I had to change the topic from Whit's (likely-to-be) epic road trip to something I am much more familiar with these days - sitting on my fat arse and reading. So on that note...
I just finished reading Watch You Bleed, an unauthorized biography of Guns N' Roses, written by Stephen Davis, the man who wrote the epic Led Zeppelin biography Hammer of the Gods. I thought the book was a kick-ass read and I think many of you will agree. The book is salacious, but in the true sense, because these guys lived salacious lives. The sex, drugs and filth stories are not presented in a gratuitous way, like Nikki Sixx stuffing his filthy dong in a burrito to make it stink less during his month-long shower-free stretch in The Dirt, or the infamous red snapper story about Led Zeppelin and one passed-out groupie. (Not to say those stories aren't awesome. Because they are.) The back story of GnR is unbelievable because the guys lived the lives that painted the Appetite album - heroin, cocaine, alcohol, homelessness, fighting and screwing, which gives them street cred. But the band was absolutely as image-conscious as every other band playing on the Sunset Strip, from Poison to Faster Pussycat. While Bret Michaels was a pansy for wearing lipstick, Axl was somehow cool for wearing thong bikini bottoms and leather chaps while performing.
The book traces each member's journey from their hometown to the Strip and gives all the filthy details along the way. I always knew Izzy Stradlin was the secret force behind the band, but you get a lot more details about that in the book. He was apparently the coolest dude in the band, and the others admitted as much. He also went to high school with Axl, which I didn't know. (Random note: If you are not familiar with Izzy Stradlin & The JuJu Hounds, you're doing yourself a disservice. Buy this album or this one and you won't be disappointed.) The last third of the book drags as it focuses on Axl going from crazy to CRAZY over the last 18 years, but it's still interesting to revisit the band's history.
For some reason, the book has been poorly reviewed on Amazon. People rip Davis for merely stringing together source material, but that seems to be the best way to get the story, in lieu of interviews with the principal characters. And fans have nitpicking complaints about descriptions of Slash's guitar. Whatever. The book gives the back stories behind every song and lyric on the Appetite and Lies albums. And that's worth something.
Next up on the reading docket are more sober reads: Game Change, On the Brink and Yalta. I'll spare you my thoughts on them when/if I get through any of them.