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February 1, 2008 2:29 PM   Subscribe

Who has documented rock n roll's greatest excesses?

I'm looking for the best books and films on life at the top, gross excess, debauchery, fast-living, hedonism, sex, drugs and general rock and roll.

Motley Crue's The Dirt would be the obvious example but what else would be unmissable in a sea of hazy memoirs and bad biogs?

I'd happily extend the rock n roll escapades to non music industry tales if they make for raucous reading / viewing.
posted by brautigan to Society & Culture (21 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
http://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Babylon-John-Pidgeon/dp/0831774193
posted by bakertim at 2:31 PM on February 1, 2008


So much could be done on this via Amazon by following the related books links. You will have noted the book by Nikki Sixx. I can think of Hammer of the Gods, and I'm With the Band by Pamela Des Barres (sp?) -- suggesting the whole groupie sub-genre.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 2:39 PM on February 1, 2008


Danny Sugerman
posted by pompomtom at 2:43 PM on February 1, 2008


Tony Fletcher's Moon: The Life and Death of a Rock Legend is a thoroughly-researched and fascinating read that contains many wild stories of Keith Moon's exploits, and addresses many of the myths and legends about the man. There's a lot of material about other members of The Who, as well as cameos by other rock stars. It's my favorite rock biography and would seem to fit the criteria of what you're looking for.

You can find it here.
posted by after_hours at 2:46 PM on February 1, 2008


this is a fun show
posted by Salvatorparadise at 2:49 PM on February 1, 2008


Seconding Rock N' Roll Babylon, it's the book your after. Better link to it here.
posted by fire&wings at 2:52 PM on February 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley, the second volume of Peter Guralnick's life of Elvis, could double as a primer in pharmacology. That man ingested more narcotics than Nikki Sixx ever dreamt about. I warn you, though, it is an extremely depressing book.
posted by otio at 2:57 PM on February 1, 2008


Albert Goldman
posted by box at 3:07 PM on February 1, 2008


I second the suggestion for Hammer of the Gods.
posted by zuhl at 3:14 PM on February 1, 2008


If you're willing to branch out into the movie business, Evans' The Kid Stays in the Picture, and Joe Eszterhas' and Julia Phillips' books, are also worth reading.
posted by box at 3:20 PM on February 1, 2008


Patton Oswalt likes (YouTube; audio NSFW) Godfather producer Robert Evans' autobiography. (Second Oswalt bit link of mine in a row on AskMe, oddly.)
posted by abcde at 3:23 PM on February 1, 2008


Wonderland Avenue. I read it by accident years ago - the story follows the Doors and covers all your requirements: excess a-go-go.
posted by freya_lamb at 3:33 PM on February 1, 2008


Oops, missed off the Amazon synopsis: "The autobiography of Danny Sugerman, Jim Morrison's protege and one-time manager of first The Doors and then Iggy Pop. It is also an account of heroin addiction and the madness of life in the LA rock 'n' roll scene".
posted by freya_lamb at 3:36 PM on February 1, 2008


The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years
posted by Wolfdog at 3:39 PM on February 1, 2008


Miles Davis got pretty debaucherous at times. His autobiography is slicker than a broke dick dog.
posted by mike_bling at 3:59 PM on February 1, 2008


Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk
posted by citron at 4:20 PM on February 1, 2008


If the intro by Carl Hiaasen is accurate, the bio of Warren Zevon, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead, promises to be a wild ride.
posted by thebrokedown at 4:23 PM on February 1, 2008


Seconding Please Kill Me -- great great read.
posted by fishfucker at 4:44 PM on February 1, 2008


I haven't read one, and I just started the other, but Nikki Sixx and Slash have both published recent books (The Heroin Diaries and Slash) that are pretty popular, and might be up your alley.
posted by box at 5:14 PM on February 1, 2008


"The autobiography of Danny Sugerman, Jim Morrison's protege and one-time manager of first The Doors and then Iggy Pop. It is also an account of heroin addiction and the madness of life in the LA rock 'n' roll scene".

It also contains a memorable scene where Morrison uses brilliant songwriter but pathetic junkie Tim Hardin as an example to warn Sugerman away from heroin. The fact that there existed somebody so far gone that Jim Fucking Morrison could say "Dude, you're messed up," blows my mind.
posted by jonmc at 5:27 PM on February 1, 2008


Cheers all. The BA's above are my first purchases but I'll check out all the others after that. Thanks again.
posted by brautigan at 8:36 AM on February 3, 2008


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