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Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen [Kindle Edition]

Al Jourgensen
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Ministry is a memoir both ugly and captivating, revealing Al Jourgensen as a man who lived a hard life his own way without making compromises. He survived prolonged drug addiction—twenty-two years of chronic heroin, cocaine, and alcohol abuse, to be more precise—before cleaning up, straightening out, and finding new reasons to live.

During his career, Jourgensen has engaged in all of the rock ’n’ roll clichés regarding decadence and debauchery and invented new forms of previously unachieved nihilism. Despite this and his addictions, he created seven seminal albums, including the bonafide, hugely influential classic The Land of Rape and Honey, 1989’s The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste, and 1992’s blockbuster Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed.

Ministry imparts the epic life of Al Jourgensen, a survivor who tempted fate, beat the odds, persevered, and put the pieces back together after unraveling completely.

Editorial Reviews


Under the Radar, Spring 2013

“In the colorful and often highly amusing anecdotes recounting his years as a musician, Jourgensen covers his time with Ministry and Revolting Cocks in high-flying detail.”

Revolver, June/July 2013

“A tale of outlandish debauchery and mayhem…Like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas crossed with The Dirt, it’s both insanely compelling and compellingly insane.”

Texas Monthly, July 2013

“Jourgensen [is] poised to forever raise the bar on tales of rock star excess with a new memoir, Ministry…The book offers a laundry list of degenerate behavior and near-death experiences. But where most rock and roll biographies and memoirs end in the subject’s demise or redemption, the arc of this one is a lot murkier.”, 7/1/13

“One needn’t be intimately familiar with Ministry’s musical mayhem to enjoy Ministry…Entertaining, enlightening—even inspirational…A riotously revealing retrospective that cements Jourgensen’s place in the modern rock lexicon while chronicling the decades-long descent into drug addiction that nearly cost the Ministry maverick his life.”, 7/8/13

“Few musicians have indulged in the sex, drugs and rock & roll lifestyle with such death-defying fervor—and over such a long period of time—as longtime Ministry leader Al Jourgensen. Now, his tale is on display for the whole world to read…A roller-coaster read. In addition to going behind the scenes for the creation of such industrial-metal classics as The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste and Psalm 69, Jourgensen dishes dirt on many renowned names whom he's crossed paths with throughout his career.”

MTV Hive, 7/10/13

“Just open the book and throw your finger on any given page, and you’re liable to hit a sentence that makes you thank god you lived long enough on this planet to read something this batshit crazy…The most entertaining rock memoir I’ve ever read.”, 7/11/13

“The ‘back-asswards’ life of Ministry mastermind Al Jourgensen has finally been documented with incredible detail.”

USA Today (website), 7/8/13

“When it comes to sex, drugs and rock and roll, you just can't have too much of them, at least if you're reading about it. To live that lifestyle, a long one, is quite a feat, one that begs for a memoir, Ministry, in stores now.”, 7/6/13

“[An] unflinching account of his life and career…For someone who has lived his life as an open book, free of pretense and with complete apathy as to others' opinions of him, Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen still manages to surprise…Ministry's lone constant member tells it like he sees it with all the gory details dripping throughout…No stone unturned and no vein left untapped, Jourgensen recites events of a life lived (and ended a few times) to its unconscionable excesses in a funny, wildly entertaining, and gleefully repulsive memoir.”, 7/9/13

“A rock and roll tale that is dirtier than that of Motley Crue’s The Dirt…Open and honest…Fans of Ministry will undoubtedly snap this right up.”

The Front Row Report, 7/9/13

“[He] doesn’t hold back one bit…Jourgensen digs down into the deepest, darkest crevices of his memory and presents us with a very blunt, honest and revealing trip through his life and career…The epitomic picture of the life of a rocker and artist and Jourgensen at his best. Any Ministry or metal fan will be captivated for hours and hours…and anyone who isn’t familiar with Ministry or Jourgensen will find everything they need to know in this book.”

Ave Noctum, 7/8/13

“A compelling read…Al is amusing and wry throughout and this is a real warts and all tale that has a jaw dropping fact or story on virtually every page…Even if you are not a fan of the music this is still a compulsive read…This really is not far off from the sort of biographical great American novels told by the likes of them, Jack Kerouac and Charles Bukowski…An absolute gem and a real treat of a book.”

Caught in the Carousel, 7/10/13

“What Ministry brings to light is Al’s sense of humor and his rollicking way of spinning a yarn. In other words, the guy’s hilarious—and Ministry provides a brilliant, dark comedic take on the very stuff that inspired Ministry’s greatest albums…Al’s book reads like a more accessible version of Burroughs’ Junkie, Naked Lunch, and the ‘Nova Trilogy’…His deadpan humor and smart philosophical and political insights (he’s one of the most politically aware and truly progressive musicians on the planet) save the book from being a downer…Al’s Ministry is so good that you’ll just have to read it for yourself to have your side split and your thoughts provoked. Just go out and grab a copy!”

The National (United Arab Emirates), 7/6/13

Ministry is charming and offputting all at once…Proof, if more was needed, that being a rock star, like playing professional contact sports, takes a permanent toll on its most dedicated practitioners.”, 7/19/13

“The book is both riveting and horrifying at the same time…No gory detail is left out as Al recounts the debauchery and extreme drug use that fueled his life. What sets Al's autobiography apart from others is he admits to every last bit of the shocking tragedy almost as if it were his final confession to a priest and he was trying to sneak into Heaven. Nobody said rock n' roll wasn't ugly.”

Dallas Observer, 7/16/13

“[A] harrowing tale of drugs, sex and, of course, rock 'n' roll, inspired by the artist who influenced a generation of musical pioneers like Nine Inch Nails to take metal to the next level.”

“Rock Star Radio Show,” KCLB Radio (Palm Springs, CA), 7/18/13

“One of the best music based pieces of literature, or any literature, that I have set my eyes on. Read the book. You’re going to love it.”

Intravenous Magazine (UK), 7/3/13

“A warts and all picture of life as one of the godfathers of the industrial rock scene…Where memoirs like Marilyn Manson's Long Hard Road Out Of Hell and Mötley Crüe's The Dirt pull their punches and gloss over the more graphic scenes, Jourgensen goes into heavy and often uncomfortable detail…Compulsive reading. Jourgensen is a great storyteller and the sheer insanity of his stories will no doubt keep people turning the pages. It is definitely up there with the likes of Iggy Pop's I Need More, Mötley Crüe's The Dirt and even William Burroughs' Junkie.”

The Weeklings, 7/20/13

“The most over-the-top, full-on decadent, absolute gonzo rock & roll biography ever.”

GenerationGBooks, 7/14/13

“I’ve said for many years now that I would find it difficult to find a music biography that would top Motley Crue’s  The Dirt. Consider it done.”, 8/6/13

“[A] frank and revealing tome.”, 8/16/13

“The man who refers to himself as ‘Alien Jourgensen’ is a really funny guy and this comes out in his recently released autobiography…He’s a danger-level genius and whatever his demons may be, or may have been, he remains wonderfully entertaining as ever…His book has the makings of a great biopic.”

Record Collector, September 2013

“An intelligent take on the filthy rock underbelly…[It] pulls no punches…A brilliant read.”, 8/19/13

“Take[s] you on a roller coaster ride of sex, drugs, drugs and even more drugs mixed with a sprinkling of rock and roll…This is not your typical tell all memoir as Al Jourgensen gives you that and then some…The book consisted of stories that were so far out there that they had to be true due to the fact that it would be hard for someone to make up some of these experiences and, be able tell them with the in-depth conviction Jourgensen does. The book keeps you on the edge of your seat and makes you want more.”

South China Morning Post, 8/18/13

“You'll care if you're at all interested in first-hand encounters with a who's who of pop culture.”

Curled Up with a Good Book, 8/29/2013

“It is a stark retelling of the musician's life, and no rock is left unturned…You will be appalled, shocked and disturbed, but you won't put this down until the last page.”

New Noise, 8/29/2013

“Horrific and nauseatingly awesome.”, 8/25/13

“Al takes us on an exciting journey through his career in the music industry as he truly tells it all; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Jourgensen’s tale is funny, frightening, and oftentimes disturbing as he offers frank accounts of the business side of the industry, his wild life on the ...

About the Author

Al Jourgensen created seven seminal albums. After getting clean in 2002, he produced another five Ministry discs. He lives in El Paso, Texas.

Jon Wiederhorn is a senior writer at Revolver and contributes to SPIN and Guitar World. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3255 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0306822180
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (July 9, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,109 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fear & Loathing in the Music Industry June 30, 2013
By Ragman
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I don't normally read biographies of famous musicians. I've never subscribed to the belief that their lives are somehow more interesting just because they're famous, nor am I enough of a sycophant to really give a s*** how the other half lives. However, this proved an exception. Jourgensen's long had a reputation for being a larger-than-life, out-of-control, nihilistic, and completely self-destructive drug addict; which, granted, probably describes about 80% of all musicians with any degree of notoriety. However, his antics are the stuff of legend - aliens, Spielberg, ostriches - yeah. They're sufficiently outrageous that other musicians who've crossed paths with him get dragged into on-camera interviews and questioned about them. So I was curious. I glanced through the preview pages, read enough to know that I had to have it, and pre-ordered it - something I never do - and even put down the book I was in the middle of reading to give this one priority.

It didn't disappoint.

Folks, this is riveting s***. I won't lie; the depravity in this thing is off the charts. I've currently burned through about 2/3 of it (I'm at the Gibby Haynes "Intervention"), and I feel like I need a shower and there isn't enough soap in the world. It's outrageous, depraved, and at times absolutely horrifying, but it's also laugh-out-loud funny.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ministry -- according to Al Jourgensen July 15, 2013
In 'The Lost Gospels', Ministry frontman and mastermind Al Jourgensen regals us with one drug-addled tour story after another, some laugh-out-loud funny (such as Al's encounter with Madonna), and a great many others simply sickening. We learn of the physical tolls of years of heroin, crack and Methadone addiction in excruciatingly detail, culminating in Al's ruptured hernia, recovery from which led to Al's decision to call an end to the band, if only temporarily. (Al describes the forthcoming "From Beer to Eternity" as "a fitting end to Ministry, the barbed wire bow wrapped around this package full of thirty years of material").

Due credit to Angie, Al's second wife and manager, who played Sharon to Al's Ozzie and called a halt to his self-destruction. That said, my appreciation for saving his life is somewhat tempered by the startling revelation that she penned the lyrics for the phenomenal rock anthem, "Git Up Get Out 'n Vote".

Jourgensen well known for engaging in hyperbole, it was a wise move on Jon Weiderhorn's part for inserting between chapters various "interventions" -- interviews with Al's father, various members of the band, guitarist Mike Scaccia (RIP), and his most recent wife, Angie.

Unfortunately, among those who don't get a fair hearing (which is to be expected, this is Al's story) are Paul Barker and Chris Connelly, whom Al derides as the so-called "Book Club" for their (pseudo) intellectual standoffishness, professional demeanor and refusal to immerse themselves in the debauchery that came with Al's raging heroin and crack addiction.

Paul Barker in particular comes across as a villain. The way Al tells it, Barker is musically incompetent, a turncoat and a thief.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Bought It And Love It So Far August 21, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I happened to work at a hotel that had a reputation for accommodating those in the entertainment - particularly the music industry - during the 90's Wax Trax, original Lolla, Oz Fest, Lillith era. "Mr. J" (as I called him) stayed at at our hotel several times during my tenure there - often for months at a time while recording. Knowing about his "reputation" during this time, as the person whose job it was to book specialty reservations and work with their managers or producers on required ammenities, I think it's reasonable to say that I was a bit nervous when I booked Al's stay with us. I had NO idea what to expect, what he was going to ask of us or how he was going to conduct himself. Although most musicians who stayed with us were nothing but respectful, we were no stranger to the occasional rowdy newbie, over zealous groupie, or obnoxious "friend" of the band from time to time, but I expected Al to be on a totally different level of that which we had become accustom to. I have to say, with complete and utter honesty, he was nothing but a complete gentleman and an ideal hotel guest the whole two months he was with us. He was friendly to every hotel employee from the front desk to the maids. He graciously stopped to talk to the occasional guest who happened to recognize him walking through the hotel halls or lobby. He never asked for anything that was considered "wacky" or out of line...and believe me, we were asked for a lot of things that fit those descriptions from a lot of people. He simply needed a microwave and a VCR - both of which we were happy to fulfill. There were no drug dealers coming in and out of the hotel, no "bi-polar" or "schizo" meltdowns or mood swings that we were warned about. He was absolutely lovely. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Is this book funny? Yes
Here's the skinny: Is this book funny? Yes. Does it have the most over-the-top rock star studio/tour stories ever written? Yes. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Kevin D Janni
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
if you are a ministry fan YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK!!
Published 10 days ago by kevin
4.0 out of 5 stars The right words.
Whether Al is singing or writing, he knows how to say it. We go through highs and lows with him.

Thank you for sharing Al. I will buy the merch. Your tab is paid today.
Published 16 days ago by Wendy K.
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense....
Up there with Slash and White Line Fever, Al Jourgensen is complete wrecking ball of chaos and debauchery. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Slove
4.0 out of 5 stars great read
Great read for Ministry fans and fans of rock bios. Al is hilarious and honest. I have no idea how he's lived this long and neither does he.
Published 1 month ago by anne
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Wonderful
Saw Uncle Al's face, and put this on my shortlist; soon I had it in hand.

quick and chronological account from Uncle AL on his career as a musician. Read more
Published 1 month ago by sasha
4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining
Al is full of **it but I was entertained nonetheless. And I don't care what sort of temper tantrum Al takes, I'm going to still listen to with Sympathy, Twitch and Everyday is... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it
But some of it seemed kind of contradictory...certain dates and times...not sure if it's editing errors or a demand that everything be left EXACTLY as Al dictated it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Nic Disassembly
5.0 out of 5 stars One crazy memoir
Frankly I couldn't resist buying this book . Always loved this guy's music and thought he was an interesting character , but wow this exceeded my expectations tenfold . Read more
Published 3 months ago by Julian Mollo
3.0 out of 5 stars Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen
It Wasn't pretty, it was however interesting @ times when Al isn't blathering on a bit about his obsession with various controlled substances.
Published 3 months ago by Doric J Sayre
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