Star Gazing

CoreyographyThanks to Corey Feldman, now I’m a recovering addict.  I don’t know what I’ll do without a new page of this book in my life.

I had just been thinking, “I wish I could find another book I simply can’t put down.”  That feeling of obsessive reading actually started when I was a youngster (“Moe Howard and the Three Stooges“).  That book led to a lifetime love of biography, particularly behind-the-scenes Hollywood stories.

Having consumed a library of what is easily my favorite genre of book, I can say without a doubt that “Coreyography” is not only a great read, it is easily one of the best books about working in show business!

Corey Feldman has a unique perspective on Hollywood life.  He was not just a child superstar; he is an icon.  No child of the 1980’s had a list of favorite films that didn’t include at least one of his vehicles.  Whether it was “Gremlins,” “The Goonies,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” or “Stand By Me,” or whether you were an acolyte with a subscription to Tiger Beat Magazine and a love for anything with “The Two Coreys,” at some point in your young life, Corey Feldman was invited into your home.

And then at some point, things changed.  Corey Feldman was the washed-up has-been with the drug problem.  Even on “The Surreal Life,” a show that featured a slew of “celebrities” like MC Hammer and Emanuel Lewis all living under one roof, he was somehow the weird one!  And that he showed up at Michael Jackson’s funeral dressed as the Prince of Pop seemed dramatically inappropriate and a sign of poor judgement.

I personally brought up these very points in my extended interview with actress Ashley Bank (“The Monster Squad”) for the second episode of “The Sheepdog Show.”  (That full fascinating interview here.  The episode here.)

It seemed there was something wrong with Corey Feldman.  His was the perennial story of how childhood stardom will screw you up.  Heck, he was the poster child!

But, alas, the way Hollywood works is that the audience is only presented with part of the story, the easy to swallow narrative that can be squeezed into a box for a mass audience.  Clearly there is more to the story.

To her full credit, Ashley was the first person to hint that there was a lot more to that story.  She got me thinking that, drug abuse aside, my own preconceived notions were a bit misguided.  Thus, when I saw Corey’s interview on “Good Morning, America,” I felt compelled to read the book.

I finally got my hands on it three days ago.  Yep!  I had that book I was craving for.  The one I. could. not. put. down.

I won’t go into detail about what’s in the book.  I want you to read it for yourself, after all.  All I will say is that it is everything you want it to be and more.  Corey’s life is fascinating, and he goes into detail about his films, his music, his childhood, his drug addiction, his friendship with Michael Jackson, “The Two Coreys,” everything you were curious about and then some.  And he starts the conversation about what he refers to as “Hollywood’s biggest secret,” the sexual exploitation of even the most vulnerable of eager performers, children.

Seriously, go read it now.  Or if you’d prefer to hear the star read it to you, you can get the audio book.

Assumed ghost writer or not, Feldman writes his compelling story in a manner that is both like a conversation and the blueprints for a gripping film.  This book expresses a talent that has sometimes been forgotten but is evidenced by Corey’s greatest performances.  I expect that this work will generate new interest in his projects, ideas, and work, and I personally can’t wait to see what he does with this second (or third or forth) chance.

The only negatives that I find here are minor.

The first aspect that was a bit troubling here. . . Well, I feel Corey kind of lets himself off the hook a bit when it comes to some of the troubles he found himself in.  I do NOT mean to include the abuse in this statement.  Let’s make this clear.  It is absolutely NOT his fault that he was a victim to physical, mental, or sexual abuse from his family or “friends.”  I simply mean that while some of the others included in this book, such as Haim, clearly had problems that were often undoubtedly more sever than Feldman’s, perhaps a greater emphasis is placed on their hand in some of the mayhem than Feldman is willing to own himself.  His responsibility is probably a bit understated.  This is understandable.  A major unspoken theme we learn about Feldman is how he felt/feels like he is in complete control of his life and what happens in it.  Clearly, he has matured and learned to take control of his own fate, but even in the present day, there is a sense that there are pressures outside of his control that greatly influence his life.  The fact that Corey takes ownership of as much as he does in this book is honestly and truly remarkable, and it shows a growth and understanding that is encouraging.  I hope Mr. Feldman continues down the path of forgiveness, health, and self-improvement.  I’m really rooting for this guy.

Of course, Corey editorializes the events of his life.  It wouldn’t be of interest if he didn’t.  Sometimes things are presented simply as an antidote based on his memories without his opinions as an overlay.  This is absolutely of interest as well.  This being said, I’m not entirely certain how Corey currently feels about one particular incident I found a bit disturbing.  I do know that he says at the time that he felt “like the luckiest kid in the world.”  Without going into too much detail, the part that I’m referring to is his sexual encounter with adult actress Ginger Lynn, when she was twenty-four and he was fifteen.  It didn’t feel any less creepy to me when I read that segment of the book as it did when I read about some of the other adult interest in the teen star, and it opened up a bit of opportunity in my mind for a double-standard.   It’s the only mention of a male-female issue here, but imagine if the genders were reversed here.  If it had been a twenty-four year old male and a fifteen year old actress, it wouldn’t have a veneer of a “lucky kid.”

Oh, and there’s quite a bit of promotion in the book too, but that’s to be expected, I suppose.  It just leaves the book dated.

Bottom Line, if you have any interest in Hollywood, stardom, show business, icons from the 80’s, child stars, or Corey, this is a must read.  Mr. Feldman has a unique view of Tinsel Town, and it’s an amazing opportunity to get the full tour from one of it’s most prolific stars.  I have gained a new found respect for this man as a performer and as a man.  I may not have been a fan before reading this book – well, not since the days of Mouth, if I’m being honest – but I find myself wanting to write for him, act with him, work with him.

I agree with you, Corey, I really think you’re just getting started.

9 out of 10 stars.

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