly and I had a chance to meet with them in their hotel room back in the day and they were great hosts.”  For stalwart Ryder fans, there are some interesting tidbits to be learned, but for the most part, I would have to say, “Not so much.”

“Although I hadn’t sold my soul, it was dirty and in need of repair.”

Diane Prokop