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Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen Hardcover – July 9, 2013
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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.”
One needn't be intimately familiar with Ministry's musical mayhem to enjoy Ministry Entertaining, enlighteningeven 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.”
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.”
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 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 hilariousand 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
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.”
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.”
[A] frank and revealing tome.”
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.”
An absolutely must-have for the fans of Ministry.”
Phoenix New Times, 9/23/13
Any page you open up to ensures entertainment.”
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.”
Al Jourgensen's story is a testament to the strangeness and beauty of the universe as well as an example of the human condition.”
Few musicians have indulged in the sex, drugs and rock & roll lifestyle with such death-defying fervorand over such a long period of timeas 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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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
[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.”
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
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.”
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.”
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.”
About the Author
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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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.
I haven't read Chris Connelly's book, but after reading this, I'm more interested. That said, what every Ministry fan deserves is the real Ministry story - which may or may not ever be told as I'm sure Paul Barker doesn't want anything to do with it. I don't give a dang about drugs and groupies, but I would love to know about the creative process behind one of the most important bands of any genre in the last 20 years.
A final note about Paul Barker - after reading this book I was left with one distinct impression, "Holy Crap! Barker really held Ministry together all these years." Unless you're an Al sycophant, that's the only logical conclusion anyone could come to.
Also, as many other reviewers pointed out, Al's sense of time and place has been obliterated by drugs/alcohol. You can do a cursory internet search and find interviews from Al in the 90's that directly contradict what he puts out here.
If you love Ministry, you should read this book. You'll likely be disappointed, but if you've purchased any of their post-Barker albums, you should be used to that.
But I knew that Al would have a great story to tell, and being a fan of rock bios and auto-bios this was one I had to get. And I'm glad I did - it's a fantastic read full of great stories and anecdotes, it pops open another side of life and exposes it in all its gristly glory, and it gets into the strangeness of being a stranger in a strange band! It's also gotten me to investigate the rest of the Ministry catalogue (and new stuff by Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters, and also newer RevCo), most of which is fantastic.
The book is exactly the romp you'd expect, along with all sorts of info about his messed-up family life (probably wasn't all that messed up, but the tale of his beloved grandmother dying of face cancer is indeed very very sad). It gets into record label and band politics too, especially around Paul Barker, but doesn't spend too much time on it.
High points of the book are about girlfriends, including Aimee Mann (!!!) and Sean Yseult (didn't know about that one either - and she doesn't write too much about it in her book). He does get into being a terrible person at times, and there's plenty of depraved stuff, out you also get the sense of a man enjoying the insanity of life who still also has the work ethic to put out something monumental even when the sky is falling. There's crazy drug stuff, there's stuff about aliens, and if that's not enough there even weirder stuff about clear spiders (Gibby chimes in on this one too). Another highlight of the book is that there are chapters and passages written by his partners-in-crime, including his wife Angie, Gibby, Jello - and even Mike Scaccia, writing from the dead. Really top notch stuff.
There are great passages where he writes about seeing the Ramones in Colorado with Jello Biafra in the audience, his friendships with Timothy Leary (Sean Yseult got into this too in her book) and William F Burroughs, hanging out with the Skinny Puppy guys, hanging out with KMFDM, hanging out with Anthrax, the death of Dimebag Darrell (Ministry was playing in the same town as Damageplan the night he was shot), getting married in Graceland, and hanging out with Ronald Reagan Jr.
The photo section is pretty cool, although the cover shot - with multiple face piercings and blotchy tattoos - is extra gruesome and, well, makes you want to be careful about leaving it lying around the house.