Saturday, July 16, 2011

Rapid Review: Red- My Uncensored Life in Rock

This review is probably coming out of nowhere as it is not the type of book I usually read  and review. Let me start with a disclaimer, I don't typically read celebrity autobiographies for a couple of reasons; first I find most of the celebs who put out these books have massive egos and are using the books to stroke their egos and "settle" disputes with other celebrities. The other reason I really don't read this type of book is that I usually don't find it much of a challenge; they are usually written to a fairly low reading level as they are trying to sell as many books to as many people as possible.

With that disclaimer out of the way, the next obvious question is; "so, why did you read this book? Well, I am glad you asked.  As you May have read elsewhere on this blog I have had an incredibly busy week and I was finding it increasingly difficult to devote the time and energy to read a couple of the other books I had started. Molly and I made a trip to the Library last week and turned in several books we had finished and checked out a few more for her. I am still working on The Family by Mario Puzo and I have started Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, but I have noticed either book was requiring more focus than I was able to put in during this busy week.
So, as we were standing in the library I noticed this little nugget and I had a bit of a flashback to my high school days.  Since the Library lets you read books for FREE and since I needed and easy read I picked it up.

Now for a little back story, my favorite band for many years was Van Halen, I owned every Cassette tape then later every CD they ever made. I would listen to VH at high volume as I drove, as I worked out, as I read, as I hung out, you name it.  My best friend at the time was also a big fan of the band and we had countless conversations about Eddie being a guitar god and about how much we loved the band. I remember talking to her for a long time late one night after we found out Sammy Hagar had been fired or quit the band.

Van Halen had long been a tumultuous band with internal strife and lots of addiction issues and this was the second time they had parted ways with a lead singer, but this was the lead singer we most identified with the band.

So, I guess the answer to the question of why I picked this book up really comes down to nostalgia and wanting to hear Sammy's side of the story. Sammy does tell his story in this book and he does give us some great insights into the band and into the brothers Van Halen. Sammy also talks about his love for fast cars, his tequila business, his marriages, and his bars and restaurant businesses.  Sammy talks about his first band Montrosse, his solo career, his 11 years with Van Halen, his revitalized solo career, and hyis projects with Chickenfoot and the Waboritas.

As I expected there was a lot of Sammy stroking his own ego and talking about how his problems with Montrosse and Van Halen were not his fault. I also find it incredible that he can give verbatim quotes from a conversation 30 years ago.

I will say this if Sam's accounts of his last tour with the band are even partially accurate I sure hope Eddie got the help he needed.

Also, as expected the book was not very challenging with very limited time and effort available to me I finished the book in about 4 days. I don't really feel smarter for reading it, but there were some very interesting anecdotes and some pretty cool stories about how some of the songs were written.

I also really respect Sammy's fun loving attitude. I also think he looks great for a guy who is 64 years old and has lived a rock star life. I think Sammy has made some smart financial decisions through hios life and think he is an interesting character.

All in all a decent mindless read if that's what you are looking for. I would probably on give the book a 2.5 out of 5 stars, unless you like me are just looking for something mindless.

Now, what are your thoughts, was Van Halen better with Roth or Hagar?

1 comment:

  1. AWESOME!!!! Sammy all the way! You know how I feel already though! The good ole days!