You can’t help but catch a strong “Me too!” vibe off of Stephen Pearcy’s memory of his time as Ratt’s founder and frontman (ironically, Ratt always had a “me too” vibe attached to their music as well, being seen as a carbon copy of Motley Crue, despite coming up from the same scene around the same time).
Sex, Drugs, Ratt & Roll is Pearcy’s attempt to one up or at the very least measure up to the slew of other metal memoirs that started rolling off the assembly line shortly after The Crue’s wildly successful hair metal tell-all The Dirt, followed by separate memoirs by just about every member of that band. At this point the tales of hot and cold running groupies and Scarface-worthy mountains of cocaine just feel too much like the final season of VH1’s Behind the Music (not to give too much away, but a lot of the stories in Pearcy’s book were first laid out in Ratt’s episode of that show).
Pearcy’s retelling of the abuse they heaped on groupies is pathetic, even by 80’s hair metal standards and also surprising when he ends the book by talking about his daughter and how she is the “most important person in my life”. How he never makes the connection between his daughter and all of those other daughters of others that he humiliated sexually in the band’s heyday goes to prove either his unfathomable denseness at not being able to connect dot A to dot B, or a major case of… nope, it’s the first one. And yes, you can make the argument that over-the-top sexism was the norm in the music scene in the 80’s, but while the rest of the world seems to have evolved, Pearcy is just as giddy now in retelling those stories.
But much like Ratt’s own music, this book still has an inexplicable hold that keeps you reading to the very end. When listening to “Round and Round” or “Way Cool Jr.” you know the music and lyrics are simple and unchallenging and yet you can’t help but singing along to them every damn time. Sex, Drugs, Ratt & Roll has the same guilty pleasure appeal.
Sex, Drugs, Ratt & Roll: My Life in Rock by Stephen Pearcy with Sam Benjamin/hardcover/320 pages/Gallery Books/2013
Sex, Drugs, Ratt & Roll Book Review