Groupies, Piss, and Penises: Five Shocking Music Memoirs
Those of you who enjoy a feel-good read and a hearty chuckle will be pleased to hear that Steven Patrick "Barrel of Laughs" Morrissey is in the process of finishing up his memoir. So, while we sit and genuinely hope for a chapter about the punctured bicycle on a hillside, desolate, that inspired "This Charming Man," we wanted to take a look back at some of the most shocking music memoirs in recent memory. You might want to consider reading these five if you haven't yet ... as long as you have a strong stomach.
1. Mackenzie Phillips, High on Arrival
of the Mamas and the Papas might want to look away now and the rest of you should
probably pay special attention to your gag reflex, because this book, written
by Papa John's daughter, Mackenzie, reveals that -- wait for it -- her crazy
hippie of a father took it upon himself to have sex with her one night while she
was wasted and passed out.
"My father was not a man with boundaries," Phillips attempts to reason. "He was full of love, and he was sick with drugs. I woke up that night from a blackout to find myself having sex with my own father." We'd call that date rape, except dads and daughters don't go on dates. We'll be shuddering for the next year.
Between 1981 and 1986, Henry Rollins fronted one of the most
important hardcore bands in history. And -- God bless that crazy kid -- he kept
an extremely detailed diary of Black Flag's tours. Get in the Van explores it
all in full-color detail -- 297 pages of passages like: "Some girl dumped a
cup of hot piss on me while we were playing. Nothing like a mouthful of some
girl's piss to put a damper on your mood." Yippee!
By the end of it all, Rollins sounds like he's in the midst of losing his mind completely: "The elements put me here and they'll take me away as well. Every day I feel stronger. My soul becomes more tempered. My carcass becomes more like armor. The soft white underbelly becomes scarred and hardened." Fun!
3. Keith Richards, Life
if you were in one of rock 'n' roll's most legendary groups and one of your
bandmates decided one day, more than 40 years into your career, to announce to
the world that you had a small penis. For poor ol' Mick Jagger this is a
horrifying reality, having suffered the indignity of being referred to as
"unbearable," "Your Majesty," and "Brenda" in Richards' 2010 autobiography, Life. The Stones guitarist claimed in his book that Jagger's ex, Marianne Faithfull,
"had no fun with his tiny todger. I know he's got an enormous pair of balls --
but it doesn't quite fill the gap." TMI, Keith, TMI ...
4. Led Zeppelin, Hammer of the Gods
The bandmembers maintain that much of what was written in this biog was fabricated nonsense by a man who didn't know them all that well and who was relying on a bitter ex-tour manager for information. But author and music journalist Stephen Davis stands by it all -- motorcycle rides in hotel corridors, 14-year-old groupies, orgies, heroin problems, an attempted rape, and a legendarily unfortunate incident involving a groupie and a dead shark (that later turned out to be a red snapper). Epic.
1. Mötley Crüe, The Dirt
It starts with the band members using homemade flamethrowers to kill the roaches in their apartment and goes downhill from there. Nikki Sixx tries to outcrazy Ozzy Osbourne on tour and fails (Henry Rollins will be pleased to know he's not the only piss-drinker in this list), Tommy Lee has to be physically chained to things to keep him in one place, drug dealers jump out of windows, phones are inserted into vaginas, bandmembers are revived from death, and Vince Neil still has access to groupies while in jail for killing Hanoi Rocks drummer, Razzle, in a drunk-driving incident. The most insane true story you will ever read.