Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Hard Act to Follow Book: Blog Tour

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A Hard Act to Follow by Henry Bushkin

"A Hard Act to Follow," is a non-fiction literary account of Henry Bushkin's tenure as Johnny Carson's lawyer, business partner, and friend.  The book gives genuine insight into the 'Carson behind Johnny' with candid personal vignettes about the two, during the rollicking years when Johnny was the undisputed king of television.  This is an engaging, eye-opening, anecdote-packed story about a young lawyer and his client, one of the biggest celebrities in the country.  This funny, unfiltered account gives readers a look at the Johnny Carson that none but a select few really knew.

Praise for the Book

"I loved the book." ~Wayne Newton

"Henry was Johnny's closest friend for many years which becomes clear through many of the wonderful chapters of the book." ~Bob Trapenberg

"The book is full of tough love, humor, cultural history, sadness, humor, love, loss, well I guess I am saying it is full of life." ~Rupert Garcia

" Henry's portrayal of Johnny was spot on. I highly recommend this book which is the closest the reader will ever get to know the real Carson." ~ Ed Weinberger, former Tonight Show writer and Producer for Carson Productions

"A beautifully easy read that pulls you in to an effortless journey through Johnny Carson’s effortful life. The glamour  the fellow celebrities behind the curtain, the loyalties, and the betrayals. It certainly provides new insight on decisions and the lives that are behind the scenes." ~Kathy Davis, Kathy Takes on Books

""I have read this book and it is FAB! If you love reading about celebrities, this is awesome. It is also a great memoir as well. I am a huge memoir fan so this one was a real treat and one of the best I have read in this genre in a long time" ~Mary,  Bookhounds Blog

"Bushkin's easy, unpretentious style allows the reader to be a fly on the wall as this inside story plays out in the rarified air on which Johnny thrived. "A HARD ACT TO FOLLOW" is a must read whether you grew up on Johnny or never heard of him. And then there are the supporting characters -- from the Rat Pack to Johnny's Ice Queen mother ranging around the pages disturbing the peace. I read it straight through in 90 minutes and was left wanting more."  ~Sandy Ignon, Screenwriter (RANSOM).

"The tales are epic in nature and stretch from the first page to the last. “A Hard Act to Follow” is an honest appraisal of Carson and shows his dark side. In this, Bushkin strikes the right blend of salacious detail with an appropriate dose of discretion. Sure, you’ll learn more detail about Carson’s marriages-- in a tasteful way.  Bushkin will leave you wanting more. Great books will do that." ~Barry Mordis, Senior VP at Merryl-Lynch

"No one would describe Johnny as easy going-there was an edge to him that Bushkin always managed to soften. He continues to do that in this book. There was that challenging side of Johnny which is also captured in the book. Henry was Johnny's closest friend for many years which becomes clear through many of the wonderful chapters of the book. All in all a great book to read." ~Bob Trapenberg, Johnny's former Tennis Pro.

Author Henry Bushkin

Henry Bushkin is an experienced lawyer who practices in both California and New York. He currently lives in Los Angeles where his children also reside.


I didn’t have any answers. I saw her point entirely. By that time, even men had heard enough about Betty Friedan and the women’s movement to know that no matter how much we scoffed and sneered, there were certain inequalities men profited from that were hard to justify. But Johnny was a big client, and he was my ticket. I didn’t know how many times I could tell him I wasn’t available to have dinner with him at Danny’s Hideaway, but I was reluctant to find out. I was a young man, and I didn’t have the confidence to find out whether Johnny would keep me around just on the basis of my fine lawyer skills, or whether I had to be his Swiss Army knife of a companion, attorney, manager, agent, henchman, crony, tennis pal, and corkscrew all in one.
During that bicoastal year, Joanna kept encouraging me to make a deal with Johnny that would justify a permanent move. “Just talk to him, Henry,’’ she told me. “He likes you. He thinks you do good work. Just make your case.’’ Eventually she persuaded me, and on the fateful day when I arrived at their home to discuss my terms for relocating, I was more nervous than I had ever been in my life.“Relax,’’ she told me as she led me to Johnny’s den. “It’s in the bag.’’
She was more correct than I would ever have believed. The two- page, handwritten document stated that he would no longer pay me by the hour but would pay me a monthly retainer of $10,000, which was sufficient to cover my personal and office nut. He also agreed to pay my moving expenses and to loan me the down payment I would need to purchase a home. He spent less time reading the terms than you just did.
Okay,’’ he said, “you have yourself a deal. Let’s go hit some balls.”

January 9th
Laurie Here


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