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Lick Me: How I Became Cherry Vanilla Hardcover – November 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A fixture in the music and club scenes since the 1960s, musician, groupie, and PR woman extraordinaire Vanilla takes readers on a wild romp through her drug- and sex-filled life. Born Kathleen Dorritie in Queens in 1943, Vanilla loved music from an early age and would often accompany her parents to the Copacabana in Manhattan, where she once met Dean Martin. Raucous parties--often fueled by acid and pot--were a fixture of her life in the '60s, as she dabbled in DJing in clubs and built an advertising career on Madison Avenue. In 1970, Vanilla had "a rock and roll revelation": she wanted to become a groupie, even though she was "already a twenty-six-year-old businesswoman of sorts." This led to trysts with musicians like Kris Kristofferson and David Bowie, whom she helped introduce to American audiences. As punk music began to overtake glam rock, Vanilla launched her own music career and briefly toured in the U.K., with the Police as her backup band, and later in the U.S. Vanilla's voice is distinctively sassy, despite her conventional storytelling methods, and her memoir is an entertaining peek into music's backstage world. (Nov.) (c)
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"Reading Lick Me is much like hanging out with Cherry: a refreshing dose of honesty and humor. Considering this book is about sex, drugs, and rock and roll, Cherry has an amazing ability to remember it all."  —Tim Burton, artist/filmmaker

"A swinging romp with one swinging gal! This juicy page-turner will have rock gossip tongues wagging their tales!"  —Kate Pierson, the B-52’s

"Pop art and glamour . . . an exciting and multiflavored story of the journey of a true icon! Cherry is rock and roll royalty."  —Countess Luann de Lesseps, The Real Housewives of New York City

"With matter-of-fact nonchalance the delightful Ms Vanilla tells an unrepentant tale of a joyously madcap life among rock royalty and the artistic elite."  —Pamela Des Barres, author, I’m With the Band

"You lucky bitch! Your New York was definitely not my New York!"  —Rufus Wainright, musician/composer

"I love this book. The writing is beautiful, sad, sweet, fun, and honest. Some people tell stories. Some live them. Every once in a rare while someone who lived an exceptional one takes the time to tell theirs."  —Dito Montiel, author/filmmaker

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; First Pritning edition (November 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556529430
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556529436
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #507,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By nancy lee andrews on October 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a story of a woman who had stars in her eyes from a very early age. Her destiny was truly written in the stars. She followed her instincts and heart and wound up where the Rock&Roll Gods played. She is hailed as a groupie but she was more than that...she was inspiration and inspired to make her own music and let her voice be heard. The Punk scene embraced her and through her writing and brilliant marketing savvy she propelled David Bowie into stardom. All the while becoming a legend in her own right...All the music business stuff in this book is an inside you are there, thanks to Cherry. Her writing is so easy and personal and honest...cinematic...her childhood and struggle with OCD into adulthood is admirable. You won't be able to put it down...enjoy the ride!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J.W. Catledge on October 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I will say right at the start that I am not only an unabashed fan of the inestimable Ms. Vanilla, but also a friend of some 40 years' duration. That said, I tried to put all that aside and read her autobiography with the freshest of eyes, which as I read her stunning confessional, popped like rockets and rolled back into my head. The book is being hailed as "brilliant" and "important" by some really smart people who know all about music and its history. You can read it as musical history if you like, but the story in human terms of a convent-educated, naif from Queens, NY, who ascended to the very apogee of rock royalty is much more fun and infinitely more compelling. Names like Sting, David Bowie, Andy Warhol, Kris Kristofferson, Joel Schumacher and Chet Baker pop up regularly, playing supporting roles to Ms. Vanilla's star turn. Run, don't walk, to the nearest computer and order this book from and devour it, as I did. And be careful with your eyes. J.W. Catledge (a.k.a. Jim Pinkston)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David Longhorn on November 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a great read!

Cherry's life has been a wild adventure, and she describes all the ins and outs of how she got fascinated by anything to do with the entertainment industry, all the ways she got involved with it and perhaps most important of all, the places this got her, throughout the years. Including whose bedrooms...

Cherry looks back on her conquests (and failures, triumphs, mishaps, adventures, ups and downs) with all the necessary traits, including self humour, pride and paradoxal modesty, melancholy as well as wisdom. But most of all, an honest yet enduring sweetness.

Between the lines of her refreshing writing style, you can tell that throughout all the ups and downs Cherry really enjoyed the ride, never took anything for granted and appreciates the front-row seat she had on so much glamourous history. Her enthusiasm definately rubbs off.

The result is a book that is impossible to put away. It's such a pleasure to read her stories, and impossible not to get cought up in the flow of it all and keep reading to see what (or who!) else life had planned for her. And how she took control or lost it again, somewhere along the adventurous road.

The book follows her exploits up to the point where she's earned the spotlight for herself, ending with an epilogue that quite strongly impresses that the rest would be equally interesting (though perhaps less explicit) a read, which leads to the hope that Cherry will some day pick up the pen again. Until then, we have "Lick Me" to cherish and read again.

Or, as Bowie said to Cherry's delight: "Good job, Vanilla!". Great book!!!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By riprap on July 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
As a writer, I found this book tremendously inspiring. Its energy, and the author's creativity, liberation of spirit and determination to live life to its fullest are completely contagious.

It was also laugh-out-loud funny in many places, something that comes from Ms. Vanilla's fearlessness, absolute freedom from ego and unflinching candor. There's the throw-away line from her diary about the time she met Will "Grandpa Walton" Geer on a TV talk show and she says, "I think he's gay, but we flirted anyway"; then, when he brings out some buns he's baked for the show, she takes one and pipes up with, "I'm holding Grandpa Walton's buns on TV." There's also the time she makes a Grumman's Chinese Theater-style "ass-print" in a block of pink cement outside a downtown bar and the block of cement then hangs outside the bar on two chains for several years, until some friends in her crowd comes along with a blowtorch and make off with it. And the time her old-standby vibrator, which she'd named "Eddie," breaks down and almost sets her genitals on fire.

There are also several moving and unforgettable scenes, starting with the one in which her father, when she was five, subjects the family dog (a Dalmatian named Lady) to a hot-water/rubber-hose abortion that leaves the dog traumatized, untrusting and ultimately dangerous, so that the parents have to put her down.
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