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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
The Yin and the Yang of it All: Rock’n’Roll Memories from the Cusp as Told by a Mixed-Up, Mixed-Race Kid is a life story that illustrates the strength of music as an art form, giving power and voice to revolution, as John Kim Faye has discovered. He discusses being not just a provider of lyrics and melodies from the songs he wrote but of finding his place in the world at a time when interracial ideas are not yet fully embraced. Born out of wedlock to a Korean mother and an Irish father, Faye was a walking example of race mixing that was still illegal in his home state the year he was born. Growing up without the current world’s acceptance of Asian people, he found refuge in music as the frontman and songwriter of The Caulfields, where he became one of the few mixed-race Asian Americans to sign a major record deal.
You can trust John Kim Faye as he talks about his life without Asian culture, where nobody accepts his mixed lineage. He was called many insensitive names and the perceived image of a rock musician is far from who he is. The wonderful thing is that he proved them wrong. It is worth listening to The Caulfields’ songs on YouTube to gain a greater appreciation for Faye’s artistry. I was moved by Faye’s account of the painful kicks reality gave them when A&M signed them. After listening to his songs and reading this story, readers will see Faye is a talented lyricist and performer, and brilliant writer. I felt the pain of his humble beginnings and the joys he tastes along the way. He does not need to grab empathy; it will be given willingly. If you are interested in reading about the life of a musician, The Yin and the Yang of it All should be on top of your list.