Blood, Sweat And Tears

Blood, Sweat And Tears

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  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780143175995
  • 336 Pages
  • Penguin Canada
  • Adult


There was a time when David Clayton-Thomas seemed unlikely to be a success. As a teenager in Willowdale, Ontario, frequent clashes with his authoritarian father led to his living on the streets by the time he was 14, then to his spending the rest of his youth bouncing in and out of jails and reformatories. But when a battered old mail-order guitar was left to him by an outgoing inmate, Clayton-Thomas discovered a talent for music that allowed him to believe in a different kind of life. This is the remarkable story of his journey to international stardom as the legendary front man for Blood, Sweat & Tears. In his brutally truthful memoir, Clayton-Thomas reveals what it was like to headline at Woodstock, to tour behind the Iron Curtain, to watch brilliant musicians tear their own band apart with in-fighting, and to make his fortune only to lose it all … and start over again. This is a story of grit, courage, and determination. It is, above all, a story of survival.


“A remarkable story of redemption…. Clayton-Thomas writes with wry humour and grace in a straightforward style that’s as subtle as a split lip. The reader always feels he’s getting the straight goods…. The book deserves to be as big a hit as ‘Spinning Wheel,’ the best song Clayton-Thomas wrote for the jazz-rock outfit Blood Sweat & Tears…. His book is honest and unflinching. It reveals a man who is tough and cynical, funny as hell, but also vulnerable and insecure. Haunted by his violent childhood, Clayton-Thomas turned himself into a music legend—a singer and songwriter above all things. That’s worth much more than a standing ovation.” – Ottawa Citizen

“David Clayton-Thomas has some skeletons in his closet, but he’s setting them all free and it feels mighty good…. A genuinely inspirational rags-to-riches story.” – Toronto Star

“Clayton-Thomas[’s] memoir shows brilliance…. What’s critical for an autobiography is, first of all, a good story and Clayton-Thomas has one, for sure.” – Winnipeg Free Press

“The David Clayton-Thomas book is an amazing roller coaster ride though the dreams and nightmares of a Canadian kid who, against all odds, became one of Canada’s greatest singer-songwriter-performers. His voice and songs are known everywhere in the world. I knew of his legend and many of the stories but to hear them first hand from his own recollections was a great read for me. David, thanks for the great story and the great music.” – Randy Bachman

“Clayton-Thomas opens his book with an introduction that prepares readers for a raw and honest account of his life. What follows is a highly personal and passionate description of child abuse, prison, poverty, artistic longing, and the price of success.” – Quill & Quire

“Terrifically entertaining…. Clayton-Thomas is a natural storyteller, and Blood, Sweat and Tears is a true page-turner of the rock and roll bio variety.” – See Magazine

“There’s a lot about David Clayton-Thomas that will impress you, besides his rich, raspy voice…. In his memoir, aptly titled Blood, Sweat and Tears, he shares his personal history that reflects and defines a distinctive era in music and pop culture. His is a true rags to riches story…. Clayton-Thomas delivers on his promise to write as “nakedly honest” as possible…. His author’s voice is much like the lyrics to his songs—intuitive, direct and genuine.” – Toronto Books Examiner