Rolling Stone’s 25 Greatest Rock Memoirs makes for, um, an interesting read. It points out that the plot is mostly the same (big dreamer makes good, lives the life, then the world comes crashing down), then gets you thinking about Elizabethan revenge tragedies. Hmmm …
Their list includes:
Steven Tyler: Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?
Boy George: Take It Like A Man
Anthony Kiedis: Scar Tissue
Ronnie Spector: Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts, and Madness
Tommy James: Me, The Mob and the Music
Chuck Berry: The Autobiography
David Bowie: Moonage Daydream: The Life and Times of Ziggy Stardust
Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now
Keith Richards: Life
Bob Dylan: Chronicles, Volume One
And the winner of the longest title goes to … Ronnie Spector. Bowie should have tried harder.
Shortest title: Keef. Most obvious: Slash.
2012 was a busy year for rock memoirs, so a year from now this list might look different (a few are on my ‘to be read” pile).
Some people will be surprised to learn that rockers can read and write, but I’ve read a few of the books listed, and enjoyed them. Actually, there’s one exception; Chuck Berry’s book was disillusioning. Mortal folk don’t dig it when their heroes turn out to be jerks.
Then again, that’s all part of the Elizabethan revenge tragedy thing. Like, the article compliments McCartney by saying he did less to f**k up his good luck than any rock star who ever existed. Glowing praise, indeed.