Lonn Friend - Book Review - Life on Planet Rock
Life on Planet Rock: From Guns N' Roses to Nirvana, a Backstage Journey through Rock's Most Debauched Decade by Lonn Friend
Music Incider Magazine
"Lonn Friend. If anybody is entitled to write about rock in L.A. in the '80s and '90s, it's him. This is a good book. Steal it!"—Lemmy Kilmister, lead singer, Motörhead
He got Lemmy to read man, how fucking cool is that?!? -Seriously, if the book is good enough for Lemmy to read, it should be good enough for the likes of you. You really can't get more metal than Lemmy. Unless you are Lonn Friend. –Welcome as you join me in making the jump from mouthy rock critic and excellent photographer to book reviewer. What struck me was how east the book reads. Lonn knew from firsthand experience about how much the rock community parties, so he covers it by band. Most people with any sort of love for music reference their lives by what band they happen to be in to at the time. For example, Musicincider was conceived over The Cranberries, Danzig, Megadeth, and Jack Daniels. –RIP came from the hearts of Althea Flynt and Lonn Friend. I loved the history of it, especially about the creation of RIP. I would have loved to have worked there and get that famous picture of Slash jacked up on smack in the shower myself-but I digress. The point is this, Lonn wrote a book that appealed to me both as a fan and as a critic, and he did not consult with me prior to writing it (I am always available for a small fee).
So, let's talk. Everybody wants to know what goes on backstage and on the bus. Everybody asks me all the time. I keep my mouth shut, because I like going backstage and getting on the bus-but Lonn lets it all hang out in the book. The weird conversational style makes you feel as though you are talking to Lonn backstage at an Aerosmith concert. It isn't this long thing where Lonn whines about his miserable life and tells about how the industry jacked him around. He could have, I remember The Eels. Becoming director of A&R at Arista killed the magazine that introduced America to grunge. Where would Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell be without that legendary RIP party and Temple of The Dog. Would Guns and Roses ever have achieved superstardom without Lonn Friend? Maybe, but he gets to take the credit for those launches. –Lonn knew Gene Simmons was a trade marking money fiend before Family Jewels ever hit A&E. Lonn knew many things before the rest of us did.
I love the fact he wrote a book. I love the fact that every musician he encountered was treated like a person who happened to sing or play an instrument. I love the porn story about Chuck Berry-I think Larry would approve and Althea would laugh her ass off. -Ah hell, let's talk some more. This book is so wildly universal that everybody will find something to hate too. I almost put the fucking thing down as soon as a read the forward by Lars Ulrich. I have never forgiven him for Dave Mustaine (Lonn has a story about Dave too). I have never forgiven him for Napster either. Musicians make their money from touring and selling merchandise and I am so sorry that he felt ripped off-gee whiz. I wonder how it made him feel when a twelve year old girl was sued. I am waiting for him to attack You Tube next. I have not forgiven Lars for Jason Newsted, St. Anger, or Some Kind of Monster either. Lonn has a bigger heart than me.
Keep in mind that this book is about a ten year period of Lonn's life in music. Personal moments of his life are in there-sure, but it is all about the music. It is always all about the music. If it is all about the music for you, go steal this book.
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