Reflections: John Stamos – If You Would Have Told Me

If You Would Have Told Me: A Memoir by John Stamos Synopsis:

If you would have told a young John Stamos flipping burgers at his dad’s fast-food joint that one day he’d be a household name and that, at the height of his success, he’d be living alone, divorced, with no kids, high on a cocktail of forgetting, he might’ve asked, “You want fries with that?”

John burst onto the scene in General Hospital, propelling him into the teen idol stratosphere, a place that’s often a point of no return. But Stamos beat the odds and over the past four decades has proved himself to be one of his generation’s most successful and beloved actors. Whether showing off his comedic chops on Full House or his dramatic skills on ER, pushing the boundaries on Broadway or living out his youthful dreams as an honorary Beach Boy, John has surprised everyone, most of all himself.

A universal story about friendship, love, loss, and the courage to embrace love once more, John Stamos’s memoir is filled with some of the most memorable names in Hollywood, both old and new. Funny, deeply poignant, and brutally honest, If You Would Have Told Me is a portrait of a boy who went from believing in Disney magic to a man who learns that we have to create our own magical moments in life. –Taken from Amazon.com

My thoughts after reading If You Would Have Told Me:

I don’t know many people who aren’t a fan of John Stamos. He’s handsome, cool, and has a vulnerability both onscreen and in his personal life that makes him endearing. He was such a crucial part of my childhood and I’m not alone in that. Uncle Jesse was everyone’s favorite uncle.

Stamos was even at my very first concert! I was thirteen and I went to see the Beach Boys with my family at Jones Beach in NY. It was an awesome concert and the icing on the cake was when John Stamos came out to perform with the band. I went crazy along with the rest of the crowd!

Side note: I’m going to a Beach Boys concert this spring and I’m crossing my fingers Stamos will once again be a surprise guest!

Anyway, onto the book… I got this book as an early Christmas present from my now husband/then fiancé, Steven. He had picked himself up Fourth Wing to read on our honeymoon and he was aware of my love for John Stamos so he got me his memoir to bring on the trip as well.

The past couple of years have been a whirlwind with me focusing more on my personal than professional life, which led me to getting married this past December.

Being blissfully in love had me focusing on my relationship, planning a wedding, and making a home and left little time for reading. Although I can’t blame my reading slump all on love and preoccupation. The books I kept picking up to read were seriously lacking! Nothing was grabbing me and some of the books I began to read were just plain dumb.

While I didn’t breeze through John Stamos’ memoir–I’m not a quick reader to begin with–every time I did pick it up to read, I enjoyed it.

Stamos’ life story was easily digestible and had plenty of celebrity moments to keep it interesting. Plus, I never knew some of the things Stamos loved were also my favorites.

For instance, early on in the book, he mentions his love for John Travolta, who had always been my idol growing up, and how he got to be on the set of Grease during the school dance scene!

Stamos proposed to his wife, Caitlin, at Disneyland with an animation of Sebastian the crab from The Little Mermaid holding a sign that says “Go on and ask the girl” while I walked down the aisle to Brent Morgan’s beautiful rendition of “Kiss The Girl“.

And just as The Beach Boys had been my first concert, they were his first concert as well.

While the memoir had plenty of fun anecdotes from Stamos’ successful career, it also had many sad moments. The book goes into detail about the deaths of both of the actor’s parents, members of the Beach Boys, Bob Saget, and a few more celebrities that had an impact on his life and career.

The memoir feels more like a tribute to all of the people who had touched John Stamos’ life rather than your typical Hollywood story of a rise to fame and fortune.

Stamos glosses over his alcoholism and hints at an issue with Tony Danza that makes me wonder whether there is an ongoing feud or not. 

Most memoirs talk about coming from poor upbringings with abusive relatives and overcoming the odds to find success.

This book isn’t that. Stamos has nothing but good things to say about his home life and family, which is a nice change honestly. His biggest struggle in Hollywood was being typecast as a cheesy sitcom good guy, which he overcame by trying his talent on Broadway.

Stamos is mostly modest about his talent. Remarking that he was not a good singer or musician, but yet he’s toured with legends and had taken on many musical roles.

My big takeaways from If You Would Have Told Me is that I’m jealous of Stamos childhood and that he gives a hope that you don’t have to be the best at something in order to do it. The true key to success is drive and passion, and Stamos always had plenty of that.

If You Would Have Told MeIf You Would Have Told Me by John Stamos
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you’re a fan of John Stamos than it’s a no brainer — you have to read this. But expect a lot of death as this book feels like it serves as a eulogy for his parents and Bob Saget at times. It’s a beautiful tribute to the people important to Stamos. I just wish there were more funny stories about Full House or more depth about the actor himself. Nonetheless, it was an easy read that kept my interest throughout.

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  • Sandy Lo

    Sandy Lo’s personal story is inspiring. She started, StarShine Magazine, an online publication in 2001, at the age of 18. She wrote her first novel in 2009, “Lost In You,” followed by the “Dream Catchers” Series. She was the first person ever to professionally interview Taylor Swift and has received personal endorsements for her books from members of boy bands Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees. Recently, she has been seeing some tremendous momentum in book sales on Kindle. She has been included on the “50 Writers You Should Be Reading” list by The Authors Show, and “Dream Catchers”, “Breaking The Moon” and “Indigo Waters” reached the Top 100 Best Selling Coming of Age novels in Amazon’s Kindle Store. What makes this even more unique, is that Sandy relocated from NY to Nashville in order to write “The Watch Dog,” which is set in a fictional town outside of Music City. “The Watch Dog” reached the Top 10 Ghost Stories on Amazon. Aside from her writing projects, Sandy is also a freelance digital strategist.