in conversation with Patton Oswalt
“Stories to Tell“
Legendary musician Richard Marx offers an enlightening, entertaining look at his life and career.
Richard Marx has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide over the course of his career. He is the only male artist whose first seven singles reached the Top 5 on the Billboard charts, and he has written on a number one single in each of the last four decades—an accolade previously only reached by Michael Jackson. He won a 2004 Song of the Year Grammy and has scored fourteen number-one singles, both as a performer and as a songwriter/producer. He is also a committed philanthropist, supporting charitable causes such as the American Cancer Society and the Ronald McDonald House Charities, Mercy For Animals, ASPCA, Humane Society, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the charity closest to his heart, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He lives in Malibu, California, with his wife, Daisy Fuentes.
Richard Marx is one of the most accomplished singer-songwriters in the history of popular music. His self-titled 1987 album went triple platinum and made him the first male solo artist (and second solo artist overall after Whitney Houston) to have four singles from their debut crack the top three on the Billboard Hot 100. His follow-up, 1989’s Repeat Offender, was an even bigger smash, going quadruple platinum and landing two singles at number one. He has written fourteen number one songs in total, shared a Song of the Year Grammy with Luther Vandross, and collaborated with a variety of artists including NSYNC, Josh Groban, Natalie Cole, and Keith Urban. Lately, he’s also become a Twitter celebrity thanks to his outspokenness on social issues and his ability to out-troll his trolls.
Patton Oswalt is an actor, comedian and writer continues to find success in all areas of entertainment — from his award-winning comedy specials to his many memorable film roles and guest appearances on his favorite TV shows (including Parks and Recreation, for which he received a TV Critics Choice Award), Oswalt continues to choose work that inspires him and entertains audiences. He recently created M.O.D.O.K., the new Marvel stop-motion animated adult comedy series for Hulu as well as voices the titular character, and currently co-stars as Principal Durbin on the NBC Universal comedy A.P. Bio, produced by Seth Meyers, Mike O’Brien, and Lorne Michaels. In 2020, he received Emmy and Grammy nominations for his Netflix special I Love Everything. As a comedian, Oswalt has shot eight TV specials and released seven critically acclaimed albums, including his Emmy and Grammy-winning Talking for Clapping and Grammy-nominated Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time, Finest and My Weakness Is Strong.
In Stories to Tell, Marx uses this same engaging, straight-talking style to look back on his life and career. He writes of how Kenny Rogers changed a single line of a song he’d written for him then asked for a 50% cut—which inspired Marx to write one of his biggest hits. He tells the uncanny story of how he wound up curled up on the couch of Olivia Newton-John, his childhood crush, watching Xanadu. He shares the tribulations of working with the all-female hair metal band Vixen and appearing in their video. Yet amid these entertaining celebrity encounters, Marx offers a more sobering assessment of the music business as he’s experienced it over four decades—the challenges of navigating greedy executives and grueling tour schedules, and the rewards of connecting with thousands of fans at sold-out shows that make all the drama worthwhile. He also provides an illuminating look at his songwriting process and talks honestly about how his personal life has inspired his work, including finding love with wife Daisy Fuentes and the mystery illness that recently struck him—and that doctors haven’t been able to solve.
Stories to Tell is a remarkably candid, wildly entertaining memoir about the art and business of music.