Jump to content


Photo

Ecclestone biography


  • Please log in to reply
78 replies to this topic

#1 Jeroen Brink

Jeroen Brink
  • Member

  • 167 posts
  • Joined: March 01

Posted 02 March 2003 - 12:09

planned to be written by Sid Watkins' wife. Whatever one thinks of C. B. Ecclestone, this should provide interesting insights if written properly. One of the books missing on the sport - second to Amons' biography of course.

Advertisement

#2 fifi

fifi
  • Member

  • 12,146 posts
  • Joined: March 01

Posted 02 March 2003 - 14:56

it could be a good read....depends on whether Bernie has full say to what goes in it

#3 WGD706

WGD706
  • Member

  • 956 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 02 March 2003 - 15:12

As was posted in 'New books for 2003'......

According to Atlas F1.....
Over six years of investigation, legal threats and several publishers
withdrawing from the project has finally ended this month, when author Terry
Lovell released his book, "Bernie's Game"- 384 page unofficial biography -
the behind-the-scenes look on Formula One's most powerful man.
It had been pulled from publication, after legal wrangles and allegations
against the author by Ecclestone, according to a report in London's The
Times newspaper.
The author of the book, Terry Lovell, an investigative reporter who has
previously had books published on privacy and the Church of England's
finances (an investigation into the Church's losses of £624 million
following the mismanagement of its £3 billion property portfolio), recalled
a confrontational telephone call from Ecclestone, while the publisher
Little, Brown had received "belligerent" lawyer's letters sent by Schilling
& Lom, acting for both Ecclestone and friend FIA President Max Mosley, with
at least one of these letters on behalf of Mosley threatening to stop the
book.
Ecclestone is believed to be worried about claims made about his business
dealings in the 1970s and 1980s, with Ecclestone protesting, "There's
nothing there. I can also give you my 100% honour that I've never cheated
anybody in my life."
Lovell interviewed 65 people for the book, including people formerly
involved in Formula One, business associates and other members of
Ecclestone's family, including his first wife and their daughter. These last
interviews antagonised Ecclestone, with Lovell claiming that Ecclestone
telephoned him, saying that he would "come after me 'with guns blazing -
anything I can lay my hands on' for allegedly causing his family
aggravation".
Ecclestone confirmed that he did make the call, adding, "I might have said
something about guns blazing, but it's rubbish to suggest that I was being
threatening. I was upset because of my family. He'd been snooping around
them. But I also wanted to be reasonable with him."

I wonder if the "authorised" bio is in response to this one?

#4 masterhit

masterhit
  • Member

  • 1,837 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 03 March 2003 - 02:34

I must admit I can't wait to read Terry Lovell's book. Was I the only one who found "The Piranha Club" a little too in awe of the prinicipals?

#5 Ross Stonefeld

Ross Stonefeld
  • Member

  • 57,040 posts
  • Joined: August 99

Posted 03 March 2003 - 02:58

An Ecclestone biography written by Prof Watkins wife? Might as well issue a press release

#6 Jim Thurman

Jim Thurman
  • Member

  • 4,151 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 03 March 2003 - 05:24

Not to be off topic here, but I've got to say...nice avatar Ross :lol:

Now, you explain it to everyone not in the U.S. :)

And for that matter, many in the U.S. :)


Jim Thurman

#7 Milan Fistonic

Milan Fistonic
  • Member

  • 1,762 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 03 March 2003 - 07:05

This appeared on the Pitpass site.



Want the lowdown on Bernie?
28-02-2003


Next week sees the publication of a book that we thought we'd never see, though we must bear in mind there are still a few days to go, the release of the unofficial biography of F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
The writing of this book - Bernie's Game by Terry Lovell - has been plagued with all manner of incidents and would surely merit a 'making of the book' follow-up.

In short (no pun intended), it took Lovell more than five years not to research and write the book but to find a publisher brave enough to take on the project.

Having signed a deal with Little, Brown in 1997, Lovell thought it was 'all systems go', however just over two years later the publishers pulled out fearing legal action from Ecclestone.

Other publishers shunned the book for fear of getting entangled with one of the richest, and consequently powerful, men on earth, a man that is known to be a good friend but a bad enemy.

Lovell's agent Robert Smith, then secured a deal with publishers Vision, but they too finally pulled the rug just weeks ahead of the November 2001 launch date. Lovell received a fax from Vision claiming that its decision was based on "the prospect of a substantial libel insurance premium".

Ecclestone is an intensely private man, which is to be respected. However much of his rise to power is shrouded in mystery which has led to a number of myths over the years including links with the Great Train Robbery and other organised crime, some would probably have you believe that the former team boss was seen on the 'grassy knoll' in Dallas.

Because of his reluctance, and his right, to talk about his past, the myths have grown out of all proportion and comforted by his personal fortune of almost £3bn, Ecclestone pays little attention. However when the rumours go wide of the mark, or touch his personal life he is quick to react. He is a hard yet fair man.

Finally former tabloid editor John Blake, who had agreed to publish the book, took the bull by the horns, so to speak, and sent the manuscript to Ecclestone who far from sending 'the boys' round revealed his admiration for the in-depth research.

Talking to The Daily Telegraph, Lovell admits that he was surprised by Blake's move, but even more surprised by Ecclestone's reaction: "John's experience was that people will often respond positively when given the chance to read the manuscript," he said. "I'd always opposed the idea because I believed Ecclestone might 'nobble' the people who'd spoken so frankly to me.

Ecclestone, who can ball-out team cantankerous team bosses such as Ron Dennis like naughty schoolboys, also has the ability to charm the birds out of the trees.

"At no time has he attempted to persuade me to tone down the allegations or try to counter my personal comments and conclusions about him as a person and a businessman," says Lovell. "Very much to his credit, I reckon.

"Ecclestone's style is to put on an aggressive front, but then quite frequently to come round to your point of view if it's put clearly and firmly. Like many successful businessmen he quickly detects signs of weaknesses or uncertainties in people he's dealing with. He thrives on that."

Bernie's official biography is currently being written by Susan Watkins, wife of FIA Medical Delegate Professor Sid Watkins, her previous work includes much-lauded biographies of Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth the First.

Contrary to rumours doing the rounds, Bernie will not be following Murray Walker's example and attending book signings all over the world.

This is one book review that we just can't wait to read in F1 Magazine, hope it's on decent paper.

To order Bernie's Game direct from our good friends at Sportspages click here or contact them on (Tel: +44 (0) 20 7240 9604) or (Fax : +44 (0) 20 7836 0104).

Indeed check out the excellent range of sports books on the Sportspages website

#8 rdrcr

rdrcr
  • Member

  • 2,697 posts
  • Joined: June 01

Posted 03 March 2003 - 15:57

Listed by Forbes Magazine in 2003, as the 104th wealthiest person in the world, Ecclestone is by no means, in the realm of Gates, Buffet, Allen and Ellison. And even though his official stake in the company is down to just 25%, after the Kirch Group bailed out ailing muppet owner EM.TV & Merchandisings' half-share and exercised a $1 billion option for another 25%, his current net worth is estimated at 3.2 billion. He's managed to move up the ranks from last year at 124 and from 2001's ranking statistic of 182. A truly impressive feat.

The magazine had a great expose on the diminutive, F1 Czar. He was even on the cover of that 2001 issue. I found it provided a pretty fair insight into how his self-made enterprises catapulted him into the upper fifth of the world's wealthiest individuals. I highly recommend the article. Another by The Observer, had some good insights - Link

As for the biography upcoming, I haven't a clue to its content nor its validity, though it seems to be from reputable sources.




oh and by the way... the Avatar of Ross's... That's a mug shot of Larry King, the famous interviewer on CNN TV and Radio... He was arrested in Miami on December 20, 1971 on charges of grand larceny. King was in debt to sustain an extravagant lifestyle among other things. There is allegedly a connection to the Kennedy Assassination, as the debt which prompted this arrest was apparently regarding a loan to a financial backer of Jim Garrison. Garrison was the Louisiana district attorney quasi-officially investigating Kennedy's death.

#9 David M. Kane

David M. Kane
  • Member

  • 5,396 posts
  • Joined: December 00

Posted 03 March 2003 - 22:55

Lets not forget how F3000 came to be, the DFV had finally become obsolete
by the arrival of the Turbos. So Bernie buys up all the known DFVs in the world and declares that F2 is no longer effective, thus we need the replacement formula...F3000. Oh! By the way, I have all the motors please
line up in a orderly line...

#10 Ralliart

Ralliart
  • Member

  • 669 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 04 March 2003 - 08:07

If Bernie Ecclestone wants to collaborate with someone to put out a biography, I think it might be excellent. Or an autobiography. But for somone to write a biography about him without his approval or input, I wouldn't bother. I remember a quote from Ecclesone about 10 years ago saying he didn't think F1 would be around five years hence. The implication being that unless he was allowed to control the reins, F1 would go down the tubes. He probably saved it but that doesn't mean I like what has happened. A lot of books-to-come have their praises trumpeted but unless Ecclestone contributes, it'll end up like many books - sitting in the remainder bin.

#11 masterhit

masterhit
  • Member

  • 1,837 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 04 March 2003 - 15:10

Originally posted by Ralliart
If Bernie Ecclestone wants to collaborate with someone to put out a biography, I think it might be excellent. Or an autobiography. But for somone to write a biography about him without his approval or input, I wouldn't bother. I remember a quote from Ecclesone about 10 years ago saying he didn't think F1 would be around five years hence. The implication being that unless he was allowed to control the reins, F1 would go down the tubes. He probably saved it but that doesn't mean I like what has happened. A lot of books-to-come have their praises trumpeted but unless Ecclestone contributes, it'll end up like many books - sitting in the remainder bin.


Ralliart, by all accounts the Terry Lovell book is not a glossy spin on how great on Ecclestone is, it provides the flipside, and yet it also apparently contains enough detail and thorough research for Bernie to have finally allowed it to get published without the threat of legal action. The publisher approached Bernie by showing him the book, and he withdrew the legal action threat, as he was impressed, let's just hope that in the process, the book wasn't too heavily censored prior to this happening.

The biography from Sid Watkins' wife is probably much more glossy and uncontroversial, and more, dare we say, close to the words and thoughts of the man himself, as Sid Watkins, Mrs Watkins's husband, is a polite man who does not speak his mind - and who is still employed by Bernie.

By reading both, we can make up our own minds, and I'd suggest that we would need to do that really to get both sides of the story.

#12 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 24,013 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 04 March 2003 - 15:25

Originally posted by masterhit
By reading both, we can make up our own minds, and I'd suggest that we would need to do that really to get both sides of the story.


.... and then wait until Bernie pops his clogs so we can get the real story!

(For those unfamiliar with Northern English slang, "pops his clogs" refers to the habit of working class families of pawning the working clogs of deceased family members)

I suspect the situation may be very much like that regarding Robert Maxwell - plenty of people in publishing and bookselling knew a lot about him and his dodgy practices but the stories were repeated only in private for fear of libel or reprisal. The truth only came out after his death - there were enough to fill a book, just in anecdotal form! So one was published ....

And we've all, I'm sure, heard stories about Bernie's wheeler-dealing on the edge. I know I have, but I'm sure as hell not going to repeat 'em here!

#13 masterhit

masterhit
  • Member

  • 1,837 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 05 March 2003 - 00:56

Originally posted by Vitesse2


.... and then wait until Bernie pops his clogs so we can get the real story!

(For those unfamiliar with Northern English slang, "pops his clogs" refers to the habit of working class families of pawning the working clogs of deceased family members)!


Ah! I stand corrected! Good reminder Vitesse2!

#14 Don Capps

Don Capps
  • Member

  • 5,933 posts
  • Joined: May 99

Posted 13 August 2003 - 15:27

Originally posted by masterhit
Ralliart, by all accounts the Terry Lovell book is not a glossy spin on how great on Ecclestone is, it provides the flipside, and yet it also apparently contains enough detail and thorough research for Bernie to have finally allowed it to get published without the threat of legal action. The publisher approached Bernie by showing him the book, and he withdrew the legal action threat, as he was impressed, let's just hope that in the process, the book wasn't too heavily censored prior to this happening.

The biography from Sid Watkins' wife is probably much more glossy and uncontroversial, and more, dare we say, close to the words and thoughts of the man himself, as Sid Watkins, Mrs Watkins's husband, is a polite man who does not speak his mind - and who is still employed by Bernie.

By reading both, we can make up our own minds, and I'd suggest that we would need to do that really to get both sides of the story.


Has anyone here actually read the Terry Lovell book as of yet? And, is the Watkins book out yet?

I have my reasons for asking....

#15 paulhooft

paulhooft
  • Member

  • 873 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 13 August 2003 - 15:29

Eccle:
What????
:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:
Paul

#16 petefenelon

petefenelon
  • Member

  • 4,815 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 13 August 2003 - 15:33

Originally posted by Don Capps


Has anyone here actually read the Terry Lovell book as of yet? And, is the Watkins book out yet?

I have my reasons for asking....


Yes, I've read the Lovell book and have posted opinions of it on the Books thread - although for some reason (!) my Amazon.co.uk review of it never seemed to appear.

Verdict: first half of it is excellent racing history, second half fascinating business background. Not too much insight into "Bernie the Man" but it's not really a biography.

Lovell is not a racing expert and doesn't pretend to be, there are a few minor but obvious errors in the first half of the book (but less than in Collings' The Piranha Club, and he claims to be a racing journo!)

pete

#17 provapr

provapr
  • Member

  • 37 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 13 August 2003 - 15:39

Personally, I struggled with Lovell's book. Much of it is very interesting but it makes it really difficult to read the motorsport side of things when there are such glaring errors as 'Angelo de Angelis.' Surely, a book that revolves so much around motorsport at least deserves a proof reading from someone slightly knowledgable in the history of the sport. Just my thoughts.

#18 Don Capps

Don Capps
  • Member

  • 5,933 posts
  • Joined: May 99

Posted 13 August 2003 - 16:13

Originally posted by provapr
Personally, I struggled with Lovell's book. Much of it is very interesting but it makes it really difficult to read the motorsport side of things when there are such glaring errors as 'Angelo de Angelis.' Surely, a book that revolves so much around motorsport at least deserves a proof reading from someone slightly knowledgable in the history of the sport. Just my thoughts.


Who said it was about motorsports? That is the point. Yes, there are howlers in the Lovell book, but not in the areas where it mattered. And, it is correct that it is not a biography of B.C. Ecclestone if that is what someone is looking for.

I don't think that Bernie's Game will get the audience or garner the attention -- or the "right" type of attention at least -- that it deserves. That is a pity.

#19 Richard Jenkins

Richard Jenkins
  • Member

  • 6,135 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 13 August 2003 - 17:37

Originally posted by Don Capps


Has anyone here actually read the Terry Lovell book as of yet? And, is the Watkins book out yet?

I have my reasons for asking....



Yes.
I, like Provapr struggled a bit with the book, which is unusual as many books of this genre I polish off quite nicely. But when I say struggled, it wasn't the length or the understanding but the sheer amount of 'relevations' & their consquences & future consquences. Very readable, very interesting and I was pleased that it mentioned that Bernie didn't just start his life in F1 - tracking down his original wife & daughter & never seen before photos of old Ecclestone & mentioning his childhood & racing career were good bonuses.
I knew the book wasn't a racing book. If it wanted a book about racing, I'd bought, I don't know Piers Courage or Ken Tyrrell. I'm hardly Bernie's biggest fan but I find him fascinating & find the work & wheeling-dealing he does fascinating & that's why I bought the book - I wasn't disappointed.

The thing I found impressive was Lovell interviewed Ecclestone & his new wife rather than resort to finding old newsaper tittle-tattle. Even if Ecclestone "denied" or "couldn't remember" Lovell still asked difficult questions. And, ultimately, it's got BE's seal of approval.

I can't stand fawning, bland biographies. I'm glad that I've found a book or two recently that tell it (as near as possible) to how it is. :up:

Advertisement

#20 Dennis Hockenbury

Dennis Hockenbury
  • Member

  • 656 posts
  • Joined: April 03

Posted 13 August 2003 - 19:02

Don, having just read your thoughts on the latest "Rear View Mirror" on 'Bernie's Game', I see that you found it as interesting as did Pete Fenelon and I.

Amazing insight into a area of modern F1 we rarely see and are interested to know of.

Yes, the book does contain a few howlers, but as you say, that would be missing the greater story of interest.

Please, more "Rear View" in the future. I have enjoyed them all.

#21 Paul Newby

Paul Newby
  • Member

  • 450 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 14 August 2003 - 02:36

I am currently in the middle of it (page 144) as we speak. It certainly isn't an easy read, but its impressive for all the first hand accounts - even if some remain nameless. The detail is quite amazing and its apparent that Lovell is on top of the political manoeuvres, even if it takes the poor reader a bit longer to "get it."

This is a book that could easily be sensationalised, but its all the better for its "matter of fact" tones. Indeed I have yet to notice an exclamation mark in the text! Sure there is conjecture and Lovell explains this in a prefunctory manner, no speculation or rumours. It shows Bernie to be a very shrewd politician motivated by money and power, but nothing we don't know. Recommended.

#22 FredF1

FredF1
  • Member

  • 1,951 posts
  • Joined: April 00

Posted 14 August 2003 - 08:21

Just read Don's article - very well put.

I felt the same when I saw the book on the shelf - just two copies nestled amongst 10 times that number of other motor racing titles - hagiographies of drivers barely starting their careers.
I knew I had to get a copy before they were pulled from the shelves and 'disappeared'.

It was good to see certain thoughts I've always had about BE articulated so well. Such as the 'killing off' of any series that rises to challenge F1 in popularity and the 'good cop, bad cop' act with Max Mosely - stuff that will never get coverage from the, paddock pass addicted, regular F1 press crew.

#23 Racer.Demon

Racer.Demon
  • Member

  • 1,705 posts
  • Joined: November 99

Posted 14 August 2003 - 18:52

Have started on the Dutch translation, which was presented to me as a gift, and must echo the above sentiments. A gripping read. Amazing detail, you can smell the amount of research put into it. And as a bonus, the Dutch translator hasn't done a bad job either (it's usually much worse when it comes to motorsport literature) and filtered out some of the obvious mistakes too...

#24 deangelis86

deangelis86
  • Member

  • 365 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 17 August 2003 - 19:51

Originally posted by provapr
Personally, I struggled with Lovell's book. Much of it is very interesting but it makes it really difficult to read the motorsport side of things when there are such glaring errors as 'Angelo de Angelis.'


:rolleyes:

#25 Don Capps

Don Capps
  • Member

  • 5,933 posts
  • Joined: May 99

Posted 17 August 2003 - 22:20

I get the feeling that many of the contemporary set in F1 fandom have not read the book or even seem to know about the book.... :confused: Or perhaps even care about it... : Interesting as to the relative -- deafening -- silence that surrounds the Lovell book. However, I can't say that I am very surprised.

#26 bira

bira
  • Member

  • 13,352 posts
  • Joined: November 98

Posted 18 August 2003 - 00:34

of the supposed 350 million race viewers, only a few are hard core fans who take interest in every aspect of the sport, including the behind-the-scenes, off-track environment of it. We are surrounded by these hard core fans, and so we seem to get a false image of what the average fan is like. Yet this doesn't explain why we would elect to reach conclusions on this average F1 fan without a little checking of the facts. I think Don's reaction to the book - both here and in his column this week - is an example of such conclusions we all (myself included!) are prone to make.


Don, in your column you expresssed surprise the book was released and is still on the shelf, stating that "I am still a bit surprised that Lovell managed to get Bernie's Game into print. I wonder when Ecclestone will have them all seized from the bookseller's stockrooms and shelves and burned. That seems as good an endorsement as any to rush out and get your copy. While you can that is."

You may have spared yourself the surprise if you did a quick search for "Terry Lovell" in the Atlas F1 search engine. The first result would have been http://www.atlasf1.c...hp/id/911/.html

Friday February 28th, 2003

Over six years of investigation, legal threats and several publishers withdrawing from the project has finally ended this month, when author Terry Lovell released his book, "Bernie's Game" - the behind-the-scenes, unofficial biography of Formula One's most powerful man. And, more surprisingly, he has finally managed to do it with the help of Bernie Ecclestone himself.

[...]

"At no time has he attempted to persuade me to tone down the allegations or try to counter my personal comments and conclusions about him as a person and a businessman," Lovell told the newspaper. "Very much to his credit, I reckon."


You go on to post here that "many of the contemporary set in F1 fandom have not read the book or even seem to know about the book.... Or perhaps even care about it... "

You could have spared yourself the disappointment with a look at amazon.co.uk's Sales Ranks. Bernie's Game is ranked 1,784. To put this in perspective: Christopher Hilton's book on Juan Pablo Montoya - published around about the same time as Bernie's Game - is 14,353 in the sales rank. And Timothy Collings's "Piranha Club" - after two years in the market - is on 8,293. The paperback edition of "Piranha Club", released a year ago, is at 17,552.

As a matter of fact, looking at the Amazon.co.uk Formula One books, sorted by best-selling, one would find Bernie's Game is 5th (!). So I think it's safe to say Bernie's Game isn't selling too badly - and I'm sure it's not all, or even remotely, down to the non-contemorary set in F1 fandom.

Finally, Don, you state that "Interesting as to the relative -- deafening -- silence that surrounds the Lovell book".

Again, a simple search would reveal that every single British newspaper and every single F1 magazine covered the book extensively when it was released. In reporting about it and reviewing it. For example, Richard Williams in the Guardian. Or Mike Lawrence in Pitpass. Or Mark Glendenning in Atlas F1. And these are just examples.

I think you'll find that every author would die for such an exposore of his book, and by every standard "Bernie's Game" is a success.

So if the book's existence is a complete mystery "here on the shores of the Potomac", dare I suggest that has more to do with the state of Formula One on the shores of the Potomac than the state of indifference of Formula One fans to "Bernie's Game"?

#27 Don Capps

Don Capps
  • Member

  • 5,933 posts
  • Joined: May 99

Posted 18 August 2003 - 01:33

Nope, I still stand by my earlier remarks. Most within F1 and the F1 fandom could give a flying wet, dripping fudgesicle about the book. Elsewhere (ahem...) there has been scarcely a peep about Bernie's Game. Either the book is considered too much involved with the business side of The Game and not enough biography or racing, or perhaps it simply gets a "So?" as a reaction.

I am not sure that on this side of the Atlantic that Bernie's Game will find much of a market. Then again, not a whole bunch of folks in the USA really do give a flying wet, dripping fudgesicle about F1, although there are certainly enough to make the hopes of more than a few take an upturn once in awhile. At least the USGP at Indy seems that it would give ostrich racing a run for its money unlike what happened in Phoenix.

I expect the book to move quickly to the remainder table on both sides of the Atlantic. It isn't what F1 fans really want to read about. I obviously think that it has some merits which make it a worthwhile read, but it simply opens up more questions in my mind. As nice and interesting as the interview in the kitchen was with the Ecclestones, my thoughts were, "So what? What has this to do with much of anything?" It was the sudden transition to being "biographical" that set off my excrement detector. It muddled an ending that could have carried much more oomph, if you will.

Perhaps someday we will have a better view of The Empire that Bernie Built, but I am not going to hold my breath for such a book until B.C. Ecclestone is gone from the scene. And even then it will take a few shots at it to get close to the mark. Perhaps Lovell or someone with a similar background in kicking over rocks to catch what lurks there and an understanding of the economics of the activity known as F1 might enlignten us at some point in the future.

Well, I have my opinions and if no one likes them, that is okay by me. ;)

#28 bira

bira
  • Member

  • 13,352 posts
  • Joined: November 98

Posted 18 August 2003 - 01:40

Don, I wasn't challenging your opinions at all; I was challenging your assumptions. Namely, that the book came out despite Ecclestone, that the book is not receiving coverage, and that the book is unknown (and therefore unsold?) among fans. Those three assumptions simply aren't correct.

As for your opinion on the fans, the insiders, Bernie, and this book? I've got no problem with them whatsoever.

One last remark which sprang to my mind while reading your last post. This is just a guess, but reading threads in Readers Comments I would say the "average hard core fan" is far, far from being a fan of Bernie Ecclestone. In fact, I'd say that whatever negative story there may be about Bernie would fall on already converted ears where it comes to those fans you feel are not interested in hearing. In fact, in my very limited experience I've found these contemporary fans are more willing to hear - and cheer for - negative stories and statements on Bernie than the opposite.

#29 Don Capps

Don Capps
  • Member

  • 5,933 posts
  • Joined: May 99

Posted 18 August 2003 - 01:49

Originally posted by bira
In fact, in my very limited experience I've found these contemporary fans are more willing to hear - and cheer for - negative stories and statements on Bernie than the opposite.


Which is the puzzle, My Dear Ms. Goren -- why didn't the dog bark? :confused:

#30 bira

bira
  • Member

  • 13,352 posts
  • Joined: November 98

Posted 18 August 2003 - 01:53

Originally posted by Don Capps


Which is the puzzle, My Dear Ms. Goren -- why didn't the dog bark? :confused:


Maybe because those who read the book didn't find it shocking? That is, if you think someone is the source of all evil then you're only going to nod your head and walk away feeling there was nothing new to this.

And maybe because those who haven't read the book simply don't think it can change their mind about Ecclestone or give them any new information?

I'm just guessing, really.

But I think you'll find that the vast majority of the fans really, really don't take any interest in Bernie Ecclestone. They may love to hate him, they love to blame him (and Max of course) for everything wrongful in F1, but they're not interested whatsoever in reading about him or expanding their knowledge on the man and his dealing.

After all, why bother research when you've already formed an opinion? (And you're as guilty at that as anyone else my dear :p)

#31 Evo One

Evo One
  • Member

  • 234 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 18 August 2003 - 09:17

On reading this thread and Don's review, I immediately bought a copy (available from amazon.co.uk for £12.99). So far I am about 1/3rd the way through.

I am inclined to agree with Bira's view ai that it hasn't, so far, changed my opinion of this man in the slightest - I already knew what he was like having had personal experience of his complete lack of feeling for his fellow human beings.

I had hoped that there might be something substantial that I didn't already know but I guess that as Bernie had already agreed to the book's publication, I was a little naive in thinking so.

There are long passages that are tedious to wade through and it seems to me to be as much a history of the politics of Formula 1 as it is a biography of Ecclestone.

I am perservering though.

#32 petefenelon

petefenelon
  • Member

  • 4,815 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 18 August 2003 - 09:31

As I see it there are probably several different audiences for the Lovell book, as well as "passing trade" who just picked it off the shelf because it looked interesting!

(1) (probably the biggest audience) - general readers, mostly British, interested in finding out who this rich little bloke who keeps turning up on TV during Martin Brundle's grid walks, moaning about the British Grand Prix and slinging money around is. BCE enjoys a fair degree of fame outside racing circles in Britain these days and is certainly a figure known to the general public.

(2) "people who read the business pages first" - those interested in how Ecclestone has built up his businesses and his fortune. To these people, the first half of the book is almost irrelevant - I doubt they particularly care about anything before the FIASCO beyond it being an interesting story, and I think this is really the audience Lovell was really writing for. It isn't a racing book - t's a book about someone whose life and business is racing. The ranks of this crowd are probably swelled by people who got interested in Ecclestone circa his "gift" to New Labour.

(3) contemporary F1 fans who wanted insight into where the money comes from and some background on the guy who's behind most of it! - similarly, to them, it doesn't really matter that there are a few errors in descriptions of the 1970s, their interest probably starts post-FIASCO.

(4) old-school historic fans who bought it for the first half and stayed tuned in for the inexorable rise of the Ecclestone commercial empire!

I think if you take those four fairly distinct audiences as well as those picking up copies by word-of-mouth or just casual browsing it's no wonder the book's selling well. I would be surprised if it is remaindered on this side of the Atlantic before it sees a paperback release. It certainly seems to be selling in bookshops here.

I certainly know people who aren't racing fans (and certainly wouldn't pick up something from DCN or Karl, for example!) who have read the Lovell book, and have asked some very penetrating questions about the politics and business of F1!

#33 bira

bira
  • Member

  • 13,352 posts
  • Joined: November 98

Posted 18 August 2003 - 09:41

I would add one more point that is perhaps relevant, perhaps not.

The book lacks a Grand Revelation - the kind of newly-revealed information that makes a book the subject of smalltalk and debate among the media, fans or insiders. It simply fails to create a sense of controversy and doesn't propagate discussion.

I know a lot of people who read it; in fact I spend every other Sunday in a room full of dozens and hundreds of people who read it. And yet this book never stimulated more than the odd "'Have you read Bernie's Game?' 'Yup.' 'OK.'" conversation. And believe me, you're not talking about people who wouldn't crave for a "juicy" revelation about the man.

#34 dmj

dmj
  • Member

  • 1,956 posts
  • Joined: August 01

Posted 18 August 2003 - 11:33

Croatia is probably one of parts of the world where Bernie most easily recognizable - due to fact that his wife is Croatian he is well known even among non-racing fans. As Ecclestones spend much time here they are much photographed and commented in gossip magazines. But for most of the world outside hardcore F1 fandom symptomatic is a story from Zadar, a few years ago. Bernie walked through harbour when a Czech tourist with camera approached him - what, he wants a picture with Bernie? No, guy just wanted that pleasant old man to take a pic of him and his wife at the coastline! Bernie did it and now there is a summer vacation photo somewhere in Czech Republic, taken by one of richest men in Europe, without those at the picture even knowing about it!
There is also a story that Bill Gates twice spent a few days on our coastline with only a man in bakery recognizing him... But it really has nothing to do with this forum!

#35 Don Capps

Don Capps
  • Member

  • 5,933 posts
  • Joined: May 99

Posted 18 August 2003 - 13:44

Originally posted by bira
I would add one more point that is perhaps relevant, perhaps not.

The book lacks a Grand Revelation - the kind of newly-revealed information that makes a book the subject of smalltalk and debate among the media, fans or insiders. It simply fails to create a sense of controversy and doesn't propagate discussion.

I know a lot of people who read it; in fact I spend every other Sunday in a room full of dozens and hundreds of people who read it. And yet this book never stimulated more than the odd "'Have you read Bernie's Game?' 'Yup.' 'OK.'" conversation. And believe me, you're not talking about people who wouldn't crave for a "juicy" revelation about the man.


That is perhaps the real point as to why the dogs inside the walls didn't bark. Why the publication of Bernie's Game was deferred from sometime in late 1998 to the Summer of 2003 is more of a mystery than ever since I am certain that there are others who perhaps really could drop a Grand Revelation or two in the conversation.

Well, there are opinions and there are Opinions. I try to have the latter...

#36 Breadmaster

Breadmaster
  • Member

  • 2,507 posts
  • Joined: May 01

Posted 18 August 2003 - 14:03

Originally posted by bira

As a matter of fact, looking at the Amazon.co.uk Formula One books, sorted by best-selling, one would find Bernie's Game is 5th (!). So I think it's safe to say Bernie's Game isn't selling too badly - and I'm sure it's not all, or even remotely, down to the non-contemorary set in F1 fandom.


however 7th is the undoubtedly fascinating "Competition Car Suspension".......not sure this is a valid ranking really....

#37 bira

bira
  • Member

  • 13,352 posts
  • Joined: November 98

Posted 18 August 2003 - 14:10

Originally posted by Breadmaster


however 7th is the undoubtedly fascinating "Competition Car Suspension".......not sure this is a valid ranking really....


...Which has been out since 1999. If it sold 10,000 copies since it would still have sold more than many books released in the last couple of years. Not illogical.

#38 Breadmaster

Breadmaster
  • Member

  • 2,507 posts
  • Joined: May 01

Posted 18 August 2003 - 14:44

fair enough....

#39 jonpollak

jonpollak
  • Member

  • 13,177 posts
  • Joined: March 00

Posted 18 August 2003 - 20:30

:clap: bira's unrelenting links to the product which,
seeing I have now ordered ALL my holiday season gifts via her efforts,
should see another blip in the retail figures.!!!
:up:
Jp

Advertisement

#40 Allen Brown

Allen Brown
  • Member

  • 4,861 posts
  • Joined: December 00

Posted 18 August 2003 - 22:21

Good old 'One-Click' - I've just bought one too.

BTW, who is this de Angelis woman anyway - an old girlfriend or something?

Allen

#41 bira

bira
  • Member

  • 13,352 posts
  • Joined: November 98

Posted 18 August 2003 - 22:43

Damn, I should have included the Atlas F1 reference id and at least got commission on these purchases :|

#42 Ross Stonefeld

Ross Stonefeld
  • Member

  • 57,040 posts
  • Joined: August 99

Posted 19 August 2003 - 00:01

Originally posted by Breadmaster


however 7th is the undoubtedly fascinating "Competition Car Suspension".......not sure this is a valid ranking really....



I got my copy July of 2000 at a bookstore in Daytona Beach, Florida; across the parking lot from a Hooters :rotfl:

#43 Don Capps

Don Capps
  • Member

  • 5,933 posts
  • Joined: May 99

Posted 19 August 2003 - 01:29

The B&N across from the track?

#44 Ross Stonefeld

Ross Stonefeld
  • Member

  • 57,040 posts
  • Joined: August 99

Posted 19 August 2003 - 01:35

Yes sir


Got that Damon Hill book too, really liked it.

#45 Don Capps

Don Capps
  • Member

  • 5,933 posts
  • Joined: May 99

Posted 19 August 2003 - 01:53

One of my contractors, Raydon -- they build excellent tactical combat simulators and various other really neat stuff of that nature -- used to be located in that same area, just around the corner from the B&N, which always had an excellent racing section. Doh! Over the years I found a number of books there that were happy finds.

#46 condor

condor
  • Member

  • 11,245 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 23 November 2003 - 15:07

Originally posted by petefenelon


Yes, I've read the Lovell book and have posted opinions of it on the Books thread - although for some reason (!) my Amazon.co.uk review of it never seemed to appear.

pete


I ordered a copy this morning from Amazon....and your review is there :)

#47 ReWind

ReWind
  • Member

  • 2,357 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 22 February 2011 - 21:25

"Bernie's Game" by Terry Lovell is online in full length here

- rightfully or not, I don't know.

#48 Ross Stonefeld

Ross Stonefeld
  • Member

  • 57,040 posts
  • Joined: August 99

Posted 23 February 2011 - 06:24

Just in theory I imagine that's not kosher. And looking at the quality of the scan job that's certainly not an official release.

#49 chevronb37

chevronb37
  • New Member

  • 10 posts
  • Joined: February 11

Posted 23 February 2011 - 12:48

I read Bernie's Game a few years ago. Must say it doesn't imbue one with much fondness to the man; especially if you were a fan of the Class 1 DTM or the BPR Global GT Championship. I'm sure the Watkins book is excellent, but its pitch will be crucial. Roebuck is unequivocal in his praise in MS mag though.

#50 Amphicar

Amphicar
  • Member

  • 1,867 posts
  • Joined: December 10

Posted 23 February 2011 - 18:49

Has anyone read "No Angel: The Secret Life of Bernie Ecclestone" by Tom Bower, published on Monday yet? If so is it: a) worth reading? b) worth buying? c) better or worse than the Watkins and Lovell efforts?

There was an excerpt in last Sunday's Sunday Times but it concentrated on Bernie's marriage to Slavica, which is of no interest at all to me.

Edited by Amphicar, 23 February 2011 - 19:22.