Tag Archives: Book Review

Book Review: Sex, Drugs’ Ratt & Roll My Life in Rock” A Memoir by Stephen Pearcy with Sam Benjamin

Not since 2001’s Motley Crue Bio “The Dirt” have I been so vividly transported onto the Sunset Strip of the early 1980’s.  In Stephen Pearcy’s Memoir “Sex, Drugs, Ratt & Roll My Life in Rock” written with “American Gangbang” author Sam Benjamin, the notorious lead singer of Ratt, really does “lay it down”.

Nothing is left to the imagination here and that’s what is so fun about it!  You can almost smell the Aquanet coming off the pages.  For die hard members of the Ratt Pack, or anyone just mildly interested in the Sunset Strip scene of the early eighties, this book will not disappoint.

Personally, I’m a fan of biographies that follow a natural flow from beginning to end and this memoir does it flawlessly.  The memories are tied together by therapy excepts from Stephen’s time spent in rehab at Pasadena Recovery Center (later of Dr. Drew fame).  I’m not sure the good Doctor in these sessions knew quite what he was in for when asking seemingly innocent questions and getting anything but innocent answers, but what the reader receives is the uncensored, inside scoop, and it’s priceless.

Not only will you feast on the full Ratt story from San Diego, back up north to Hollywood, but you will also be treated to the earliest Van Halen moments, the mayhem of Motley Crue, and more Ozzy debauchery.  Add to that a little bit of Poison, Rough Cutt, and GNR.  You just can’t go wrong with a line up like that.

Now if you’re shy be weary, because sex is the first word in the title  for a reason.   Sex, almost as much as the music itself, is the predominant theme here.  This is to be expected and appreciated (if you take into account Pearcy’s meticulous organizational skills and rating system to keep them all straight).  Not bad for an alcohol and pain killer fueled Rock God.

You’ll be awed by Pearcy’s drive, saddened by Crosby’s downfall, and left breathless by the “Rolling Hilton” of tours past.

I didn’t go into this book as a tried and true Ratt fan.  Of course they were always around: MTV, Radio, Metal Edge, Hit Parader…if you were a rock fan in the 80’s and 90’s Ratt was certainly a part of your world, but I wasn’t one of the die hards.  I actually never even saw them live until this year, but after this book, I just may be now.

Don’t wait for paperback.  Get it now and prepare to be whisked back to a time where the only thing that mattered was Sex, Drugs, and Ratt & Roll.


Book Review: “Bringing Metal to the Children, The Complete Berzerkers Guide to World Tour Domination”

As if dropped from the Heavens of Asgard and heaved down the mountains of Valhalla by Odin himself, heavy metals reigning Viking presents to  us “Bringing Metal to the Children, the Complete Berzerkers Guide to World Tour Domination” from Zakk Wylde and his partner in literary crime, Eric Hendrikx.

“Bringing Metal…” is less like a roller coaster and more like the tilt-a-whirl in a grocery store parking lot.  There’s much to be learned from this guitar genius who has been playing professionally since the young age of 19.

Zakk’s stories of road excess and pure “GIFD” determination are jaw dropping.  Literally.  He’s got a mouth on him that isn’t for the faint of heart.  Sometimes you feel like shutting your eyes at the pictures of disgust that are laid before you. But, just when you can’t possibly take any more, that crazy tilt-a-whirl spins you the other direction and you find yourself faced with some serious, real life, wisdom.  Things you want to write down, remember, and live your life by.

Structurally this book tends to jump around a bit and it doesn’t quite follow a time line.  It has a tendency to grab you by your throat and drag you into a Black Label mosh pit.  But it’s fun. Even laugh out loud funny.  It’s full of love, respect, and an undying work ethic.

There were a few stories that I wished had been told, some back story I wanted and didn’t get, but what I was given was good.

Without having to say it, but saying it anyway, Zakk is a legend.  If you’re a metal fan this book is required reading.

Just don’t read it on a stomach full of spicy chinese food.  That, my friend,  you may regret.


Book Review: Tales From The Stage by Michael Toney

Well, not every musician that came off the Sunset Strip in it’s heyday became a household name and not every book about rock musicians needs to focus on the 1% that were.

With “Tales From The Stage” what you’ll get is a real life look at the 99% that helped to shape the scene, but have faded a bit into the real world that most of us fans live in.

Author Michael Toney asks the questions that no one else seems to.  How much of your current income comes from music?  How big is your house?  What kind of car do you drive?  These answers will likely surprise you as much as they did me!

Although you may be hesitant to pick up a book who’s main “characters” are the guitar player from Stryper or a drummer from Foreigner, don’t be so quick to judge.  The stories these guys (and one girl) will share with you may just shed some light on those big names that you do know by heart.

And Eddie Trunk is in it.

Enough said.

Pick up your copy at http://www.talesfromthestage.com


Book Review: Rex Brown’s “Official Truth, 101 Proof, The Inside Story of Pantera”

Book Review: Rex Brown’s “Official Truth, 101 Proof, The Inside Story of Pantera”

For anyone that has followed Heavy Metal Icons, Pantera, from their humble Texas beginnings to the stratosphere of a Billboard Number One Album and through the untimely and horrific murder of guitar hero Dimebag Darrell Abbott one thing has remained clear- bassist Rex Brown has never said too much of anything.

Until now.  With the recent release of “Official Truth, 101 Proof, The Inside Story of Pantera” written with  biographer Mark Eglinton, Rex finally gets his say.

Although the story begins with a 2003 phone call between Rex and Dime, the majority of the book follows a set chronological order that’s easy to follow and makes perfect sense.  Of course there are the secret little nuggets of information on Rex’s life before Pantera, (Rex played tuba?! Who knew?!) to the inevitable destruction of the band, it’s all in there.  And from all accounts Rex has a phenomenal memory.

Rex’s tales of his time in Pantera focus mostly on his role as the “middle man” for basically every band dynamic, most notably the he said / he said of Drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott and Vocalist Philip Anselmo.

Although there is the ever pressant undercurrent of alcoholism and Texas sized partying, this book lacks the fireworks of bios such as Nikki Sixx’s “Heroin Diaries” or Anthony Kiedis’s “Scar Tissue”.   It didn’t draw me in relentlessly as other books of this nature have (even though I have spent many a time in a head stomping Pantera mosh pit) I still found it to be a poignant and heartfelt account of life in a monstrous heavy metal band.

Maybe it’s just a little more sad since you know how the story ends?

But seriously, read the book. It’s like finally getting the quiet kid in class to open up. You may not like everything he has to say, but as Rex repeatedly states “…I felt that the real story of this band – at least from where I was standing – needed to be told.”