Book Reviews: “Sex, Drugs, Ratt & Roll” by Stephen Pearcy (Gallery Books) and “The Doors Examined” by Jim Cherry (Bennion Kearny)
TWO kickass rock and roll books here….let’s begin
Stephen Pearcy, Sex Drugs, Ratt & Roll, Gallery Books
Other than Motley’s infamous “The Dirt” it is rare that you read a rock book that makes you want to apply anti-bacterial soap to your brain but the new autobio from longtime RATT frontman Stephen Pearcy is a piece of work. It’s a great piece of work, however, and it succeeds in telling Pearcy’s story, complete with more sex and groupie stories than any book I’ve ever read while still managing to show a human side of the rodent rocker.
One of the best things about “Sex, Drugs Ratt & Roll” is that the book leaves no part of his life out, feeling complete despite being a fairly short and easy read. You read about Stephen’s difficult beginnings, losing his father early in life to addiction, his early musical aspirations and struggle and of course his massive up and down career arc in and out of RATT. Some of the material regarding his post-RATT years is among the best storytelling in the book and his candid stance on relationships and his love for his daughter is touching.
But that’s not what you’re here for….Rest assured the gory and glory days of RATT are covered here like never before. The tours (The “Out of The Cellar” tour reads like it went on for eternity!), the girls, the money and excess are documented with great zeal by both Stephen and, in a nice twist, many of the roadies and personnel who dealt with him. His relationships with band members Juan Croucier and Warren DiMartini are not explored much beyond the club years and that is my only complaint about this book. Drummer Bobby Blotzer’s book is a bit more exhaustive in respect to the complicated relationships in the band and kind of makes a nice companion piece to this book as a great deal of the information does not overlap. Pearcy swipes playfully and often at Blotzer in the book and details exactly how much they couldn’t stand each other as the 80s drew to a close.
The real reason I was drawn to this book or RATT in general was always the late, great Robbin Crosby and thankfully there is a great deal of Stephen’s book dedicated to my very complicated and flawed hero. Ratt was always more talented and more fun than most of the groups they were lumped in with and, until very recently, there always remained a certain amount of mystery around the band. If this review reads like I’m not giving much away about this book, it’s because I truly want you to read it. If you are an 80’s hard rock fan it is highly recommended and if you’re a huge RATT fan it is practically everything you could ask for. “Sex, Drugs, Ratt & Roll” is smelly, sticky, loud, obscene and ultimately satisfying book. * * * * * (Five out of five stars)
Order Stephen’s book on Amazon HERE!
Jim Cherry, The Doors Examined, Bennion Kearny
I have read every book on The Doors imaginable, from the band member’s efforts to the lovers’ exposes to Ben Fong Torres amazing coffee table book, but I would venture to guess author Jim Cherry has read a few more and read them twice!! Cherry (longtime journalist and Doors expert) has compiled a collection of all of his best work writing about the band in this volume and it manages to flow like a normal “book” rather than a simple compilation. “The Doors Examined” is available in both ebook and hard copy but I would recommend the hard copy due to the overall approach of the book.
It’s strength lies in the fact that it is more observational than many of the other books and relies less on hearsay and opinion and more on journalistic documentation. Don’t get it twisted, every aspect of The Doors career is indeed examined and discussed, from the magical beach meeting (captured in Oliver Stone’s controversial film) to the massive touring and the decades of fascination that followed the group following Jim Morrison’s death.
I suggest the hard copy because it succeeds in being a book that can easily broken down into short sittings, take it to the beach, take it to the doctor’s office and truly take it at your own pace. Despite it’s deceptively short page number (240), there is actually a TON of information. The chapters include a dissection of every TV appearance, an entire chapter dedicated to the Miami debacle and even a chapter on the Doors influence on rap music and other genres.
My personal favorite chapters are the ones on individual gig highlights, the examination of all of the films and dvds and the very compelling section on people outside the band who impacted The Doors lives. In the latter, folks like Danny Sugerman, Paul Rothchild, Tom Baker, Pamela Courson and others are others are given a bit of “examination” as well. If you are a big Doors geek like I am, I am confident in saying you will be happy plunking down the ten or 15 bucks for Jim Cherry’s book.
* * * * * Five out of Five stars!
Order Jim’s book at Amazon HERE!