I’ve written three biographies: two authorized (Sam Peckinpah and John Cassavetes) and one unauthorized (Harvey Keitel).
I’m occasionally asked how I chose the subjects of my books and I believe I’ve found a common thread, particularly as regards Peckinpah and Cassavetes (but also Keitel, in a sense).
What I’m drawn to is the opportunity to look inside the creative process, to pinpoint moments of inspiration and how they grew. I’m equally attracted to stories about artists who fought the status quo to change their own universe at a moment of transition in the world around them.
With Peckinpah, it was his urge to examine the nature of violence – to show it as it was and, thus, de-romanticize it – at a violent moment in American history. Cassavetes, on the other hand, wanted to use film to explore real feelings and personal interactions in a way that had nothing to do with neatly drawn plots or nicely organized camera schemes. Life was messy; so were John’s films.
Below you’ll find images of each book and a link to individual pages about them (where you’ll also find links to Amazon.com, if you’re interested in purchasing a copy). I haven’t included “The Dr. Drew and Adam Book” because it was basically a work-for-hire project and not really germane to this website.