Ratt & Roll – Stephen Pearcy’s Memoir – Book Review

pearcyThe first time I’d heard the band Ratt was sometime during 7th grade. “Round and Round” was a catchy song, but being a 12-year-old that wasn’t allowed to purchase rock cassette tapes at the time, I didn’t mind that it was overplayed on the radio. I listened to Ratt throughout my junior high and high school days, purchasing whichever cassettes I could or at least duplicating tapes from friends.

Last week at the library, I found Ratt’s founder/lead singer Stephen Pearcy’s memoir: Sex, Drugs, Ratt & Roll – My Life in Rock. First I have to say that the book is very well written, flows nicely, and is easy to understand. It’s interesting to read from a fan’s point of view how Pearcy grew up, his struggle with having two broken legs after being hit by a car, heartbreak, his rise to fame, his downward spiral after the band broke up, and his newfound sobriety after the birth of his daughter. Some of the book tells pieces of his therapy sessions, most of which he seems to reveal his blatantly trampy sexual history. Pearcy does not sugar coat anything.

During the 1980s, my friends and I wanted to be like the girls in rock videos – hot and sexy and appealing to band members, but we hadn’t a clue what these band guys were really all about. While I was a 13- to 16-year-old virgin around the time I was a huge Ratt fan and drooling over Stephen Pearcy in MTV videos, he was getting screwed or blown by everything in a skirt or was nursing a bad case of gonorrhea. Pearcy’s constant reminder of how often and to what extent women wanted him is a bit nauseating. He also often reveals sexual escapades of his own band mates (particularly those of Bobby Blotzer and Robbin Crosby) and members of other popular glam rock bands that I listened to at the time (Van Halen, Poison, and Motley Crue, for instance).

Just a few examples – and these are tame:

“… there was so much goddamn trim around in those days, it didn’t make much sense to any of us to stick to one woman.”

“Our bus was a motorized fuck factory on wheels…”

“I pulled my pants down around my ankles and received the blow job of a lifetime while losing to Blotzer at Pong.”

“… one of our best tricks was to find a tall, slutty groupie with dyed blond hair and black roots… and have her suck off as many crew guys as possible; ideally, the ones who never showered. Then we’d steer her over to Blotz.”

So far the only thing that’s been blown for me is my image of the bands I used to love so much. Not that I ever thought they were innocent – but I didn’t expect them to live up to the name of a rodent by doing gaggable offenses (no pun intended).

But in the end, however, Pearcy redeems himself by admitting that (as he was older) he wanted something different – real love. That came after the birth of his daughter, Jewel, and his road to sobriety.

Some of the things that impressed me:

  • Pearcy himself seemed to steer the band to stardom. He wouldn’t stop until it happened.
  • Pearcy convinced the band to have their own look (something he describes as similar to pirates), including eye makeup – to the dismay of some of the other guys. He made his own costumes and even painted his own spandex pants.
  • Pearcy seemed to get along with others easily and make friends and connections quickly (before the downward spiral).

If you were ever a Ratt fan, this book is a must-read and difficult to put down. Oh – and it sure as hell beats 50 Shades of Grey.

To reminisce some of Ratt – here are some Youtube videos.

A Stolen Life – Jaycee Dugard’s Memoir

If you’re looking to read a great story, continue reading.

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I just finished the life story of Jaycee Lee Dugard – her memoir titled A Stolen Life. I checked the book out from the library on Thursday and finished it last night. It was difficult to put down. There were also many difficult and emotionally disturbing parts to read without tearing up.

Jaycee was kidnapped in 1991 when she was only 11 years old. Her kidnapper was a convicted rapist whose wife helped him with the kidnapping. (I won’t even mention their names in this because they don’t deserve to be on my blog.) Jaycee was basically enslaved for the next 18 years, enduring rape and sexual abuse, mental and emotional abuse, and manipulation. Unfortunately, the legal system failed her, as there were several instances in which she could have been rescued. In the book, Jaycee recounts everything she remembered about the day of her kidnapping and what she remembered in between. She was rescued in 2009, along with the two girls she’d given birth to during her captivity. But Jaycee’s story wasn’t over even after her rescue. She was subjected to media scrutiny and paparazzi harassment. Imagine spending 18 years of your life as a prisoner and then having to deal with those heartless idiots!

I was surprised that Jaycee seemed as intelligent as she was, especially since her education stopped at fifth grade. She seems to have a heart of gold and still has the innocence of that 11 year old girl that was kidnapped years ago. Surprisingly, Jaycee is incredibly forgiving of what was done to her, which is something that all of us could learn to do.

The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker – Every Woman Needs to Read This!

A friend suggested I read The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. It was probably the best self-help book suggestions I’ve been given.

The Gift of Fear tells us that what most of us consider as fear is actually anxiety, because real fear is a survival signal that causes us to react in a way to fight for our lives. The author also gives several examples of when and why we should fear something – that there are several warning signs to look for before we should react. De Becker also notes that our intuition is the number one thing that alerts us to fear – but most people are in denial. He includes examples in the workplace, in families, dating, and dealing with strangers.

A couple of days ago I was in a store when I was approached by a strange man. I had an odd feeling about him when he asked me if I was Jim Tate’s wife, as he looked me up and down and got a little too close for my comfort. He also had a difficult time asking me, had to say it twice for me to understand. I also got the impression that he’d made up the Jim Tate name. When I informed him that I was not JT’s wife, he asked me whom I was married to. Luckily, I had already finished reading The Gift of Fear and I knew that this man was fishing for information that was clearly none of his business. I looked him in the eye and answered, “I’m married to my husband,” and walked away. As I walked up to the checkout counter, something told me that this guy was still in the store, and I did not want him behind me. I got out of line and walked over to a clearance rack and noticed that the man walked out of the store without buying anything. Would he have done something to me had I not listened to my gut feelings? Would he have followed me home? Used the information I provided him to find out where I lived? I don’t know, but I wasn’t about to find out.

Not coincidentally (because I think there was a damn good reason this was timed in the universe), while I was reading the book’s chapter on dating, I noticed that one of my friends was dating someone that has a very high potential to be hazardous. I knew this prior to reading the book, but The Gift of Fear confirmed my own gut feelings about this person.

When we hear something on the news every single day about someone getting robbed, shot, carjacked, murdered – we have a tendency to think that we are not safe, that something is going to happen to us, even though there is a slim chance. De Becker suggests that we don’t need to live our lives in fear of everything, to enjoy life – because when the time comes to be afraid, our intuition will kick in and alert us. Other than that, we are wasting our time fearing things that will most likely never happen, and that our “tuning” will be finer if we turn off that anxiety.

I would highly suggest for anyone to read this, but I think this book is especially significant for women – because women tend to live in fear more often than men. I definitely rate this book 5 stars, because it provides the necessary tools we all need in order to protect ourselves.

Book Review: Aleph by Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho is one of my favorite authors. The Alchemist was the first book I read by the author, and I enjoyed a few others as well.

I had ordered his newest book, Aleph, in August, so I was thrilled when it finally arrived at my doorstep. Like Coelho’s other books, Aleph is a spiritual journey. It was much like The Alchemist, but as an older man (and not a sequel). The added magic and fantasy to the story made it a little different, but Coelho claims that this is a nonfiction book. However, Aleph is listed as fiction, which makes the reader wonder which parts are true.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. If you are a Coelho fan like me, you probably have higher expectations and might be slightly disappointed that Aleph is so similar to The Alchemist.

Bird by Bird – Ann Lamott – Book Review

Unlike most required reading assignments given by professors, I really enjoyed reading Bird by Bird – by Ann Lamott. The author was really straight up and quirky. She made me laugh out loud. It was a fun book that was educational and entertaining. That’s kind of rare.

Lamott gives advice to writers concerning writer’s block, publishing, and accepting the fact that if your work sucks, it’s okay. She suggests that first drafts are just that. No need to beat yourself up over anything.

Lamott talks about the aspect of publishing and how everyone wants to be published. But then once you’re published, that 15 seconds of fame fades quickly. Often, there is nothing monetary to show for all of the hard work. (I already know this, because after publishing my book, it seems to be a huge pain in the ass to market it without a ton of money to do so and without an agent. I’ve done a few book signings and sold a total of 4 books doing that. But that’s not as bad as other people. I was happy with my results, as I am a pretty realistic person when it comes to sales.)

I highly suggest this book to any aspiring writer!