Published by Harper Audio on May 19, 2015
Pages: 304 pages
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A riveting cautionary tale about the ecstasy and dangers of loving Marvin Gaye, a performer passionately pursued by all—and a searing memoir of drugs, sex, and old school R&B from the wife of legendary soul icon Marvin Gaye.
I was 10 years old at the time of Marvin Gaye’s death – I was familiar with some of his music but the days after his death is when I found out the impact that Marvin Gaye had on people. When I found out, Jan Gaye was releasing a book about her life with Marvin my curiosity light bulb went off. Once I read David Ritz was involved with this project – I immediately pressed the preorder button.
The book starts off with Jan sharing with readers that she was fascinated with Marvin since she was a kid. Jan shared details of the abuse she endured in her childhood. She was 17 when her dream of meeting Marvin Gaye came true. After reading about the events of her childhood, I can understand why she held so tightly to Marvin Gaye.
After the Dance: My Life with Marvin Gaye details Jan’s steamy & rocky relationship with Marvin Gaye. Jan also gives readers an intimate look into the mind and soul of Marvin Gaye. There were some famous names sprinkled throughout the book like Margot Kidder, Richard Lawson, Rick James, and many more.
Jan Gaye with the help of David Ritz draws you into their love story so much that you forget Marvin Gaye was a 33-year-old man carrying on a hot affair with a 17-year-old high schooler. Even though, Jan Gaye has said in interviews there are a few stories that she will take to her grave – what she shares in this book is enough to keep you flipping the pages.
“I know GOD led me to you Jan, but the devil led me away…” – Marvin Gaye (as told by Jan)
Sex, Drugs, R&B, and Love that wasn’t quite over even after the dance.
I tried my best not to reveal a lot about this book in my review, but there are a few things I had to get out. I purchased the audiobook version of After the Dance – because I knew it would be available to download after midnight. When Jan told the story of their first sexual encounter which was her giving Marvin oral sex – I wanted to scream… OMG!!! She’s a minor!!! I understand this was a different era, and Jan’s mother didn’t mind that her daughter was dating married man – but…
Marvin wanted Jan by his side at all times because he believed she was his muse. Jan wanted to be by Marvin’s side because she wanted to be his everything – and she was willing to do whatever he told her to do. Drugs was a constant in their relationship – along with infidelity, but there were times in the book I felt Jan & Marvin was addicted to each other. Even though we know how the story ends – it was sad to read about the last days of Marvin Gaye.
I couldn’t help but to think about the people that dream about meeting and sometimes marrying their favorite celebrity. (Take note: Katie & Tom -Mariah & Nick) Everyone is carrying around baggage/demons but the bright lights of being a celebrity has it’s way of dimming the dark spots. But once the bright lights dim – you find your real story. From an innocent 17 year-old to a full fledged drug addict – Jan Gaye is lucky to be alive to share her story. I commend her for being brave enough to share her story.
I can’t even begin to imagine the stories Jan didn’t share with the public. Highly recommended.