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

4.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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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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Review

"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: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #999,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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 peek..no 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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Recommended In a newspaper article upon the death of David Bowie I bought this book for an interesting perspective of being young in the 60s and this certainly fit the bill. Cherry Vanilla was actually pre-Beatles and had a solid advertising business career. But she was also Very promiscuous early and adopted quickly to the free love culture. She was also early to the Fire Island gay crowd and DRUGs. And working even in a creative field with massive drug use can be a drag so her career becomes more creative including DJing. This Wild Girl persona eventually makes it to London, thanks Andy Warhol, and eventually a very close relationship to David Bowie. A very close relationship and this is when the book is at its best as she describes the huge talent seen but not appreciated for a few years in David Bowie. She jumps on with a major role.

But rides don't last forever and eventually the book falls to band attempts, repeated lovers, an over abundance of drugs and an under abundance of money to live on. Possibly she should have stopped the book earlier as there is no great ending to this. Just old memories. Still, a different and somewhat interesting exploration do the 60s and 70s culture.
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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 amazon.com and devour it, as I did. And be careful with your eyes. J.W. Catledge (a.k.a. Jim Pinkston)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book because many of my friends and acquaintances were in her group over time (though not all mentioned in the book) and some of them made a pretty good career in music and other it did not happen for them. Any occupation that success is based on lots of luck besides skill and talent is risky and may have ended up in sorry states of addiction, and near starvation or close to it. This book is an inside look at that world where connections count, persistence and luck in the music business decides outcomes and lives. The things in her life intersected many famous and many not famous (or at least did not make big money). Even if one does not care in the least about her, reading about her adventures helps learn about his business. It is an easy to read book that one wants to read it from start to finish and I feel I got my monies worth. Her perspective is very interesting especially about how she perceives others around her be it someone who can help her career or a group member that has lots of talent and like her, is making connections to move on to better things. As I said, after decades, I learned a little more about what the people I grew up were doing when we lost contact, and for a time they were in her world.
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