From Publishers Weekly
Expanding on the material in his eponymous autobiographical off-Broadway musical, Campion, lead singer in the band Knockout Drops, cops to inventing characters and misremembering some facts and time lines. Readers, and perhaps he, cannot therefore know whether he has embellished the all-night booze-and-blow-fueled partying with the rodeo clowns and the bearded lady, or the witty repartée recollected verbatim from drunken stupors of decades past, or the anecdote about riding crowded elevators dressed only in a girlfriend's pink thong. Oh well, it's all surely accurate in the way that rock 'n' roll ballads are faithful records of failed love affairs. At any rate, Campion's portrait of his knockabout sojourn in New York's indie rock demimonde in the 1990s, when his band perched agonizingly on the cusp between loserdom and breakout success, has the ring of truth. So does his account of the alcoholic slide that transformed him from a hearty mainstay of the Greenwich Village bar scene into a desolate bum incarcerated in the titular psych ward. Campion tells this tale of a very long trek on the wild side with hangdog humor and bleary charm. (Mar.)
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Campion, lead singer of the (almost) nationally famous indie band Knockout Drops, is no polished writer. His stories ramble. He digresses. He desperately needs an editor. But there is undeniable power in the cautionary tale of his drug-and-alcohol-fueled rise and fall in the rock world. It isn’t just that the stories he tells are increasingly harrowing, or that his multiple addictions exact a terrible cost in lost friends and lovers and alienated family members, or that for a time he was essentially homeless. It’s that Campion is a talented raconteur, capable of turning every misbegotten moment from early adolescence spent hanging out with his older brother’s garage band to drug-hazed college years to equally hazy days down, out, and on the road in Massachusetts and Maine into addictively fascinating prose. His years on stage, including the autobiographical off-Broadway rock musical Escape from Bellevue, have clearly taught him how to get and hold attention. Campion parties like a rock star, crashes and burns like one, then rises from the ashes to tell us about it. --Jack Helbig