Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25 years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach. This is the only book that gives a true picture of the character of John Wooden and the influence of his assistant, Jerry Norman, whose contributions Wooden  ignored and tried to bury.

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. The players tell their their stories in their own words. This is the book that UCLA Athletic Director J.D. Morgan tried to ban.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information. Also available on Kindle.

Rock of Ages (1/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 123 minutes

Not for children.

If this movie is not the worst I've ever seen, it is at least the worst I've seen this year. To give director Adam Shankman the benefit of the doubt, he is apparently trying to make a satire about 1980s hard rock  bands. But what he has concentrated on, however, is making it in as poor taste as possible.

While the story of young lovers is vaguely reminiscent of Grease (1978), Diego Boneta and Julianne Hough aren't even close to John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Unfortunately, their story takes a backseat to Tom Cruise's outlandish and degrading performance as the rock star, Stacee Jaxx, apparently a takeoff on a real life rocker.

Shankman's biggest accomplishment was probably directing the musical Hairspray in 2008, a movie I found far from entertaining. Unlike Hairspray, however the music in this film, old songs from the '80s, is quite good, as are the production numbers. Alas, they do not make up for the tawdry, dispiriting story. Satire, to be effective, needs to have subtlety attached to it. There is nothing subtle in this story. Cruise's Jaxx is so over-the-top bizarre that the pace of the film pretty much dies when he is on-screen, except for the concert footage.

The film has what some would consider an A-list cast, including, in addition to Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul Giamatti, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, and Mary J Blige. Could any of them have read the script (Justin Theroux, Chris D'Arienzo, who wrote the hit stage musical, and Alan Loeb)? If so, what could they have been thinking (although maybe that assumes facts not in evidence)?

More deplorable, Shankman makes Zeta-Jones' character, which is leading a crusade against the low morality in rock music, appear to be laughably unreasonable. Who can deny that hard rockers, like the person upon whom Jaxx is apparently based, don't abuse drugs and influence young people to do likewise? So why would Shankman just wink an eye at the drug-addled Jaxx but mock someone who protests his destructive lifestyle as a bad influence on teenagers and young adults?

Even considering the two young lovers, there is not one character in the film who is sympathetic. Without even one likeable character, the music isn't enough to make it worthwhile.