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Disappointing, missed opportunity, bad ghost, bad editor
on 14 April 2016
I really wanted to like this book, I'm a huge fan, but I finished it thinking that it was a massive missed opportunity. The ghost writer and editor must take most of the blame; there are many basic mistakes, such as stories that are dropped midway through, and utterly unnecessary details about relative trivia - I'm pretty sure nobody really cares about the chain of three people leading to an introduction to a musician who auditioned and then didn't end up getting the gig, or what houses he looked at when searching for a place to buy.
Slash's alcoholism and drug addictions were not dealt with at all well. You can get away with a rip roaring, unapologetic account of utter debauchery, or you can give a heartfelt account of your personal struggle as Anthony Kiedis did in Scar Tissue; but this book isn't sure which it wants to try for, and the result is a long chain of pretty lame sounding gratuitous acting out (smashing the headlights on all the rental vans for no apparent reason, wha?) and totally pointless s*** including copious drunk driving. Stories like how he injected drugs into a friend who overdosed and died, but then claims it must have been because of something someone else gave him, really make it difficult to see anything more than the utter banality and ugliness of hardcore drug addiction. This wouldn't be a problem in an autobiography if the writer seemed to be aware of it, but he really doesn't seem to be.
The most disappointing part is the utter lack of any interesting in depth account of his development as a musician and the creative process behind the GnR songs. I've read lots of autobiographies by musicians, and all the books by the members of The Doors give a fantastic account of their evolution as artists and the creative dynamic within the band, that this book leaves me thinking that maybe Slash was just so strung out he doesn't remember any of that in enough detail to put in the book.