The author, a former professional groupie turned journalist, presents a survey of rock's casualties, looking at the thread of common tragedy behind the famous names. Among those whose fates she recounts are: Marc Bolan; Marvin Gaye; Hendrix; Joplin; and Morrison.
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The best selling author of I'm With the Band, the classic groupie memoir, now writes from the relatively upright perspective of a magazine journalist. Pamela Des Barres recounts the classic tales of rock star overindulgence, and the book's own press material honestly bills it as a compendium of "horror stories." Rock Bottom contains something to offend just about anyone, but, strange to say, the book is actually quite readable as an appropriately skewed history of rock. Des Barres seems to have diligently done her research, talking to the principles of the mayhem, or, in many cases, to their survivors, and does deliver a series of pieces documenting some very dark corners of pop culture.From Kirkus Reviews:
Loving plunges into 26 abruptly curtailed or epically depraved rock 'n' roll lives. I'm with the Band (1987) and Take Another Little Piece of My Heart (1992) were Des Barres's commendably trashy memoirs of groupiedom and its aftermath. The salacious but good-natured biographical sketches into which she inserts herself here spotlight the bouncy, absurd charms of her prose. On Jimi Hendrix: ``I was a little virgin girl the first time I met Jimi Hendrix.'' On Led Zeppelin's road manager: ``I tried not to watch as Richard Cole carried a skinny, wailing girl around upside down . . . then had abandoned sex with her on the liquor-covered tabletop while the rest of the band observed like it was no big deal.'' Des Barres has interviewed many of her subjects' family members and friends, which fleshes out what are sometimes slapdash r‚sum‚s of fornications, hotel- room trashings, and drug binges. Marvin Gaye's brother discusses Gaye's cocaine addiction; Janis Joplin's guitarist and fellow heroin user Sam Andrew talks about her fatal insecurity and capacity for fun; Gram Parsons's ex-wife muses about his ``dark and willow-hung'' southern-gothic past. Des Barres interviewed two of her surviving subjects: Jan Berry of Jan and Dean, permanently disabled after a '60s car crash, and former crackhead Rick James, whom she visited in prison. Toward the end, the tone changes from sympathetic fandom to sheer creepiness: Those pulled out of the muck include the schizophrenic drummer (and matricide) Jim Gordon, New York gross-out king G.G. Allin, and (in some of the most appalling anecdotes ever printed about a public figure) the apparently coprophagous rock 'n' roll giant Chuck Berry. As with Kenneth Anger's Hollywood Babylon, to which the subtitle pays homage, there's loads of entertainment here for those who can stomach it. (100 photos, not seen) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Abacus, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110349108404