The idea behind this books seems a mix of cynicism and the morbid – running a series of excerpts from rock star bios focusing entirely on their drug stories. In realty, if we’re being honest, it actually makes for a wildly entertaining read.
The book includes 17 different chapters, highlighting everyone from the obvious and well known (Aerosmith, Anthony Kiedis, Gregg Allman) to the less apparent (Johnny Cash, Phil Spector, Marianne Faithfull). While there is a little bit of tragedy and sadness associated with many of the stories here, just as many are pretty damn funny and a little easier to take knowing that each of the subjects managed to walk away from their drug binges. Ministry front man Al Jourgensen tells an outlandish scenario where he lived for two years with Timothy Leary, the godfather of LSD, and essentially served as his guinea pig… willingly! In another chapter, across just six pages NOFX drummer Erik “Smelly” Sandin gives a breakdown of the average peaks and valleys of junky musician’s life, from that first taste of heroine to the inevitable overdose and the feelings of being dope sick, if you’re lucky enough to finally kick the habit.
Morbid? You bet, but the book is a guilty pleasure that’s hard to put down.
Smoke Snort Swallow Shoot: Legendary Binges, Lost Weekends, & Other Feats of Rock ‘n’ Roll Incoherence Edited by Jacob Hoye/237 pages/Lesser Gods/2017 / http://www.lessergodsbooks.com/ / https://twitter.com/lessergodsbooks