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Not the Life It Seems: The True Lives of My Chemical Romance Paperback – Illustrated, September 30, 2014
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"Incredibly thorough research and writing...A complex look at the world's most dangerous rock band."
―Shameless Promotions & Media
About the Author
- Item Weight : 12 ounces
- ISBN-10 : 0306823497
- ISBN-13 : 978-0306823497
- Paperback : 321 pages
- Dimensions : 8.9 x 5.9 x 1 inches
- Publisher : Da Capo Press; Illustrated edition (September 30, 2014)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #61,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This book is much more than pap. I learned a lot about Gerard Way and brother Mikey, plus Frank Iero and the other guy. And what I learned was shocking! No, not really. I gained insight into the wonderful lyrics (mostly) of all their songs. I learned that being on “the road” is just as shitty for rock groups as it is for any worker bee. I learned about the boys’ struggles with depression, drugs, and existential angst. It was a lot more of a read then I thought it wd be.
Never answered this question : how do groups like Green Day and to a much much lesser extent The Maine (poor John O just has to change out the entire band or they will continue their voyage into cringe-festival mediocrity) and MCR - where does the decision get made to call the group “Green Day” instead of “Billy Joe Armstrong and two very talented not charismatic group members whose names you will soon forget”? What is this talk of writing “Planetary(Go!) “and setting the tracks down in one sitting? Um.....did they all do that? isn’t it Gerard Way who writes all the songs? The Beatles learned to share some of their songwriting credits betwixt each other, but they didn’t last as long as MCR or Green Day. How hard is it to manage that facade? We all know Frank Iero has a lovely voice but I don’t think his song writing creds for MCR equals more than zero.
And yet - Gerard Way’s new releases sound like songs that wd be very cool if they were Chemically Romanced. So the rest of the group does play a part in their work. It’s just not a big a part as Gerard’s. So how do they finesse that - to each other and to fans and music critics .
I don’t know why I’m fascinated by this subject but I am. You won’t find the answers in this book but you’ll find lots of other stuff that’s better stuff than u might have expected.
And can someone tell me please - Mikey Day - was he a good bass player or did he keep his job by being a mediocre bass player but a great joy for Gerard to have by his side on the road?
You get to learn about the very normal, and not so “mysterious” origins of all the band members. I remember MCR seemed “mystifying” when they showed up on the scene in the early 2000’s but in reality, they’re just a bunch of guys that liked music. I really enjoyed learning about their lyrics and their process.
They did, however, have bad luck with drummers. I found that the book was annoyingly vague about the departures of Matt Pelissier and Bob Bryar and as well as producers. Maybe the fans don’t need to know the truth, but hearing some drama would have been entertaining.
The way the book described the band seemed to be:
We don’t care if we’re successful! - MCR does well.
Rinse and Repeat - Until!
We don’t care if we’re successful! - MCR splits up.
What I would have loved to see:
I would have loved an anthology of a large selection of their songs and for the band to summarize how they felt about the song. Some of the songs were sprinkled here and there in the book but not enough information was provided. The book glossed over the sprinkles of drama and rumors that the band faced over the years, such as the ubiquitous “frerard.” This book is also supposed to be entertainment and sure, gossip is the lowest form of news, but people still enjoy it. Adding a bit of drama and flair wouldn’t have hurt the book.
Either way - I still have my MCR tickets for next year!
The only complaint I have with the book is with page 128. As I was reading the book and reached that page, I noticed a Florida-shaped black blotch on the bottom corner. It made reading that particular section difficult, though through squinted eyes and the magic of context I was able to figure out what was printed. This issue may only be with my copy of the book, as it was probably a printing error, so don't expect to have the same issue with your copy. Have faith in the publisher.