A big part of what makes me tick is a huge appreciation of loud and in your face music. So it may not surprise you to learn that connected to some of my favorite musicians I’ve also become a big fan of reading loud and in your face biographies.
I basically justify my love of the rock bio as the only thing, other than cutting the sleeves off of my t-shirts and standing a few rows away from a
stage, that might help me experience the life of another medium that I hold dear.
The best examples I have run across to fill my hunger for this subject matter are typically those who thrived during a couple decades that can bedefined partially by the ideas of excessive consumption and an atmosphere that had musicians competing to see who most embodied that spirit.
It’s with a sense of excitement, but also an undertaking of dread, disgust and disbelief that I found my way through and ultimately in love with works defining Megadeth front man Dave Mustaine, Guns’N’Roses lead guitarist Slash, and the masters of debauchery,Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars and Tommy Lee. The last four are commonly known as Motley Crüe.
The stories told are much the same as they feature the same depraved (yet all too interesting) themes involving the cliched “sex, drugs and rock’n’roll”, framed by the obviously skewed viewpoint of the subjects involved.
The stand-out being the Motley Crüe bio, The Dirt. Where Slash and Dave Mustaine find ways to marginalize their addictions based on outside factors the members of the Crüe take ownership of their demons. It’s a refreshing change on the biographical genre in general that subjects typically have excuses for their troubles.
At once they allow you to see the lifestyle while keeping a safe distance and firmly (hopefully) in the grip of sanity.