Steven Adler (med Lawrence J. Spagnola)
"My appetite for destruction: Sex & drugs & Guns N´Roses" (2010)
Det tog ett tag innan jag läste den här boken. Vet inte varför egentligen, men en massa annan läsning kom antagligen i vägen för herr Adlers dekadenta livsresa.
Egentligen väntar väl världen numera mest på att dåren Axl Rose ska lyckas plita ner sin historia, men i väntan på den boken finns nu snart tre medlemmars böcker ute. Slash var först, sedan Adler och till hösten 2011 kommer Duff Mckagans.
Nåväl, Adlers berättelse skiljer sig inte nämnvärt från andra liknande redogörelser av rockens smutsiga bakgator. Det blandas friskt med tragik, lite humor, droger i överflöd, överdoser, påsättningar, rehabvolter och allt annat som hör till rockstjärnelivet.
Det man mest kan känna efter att ha läst boken är ju hur mycket som egentligen är Adlers egna minnen? Med tanke på hur han fullkomligt stekt sönder sina synapser, torde många historier vara återberättade till honom av andra, på samma sätt som i Ozzys självbiografi. Själv har jag svårt att komma ihåg vad jag gjorde på julafton förra året, men kanske är det så att du trots berg av kokain och allehanda överdoser, lever ett så extremt och händelserikt liv att allting bränns fast i hjärnbalken?
Adler sparkas ut ur hemmet som elvaåring och lever sedan "on the streets", som det heter. Han utsätts för övergrepp, lirar trummor, röker brajj och sätter på brudar. Med andra ord inget nytt som tillförs rockmyten, men ändå en ganska intressant läsning.
I hans ständiga fight med sitt svåra drogberoende påminner boken en del om Anthony Kiedis "Scar tissue". Han vet delvis att han har ett problem, gör åtskilliga vändor på diverse rehabinstitutioner, men allt som oftast lockar drogerna mer. Det är egentligen inte förrän han kommer i kontakt med Dr Drew som det vänder, även om han efter det också fått återfall. Tydligen ska han vara med i ytterligare en omgång.
På det stora hela är hans liv överlag ganska tragiskt och i de flesta intervjuer de senaste åren handlar det mest om att han vill se ett återförenat Guns N´Roses.
"My appetite..." bjuder som sagt inte på några större nyheter eller ett nytt banbrytande sätt att förtälja en gammal rockstjärnas leverne, men det är ändå en kul läsning och för alla Guns N´Roses fans är det en självklar bok att införskaffa.
En liten notis om boken. 2005 fick jag kontakt med en snubbe vid namn Brooke Ellis, som då var nära vän till Steve Adler och skötte hans officiella hemsida. Vi mailade fram och tillbaka och han svarade även på en Q&A angående boken som då var på gång att skrivas med hjälp av just Ellis med tänkta titeln "No bed of roses".
Av någon anledning blev det inte Ellis som fick hjälpa till utan istället en herre vid namn Spagnola.
Den 2:e juni la Metal Sludge upp ett brev från Ellis, där han proklamerade att han var den som låg bakom boken. Dessutom länkade Sludge till den Q&A som jag gjort med honom. Länken gick till Blabbermouth, som plockade upp denna Q&A 2005. Tyvärr finns inte hela mailintervjun kvar på nätet längre, men här är delar av den.
Swedish web site Metalshrine recently interviewed Brooke Ellis, who runs Steven Adler's (ex-GUNS N' ROSES drummer) official fan site and who also worked on a book about Steven's life. The interview is mostly about the book, tentatively entitled "No Bed of Roses", with some stories from Steven's past. An excerpt from the interview follows:
Metalshrine: What's happening with the book? Any deal yet and is it really all written?
Brooke Ellis: "I'm not sure exactly what's happening right now. Remember I said that the family had already written quite a bit before I was brought on? Well, what was actually completed was Deanna's story, her life dealing with her troubled son. She witnessed the whole ordeal. She watched her son achieve fame and fortune and then dealt with his subsequent spiral into a drug induced abyss. Y'know, getting the calls in the middle of the night, telling her that Steven has OD'd or is in jail. She also writes of the last time Steven saw his father, and the violent circumstances therein. It's all very interesting, intense stuff. Well, my assignment was just to get Steven's story. I guess they felt it would be best to leave it up to the publisher on how they want to work the two stories in with each other. That could be a potential cause for the delay. Personally I'd like to do it for them. In fact, since the book has been completed, so much has happened! Plus, Steven has so many great new stories that could to be included!"
Metalshrine: Tell us about the book! Is it about Steven's life from birth till present day or just about GN'R and the '80s?
Brooke Ellis: "Literally from birth. Steven was out of control since Kindergarten! I shit you not, the guys life before rock n' roll is just as wild as anything that happened after he became famous. He was couch-surfing and roaming the streets of Hollywood since he was twelve years old. Saul Hudson, who of course later became Slash, was his best friend. Saul was very artistic and had fashioned fake IDs for the two of them when they were thirteen. They became regulars at Hollywood's top spots, including The Rainbow, The Starwood, and Osco's Disco. The latter of which was sort of L.A.'s version of the infamous Club 54 in NY. Steven and Slash were already partying with celebrities when they were barely teenagers! The fantastic ride of GN'R's success is well documented, absolutely. The years after his dismissal from the band are some of the darkest pages you'll ever read. We finished the book a year ago. I'd like to go back in and really elaborate on Steven's comeback. If you had seen Steven five years ago...I mean personally, I felt that his days were numbered. The fact that he turned himself around like he did and is out there making music again has got to be one of the greatest personal triumphs ever."
Metalshrine: Any interesting stories in it that you could tell us a bit about?
Brooke Ellis: "There's so much great stuff! He and Slash would hang out in the Hollywood Hills at parties thrown by hippies. Steven was fourteen and he would have sex with women twice his age. On one such occasion he was banging a older girl in her bedroom. When they finished, she got up and went to the bathroom. Steven spied a bag of fresh mushrooms (the hallucinagenic kind) on the floor. He grabbed them and took off. Upon returning home, his grandma tells him that she is feeling harrassed by an angry fellow calling over and over again for Steven. When he finally reaches him over the phone, the man shouts, 'My woman says you stole mushrooms from me!' Steven denied the accusation, claiming 'I didn't take shit from you!' but did admit, 'I did fuck your woman though!'
"The first time a 18 year old Steven Adler smoked coke was at a well-known, platinum award-winning musicians house. Steven was invited to live there, partying non-stop for a month. When he moved out, his buddy Izzy moved in and ended up staying through the next month! The band's well-known trip to Seattle in '85 is told in detail, too. When the band's car broke down, the guys were tired and bummed out. Steven was the optimist and he was the one that stood out on the side of the road and hitchhiked rides for them. A good-hearted Mexican man with his son pulled over in a dumpy pick up truck. The guys piled in the back. The weight was too much for the vehicle and the frame was scraping against asphalt, generating a thick smokey fog. Needless to say, he had to drop them off after only a quarter mile. Nevertheless, they scored big when a couple of heavy-set hippie chicks picked them up. They had weed and fed the boys pot brownies. Steven was in heaven! It was an adventure just getting to the gigs.
"Also, we examine the rare kind of comraderie that the band had. There was bonding. One of the most touching stories comes when Steven experiences his first OD. The band was in Frisco hired to do two days of filming for the Clint Eastwood flick, 'The Dead Pool'. After the first days' shooting was completed, Steven was picked up by a girl who brought him back to her place. She slipped something in his beer. He passed out while she was molesting him. He woke up in the hospital. The first person he saw was Axl, who had chosen to wait by Steven's bedside while the other guys shot their final scenes. Axl was truly concerned and said something like, 'I thought you blew it, bro.' That's why you don't see Steven or Axl on the boat scenes of the film.
"Then there's the stories from the Nineties. One time, Steven was high and left his home to get a Slurpee at 7-11. What he didn't realise was that he didn't have any clothes on, except for a pair of boxers. A cop pulls along side him and Steven asks, 'Can you take me to the 7-11? I just want to get a Slurpee.' The cop eyes him up and down, says 'You're on your own!' then screeches off. So Adler makes his way to the store only to discover he had no cash. His old house, which he had just sold to ex-MTV VJ Martha Quinn, was of closer proximity so he made his way there. He knocked at the door and her husband answered. Steven said, 'Do you have 75 cents? I just want to get a Slurpee.' So Martha's husband takes him back to the store only to find, after all that, the Slurpee machine is out of order!"
Brooke Ellis på Metal Sludge här
Delar av min Adlerintervju 2005