Wednesday, February 20, 2013 , Updated 11:48 a.m., February 20, 2013
UPDATED: Producer Clive Davis’ book full of “misinformation,” says Kelly Clarkson
Clive Davis defends the book.
Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone - Jay Leno
Record-bizzer Clive Davis’s autobiogaphy The Soundtrack of My Life just arrived at the office — 30 minutes ago, tops. And beginning on Page 498 (it’s a long book) is the chapter “American Idol and Kelly Clarkson” in which he chronicles the ascension of the Burleson native. Sort of. Because, you see, Davis can’t bring himself to say very many nice things about Clarkson, who we may one day rank among the North Texas All-Time Top 10′rs when the next round of pop-n-rock histories are written. Or maybe you didn’t hear her at the Grammys a couple of weeks ago.
And don’t think she hasn’t noticed. Matter of fact, on a day when revelations of Davis’ bisexuality were briefly big news, those headlines have been shoved aside by the Clarkson-Davis war of words — his from the book, hers from her website.
Davis’s praise is carefully worded, begrudgingly offered: “Kelly obviously is very talented and has a big, powerful voice,” he writes. “I can’t honestly say one way or the other whether I would have signed her if she had not been connected to the show.” He spends a couple of pages talking about how he tried to get the big-screen offering From Justin to Kelly yanked from distribution (good call), then gets to the good stuff: the recording of “Since U Been Gone” from Breakaway, her ’04 sophomore offering.
Davis writes about how he got that song and another, “Behind These Hazel Eyes,” from songwriter-producer Max Martin and his partner Luke Gottwald, otherwise known as Dr. Luke. He loved both songs (they were, he writes, “sharp rock” with pop-hit potential) and demanded Clarkson record them with the duo in the studio. And, Davis writes, that did not go well: “Kelly didn’t like it,” and vowed “she’d never work with them again.” More to the point, Davis writes, Clarkson demanded a meeting during which she allegedly told him, “I hate ‘Since U Been Gone,’ and I hate ‘Behind These Hazel Eyes’ [and] I really want both songs off my album.” Davis says Clarkson “burst into hysterical sobbing.” He writes that he was “shocked.”
So’s Clarkson, who wrote Tuesday that Davis’ book consists of “memory lapses and misinformation” she needs to set straight. Hers is a lengthy, clenched-fist of rebuke. And it goes a little something like this:
“He says I burst into ‘hysterical sobbing’ in his office when he demanded ‘Since You Been Gone’ be on my album,” she writes. “Not true at all. His stories and songs are mixed up. I did want more guitars added to the original demo and Clive did not. Max, Luke and I still fought for the bigger sound and we prevailed and I couldn’t be more proud of the life of that song. I resent him dampening that song in any way.
“But, yes, I did cry in his office once. I cried after I played him a song I had written about my life called ‘Because Of You.’ I cried because he hated it and told me verbatim that I was a ‘[expletive] writer who should be grateful for the gifts that he bestows upon me.’ … This was devastating coming from a man who I, as a young girl, considered a musical hero and was so honored to work with. But I continued to fight for the song and the label relented. And it became a worldwide hit. He didn’t include that in the book.”
Maybe in the second printing?
UPDATE: Davis responds:
Clive Davis, whose name is linked with the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan and Whitney Houston and just about everyone else on your iPod, saw his autobiography The Soundtrack of My Life published yesterday. And he sure did hit the PR jackpot, first with headlines about his newly revealed bisexuality and then with Kelly Clarkson’s lengthy rebuke insisting that the tome is filled with “memory lapses and misinformation.”
The Burleson native was particularly peeved with Davis’ allegations that she “burst into hysterical sobbing” when demanding he yank “Since U Been Gone” and “Behind These Hazel Eye” off her second record, 2004′s breakout Breakaway. Wrote Clarkson, “His stories and songs are mixed up.”
Today, it’s Davis’ turn at the virtual mic.
Via Twitter, he insists he had the book vetted by Those Who Were There. So … there. He writes, in full:
As anyone who has read The Soundtrack of My Life knows, I think Kelly Clarkson is a tremendous vocal talent and performer. In the book, I provide an in-depth look at our years together during which we shared major multi-platinum success, as well as a few creative differences. I am truly very sorry that she has decided to take issue with what I know to be an accurate depiction of our time together. Before the book was published, I had every fact checked with five independent individuals who were present on a daily basis throughout it all. The chapter as it is written was thoroughly verified by each and every one of them. I stand by the chapter as written in my book. At the same time I wish, and will always wish, Kelly’s talent and her career to soar to ever new heights.
Hit it, Florence and the PR Machine.