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Rock Stars Do The Dumbest Things Paperback – Bargain Price, July 15, 1998
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Depending on who it is they are profiling, these stories vary. Kurt Cobain, for example, did not have a huge section about groupies and his heroin use, but about his house being that of a filthy packrat. There were a few really funny stories here and there which were really funny. I liked the one about Aerosmith who had gotten back together after a long estrangement and Steven Tyler suggested that they do a cover of a song that they were listening to on the stereo when Joe Perry throws down his napkin and shouts "We DID a cover of that last song! You were just too high to remember it!". And then there was Led Zepplin. Even the dimmest, bovine brained nitwit on the darkest side of pop culture knows the story about the shark.
The ultimate question you find yourself asking is if these stories are really true. Kurt's housekeeping and hygiene habits aren't nearly as juicy as the shark, to be sure, but it will leave you always wondering. Some people to this day will say "Oh yes, I was there, I saw it", and others will say "No, that never happened". It's lite entertainment and a bit like reading a tabloid, wondering what is and isn't true. You'll believe what you're going to believe about them. Still, it allows you to live vicariously through these stories, even if it never really happened.
In this book, the various "dumbest things" of various rock stars and groups are included, ranging from the "aging rock geezers" like Mick Jagger (who disappointed a pair of very imaginative groupies), the weird but lovable Ozzy Osbourne before his hit TV show (he is sick of being asked about the bat thing) and Aerosmith (Steven Tyler used to shoot nuns' livestock). There are guys who never were old enough to be aging rock geezers like Jim Morrison (who got attacked by a furious old lady who thought he had yelled "look at those t*ts" at her) and Keith Moon (who once danced naked on the Jaggers' table). There are the weirdos of yesterday who are still around (like Michael Jackson -- nuff zed). There are three out of the four Beatles. And there are bands and singers of today, such as Courtney Love (who punched her husband on first acquaintance), Oasis (they like to hit each other too), and Bjork (once destroyed a nightclub).
For each band or singer, there's not merely a listing of their idiotic stunts. Oh no. Their listings of greatest hits and/or movie roles are included, as well as stupid quotes ("If God wants me to become a woman, then a woman I will become" -- very deep, Mick; "I like Beethoven, especially the poems"). The tone is wry and witty.
There are some problems with this book. For one thing, some of the material is definitely of the urban legend variety. For another, they have a few weird choices, where you wonder why certain groups were excluded. And did Linda McCartney really do more dumb things than her famed hubby? I don't think so. And really, I'd classify the Spice Girls (anyone remember them?) as being pop rather than rock, although George Harrison's witty remark about them is immensely funny. (And their dumb quotes are even funnier. "Who's Hillary?").
Though far from perfect, "Rock Stars Do the Dumbest Things" will make you glad to be... well, not a rock star. Amusing in a chicken-brained way, occasionally uproariously funny, and a good light read for fans of rock.