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Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen Hardcover – July 9, 2013

119 customer reviews

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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 road, and his personal battles with drug and alcohol abuse…You don’t have to be a Ministry fan to enjoy this book…A very interesting read.”

Classic Rock (UK), October 2013

“[A] roaringly entertaining read.”, 9/13/13

“Al gives you all of the sleaze you could hope for and more in this harshly real book…they should pass this book out to kids instead of a ‘D.A.R.E.’ pamphlet or ‘Just Say No’ crap…The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen is ANOTHER homerun from the publishers Da Capo Press. They are becoming by far my favorite publishers of all books music! Too many of these autobiographies are nothing more than cash grabs filled with major errors, flawed editing and worse, it’s great to see a publisher care as much about the reader as it does about their own wallets.”

Side-Line, 9/16/13

“An absolutely must-have for the fans of Ministry.”

Phoenix New Times, 9/23/13

“Any page you open up to ensures entertainment.”, 9/20/13

“Quite simply one of the best rock autobiographies ever written.”

Washington Times, 9/5/13

“In the book, Jourgensen is brutally honest regarding his drug-fueled lifestyle, one that would make even Keith Richards cringe. His tale is as much shocking as it is cautionary.”, 10/5/13

“Al Jourgensen’s story is a testament to the strangeness and beauty of the universe as well as an example of the human condition.”

John Shelton Ivany Top 21, Issue 432

“A memoir both ugly and captivating, revealing Al Jourgensen as a man who lived a hard life his own way without making compromises.”, 10/26/13

“Not for the faint of heart…The producer/songwriter/ vocalist and guitarist tells his story unflinchingly; this may be difficult for more sensitive readers to stomach, but it is pure Al Jourgensen.”, 11/6/13

“But it's the unstated qualities of Jourgensen's personality that elevate Ministry above the pulpy level of your garden variety of sleazy sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll tell-all book. First and foremost is that Jourgensen has a genuine knack for yarn-spinning, enabling him and his co-writer Jon Wiederhorn to inject the ribald tales with an ample supply of pathos, humor, engaging wit, and the occasional insight…In Ministry you have a great mix of interesting anecdotes, humor, and heart. Whether or not you're a fan of Ministry's music, there's a good chance you'll get sucked into Ministry's narrative.”

High Times, February 2014

“While his fury at the world is on full display, Jourgensen’s black heart beats true throughout Gospels. Ministry fans will want his miserable company.”, 12/5/2013

“Other than maybe Keith Richards, industrial metal god Al Jourgensen could claim the title of the ultimate rock and roll survivor…[An] entertaining, no-holds-barred memoir.”

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.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 6.9.2013 edition (July 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306822180
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306822186
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Ragman on June 30, 2013
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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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Paula Meegan on 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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Lynch on July 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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. Is it at times disgusting, depraved, and disappointing? Yes. If you're the type who loves books by washed up rockers recounting their glory days of groupies, drugs, and groupies and drugs, then you'll no doubt love this book. I'll confess, that I did laugh out loud more than once.

But, for true Ministry fans, this is a let down. There is absolutely no information about the creation of any of their albums. Nothing about Al's songwriting/production partner Paul Barker. Nothing about classic albums like, "Rape and Honey," "The Mind," or "Psalm 69." In fact, Al admits he hates all of his albums, and what's-more - his fans.

Ironically, Al and his co-author readily admit that Al couldn't remember studio sessions and touring cycles because of his decades long drug addiction. Really? That's kinda weird, considering he remembers all the details of the drug and alcohol induced debauchery. But, nope, he can't remember anything about the inspiration behind the many classic albums he created.

Don't tell me about you and Gibby Haynes smoking crack and running from the cops in Austin, TX and then have the nerve to tell me, "I don't remember much about the making of Psalm 69, but I hate that record." C'mon, dude.

Al bashes almost every single past collaborator/band member, short of his BFF, the late/great Mike Scaccia. Yep, Uncle Al officially enters Billy Corgan territory. Go ahead and tell me that those guys contributions were blown out of proportion. But, the fact remains, the best music you ever made was with those guys.
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