Alanna Nash
February 02, 1996 AT 05:00 AM EST

Bonnie Raitt: Just in the Nick of Time

Current Status
In Season
Mark Bego, Bonnie Raitt
Music, Biography

We gave it a D

Bonnie Raitt: Just in the Nick of Time is an unauthorized biography by Mark Bego about the seasoned country-blues rocker that amounts to little more than a dry valentine copied and collated on a Xerox machine. With an almost total reliance on previously published quotes, Bego, the author of 26 celebrity biographies, offers a standard portrait of Raitt as a tomboy who grew up resentful that her famous dad (singer John Raitt) wasn’t around enough to be a real father, and with her pacifist, Quaker upbringing, gravitated toward music as a way of changing the world. We see the singer as musically principled, sincerely dedicated to political causes, and generally bighearted, especially toward forgotten blues pioneers. But the real person never really emerges — instead of a biography, it’s an unedited, track-by-track breakdown of her albums by a man who can’t adequately describe what he hears, can’t remember what he wrote (one quote is repeated verbatim in two places), and whose empty-headed idea of snappy chapter endings includes ”Word was spreading that Bonnie had the blues. She had ’em bad — and that was good!” A mess.

You May Like