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The Beat of My Own Drum: A Memoir

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From the Grammy-nominated singer, drummer, and percussionist who is world renowned for her contributions throughout the music industry, a moving memoir about the healing power of music and spiritual growth inspired by five decades of life and love on the stage. She was born Sheila Escovedo in 1957, but the world knows her as Sheila E. She first picked up the drumsticks and From the Grammy-nominated singer, drummer, and percussionist who is world renowned for her contributions throughout the music industry, a moving memoir about the healing power of music and spiritual growth inspired by five decades of life and love on the stage. She was born Sheila Escovedo in 1957, but the world knows her as Sheila E. She first picked up the drumsticks and started making music at the precocious age of three, taught by her legendary father, percussionist Pete Escovedo. As the goddaughter of Tito Puente, music was the heartbeat of her family, and despite Sheila's impoverished childhood in Oakland, California, her family stayed strong, inspired by the music they played nightly in their living room. When she was only five, Sheila delivered her first solo performance to a live audience. By nineteen, she had fallen in love with Carlos Santana. By twenty-one, she met Prince at one of her concerts. Sheila E. and Prince would eventually join forces and collaborate for more than two decades, creating hits that catapulted Sheila to her own pop superstardom. The Beat of My Own Drum is both a walk through four decades of Latin and pop music—from her tours with Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie, Prince, and Ringo Starr to her own solo career. At the same time, it’s also a heartbreaking, ultimately redemptive look at how the sanctity of music can save a person’s life. Having repeatedly endured sexual abuse as a child, Sheila credits her parents, music, and God with giving her the will to carry on and to build a lasting legacy. Rich in musical detail, pop, and Latin music history, this is a fascinating walk through some of the biggest moments in music from the ’70s and ’80s. But as Sheila’s personal story, this memoir is a unique glimpse into a world-famous drummer’s singular life—a treat for both new and longtime fans of Sheila E. And above all, The Beat of My Own Drum is a testament to how the positive power of music has fueled Sheila’s heart and soul—and how it can transform your life as well.


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From the Grammy-nominated singer, drummer, and percussionist who is world renowned for her contributions throughout the music industry, a moving memoir about the healing power of music and spiritual growth inspired by five decades of life and love on the stage. She was born Sheila Escovedo in 1957, but the world knows her as Sheila E. She first picked up the drumsticks and From the Grammy-nominated singer, drummer, and percussionist who is world renowned for her contributions throughout the music industry, a moving memoir about the healing power of music and spiritual growth inspired by five decades of life and love on the stage. She was born Sheila Escovedo in 1957, but the world knows her as Sheila E. She first picked up the drumsticks and started making music at the precocious age of three, taught by her legendary father, percussionist Pete Escovedo. As the goddaughter of Tito Puente, music was the heartbeat of her family, and despite Sheila's impoverished childhood in Oakland, California, her family stayed strong, inspired by the music they played nightly in their living room. When she was only five, Sheila delivered her first solo performance to a live audience. By nineteen, she had fallen in love with Carlos Santana. By twenty-one, she met Prince at one of her concerts. Sheila E. and Prince would eventually join forces and collaborate for more than two decades, creating hits that catapulted Sheila to her own pop superstardom. The Beat of My Own Drum is both a walk through four decades of Latin and pop music—from her tours with Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie, Prince, and Ringo Starr to her own solo career. At the same time, it’s also a heartbreaking, ultimately redemptive look at how the sanctity of music can save a person’s life. Having repeatedly endured sexual abuse as a child, Sheila credits her parents, music, and God with giving her the will to carry on and to build a lasting legacy. Rich in musical detail, pop, and Latin music history, this is a fascinating walk through some of the biggest moments in music from the ’70s and ’80s. But as Sheila’s personal story, this memoir is a unique glimpse into a world-famous drummer’s singular life—a treat for both new and longtime fans of Sheila E. And above all, The Beat of My Own Drum is a testament to how the positive power of music has fueled Sheila’s heart and soul—and how it can transform your life as well.

30 review for The Beat of My Own Drum: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anino

    Being a "former" Prince freak, who used to scream herself silly at his concerts in the 1980's and 1990's, I've always had mad love for Sheila E. I mean, if you really think about it, here's a woman who manages to hold her own (musically & intellectually) with Prince, is fearless, and doesn't even bat an eyelash. The woman was & is awesome, and in some respects, so is her recent autobiography. What I liked best about it, is that she actually talks about her life growing up, and growing into stard Being a "former" Prince freak, who used to scream herself silly at his concerts in the 1980's and 1990's, I've always had mad love for Sheila E. I mean, if you really think about it, here's a woman who manages to hold her own (musically & intellectually) with Prince, is fearless, and doesn't even bat an eyelash. The woman was & is awesome, and in some respects, so is her recent autobiography. What I liked best about it, is that she actually talks about her life growing up, and growing into stardom with the Escovedo family, Carlos Santana, Marvin Gaye, George Duke, Lionel Ritchie, and most important of all, Prince. The aspect of her growing love for Prince was a slow winding trail of perfume that managed to incorporate itself throughout a heavy portion of the book. In a way, I liked the fact that she lets her readers know about the genesis of her flirtatious friendship with Prince, without being too graphic about the specifics of their relationship. On the flip side, I really wanted to know the dirt in regards to the romantic moves that "his royal badness" put on Ms. E. But oh well, a lady never tells.... I know, I know, I'm being a complete perv about this.. Oh well.. Anyhoo, moving on, this was a fairly good bio, but my only issues were a few moments of lag, and the teasing in regards to her relationship with Prince. The way I see it, Sheila's reluctance to give her readers the full monty version of her "sex cymbal" days with Prince, was probably due to the love and respect that she still has for him, and/or she didn't want him to get pissed and sue her. Which, knowing him, he probably would do, just for the heck of it. Unless he still carries a torch for her, as well??? Other than than, one had to wonder, what might have been, if Prince had just set his ridiculous ego and insecurities aside, and had married Sheila. Would they have had a brood of children and been wildly & ecstatically happy, or ? Only God knows what might have been. Giving this one: 3.5 stars. **Additional Note: After pondering her bio, I realized that when it came to taking care of his proteges and fellow musicians, that Prince had some seriously hinky business practices. It could be me, but I just have to wonder if all of that mess with Warner Brothers was a direct (sowing & reaping, karmic, etc) result of how badly he screwed over other musicians. If so, then I hope that he has learned his lesson. Also, I do hope that he tried to make it right with Sheila, Andre Cymone, Morris Day & the Time, St. Paul Peterson, and other artists that he messed over. *****

  2. 5 out of 5

    LuvBug (*Formerly Luvgirl)

    Confession: I bought this book to find out more about Sheila E's relationship with my musical idol Prince, but I found myself appreciating her as a woman that had to work to navigate her love and acceptance for a superstar and his lifestyle, while still fighting to maintain her independence as a musician in her own right. In the end her struggles and spiritual tone touched deeply and although it was Prince that inspired me to read this book, I couldn't help but root for Sheila also. I am happy t Confession: I bought this book to find out more about Sheila E's relationship with my musical idol Prince, but I found myself appreciating her as a woman that had to work to navigate her love and acceptance for a superstar and his lifestyle, while still fighting to maintain her independence as a musician in her own right. In the end her struggles and spiritual tone touched deeply and although it was Prince that inspired me to read this book, I couldn't help but root for Sheila also. I am happy that she seems to be at a peaceful place now. I thank her for the touching tribute to Prince at the BET awards. The romance novel lover In me couldn't help but sigh at her comments on the first meeting with Prince. "He was that guy, the one in the poster on my bedroom wall. And he was staring right at me. Our eyes locked, and . . . Wow! I’m not somebody to often skip a beat, but in that moment, my heart sure did. Only the previous night, before falling asleep, I’d stared at his poster, gazing intently at his striking hazel-green eyes. And now those same eyes, decorated with more eyeliner than mine, were staring right through me. I’d always thought beauty was an attribute reserved for women, but he was proving me wrong. I’d never seen a man so beautiful."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Ambrosino

    Because I’ve been a Prince fan most of my life, I wanted to read Sheila E’s book for a while. Then I was in a strange used book store and there it was! This book was more than I even expected. I confess I didn’t know what an impressive career Sheila E had before she even met Prince. She is not only an inspiration but a survivor. Someone who tells a story of overcoming tragedy and coming out strong, unique and proud. I loved her story!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

    “Just tune in to your love of percussion. Focus on playing from your heart. When your heart says ‘Go,’ you go!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jara

    WARNING: This book is not for people who like to read juicy gossip and/or hate Jesus (as with reading the Bible, you will need the Holy Spirit to fully understand and appreciate The Main Point of this book). 😉 This is the best memoir that I've ever read. It's a perfect mixture of revelation and mystery - a well-written (s/o to Wendy Holden) journey through the peaks and valleys of Sheila's life that helped shape her. There is a good reason for the information that is revealed (and concealed): it WARNING: This book is not for people who like to read juicy gossip and/or hate Jesus (as with reading the Bible, you will need the Holy Spirit to fully understand and appreciate The Main Point of this book). 😉 This is the best memoir that I've ever read. It's a perfect mixture of revelation and mystery - a well-written (s/o to Wendy Holden) journey through the peaks and valleys of Sheila's life that helped shape her. There is a good reason for the information that is revealed (and concealed): it ties into an overall theme of redemption (hint: God's still working on her!). Because of the way the chapters are titled and the way that the information is shared (and concealed) within the chapters, it's impossible to go straight to the "juicy" parts without reading something with spiritual depth (gossips' kryptonite 😆). Even though Sheila's transparent about her hardships and mistakes, there's no wasted details to satisfy just-nosy people (God can fill in the blanks as you read!) or a "victim" vibe. It reads like a victorious (not preachy!) testimony of how Jesus heals her from early trauma, shows her the purpose for her pain, and uses her and her family's love of music to spread love to others. If you're looking for a "juicy tell-all", then you will be disappointed. The more scandalous stuff is handled tastefully because she's reflecting on her former sinful ways with maturity (remorse and wisdom), not bragging about it like still-foolish-and-unrepentant celebrities who are just writing a book for financial profit and popularity. 😉 Sheila's living a very God-purposeful life. I would recommend this book to anyone who needs some motivation to seek God about His calling on their lives, is stuck in self-pity mode about their troubles, and/or is interested in redemption stories (this book is part of Sheila's ministry to GOD'S FAMILY). My only beef with "The Beat of My Own Drum": It irks me whenever professing Christians credit luck for success. On page 294, Sheila credits God (Heavenly Father, Jesus) for gifting her with talent and empowering her live performances. On page 297, she advises struggling musicians that "success" or "exposure" in "this industry" is "often about placement", which is about "timing". To her, their "lucky break" is "random": "I also tell struggling musicians that this industry is a lot about timing. No matter how talented you are, success or exposure is often about placement, and such placement is often random. If you happen to be in the right place at the right time, then you just may meet that one person or have that lucky break that will make all the difference. And it's often about who you know — having the right connections or the right resources that can support you in the pursuit of your dream. It's a shame that there are so many gifted and talented musicians, performers, vocalists, and songwriters out there whose work may never see the light of day. Then there are some who managed to make it despite a lack of any natural talent, because of their drive, connections, or luck. Sometimes, you have to reroute your path and face the music, as it were. Being a musician isn't everyone's calling. And being on stage isn't everyone's calling, either. Maybe you want to be in the spotlight, but you're really meant to be a songwriter — giving the singer the words with which he or she can reach millions. Maybe you want to be a recording artist, but you're really meant to run a recording studio — offering artists a supportive environment that allows them to fully express their creativity. The songwriters, engineers, and producers all provide an essential role because the artist can't do it all themselves. Behind every great artist is a network of important people, without whom the artist would be lost. There's no precise career formula for artists..." What??? Either she believes that God is sovereign and, therefore, uses/arranges/calls people to their destinies, controls timing, and directs circumstances — or not. It can't be that God is actively present with us AND some stuff "just randomly happens". I think that some people use the term "luck" when they mean "The Lord works in mysterious ways." They don't know why some people "make it" while others don't. She's still wrestling with the pride of wanting to take credit for her "success" because of hard work and "good genes" (family inheritances) vs. the humble understanding that everything that we receive (including our talents and drive to succeed!) is a blessing from God (and it's unmerited grace). In her case, she's double-minded because she has one foot in Satan's kingdom (which works one way) and one foot in God's Kingdom (which works the opposite way, and trumps Satan's kingdom, but doesn't look like it to people who are still idolizing celebrity and chasing worldly success). What we all really want is GOD'S FAVOR. Most people are willing to settle for Satan's counterfeit blessings ("luck"). The Bible shows us that God's favor isn't random. He knows exactly why He gives favor to the recipient even if they don't know why they've received it. (If God shares His reasoning with you, then that's favor in the form of the spiritual gifts of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding 😉). He's not throwing darts, flipping coins, shooting 🎲, or using a lottery to choose who receives His favor. He tells me the outcomes of "shocking" sporting events before they happen just so I can show-and-tell sports fans and gamblers that luck, random, fate, etc. are lies. The truth is that God is sovereign and in control of everything. 😉 We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall. - Proverbs 16:33 NLT You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail. - Proverbs 19:21 NLT GOD: "Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish." (Isaiah 46:9‭-‬10 NLT) "For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me." (Jeremiah 29:11‭-‬13 NLT) Proverbs 25:2 TPT God conceals the revelation of his word in the hiding place of his glory. But the honor of kings is revealed by how they thoroughly search out the deeper meaning of all that God says. Ephesians 2:8‭-‬10‭, ‬18 NLT God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago...Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us. Ephesians 4:1‭-‬13 NLT Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all. However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. That is why the Scriptures say, “When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.” Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world. And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself. Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Ephesians 5:1‭-‬5‭, ‬8-12, 15‭-‬20 NLT Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world... For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret... So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:11‭-‬21 NLT Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart. If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rod Horncastle

    She mentioned Los Lobos, Ringo Starr, and Billy Cobham. Very cool. I knew she was a drummer (or percussionist at least), but wasn't aware of her musical journey - or her spiritual one. I don't even recall hearing her sing, even though I was addicted to Music Video's throughout much of the 80's. It was fun to go on youtube and spend an hour watching her video moments (as horrific as much of the 80's was.) And YES, Sheila E. totally embraced the horrendous fashions and debauchery of the 80's. I sti She mentioned Los Lobos, Ringo Starr, and Billy Cobham. Very cool. I knew she was a drummer (or percussionist at least), but wasn't aware of her musical journey - or her spiritual one. I don't even recall hearing her sing, even though I was addicted to Music Video's throughout much of the 80's. It was fun to go on youtube and spend an hour watching her video moments (as horrific as much of the 80's was.) And YES, Sheila E. totally embraced the horrendous fashions and debauchery of the 80's. I still can't decide if I like her 2 solo albums? Mostly: NO. I did enjoy your use of horns though. (Don't feel bad - i'm no fan of Prince's music either.) I must say: watching you live with Candy Dulfer on Sax was very cool. When Sheila drums it always brings a smile to my face - SHE BRINGS IT! But I was endlessly inspired by her musicians journey. She jammed with a great deal of awesome talent. Her tales of the Bay Area music history are legendary. Some very successful mixing and mingling- especially thanks to her Dad and family. I would have loved to hear about her playing with Stevie Nicks? Maybe write a part 2 for some of these missing adventures. This book shares Sheila's sexual abuse at the age of 5. And it gives us closure later as she rises above it and helps others through similar Nightmares. It was a relief to see Sheila finally realize all the damage she was doing as a sex-kitten Pop Diva Bimbo. I wish more girls realized the damage they do when: they dress like a sex-toy, act like a sex-toy, make a career out of being a sex-toy --- then get MAD when people treat them like a Sex-toy??? Oh, the vanity and lust of youth...and the damage it leaves in its WAKE. (thankfully she moved on from Carlos Santana and Prince.) The book fails to tell us any romance she has had in the last 20 years. Oh well, probably for the better. Amazingly she is very occupied with helping underprivileged kids with music programs. Totally Awesome! Which leads us to Sheila's spiritual awakening. She claims to have jumped into Jesus' arms. I sure hope so. But there is very little theology or Biblical value in this biography - makes me think Sheila has bought into the charismatic BLACK GOSPEL type bad theology of much of America. She did go to a female Pastor after-all. (and what does the Bible say about female Preachers? Sorry girls - I didn't write 1 Corinthians 14:34 "Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says." I know - big can of worms there. But it's God's Word NOT MINE. Strange that there's no female Priests in the Old Testament - or the New Testament really. Sure, times have changed. And I doubt somebody goes to Hell simply for speaking (or teaching men) in church. But what is the authority issue on display? Would most women humble themselves and submit if God asked them? I sure hope so. But I have yet to meet a female Preacher without a HUGE chip on their shoulder and stubborn rebellious streak --- similar to what Sheila E. said powered her musical journey. Works great in the music world, not so much in a Godly Biblical church setting. It was fun watching her play drums on the Letterman show. Now I want to watch her when she toured with the Ringo Starr's All-stars. I'll dig for some video's. She looks great now, more beautiful than ever. May God Bless her efforts and ministries. And may she evaluate whether a Christian should be performing at a PLAYBOY music festival. Although Sheila didn't seem to think possibly posing naked for money was such a bad thing? Sheila, please go read some of your Bible - you seem to have missed a few pages. I love your heart - now go get some serious theology from John MacArthur or Ravi Zacharias. I'll cheer you on.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I liked this book primarily for the window into a woman's life that I have personally idolized since I was 13 years old. I was fascinated, horrified, and intrigued by her life story. I also realized that the phrase "never meet your idols" can definitely hold some truth. It's not that after I read this I decided I didn't like her, but I most definitely got an education about who she was during the time that I worshiped her the most.... I admire this woman so much for her brilliant talent. She work I liked this book primarily for the window into a woman's life that I have personally idolized since I was 13 years old. I was fascinated, horrified, and intrigued by her life story. I also realized that the phrase "never meet your idols" can definitely hold some truth. It's not that after I read this I decided I didn't like her, but I most definitely got an education about who she was during the time that I worshiped her the most.... I admire this woman so much for her brilliant talent. She worked so hard to accomplish so much and her long time friendship with Prince was (if I'm being honest) a deep deep source of my fascination with her. She collaborated and loved him so much more that I ever knew. Hearing the back stories to songs and moments that she shared with him was amazing. But I must say, reading this book was difficult...and not in the emotional sense but rather in the technical sense. I found the story telling extremely jagged and quite frankly, I didn't enjoy the flow of the writing at all. I felt Shelia (understanding she is a private person) STILL played a lot of her personal experiences close to the chest. She does tell us about the most horrific and terrifying experience of her life, but then her personal relationship with Prince and other musicians were kept very "surface" in descriptions. If you're gonna go all in, please go all in. What's the point? We as readers want to know IT. ALL. I'm glad I read this book. I certainly feel like I know her so much better than I ever did, but truly, this could have been a much better book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    I loved Sheila E. back in the day so when I saw she had an autobiography out I was curious to see what had happened to her. The writing style is very conversational and the book is fairly quick and easy reading. Sheila has been through a lot, and **TRIGGER WARNING** goes into immense detail about sexual molestation and even a rape she suffered at five by an extended family member. This appears in an early chapter in the book so be forewarned if you cannot handle reading that sort of stuff -- thi I loved Sheila E. back in the day so when I saw she had an autobiography out I was curious to see what had happened to her. The writing style is very conversational and the book is fairly quick and easy reading. Sheila has been through a lot, and **TRIGGER WARNING** goes into immense detail about sexual molestation and even a rape she suffered at five by an extended family member. This appears in an early chapter in the book so be forewarned if you cannot handle reading that sort of stuff -- this memoir may not be for you. Sheila naturally talks a lot about percussion and drumming and each chapter title has something to do with that. She also admits how, upon becoming a star in her own right, she also turned into a diva in the worst senses of the word and knows she sometimes still slips into that behavior but tries to be mindful. About twenty years ago, she reconnected with Christianity and also created some charitable outreach for abused/neglected/institutionalized kids, which ties into her childhood and even that of her father's. This memoir is mostly focused on her childhood and development in the 1960s to the '90s, although she does talk about some of her activities during this new century as well. Overall, this is a fascinating and uplifting story about trying your best always, the strength of a supportive and loving immediate family, and Sheila's renewed sense of purpose and spirituality. Worth reading.

  9. 4 out of 5

    思源 杨

    The story Sheila has to tell is potentially very powerful, but diluted by repetition. Something terrible happened when she was a child, which outraged me on the first handful of mentions, but it seemed to form the basis of every chapter, until mid-way through the book I stopped absorbing and started predicting the next reference. Some stronger editing would have helped. The book is good until the 80% mark, then it descends into a flurry of evangelism, complete with bible passages. This is pertine The story Sheila has to tell is potentially very powerful, but diluted by repetition. Something terrible happened when she was a child, which outraged me on the first handful of mentions, but it seemed to form the basis of every chapter, until mid-way through the book I stopped absorbing and started predicting the next reference. Some stronger editing would have helped. The book is good until the 80% mark, then it descends into a flurry of evangelism, complete with bible passages. This is pertinent to her story, but it is both overdone (chapters rather than paragraphs) and makes it very hard to relate to the author if you don't share the same obsession. I actually felt that this may be an indication that she did not manage to get the said terrible event out of her system. My take away from the book is that she really made a huge achievement over her lifetime, fostered by some in her close musical family, and hindered by other more distance members. Before I read the book, I knew nothing of her except that she did an awesome drum solo in Sign o' the times. Now I appreciate her achievements more. But I don't appreciate the achievements of her editor.

  10. 4 out of 5

    La'Tonya Rease Miles

    What a pleasant surprise! While I have always been a big fan of Sheila E., this memoir provides more details and evidence to support my gut feelings. Ms. Escovedo is bright, talented, and very funny. She has lived an amazing life and managed to thrive in an incredibly sexist industry. Prince fans (like me) will be pleased at how much he appears in the book. It's funny because you often hear about Vanity, Susannah Melvoin, Kim Basinger, etc. But apparently, Sheila and Prince have had a love for t What a pleasant surprise! While I have always been a big fan of Sheila E., this memoir provides more details and evidence to support my gut feelings. Ms. Escovedo is bright, talented, and very funny. She has lived an amazing life and managed to thrive in an incredibly sexist industry. Prince fans (like me) will be pleased at how much he appears in the book. It's funny because you often hear about Vanity, Susannah Melvoin, Kim Basinger, etc. But apparently, Sheila and Prince have had a love for the ages but perhaps were too similar to sustain. A truly beautiful love story. Anyhow, despite the Prince angle, Sheila discusses her musical and romantic relationship with Carlos Santana, as well as her tours with Marvin Gaye and Lionel Richie. Her musicality is unmatched. I did think the first few chapters were bogged down with cliches and I ended up skimming the last chapter or two because of repetitiveness. Nevertheless, an informative read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Look, is this award-winning (ghost) writing? NO. That said, it's a great look into the rise of one bad ass drummer. As a Bay Area raised girl, hearing about the Latin and Jazz clubs of the East Bay and SF was a fun look into musical history. Also, anything about Prince always captures my attention! Look, is this award-winning (ghost) writing? NO. That said, it's a great look into the rise of one bad ass drummer. As a Bay Area raised girl, hearing about the Latin and Jazz clubs of the East Bay and SF was a fun look into musical history. Also, anything about Prince always captures my attention!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Winter Sophia Rose

    Captivating, Honest & Courageous! An Inspirational Read! I Loved It!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    This book was an ok read (though a little repetitive) until she writes about sexually assaulting men on stage (tied up by a security guard, partially undressed them, sat on their laps, groped their crotches) and then rationalized it as her chance to “be in control of a man - something I had never once been as a little girl”. I believe that is the excuse used by many victims who later become abusers. (Does she realise that males get sexually assaulted also? It is never a justifiable reason for so This book was an ok read (though a little repetitive) until she writes about sexually assaulting men on stage (tied up by a security guard, partially undressed them, sat on their laps, groped their crotches) and then rationalized it as her chance to “be in control of a man - something I had never once been as a little girl”. I believe that is the excuse used by many victims who later become abusers. (Does she realise that males get sexually assaulted also? It is never a justifiable reason for someone in power to wield it over someone weaker or someone who just wants to be noticed.) She writes about it as if she sees herself as a ground-breaker worthy of note. She did it before “Janet Jackson and Madonna started acting out bondage scenes onstage, and it was all my own idea.” I’d guess none of her 98+ victims had ever done anything to hurt her and had paid money to attend her concert. Men are now being called out for equally reprehensible behaviour decades ago. I don’t wish her to suffer public humiliation - I do hope that she takes some time to consider her action. She says that she stopped because “it felt wrong to me. I felt empty and dirty.” I fear her focus on her own feelings have left her blind to the feelings of her victims (and her readers). Maybe she’s done some self reflection, maybe even getting some counselling. I really hope so. https://www.alaskahighwaynews.ca/edmo...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Adam Kovynia

    I read this book because I like biography of all types especially arts and entertainment. some of the interesting points in the books deal with when she decided to follow her dreams and be a musician and told her parents that she was not happy in school and was not cut out for a regular job. I can relate to what she is saying there and more people should pursue their dreams if they are very unhappy at a regular job. she turned down a million dollars to do a commercial involving promoting a psych I read this book because I like biography of all types especially arts and entertainment. some of the interesting points in the books deal with when she decided to follow her dreams and be a musician and told her parents that she was not happy in school and was not cut out for a regular job. I can relate to what she is saying there and more people should pursue their dreams if they are very unhappy at a regular job. she turned down a million dollars to do a commercial involving promoting a psychic hotline in the early 90s and I agree with her on that decision even though she needed the money because of how the artists like her were made to pay for a lot of their expenses on the road and she ended up going into debt. I made a YouTube video about this book that ended up going over 25 minutes long if you'd like to see it that would be great. another important topic covered is sexual abuse and not having an easy time in school.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joe Schilp

    Most rocker memoirs aren't too good, but this one's phenomenal. She doesn't give her first 20 years a chapter and then move one; rather, half the book is about her first 20-25 years, but it's a riveting read. Her youth was full of great times and some absolutely unthinkable horror, but it all shaped the person she is today. She only talks about two relationships in her life - Carlos Santana and Prince - so it's not a kiss-and-tell book, but she talks about the two because they were part of her l Most rocker memoirs aren't too good, but this one's phenomenal. She doesn't give her first 20 years a chapter and then move one; rather, half the book is about her first 20-25 years, but it's a riveting read. Her youth was full of great times and some absolutely unthinkable horror, but it all shaped the person she is today. She only talks about two relationships in her life - Carlos Santana and Prince - so it's not a kiss-and-tell book, but she talks about the two because they were part of her life both before and after she dated them. Sheila's a remarkable person who overcame so much thanks to her family, her inner strength, her moral foundation and her faith. Definitely worth reading!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I’ve always loved her and her music and I really enjoyed learning all about her life. It’s so fascinating to me all that happens behind the scenes in the music industry and what it takes to really “make it.” Loved hearing what she had to say about my #1 artist Prince, and their working/personal relationship. It was a satisfying read. Music is life! 🖤🎶🖤🎶

  17. 5 out of 5

    LORNA MOONE

    Pretty good book I learn a lot about Sheila. I never knew she was raped or didn't finish school. There we a lot of inspiring nuggets hidden in plan sight and wisdom and advise for aspiring musicians. I love Prince, but I'm glad this book focused on its intended character. Good write! Pretty good book I learn a lot about Sheila. I never knew she was raped or didn't finish school. There we a lot of inspiring nuggets hidden in plan sight and wisdom and advise for aspiring musicians. I love Prince, but I'm glad this book focused on its intended character. Good write!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marinel DeBerry

    I enjoyed learning about a woman I enjoyed watching as a kid. I learned a lot about her and her family. Facts I never knew and I appreciate her honesty and willingness to tell her story. As a mother, as a female, my heart ached when reading about her sexual abuse and rape at such an early age. She is by far a woman of strength and courage!

  19. 4 out of 5

    BJ Kellogg

    I think that Sheila wrote most of this book, yes she had a editor but I believe this was in her own words. She is very intelligent and has lived a life of amazement. Hard work will get you everywhere.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Angelique

    I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the life of a phenomenal percussionist. Side has overcome more than the odds to rise in her chosen field as well as in her personal life. Her story is inspirational and a beacon for men and women alike.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Heather Hansen

    Sheila E has an amazing talent that her parents let her pursue. The time & place they lived growing up lent her to work with amazing people. She had a horrible experiences as a young child BUT had loving parents. I like how she named each chapter & told her story.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Donna Bennett

    I purchased this book over a year ago. After the death of Prince, I wanted to know more about the artist. I remembered Sheila E. being a factor in Prince's life and decided to pick up her book from my personal library and read it. I was a casual listener to her music and not so much a fan (however, I am a fan of Santana and Latin jazz), but the memoir opened my eyes to a lot I didn't know about her career from beginning to present. I delved into reading more about her and other people in her lif I purchased this book over a year ago. After the death of Prince, I wanted to know more about the artist. I remembered Sheila E. being a factor in Prince's life and decided to pick up her book from my personal library and read it. I was a casual listener to her music and not so much a fan (however, I am a fan of Santana and Latin jazz), but the memoir opened my eyes to a lot I didn't know about her career from beginning to present. I delved into reading more about her and other people in her life by watching videos, movies and personal interviews, with a new viewpoint. The memoir into the life of Sheila Escovedo was an interesting read from her grueling tour schedules to her interactions with other famous icons. Her rape and molestation at a young age was sad and very uncomfortable to read, but her ability to push forward and ultimately reveal her devastating secret. I felt that Sheila E. spoke from her heart on her relationships with Carlos Santana and Prince. I would have liked to have had her reveal more on the relations between Lionel and Brenda Richie and it's impact on the adoption of her niece Nicole Escovedo to the Richie's, but I can respect her demand for privacy in that regard. Sheila Escovedo wrote with honesty and compassion...Great Book!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kalina Ingham

    I've always loved Sheila E. and reading her life story has only strengthened my admiration and respect! 💜 I've always loved Sheila E. and reading her life story has only strengthened my admiration and respect! 💜

  24. 5 out of 5

    Annettecalderon

    Enjoyed this memoir because of the discovery of her musical gift -percussions and how she used her gift to help navigates life's challenges, sorrows, and pain. Enjoyed this memoir because of the discovery of her musical gift -percussions and how she used her gift to help navigates life's challenges, sorrows, and pain.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Swansbrough

    Take a ride on the E train! Although I am a fan of her music, I didn't know a whole lot about her career prior to her solo stardom. This book takes you back to her first stage appearance as a child and follows her story to today, coming full circle. Hard work, perseverance, talent, family ties and forgiveness leading a path to another purpose combine to make an enjoyable read. This book showcases how Sheila's love of music and the way it influenced her life, her loves and memories has also had a Take a ride on the E train! Although I am a fan of her music, I didn't know a whole lot about her career prior to her solo stardom. This book takes you back to her first stage appearance as a child and follows her story to today, coming full circle. Hard work, perseverance, talent, family ties and forgiveness leading a path to another purpose combine to make an enjoyable read. This book showcases how Sheila's love of music and the way it influenced her life, her loves and memories has also had a healing effect, allowing her to deal with painful secrets and move forward with a grateful heart...to the beat of her own drum.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Coffee&Books

    I'm not normally a fan of memoirs. I like my stories to be mainly made up, but Sheila E. is a legend and has so many connections to my favorite artists. While I skimmed here and there, my eye picked up on so many great names-- Marvin Gaye, Carlos Santana, Chaka Kahn, Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson and, most interestingly, Prince. I found this book to be be a high level overview of Sheila's life as a world renowned Percussionist turned Grammy award winning singer. She was born into a world of mus I'm not normally a fan of memoirs. I like my stories to be mainly made up, but Sheila E. is a legend and has so many connections to my favorite artists. While I skimmed here and there, my eye picked up on so many great names-- Marvin Gaye, Carlos Santana, Chaka Kahn, Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson and, most interestingly, Prince. I found this book to be be a high level overview of Sheila's life as a world renowned Percussionist turned Grammy award winning singer. She was born into a world of music and used music to overcome early trials and tribulations. There is an overarching theme of family-- Sheila always had her family around her to keep her grounded and reminded of what was important. The Beat of my Own Drum was not as gossipy or salacious as I'd hoped, however considering I knew nothing of Sheila Escovido before I read this book, it did it's job of educating me about her history. I enjoyed reading about her lifelong passion and dedication to music and her rise to fame and beyond. I was granted a review copy of this novel via NetGalley.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shanika P.

    When I saw this book at the library, which is how I learned about it, I was excited to start reading it because I have been a fan since she came out with "Glamorous Life" in the early 80s. What this book did was educate me on the fact that Sheila E. has been in the game for way longer than that, and she has done it all in the entertainment industry! I've gained an even higher respect for her considering her being a minority in her music career (not only as a woman percussionist and drummer, but When I saw this book at the library, which is how I learned about it, I was excited to start reading it because I have been a fan since she came out with "Glamorous Life" in the early 80s. What this book did was educate me on the fact that Sheila E. has been in the game for way longer than that, and she has done it all in the entertainment industry! I've gained an even higher respect for her considering her being a minority in her music career (not only as a woman percussionist and drummer, but also a woman of color) and how she has survived and still continues to be in high demand. She also opens up about some life experiences that I never knew she had to overcome, as well as loves of her life and relationships that started years back, even. It was a decent read and an opportunity to see a human side of a celebrity whom most only get to see as only a celebrity.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Durham

    Oh what an awesome find in The Dollar Tree. I have always been a Sheila E. fan. She rocks! I am partial to her time with one of my most favorite entertainers...none other than "Prince." Her story is both touching and inspiring. It was refreshing to learn about her lineage and introduction to the drums and music at the tender age of three. I loved reading about her early stints and the many influences/artists she's worked with at one time or another. But, it was tragic to read about the childhood Oh what an awesome find in The Dollar Tree. I have always been a Sheila E. fan. She rocks! I am partial to her time with one of my most favorite entertainers...none other than "Prince." Her story is both touching and inspiring. It was refreshing to learn about her lineage and introduction to the drums and music at the tender age of three. I loved reading about her early stints and the many influences/artists she's worked with at one time or another. But, it was tragic to read about the childhood molestation. She also encourages others, if they are being victimized, to find a trusted adult and confide in that person. She credits her loving family, God, the power of prayer and music with helping her to come to terms with things and how to move to the beat of her own drum. Music, for her, was and is indeed great medicine.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Silagh White

    What I remembered of the artist was easily recaptured on a YouTube search for "The glamorous life" video. Sheila E's story is raw, but inspiring. Sheer grit and determination kept her fighting for the music; her escape. So many tales of the pop artist work ethic. Makes me wonder if other pop artists work as hard -or have their stylists do the work for them. Not Ms. Escovedo. She's the real deal. The music industry might seem like it swallows the anonymous. After reading this memoir, one can imagi What I remembered of the artist was easily recaptured on a YouTube search for "The glamorous life" video. Sheila E's story is raw, but inspiring. Sheer grit and determination kept her fighting for the music; her escape. So many tales of the pop artist work ethic. Makes me wonder if other pop artists work as hard -or have their stylists do the work for them. Not Ms. Escovedo. She's the real deal. The music industry might seem like it swallows the anonymous. After reading this memoir, one can imaging how "small town" it is with gossip and a lack of normalcy come to play. Some great stories for folks.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Karen Rowe

    Lady Drummer I was curious about Sheila E and wanted to know more about her life. I wanted to know why she and Prince did not get married. I learned so much more. Sheila did not kiss and tell and I'm glad. Instead, she talked about family and life with them. Sheila E is a musician and professional. She takes her music seriously and it shows in listening to her latest album, Icon. I also purchased the album that she and her father made. This has kindled my interest in Latin Jazz. Lady Drummer I was curious about Sheila E and wanted to know more about her life. I wanted to know why she and Prince did not get married. I learned so much more. Sheila did not kiss and tell and I'm glad. Instead, she talked about family and life with them. Sheila E is a musician and professional. She takes her music seriously and it shows in listening to her latest album, Icon. I also purchased the album that she and her father made. This has kindled my interest in Latin Jazz.

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