You know you've made it into the rock and roll pantheon when Neil Strauss or Kurt Loder comes around lugging a laptop and tape recorder, desperate to get you to spill the beans for a two-inch-thick tome about your daily debaucheries, past or present. Such is the story of musicians' autobiographies.
These books go back to the days of Alice Cooper recounting his teenage kicks with a willing jelly doughnut. Sammy Davis Jr.'s Yes, I Can was an inspiration to black dudes with glass eyes everywhere. More recently, almost every member of Mötley Crüe has put out his own respective tell-all, in addition to the band's collective The Dirt, which is the bible for mooks like Avenged Sevenfold and Hinder.
If you pick up one of these tomes, make sure your bullshit detector has fresh batteries. Invariably, rock autobiographies give artists the chance to take back their personas and literally rewrite them themselves. They reveal horrific often exaggerated tales, then find themselves even bigger, more revered and sometimes feared. Witness Marilyn Manson's The Long Hard Road out of Hell. Dude, you're cool, but your Grandpa's bestiality porn, not so much.
Blogs and gossip sites leave fewer and fewer juicy secrets to divulge. But stars will keep getting advances for tell-alls and keep releasing epics to keep Borders's lights on. Here's a list of prospective bios coming soon to a bathroom library near you.
Glenn Danzig, The Littlest Demon In this heart-tugging book, the diminutive Evil Elvis recounts his struggles with being a five-foot-something Goth icon in a world of mean and stupid tall people. He also reveals he is the real father of My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way.
Michael Bubl, Bitches and Blow Your Aunt Gladys's favorite crooner isn't all ring-a-ding and romance. Sample line:
“We were on the tour bus about 50 miles out of Vegas when the ether started to wear off. I soon found myself ripping off my necktie. My publicist found me inside the bathroom attempting to hang myself out of pure dread of being sober...
Björk, At Home With... Iceland's most enigmatic pixie follows her new album with a Martha Stewart-style home-improvement hardback. Did you know that if you release an eagle in your kitchen on the last day that the Moon is aligned with the hidden planet Xerxes, you can kiss those pesky grease stains on your favorite dishes goodbye?
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Bob Dylan, Chronicles Two: Electric Bob-Aloo After solving decades-old mysteries in his first Chronicles, Zimmy lets loose. He discloses that his wheezy singing voice is actually the result of losing a bet to John Lennon in 1967. He also reveals a disturbing interest in the film Short Circuit.
Tupac Shakur, If I AM Alive..... This mysterious tell-all, written from the point of view of the long deceased icon, outlines his life not living in Mexico, and not siring a new army of Latin hip-hop superstars to conquer the charts in 2017.
Billy Joe Shaver, No One Tells Me to Shut Up The seemingly outlaw country singer documents his hatred of drifters, and their deserved extermination. Also, we learn that he credits his long life to drinking the blood of those same transients.
Alvin and the Chipmunks, Born to Lose, Live to Win This book chronicles the three brothers' bloody rise to the top of the novelty music industry with help from the Mafia in the late '50s. Soon to be a major motion picture directed by Martin Scorsese.