don't you tell me how i feel.

rock star tell-alls by v
June 29, 2011, 12:28 pm
Filed under: angsty boy alert, boox, melancholy shit

I’ve been on a bit of a musical memoir kick of late. Highlights below.

# 1: Cherie Currie, Neon Angel: A Memoir of A Runaway

Currie, former lead singer of the Runaways, tells the sordid tale of the all-girl i-don’t-give-a-shit rock group formed in the late ’70s by the creepy svengali Kim Fowley, and the years of abuse/drug use/personal drama that ensued (violent stalkers, abortions, etc). It’s pretty harrowing, if written at a YA level — though that’s probably appropriate: These girls were plucked from normal life and dropped into quaaludes-and-boozeworld when they were 15.

Currie is now a chainsaw artist in California and ostensibly sober. Take that, Fowley.

The book originally came out in 1985, but was reissued with a new foreword by Joan Jett to coincide with the Dakota Fanning/Kristen Stewart movie last year. Haven’t seen it, though I’m now interested.

# 2: Scott Weiland, Not Dead and Not For Sale

The STP frontman’s tale is a superfast read — disjointed and very stream-of-consciousness, which is probably to be expected from a heavy drug user.

He’ll tell a two-paragraph-long story about some girl he was in love with, then never mention it again and move on to something unrelated. Chapters end abruptly. Occasionally they pick up where they left off, but there’s no guarantee. It’s also full of weird ransom-note looking pull quotes that I found distracting.

What I gleaned from it is no real insight: Weiland is fan of the heroin, and is trapped in an endless cycle of using and kicking, to the detriment of everyone around him. Also, he joined Velvet Revolver for the money. Fun fact: STP did lift its name from the motor oil, though they obviously adjusted the acronym.

Weiland doesn’t come off as a sympathetic character, but he does have a studied awareness of his own addictive tendencies. One of the final paragraphs reads: “It’s nearly two months since I’ve had a drink. By the time you read this book, my hope is that it will be six months. I embrace the day-at-a-time mindset. For me, there’s no other way to live. I am optimistic.”

Ultimately, Not Dead is pretty disappointing — snippets of drug-fueled unhappiness with occasional mentions of music. THIS COULD HAVE BEEN SO MUCH COOLER. But yeah, he does talk about the time his wife threw all of his clothes onto the lawn and set them on fire. And let’s be real, that’s what I wanted to read about.


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1: I have watched the Runaways movie and enjoyed it. Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning are great and I felt pervy watching. It’s extremely lightweight but fun. And I guess this isn’t surprising, but it is actually way more of a chick flick than I expected.

2: Slash’s memoir also had the ransom note-pullquote style, as well as a similarly disjointed tone. I wonder if they shared a ghostwriter??

Comment by Steele

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