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Metal/Prog Metal Book Reviews

Ratt

Sex, Drugs, Ratt & Roll: My Life in Rock written by Stephen Pearcy

Review by Greg Olma

I’m sure many people don’t want to admit it, but they have a guilty pleasure and that is listening to Ratt.  I have always liked the band and never really shied away from letting people know that there was always more to Ratt than the “hair metal” tag.  Sure, they wore glam clothes and make-up but that was what you needed to do in those days to get signed.  This book by lead singer Stephen Pearcy is a no holds barred tell-all about not only his life with Ratt but also his time growing.  There are also some pages dedicated to his Arcade days too.  The book is in chronological order starting at the beginning and leading up to the present time which makes for a very easy read.  The stories along the way are perfect examples of the decadence of the time (early to mid-1980s).  You get tales of a young Pearcy smoking a joint with David Lee Roth from Van Halen fame to having Wendy Dio trying to manage Ratt but more importantly, trying to make him her boy toy.  There are obviously many pages dedicated to his time with Ratt but we also get a well-rounded picture of the man.  He speaks with fondness of the early days of getting Mickey Ratt off the ground by living in a friend’s mother’s garage.  He speaks candidly about mistakes he has made but not in a way that is trying to gather sympathy.  Instead, Pearcy deals with all these tales as just the truth as it happened.  Sure, you can probably say that the other guys in his bands would have different versions of what happened but he tells it like it is without making anyone out to be the bad guy.  Even when he owns up to his mistakes, like getting into heroin, he writes it so “matter of factly” that we forget that Robin Crosby was the person who gave him his first taste. 

My biggest complaint of Sex, Drugs, Ratt & Roll: My Life In Rock is that it went by too fast and ultimately seemed short.  Crosby’s death was such a minor point in this book yet he was Pearcy’s best friend and founder member of Ratt.  Something tells me that there are many more stories than what are offered here, but who knows, there might be another book in Pearcy’s future.  I highly recommend this book for anyone who is not only a fan but who wants to get a sense of what it was like on the Sunset Strip during the 80s.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

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