Jerry Blavat, the Geator With the Heater, the Boss With the Hot Sauce, was a huge part of my youth and the face of the music that I, and all my friends, listened to in our teens and early twenties. Then, as now, we weren’t always big fans of Blavat himself but we did embrace the songs he played. We also attended his record hops at places like Wagner’s, Chez Vous and memories in Margate. No question about it, Jerry Blavat was an integral part of growing up in Philly.
In his autobiography, Blavat traces his start from dancing on American Bandstand, his relationship with the host of the show, Bob Horn and later, Dick Clark. There are some interesting stories about his entry into the music business but most of the book consists of The Geator reminiscing about his relationship with many of the great stars of the sixties and seventies, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis and Don Rickles to name a few. If there was ever a book devoted to “name-dropping” this would be the one.
Blavat also feels it is important that we are aware of just about every sexual encounter that he has had since he was fourteen and he spends much of the book recounting those bedroom exploits. Blavat’s friendship with local mob boss Angelo Bruno brought him years of government harassment but he continued to remain loyal to his friends despite the interference from the law.
You Only Rock Once is certainly a book devoted to self-praise but it’s still has enough of interest to those who grew up in this area in that era to enjoy the many memories that are brought to life. I would give this *** ½ stars.