I say “new”: The Dirt, by Motley Crue, has been around for years. I have only just got around to reading it after seeing endless plugs for the really shabby-looking Netflix adaptation of this band memoir.
(I can’t get over the stupid umlaut placing, making it so it ought to be pronounced Merhtley Cruuu. That really is all you need to know about how staggeringly thick they all are.)
The book really is by the whole band – and a few other people as well, various dishevelled agents, traumatised tour managers and stuff. They take chapters each, mostly just complaining about each other and then gleefully confessing to all these ghastly things they did.
If The Dirt is to be believed, (and in places I just don’t), these boys – Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee (who you will only have heard of because he married Pamela Anderson) and a couple of other weirdos, were the worst people in the world. The drugs, the awful things they did to girls, the drinking, the mindless smashing-up of places. It’s just so unbelievably squalid and rank.
And, mostly, hilarious. They are funny about it, particularly their DiscoPunk years, where they are constantly having punch-ups while wearing make-up and stiletto boots “looking like hookers on Sunset”.
I am so timid and suburban – pathetically thinking myself possibly a glamorous alcoholic because I often have a third glass of wine – that I sort of love stories of completely fucking mad cocks-out loonies doing insane things and broadly getting away with it.
“Go for it,” I think, enviously.
Then It Fell Apart describes what happens after you have a massive hit – and it’s basically another descent into alcoholism and drugs and promiscuity. Moby picks through it all with really admirable honesty and clarity. And I’m sorry but I’m just at a time in my life when I want to know that creative and commercial success and millions and millions of sales do not always make you happy.
These booze memoirs do make me wonder how they can possibly remember what drinks they had and when. What pills they took, how big the line of coke was, what happened next. I can’t really tell you what happened at a boozy birthday party this weekend just gone, let alone six years ago, sixteen years ago? I wonder, do they all keep diaries, like politicians do, anticipating this very thing?
Ordinary People, by Diana Evans, is really wonderful – about two couples in London struggling with being couples. Diana Evans is one of those writers who doesn’t really need a subject – she can describe a car journey over Vauxhall Bridge and make it gripping. I loved this. Not to be confused by Normal People, by Sally Rooney, which I haven’t read. I think I am the only person in the world not to be able to get on with Sally Rooney.
The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal is another cracker. Set in Victorian London it’s gloriously atmospheric and creepy. I haven’t finished it yet – but I really fear for the future of little Albie, 10 year-old scamp, my favourite character. I am reading from behind a cushion. Kids like him very rarely make it to the end of books like this… fingers crossed.
Books I read recently that were alright but not amazing
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
First Man In by Ant Middleton, and you know how much I love those SAS boys
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
How about you? Read any good books lately?