Thursday, November 13, 2008
Marvin Gaye for the Block
I'm finishing up David Ritz' Divided Soul, his biography of Marvin Gaye, and while Ritz was very long on access - much of the book is made up of Gaye's discursive and revealing although heavily edited quotes - the book is frustratingly short on facts. If you want to know the date on which Gaye got married, for either of his weddings, this is not the book for you.
But there are a few luscious nuggets in there, like the fact that Marvin once appeared on Hollywood Squares. It's too bad Ritz couldn't find out what sort of questions the writing staff prepared for Gaye: "Mercy, mercy me..... I have to got to disagree..."
The late 1970s were a time when Marvin was perennially short on cash - and also a boom time for celebrity game shows, which means it's disappointing that he didn't pursue this avenue more often. It seems like it would have been the easiest thing in the world for Gaye to knock off a week's worth of Celebrity Sweepstakes or Cross-Wits and pocket a few thousand bucks.