Ratt and Roll – A Review
Back in my younger days I was a fan of music known as heavy metal. Some called it glam rock while others called it trash. Whatever the definition I called it fun.
The music was loud, aggressive and perfect for my young mind.
For those of you who haven’t a clue what I’m talking about, take a moment and go to YouTube. In the search area type – Ratt Round and Round.
Be sure to watch it all the way to the end and be sure to turn your volume up. Take your time. We’ll wait for your return.
Yes, that was Milton Berle in drag.
From 1983 to around 1990 this was Rock and Roll. No, Uncle Miltie wasn’t in all of the videos but the sound did attract big names.
There were lots of good bands and a handful of duds. No different than it is today. During the time I attended lots of concerts. Chances are I may have been in a video or two.
I do know one thing: I am still caring a few scars. Sometimes finding your seat was right up there with life and death.
I saw Bon Jovi, Skid Row, Ratt, Scorpions and Motley Crue, just to name a few. My only regret was the parking lot. At times the games that were being played were far more entertaining than the show.
The videos I could have collected.
Time passed and so did the music. Luckily the end didn’t hit me as hard as it did the others. Variety has always been my favorite spice and in those days had you glanced at my cassette collection you would have found Ratt, Madonna, The Sundays and Motley Crue.
Interesting neighbors when you think about it.
Earlier this year a friend mentioned a biography written by former lead singer and the founder of Ratt, Stephen Pearcy.
At the time I passed. I had a hard time believing an old rock and roller could write and those that could usually wrote depressing material. Even if it was well written I wasn’t in the mood for a 300 page downer.
Weeks passed. One day my friend stopped by and loaned me his copy. Realizing there’d be a pop quiz when he came back to retrieve it I took a deep breath and dived in.
The day after I finished I bought my own copy.
When heavy metal was born most of the musicians were young. Some were still in high-school. Only a handful succeeded but most of them were blessed with one key ingredient: Determination. You and I know a thing or two about that.
After reading the book I was surprised by two things: Humor and the quality of writing.
I wrongly assumed Pearcy’s biography would be a poorly written mess.
The opening was brutally honest and funny. Pearcy described his rehab of drugs and alcohol. His conversation with his therapist. There are no excuses. No sugar coating. The first ten pages are honest, funny and real.
I loved how he poked fun at himself.
From there his story goes back to the beginning where we follow an average kid from Southern California. We see the struggles that he faced with music and bands that he tried to create.
My favorite part came during their prime in the mid ‘80’s. This is when I saw them. This was the time they were bigger than life.
I always had a feeling that they worked themselves to exhaustion. With over a hundred shows a year. Millions of dollars to be had. Woman, drugs and no boundaries, bands like Ratt were a money machine.
Place that lifestyle into anyone young and adventurous, chances are bad news will follow.
I read how the band broke apart and by 1991 the music scene was changing. Heavy metal had taken a backseat to a new sound.
Through all of this the book was surprisingly touching. The experience of watching his daughter grow and how she changed his life reminded me of my own experience. There are some things that cannot be created and his words came straight from the heart.
I read about the death of a bandmate and how much he loved his mom. I actually found myself studying his writing style and using it as reference.
I am a stickler for honesty and have a weakness for humor and if a writer can blend those two they an audience.
He certainly had me.
I’m surprised I’m doing this review. This isn’t the kind of book I read and I’m not a fan of pushing books on to others, especially those who read my blog. But I’m doing this for one reason: Top notch writing.
We say we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Here’s another thought:
Don’t judge a book by the performer.
HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!!!