essays

Rock Writers

keith richards memoirIf you’re thinking about writing your memoirs, reliving those boozy, drug fueled days, being on the road, crawling into bed with adoring groupies, and generally having a ball while you made a mess of your life.....get in line.

Think Keith Richards. Sammy Hagar. Steven Tyler. Patti Smith. Ozzie Osbourne. Pete Townsend. Grace Slick. Slash. Tommy Lee. Iggy Pop. Marilyn Manson. GreggAllman. Nikki Sixx. Boy George. And coming soon, Billy Idol. Think your story is any more exciting/thrilling/scary/depressing Sammy Hagar memoirthan theirs? I didn’t think so.

The glut of bios from boomer rock legends has really squeezed out any chance for amateurs like us to write our own stories. Sure, we survived the rock life style, but we were never famous to begin with, so who cares?

We have only ourselves to blame for this mess. Boomers are in a nostalgic mood, ready to slurp up all the incredible stories spouted by rock store legends who will have to be dragged off the stage (or die on it). We want to hear about Patti’s adventures with Robert Maplethorpe. Keith (or Keef as we like to call him) has someozzy osborne memoir pretty spectacular stories about surviving years of touring with the Stones. Who doesn’t want to hear all about the machinations inside Bon Jovi?

There are some notable holdouts in this orgy of memoir writing. Paul McCartney, Elton John, David Bowie, and Bruce Springsteen have yet to ink memoir deals (that we know about). Either they’re waiting for the value of their potential book deal to go up or they’re resisting the siren call of multi-milliondollar advances. Let’s hope it’s the latter.

But what’s an amateur memoirist to do in the meantime? Don’t hold your breath would be my first advice. Second, consider turning your tales of true life into fiction. That way you can shove in so much hyberbole that no one can challenge (“are you calling me a liar....it’s fiction, man!”). Arrested for possession of heroin in Canada, Keef? That’s nothing. You can say you were banned from Bali. Think about it. Some of these rockstar lives are so insanely over the top, the only way to top them is pure fiction.

Start typing.

 

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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