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Tim Jenkins

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Kiss and Sell: The Making of a Supergroup
Kiss and Sell: The Making of a Supergroup
by C.K. Lendt
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars A quality uncovering of the inner workings of the band, 22 Dec. 2015
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If you want a business-focused analysis of the how and why of Kiss's successes and failures, this is probably as comprehensive as you're going to get. It's not just a dry textbook either, there are a good few rock 'n' roll anecdotes in there, and you do learn more about the personalities behind Kiss, but there's other books to buy if you just want to hear about the music.

I didn't find the author pretentious myself (as some have said), I thought this was really well-written and I read it in one go, but each to their own.


Adrenalized: Life, Def Leppard and Beyond
Adrenalized: Life, Def Leppard and Beyond
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent but not outstanding, 12 Dec. 2015
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I devour pretty much any bio from the 80s hard rock era. This one I think is decent but unspectacular. Collen is very upfront that he's simply forgotten most of his wildest exploits from his drinking era (ultimately why he kicked the booze) but from the sounds of things these could have been some great stories.

I think he comes across well, oddly enough the postscript section where he is talking more about his views on politics and human nature is one of the most interesting bits and a lot different to your usual music bio - perhaps more of this would have been interesting but I can also see how that would totally have put off someone just looking for background on Def Leppard.

So it's worth a look, I'm not a Leppard fan personally - if you are you could probably add another star to the review - but I think there's better examples of the type. To me the best music bios I've read are The Dirt, the David Lee Roth bio and Aerosmith's Walk This Way, this doesn't compete with them but it's still good.


My Life And The Beautiful Music
My Life And The Beautiful Music
by Jon Hotten
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Father Christmas really doesn't exist, 14 Jun. 2015
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Disillusionment.

So if you read this (and Mick Wall's "Paranoid"), and you are of a certain age where you read Kerrang! in the 80s/90s, prepare to have any idealism you may have remaining about those heady days firmly decapitated. Turns out the journos were purely on the take, often hated the bands to whom they gave glowing reviews at the time, and would write any old garbage in return for freebies, drink, and more illicit substances.

Ah well.

Nonetheless, this is a cleverly written yarn weaving together some of the most thinly veiled caricatures ever seen in a so-called "fictionalised" memoir (hello Lisa Dominique, Marino, WASP and Rod Smallwood, amongst others), and nicely captures the never-to-be-seen again days when there was still money in the music business. Any fans of 80s rock should check it out.


Neon Flesh
Neon Flesh
Dvd
Price: £2.49

4.0 out of 5 stars "I would have never expected a movie rated so low on IMDb to be brilliant, though, 26 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Neon Flesh (Amazon Video)
whilst I didn't write the review in the IMDB comments, I can only echo it: "I would have never expected a movie rated so low on IMDb to be brilliant, though, I can understand people have different opinions. I recommend this to everyone who enjoys Guy Ritchie, Quentin and Gasper Noe films."

The humour is fairly near the knuckle and if you want conventional happy endings and anodyne plots then steer well clear. But in the most twisted way, the film's heart is in the right place.


So U
So U
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars so u want to know whether to buy it or not..., 12 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: So U (MP3 Download)
Really strong effort for my money. What you get is a very 70s-style offering, lots of big Zeppy riffs with some post-80s wailing from Schon's solos. There's a loose jammed feel to a lot of this material but at the same time the focus is on songs above all else. A few people have questioned Marco Mendoza's vocals in reviews I've seen (Schon, Mendoza and Neel Castronovo share the vocals) but I think they fit the music brilliantly. Guitar nerds who understand that Schon is capable of so much more than he shows in Journey will be well happy with what's on offer here, but fans of 70s revival-style song-orientated hard rock (Black Country Communion, Vinnie Moore's Red Zone Rider) should also be pleased.


Dancing with Myself
Dancing with Myself
Price: £6.33

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars worth a read, 8 Oct. 2014
I'm not really a fan, but I do read plenty of music auto-biographies and I'd have to say this is one of the better examples.

Idol's love of music and inspirations are eloquently laid out here, and he's not shy of self-criticism either, whilst he may have some regrets his has clearly been a life well lived if you think the rock 'n' roll lifestyle is something to aspire to.

Whilst some of the sections could come across as namedropping you're more likely to think "you lucky git" at the range of people he gets to meet in the course of it all.


Benson: The Autobiography
Benson: The Autobiography
Price: £11.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Benson provides some good insights into a classic jazz era, 1 Sept. 2014
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Benson provides some good insights into a classic jazz era, the like of which will never be repeated. Some good anecdotes about life on the way up and the usual music biz horror stories of trying to make it on a shoestring, record company politics etc. Through it all though, Benson's passion for music and his respect for his peers really comes through.


Strange Beautiful Music: A Musical Memoir
Strange Beautiful Music: A Musical Memoir
Price: £8.54

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of detail for the musos out there, 8 April 2014
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I've been a Satch fan for (gulp) over 20 years, and this is a pretty comprehensive overview of his musical career from his beginnings to fairly detailed accounts of how he went about each album in his discography, the creative process and the bands/musicians he used to record each album. I say, "for the musos out there" because he goes into a level of detail at times that only other musicians will appreciate, but fair enough, this is likely to represent a fair percentage of his audience anyway. It's far more about the music than it is about the man behind the music though, I don't think anyone was expecting a Satch biog to compete with the Motley Crue book for thrills 'n' spills but if I had a criticism, you don't learn so much about Satch the person. Anyway, I read it in a couple of sittings so it can't have been that bad.


Sex, Drugs, Ratt & Roll: My Life in Rock
Sex, Drugs, Ratt & Roll: My Life in Rock
Price: £11.96

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A familiar tale..., 8 May 2013
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So I must have read pretty much every rock book going, in some cases even ones where I don't like the band.

By those standards, I think Motley Crue's "The Dirt" would be pretty difficult to ever top in terms of the definitive rock bio, but this one is definitely an entertaining read.

It's a good mix of background into the music biz, showbiz gossip, plus Pearcy's honest assessment of his drug/booze demons.

I have the Bobby Blotzer (Ratt drummer) book too which I also enjoyed, but Pearcy comes across more self-deprecating than his drummer, whilst probably equally flawed as a person.

Anyway, a great read if you're a Ratt fan or 80s rock fan in general.


Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PC)
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PC)
Offered by 4GamersUK
Price: £3.66

5.0 out of 5 stars Pure genius, 20 May 2003
OK, so essentially it's more of the same, but if it ain't broke...
GTA VC is just doused in superb touches - fellow children of the 80s will particularly love it, as it sends up all the worst (and best) aspects of that decade to a t.
You also get many of the favourite characters back from GTA III, including DJs Lazlow, Toni, and Fernando Martinez.
There's the huge range of weapons and cars you'd expect, as well as the ability to fly choppers and ride bikes.
It's also smoother in graphical terms - they recommend an 800MHz processor for minimum spec, but I play it with a 600MHz (with updated graphics card) with few problems.
I'm about 15% of the way through the game so far, and have had no complaints whatsoever - another cracker.


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