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Mark Volma comes out of his shell with a new musical autobiography Happy Forever

    happy forever mark volman

    Mark Volman has led a storied life; many of those stories are contained in Happy Forever. A true son of Southern California, he has gone from topping the charts with The Turtles (‘Happy Together’) to underground cred with Frank Zappa and beyond. As Flo & Eddie, Mark and his long-time singing partner Howard Kaylan were the not-so-secret ingredients on many other artist’s records, taking Bruce Springsteen into the Top 10 for the first time and helping T. Rex dominate the British charts. Then came The Ramones, U2, Blondie, Duran Duran, and so many more; the list of credits is long and varied.

    In a career that has been anything but typical, Mark Volman has gone from topping the pop charts to losing the legal rights to his own name. After hitting #1 with The Turtles, Mark and singing partner Howard Kaylan (aka Flo & Eddie) had a stint with Frank Zappa & The Mothers, then went on to sing with everyone from T. Rex to The Ramones to Bruce Springsteen to Blondie, achieving cumulative sales in excess of one hundred million records. They also enjoyed concurrent careers as voice actors and musicians in animation (Strawberry ShortcakeCare Bears) and as radio hosts in Los Angeles and New York, where they rubbed shoulders with Howard Stern.

    happy forever mark volman back cover

    Happy Forever covers all that, along with subsequent forays into animation, a stint as a radio personality in Los Angeles and New York, and a midlife return to academia, leading Mark to create and run innovative college programs in L.A. and Nashville. But this is not the world according to Mark Volman, and it is not your average musical autobiography. Alongside his own comments, this uniquely insightful book contains contributions from more than one hundred of Mark’s peers, friends, and lovers, who share their thoughts on the man himself and on topics that span the social and cultural landscape of the past half-century.

    the turtles

    Happy Forever’s cast list reads like a who’s who of popular music, featuring members of The Doors, The Monkees, The Byrds, The E Street Band, and many more; producers Tony Visconti, Bob Ezrin, and Hal Willner; voice actors from The Simpsons and the Firesign Theatre; and key figures from the worlds of radio, animation, and academia. The book also includes previously unseen photographs and forewords by Alice Cooper and Chris Hillman.

    Fun Fact: Adhering to the prevailing musical trend, the group rebranded itself as a folk rock band named the Tyrtles, an intentionally stylized misspelling inspired by the Byrds and the Beatles. However, the trendy spelling did not survive long, and they finally had to name themselves the Turtles.

    Listen to the podcast: “Happy Together” by the Turtles by Andrew Hickey. A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs.

    Tony M.