Rock Chick Lit
Ever since sex and drugs became perfect bedfellows with rock & roll, there have been book publishers willing to shell out big money for rock stars looking to tell their tales. From the biggest rock icons (Bob Dylan) to one-hit wonders (the drummer of Semisonic), plenty of musicians have tried their hand at telling their rock & roll story. And despite the fact that Patti Smith and Chrissie Hynde, two of the earliest rock chicks, have yet to pen their autobiographies, plenty of other rocking women, from musicians to groupies, have shared their stories — and struggles — with the world. Here’s a sampling:
Book: “When I Grow Up”
Rock chick: Juliana Hatfield
Publisher’s Weekly says: As a writer, Hatfield is humble and personable, if at times tedious; a clunky, symbolic prologue—about being unable to buy a pre-show shot of Patron with her club-issued drink tickets—is an early indicator of the book’s need for further edit. Still, fans of Hatfield’s bratty, bedeviled pop stylings should enjoy these glimpses into her life.
Book: “Petal Pusher: A Rock and Roll Cinderella Story”
Rock chick: Laurie Lindeen
L.A. Times says: “Petal Pusher” is a meandering, often repetitive catalog of road trips, gigs and thrift store coups. Lindeen meticulously recounts her 10-year journey through the rock ‘n’ roll wasteland, detailing every vintage stage outfit and scuzzy club, but the story plods under her unpracticed, three-chord prose.
Book: “Everything I’m Cracked Up To Be”
Rock chick: Jen Trynin
Entertainment Weekly says: Trynin’s terse, hilarious, you-are-there prose is as strong as her songwriting was, and this will remain an excellent primer for any rockers considering signing with a major label…for however many months said labels continue to exist.
Book: “Dirty Blonde”
Rock chick: Courtney Love
NY Times says: It’s the sort of thing that generally appears only when a person is dead, a kind of companion volume to Kurt Cobain’s lost-boy diaries, published in 2002. We get scribbled rants and lyrics, set lists, posters — everything from a Mickey Mouse Fan Club rejection note to an e-mail exchange with Lindsay Lohan. Self-indulgent isn’t a strong enough word. And Love herself seems to know this. A meta-scribble reads: “No I do not want my diaries published. I want my poetry & lyrics published. I don’t want my gobblegook nonsense ‘Romantic’ cathartic unstable keening published.”
Rock chick: Sharon Osbourne
Entertainment Weekly says: The dark humor and endearing pizzazz Sharon Osbourne exhibited on MTV is utterly missing in print, replaced with inane revelations (”Love, love, love my bed”) or unnecessary excursions (see Sharon go to a dermatologist; see Sharon have lunch at the Ivy). And for a book called Extreme, the prose shouldn’t be so middling.
Book: “I’m With the Band”
Rock chick: Pamela Des Barres
Publisher’s Weekly says: More bragging than confessional, the story explicitly details this particular groupie’s sexual exploits with Mick Jagger, the late Brandon de Wilde, Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page (he liked using whips and handcuffs to enhance sex, we’re told here), future Miami Vice star Don Johnson and many others.
Book: “Chronicles Volume 1″
Rock chick: Kim Gordon
Kim Gordon says: Basically what the book consists of is a loopy text of me having a conversation with someone named Julia about Dylan’s book Chronicles, at a Strokes gig. It’s supposed to seem like an excerpt out of a novel. The text is short, only just over a couple pages. The rest [of the book consists of] pics of me from over the [years]. And the book is titled Chronicles Vol. 1.