Author: Nevard Tellalian
Publisher: Just Ain't Write Books
I have to confide that I was not familiar with Nevard Tellalian or her music, and in fact, I had to watch some of her videos on Youtube to find out who she is and to get a feel for her music. Nonetheless, when Musical Road Kills: And Other Tales. Some With Morals, Some Without
crossed my desk, I decided to see what makes her tick. I also had an ulterior motive, my son is a professional musician and perhaps reading Tellarian's memoir would give me a better understanding of his passion for music.
Although it was not easy to read Tellalian's memoirs due to its unevenness, poor editing, overuse of capital letters, its many grammatical errors, and often times her drifting and rambling, she still had something to share about herself and her work. What we have is an absorbing ride reflecting her creativity and human drama that we would expect from someone whose life was driven by music. Her readers receive an indispensable glimpse into a lifestyle that most of us will never experience as she recounts compelling stories that succeed in capturing the world she lived in.
Born and raised in Connecticut, Tellalian starting playing piano by ear at age five, and became a professional musician, band leader, songwriter before the age of twenty and a former Island recording artist. Her main instrument is the piano, and she plays the guitar, and has said she is able to play the blues harp, “but do not expect Little Walter.”
In a no holds barred format, Tellalian covers a great deal of ground and is quite frank in describing what it is to be a professional musician where very often you are underappreciated, taken advantage of and misunderstood. And if you are not willing to accept all kinds “not so” pretty venues or sometimes ugly behavior from your audience including objects being thrown at you, rude remarks, a punch, or worse-total silence, then you are in the wrong place and it would be wise to quit immediately. You will not last long if you only want the glory and none of the grit. On the other hand, and as she states: “If you NEED to do it, no matter how bad it can get, if you can stand proudly in the midst of any unholy mess and still find joy in the making of music, you're NUTS, but you are undoubtedly one of us.”
Quite interesting Tellalian informs us that she is not aware of a good half of the things she does on stage, and she has always refused to look at any recordings of herself. In fact, she doesn't want to see them. She doesn't care whatever the audience may think of her such as being too free spirited and impudent or that her performances contained not a small degree of wild abandon.
Tellalian does not leave out her beautiful and often complex relationship with the well-known musician Joey Ramone which she describes as “a romance, a deep love, and someone she feels protective of. The telling of it, although it has some funny moments, feels immensely private, and freshly painful. After twenty years.” She also devotes considerable ink to her wonderful relationship with her parents and she attributes her upbringing that had a great influence in giving her the inspiration to be courageous in her field, to possess a desire to never stop learning, to never lose a sense of wonder and to never be jaded about anything.
In the end, Tellalian manages to inspire and entertain her readers with her unabashedly and honest memoir while sharing stories with some humor thrown in which all makes for a read that is easy to get caught up in.
All of the proceeds from the sale of MUSICAL ROAD KILLS will be split in half between two foundations in honor of the two men Nevard truly loved and whose lives were so fleetingly lost: The Lymphoma Research Foundation in honor of Joey Ramone and the Dr. Robert Nagourney Cancer Research Foundation in honor of Jeremy Dennis.