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An Enjoyable Ride (3.5*),
This review is from: Tommyland (Paperback)
If you only want to read and learn about Motley Crue then this isn't the right place to do so, stick with 2001's The Dirt. However if you if you've read The Dirt and are perhaps craving for more or are curious about if there is more to Tommy Lee then this a book for you. I have a somewhat big library of Rock bios by now and I have to say that the book is modeled after Tommy's image and ultimately the result is one cool looking book. I wasn't too sure because I'd already read The Dirt and though this wouldn't be that different but flipping through it made me want to give it a chance buy it a few years back. I can't justify Tommy talking to his *ahem* man parts aka "Dick" (yes the rumor is true, in fact the book begins with a dialogue between the two) as he is called in the book and it's a little juvenile, especially when dick interrupts at various parts of Tommyland. Otherwise Tommyland is a very entertaining book. Co-author Anthony Bozza marks some of the events to give more clarity and insight here and there throughout the book. The editor leaves live post-it stickers notes as well with his comments on chapters and Lee's replies are pretty funny at times.
Some will say that Tommy talks about a lot of stuff that was in The Dirt previously and that the content here is not all that different but I beg to differ. In The Dirt we saw Tommy Lee the rockstar, the guy in Motley Crue and all the debauchery and the wild Rock `N' Roll lifestyle. This is focused on Tommy Lee as first and foremost a human being and the things that are repeated from The Dirt are worth repeating. It was amazing to read his journey from day one to where he was in the book and it showed that he had changed and grown as a being even if there were some mistakes along the way. I was surprised to learn that Tommy is very spiritual and found some of his views interesting and he even offers good advice. More than anything Tommyland works because for Tommy there is a life outside of Motley and as it turns out there is a LOT going on. The best thing about Tommyland is the way it was written which leads you to believe that Tommy is actually talking to you. It's written just like Tommy talks with a lot of "dude", "man" and "whatever" and other expressions he uses, and it comes off as an honest and genuine, colorful attempt at a biography which makes it better than a lot of the Rockstars biographies I have read so far.
When he talks about going to prison and talks about his experience there in great details he's sharing with us the deepest thoughts that were on his mind, how much he cried, his feelings, his desires and just how much it changed him. The most touching chapters were the ones devoted to what he refers to as "the three bombs that hit me at once" in 2001. A little boy downing in his pool at a party for one of his sons and in the same week his father dying and 9/11. Those were the best chapters for me and some of the most honest ones I felt and we a learn a lot about Tommy through those chapters and the kind of person he is. The details he gives and the way everything was described is moving. He talks about Pamela as you could expect and those chapters on their relationship were a great read, they went through so much in the few short years they were together. I particularly liked reading what Lee had to say about his father who seemed like an amazing person and was only supportive of him. He talks briefly about his mom but I wish he would've talked about her more as compared to her father we learn very little about her. This is a Tommy Lee book so of course he talks about his music with Motley and solo, sex (he also gives the readers tips), love, obsessed fans, the famed porn tape and the tabloids and the scandals. The book is not in linear fashion in that he doesn't talk from day one to day now in a straightforward way and jumps around a lot but it actually works. Reading about the time he spent in his birthplace of Athens in Greece was a nice touch. He evens includes a list of books he read in prison that helped him and lists of bands and artists that influenced him.
Tommy's ex-wife Pamela Anderson also appears in the book on the chapters on her and Lee and provides comments and stories from the days when those two were married, her outlook was nice to read and I found it funny how those two contradict each other. Bozza, the co-author also makes some appearences here and there and surprisingly even one of Tommy's old teachers. It seems to me that were was a lot of Pamela in the book (a little Mayte) and very little on Heather Locklear whom he spent 7 years with unfortunately. I just think there could have been a little more content on Heather. Bobbi Brown? Almost non-existent. When Tommy talks about his son he comes off as a good father and it's obvious that he loves them more than anything in the world and he is very charming. I loved reading about his kids.
Tommyland is an enjoyable ride and Tommy comes off as the hyper, over-the-top, maniac that he is and for the most part that's fine, his book totally reflects him (except the penis parts which I could've dealt without). The book is a quick read and ultimately an addictive one. At least Tommy Lee unlike certain Motley Crue members (I'm thinking of Vince Neil here). It's the not ultimate book source for Motley Crue (That would still be the band's own bio. Nikki Sixx's The Dirt is also a great read a little above Tommy's, who is still miles ahead of Vince Neil's Tattoos & Tequilla) but if The Dirt left you aching for more Lee's book is a good read, highly entertaining but overall nothing spectacular it's not a bad biography. The very least it does is makes Tommy seems like a really nice and likeable guy. 3.5/5 stars.