Author Mark Bego is regarded as one of the top celebrity biographers of today, having written close to 70 books. In addition to his titles about some of the top personalities in show business — including Elton John, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and Madonna — he has co-written memoirs with The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz, Three Dog Night’s Jimmy Greenspoon, and Debbie Gibson. The latest release by Bego is Eat Like a Rock Star, which features more than 100 recipes from musicians; The Rolling Stones’ Bill Wyman, The Doobie Brothers’ Michael McDonald, NSYNC’s Joey Fatone, and the aforementioned Monkees’ Dolenz are among the contributors.
The introduction to Eat Like a Rock Star was written by Mary Wilson. As a founding member of The Supremes, and also its longest-tenured member, Wilson has achieved many of the highest highs that a performer can achieve. Not only an inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, Mary Wilson is a Vocal Group Hall Of Famer, has an Honorary Doctorate, and has earned a variety of Life Achievement awards. But Wilson has no plans to slow down, releasing new music every few years beyond maintaining a busy touring schedule.
Bego and Wilson, long-time friends, will be celebrating the October 17 release of Eat Like a Rock Star at New York’s The Cutting Room on October 19. Wilson will be hosting the event, while a number of celebrity chefs will be in attendance. At time of publication, I could only get publicist David Salidor to confirm the following attendees: Lou Christie, Donnie Dacus of Chicago, Cory Daye of Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, and The Village People’s Randy Jones. Meet and greet opportunities aside, attendees will also be treated to a taste of a signature cocktail as featured within the pages of Eat Like a Rock Star.
I had the pleasure of speaking with both Mark Bego and Mary Wilson for the Inquisitr. Mark Bego can be visited online at www.markbego.com, while more information on Mary Wilson can be found at www.marywilson.com. Tickets for the October 19 event can be purchased online through the Cutting Room’s website.
You have written 62 published books. Books are notoriously time-consuming to write. How is it that you are able to be so productive?
Mark Bego: When I started writing books about rock stars in the 1970s, the marketplace for them was basically paperback originals about celebrities I had met and interviewed like Barry Manilow, The Doobie Brothers, Madonna, Cher, and Michael Jackson. Once I got the formula down, I moved up to full and detailed hardcover biographies of people like Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, and Elton John. Eat Like a Rock Star took everything I have learned about writing an appealing book, combined with my love of cooking.
How would you describe your new book Eat Like A Rock Star to someone who hasn’t yet looked at the cover?
Mark Bego: Eat Like a Rock Star is a colorful journey into the kitchens of 46 bonafide rock stars. I have written books with several of my rock star chefs, like Martha Reeves, Micky Dolenz, Debbie Gibson, Randy Jones of The Village People, and Jimmy Greenspoon of Three Dog Night. I worked with several of the celebrities to help bring their favorite food to life, to the kitchen, and to the pages of this book. There are also bios of all of the 46 rock star chefs, so there is a direct link to my reputation for writing about the lives of these stars.
Do you have a favorite of the recipes in the book?
Mark Bego: There isn’t a recipe in this book that I don’t like in the book, since I tested all of them, and photographed all the food in the book. I really love the Organic Lemon Chicken that Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & The Papas gave me, and the Lebanese Cinnamon Chicken from Tiffany. The Artichoke Dip recipe that Spanky McFarlane of the rock group Spanky & Our Gang gave me is a huge hit at every party I have for. I love the simplicity of Lou Christie’s Summer Linguini.
Now available for order on Amazon: my cookbook masterpiece “Eat Like a Rock Star” with Mary Wilson, Joey Fatone, Micky Dolenz, 46 rockers! pic.twitter.com/kQs7wPmt1Z
— Mark Bego (@MarkBego) October 11, 2017
Mary Wilson will be hosting your upcoming event at The Cutting Room. How did you and Mary first meet?
Mark Bego: We first met in December of 1975. I was working for Record World magazine, and I drove from New York City to Rochester in a snowstorm to interview Mary for the publication. We instantly hit it off as friends, and is a close and wonderful friendship that has continued for over 40 years.
Mary, what made you and Mark connect?
Mary Wilson: He and I were doing an interview quite some time ago. We became friends after that. Immediately it’s like love at first sight, or hate at first sight. Those vibes are usually there. (laughs) I think that’s kind of what happened there, we had a kinship in terms of the type of people we were. He loved to laugh, have fun, and we just totally connected from there.
As the host, Mary, what will you be doing at The Cutting Room?
Mary Wilson: Mark and I have worked quite a bit together on different projects. We celebrate as well. (laughs) He and I have traveled around the world together. Usually we just greet people, have fun and celebrate. I’ll be there greeting folks, just being myself, being “the celebrity in the room.”
In the press release for the book and event, it said that you and Mark are working on a “top-secret project.” Can you tell me more about that?
Mary Wilson: Mark and I are working together on several projects. Which “top-secret” one, I’m not sure… (laughs) I can say that I am currently working on a coffee table book and that’s probably what is “top-secret,” but I’ll want to keep the topic “top-secret.”
Had an absolute blast with Mary Wilson at The Kentucky Derby! pic.twitter.com/Fw1N1LjHK6
— Mark Bego (@MarkBego) May 12, 2017
Cutting Room event and “top-secret” work aside, Mark, what is coming up for you?
Mark Bego: Skyhorse Publishing has the option of a second cookbook from me, and I have already begun to map it out, just in case! There are also a pair of my rock star chefs who are ready to write their own memoirs with me.
Mary Wilson: Probably the touring is my main event that I work on. I’m on the road probably more than most people even know. Aside from touring, I do have time to study my acting, so I’m taking acting classes, I’m taking improvisation classes, I’m taking voiceover classes. The rest of the time I’m traveling. Also I’m still recording. I have a recording I’ve been working on, I feel like Stevie Wonder, “when is this thing coming out?” I’ve been working on this recording for almost 10 years now. Hopefully it will be finished soon. I think I have only one more tune to do. We’ll have a current recording out…
One of the last songs I recorded, “Time To Move On,” actually was on the dance charts last year. I think it went to number 19… I’m taking voice classes as well. There are always other things I am working on but I don’t talk about because you never know if they’ll materialize. I am one busy lady and I love it. At 73, I should say 73 and a half years ago, I’m having a great time, busier than I thought I would be at this stage of my life. But I’m doing great, I’m having a ball.
Are there any plans for a re-issue of your self-titled Motown solo album, which included “Red Hot?”
Mary Wilson: I’m not sure what they’re going to do at Motown. They’re always putting things together. That could be something in the future, but I really have no control over there, so I really couldn’t say.
When not busy with work, Mark, how do you like to spend your free time?
Mark Bego: I love to travel, and I have been all over the world. One of my favorite traveling partners is Mary Wilson. We have been exciting places like Monaco where we met and partied with Prince Albert. We have also traveled to Sweden together to spend time with Princess Christina, and a European tour with Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones. We have also had some great food together in exotic places like Tokyo and Paris.
Mary, is there something you wish more people knew about you?
Mary Wilson: My life is pretty much an open book right now. Everyone knows what’s going on with me.
Finally, Mark, any last words for the kids?
Mark Bego: Take it from me, if you have a dream project or goal that you want to accomplish, and you truly believe in it, never give up. This has been true for me my entire career. It took me 20 years to finally write the Joni Mitchell and Elton John books I always wanted to write. Eat Like a Rock Star is like this, too. When I got this idea of doing a rock & roll cookbook four years ago, I kept pushing it to publishers, until I found a company who loved my ideas. Never give up on your dreams.
Mary Wilson: I’d like to say generally what’s going in the world today, we as human beings should have a little more respect for this life we have been given. See how precious life is… Everyone’s not fortunate to be rich and famous, but yet still we’re breathing. In most cases, especially in America, we have freedom of speech. Even that’s being kind of questioned (laughs)… I think we all need to be more respectful of life and try to enjoy it… At 73 and a half, let me tell you it’s short.
[Featured Image by David Salidor]