Don’t Bother Me…I’m Reading / Rocking Out Bare Chested!

Damn! This every day thing is already tough. I have a few posts planned (interesting subjects and whatnot) for the next couple of weeks, but every day? Every day? YES, EVERY DAY! (Don’t worry, Loyal Reader, I won’t give up).

So then, what’s on the agenda for today?

Well, I just picked up the new George RR Martin (see yesterday’s post on A DANCE WITH DRAGONS) and I really, really want to get back to reading it (which will happen the second I’m done here). Anyway, mere moments before diving in to DRAGONS (20 pages down, 980 to go), I took down the final pages of SLASH (2007), the rocker’s self-titled, tell-all autobiography. Co-written with music journalist, Anthony Bozza, the top-hatted shredder bares all and divulges the grimy details of his sordid life. Heroin addiction? Check. Infidelity? Check. Blantant disregard for responsibility? Check. Rampant idiocy? Check.

Though I’d like to think of myself as a bit of a high brow snob (I prefer literature, I swear it!), I have to admit that I’m a helpless sucker for TMZ style dish and juicy, gutter gossip. I know it’s wrong, but I simply can’t help it. I need the dirt! I’ve actually wasted lots and lots of time reading rock’n’roll tell-alls – THE DIRT (Motley Crue), TOMMYLAND (Motley Crue / scandal through drummer Tommy Lee’s eyes), SCAR TISSUE (Kiedis of The Red Hot Chili Peppers), HAMMER OF THE GODS (Led Zepplin) – and I’ve loved every puke-stained, threesome laden page.

Slash’s SLASH is no different from its hard-partying brethren. It delivers all of the ruined hotel rooms, jilted groupies, and hopeless smack stories that you’d expect from the lead guitarist of one of the biggest rock bands ever to conquer the world. Swimming in a sea of YES, Slash takes full advantage of fame and does everything one might expect of a man who only wears a shirt when he absolutely must. The book jumps from one herpes addled tale to the next, but it gets a little deeper into geeky musicianship than most of the other rock biographies out there and as a garage guitarist, I appreciated the detail. Slash, despite his addictions and his typical, arrested development issues, is a gearhead at heart and he spends a good deal of time talking shop. Since I like reading about guitars and amps and recording studio setups, I relished the occasional tech break. If that kind of thing puts you into a comatose state, don’t worry, Slash doesn’t lay it on too thick, but it’s nice to learn how he got a particular sound or how a song came together.

The book also gets into the interpersonal dynamics of band life (pre-GUNS, GUNS, and VELVET REVOLVER) and clearly chronicles the rise and fall of GUNS ‘N’ ROSES. If you ever wondered why the biggest rock band in the world broke up at the height of their fame or what the hell Axl Rose’s problem is, Slash doesn’t pull any punches. He doesn’t talk too much mess or try to slag his former singer, he tries to keep things diplomatic, but he explains his side of the story and sets the record straight. We also get the origin of his top hat, his love for snakes, and all the relationship drama you can handle. All in all, cool stuff. Oh, and as a writer I am totally jealous of Mr. Bozza. How fun would it be to hang with a rock star and help them write a book?

Here’s the man himself ripping it up…

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5 Responses to “Don’t Bother Me…I’m Reading / Rocking Out Bare Chested!”

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