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From his emergence in the 1950s - when an uncannily beautiful young man from Oklahoma appeared in the West Coast and became, seemingly overnight, the prince of 'cool' jazz - until his violent, drug-related death in Amsterdam in 1988, Chet Baker lived a life that has become an American myth. At once sexy and forbidding, the so-called 'James Dean of Jazz' struck a note of menace in the staid fifties. In this first major biography, the story of Baker's demise is finally revealed. So is the truth behind his tormented childhood. Behind Baker's icy facade lay something ominous, unspoken. The mystery drove both sexes crazy. But his only real romance, apart from music, was with drugs. Gavin brilliantly recreates the life of a man whose journey from golden promise to eventual destruction mirrored America's fall from post-war innocence - but whose music has never lost the power to enchant and seduce us.