Rock autobiographies offer peek into lives, music

By Kevin Bartelt

Well-written autobiographies can be quite the intellectual journey. Readers gain knowledge and wisdom when the authors share personal experiences from different points in their lives.

Autobiographies written by musicians have their own unique beauty. Readers can draw several connections from the authors’ stories to their music. You don’t have to graduate from a prestigious school of music in order to understand a musician’s autobiography: anyone can enjoy it.

There have been so many rock autobiographies, and to pick the best is a difficult task. Here are a few to consider:

Scar Tissue: Anthony Kiedis, lead singer of Red Hot Chili Peppers

Kiedis tells the story of his crazy, adventurous life from childhood to 2004, when the book was released. Scar Tissue contains countless stories of love, hate, music, drugs, sex and the deaths close friends. Kiedis is a wonderful writer, and once you start this book, you will not be able to put it down.

“When you start putting pen to paper, you see a side of your personal truth that doesn’t otherwise reveal itself in conversation or thought,” Kiedis wrote.

Slash: Slash, guitarist for Guns N’ Roses

This book does a great job of showing the truth about being in a band. Although being famous may seem like all fun and games, it’s not. This book is great for readers interested in a behind-the-scenes look at the rock and roll lifestyle.

“No one expects the rug to be yanked out from underneath them; life-changing events usually don’t announce themselves,” Slash wrote. “Anger, confusion, sadness, and frustration are shaken up together inside you like a snow globe. It takes years for the emotional dust to settle as you do your best to see through the storm.”

Another rock autobiography to check out is Who I Am: A Memoir by Pete Townshend, guitarist and vocalist for The Who. It was released Monday and has received great reviews.

“His long-awaited memoir is intensely intimate, candid to the point of self-lacerating,” said Rob Sheffield in a review for Rolling Stone. “It’s a rock god opening up his most human frailties.”

These three unique rock autobiographies send powerful messages to readers. If you like music, learning tidbits of wisdom or simply enjoy a good story, you should check these out.