The Book of Drugs
Reviewed by Jay Trachtenberg, Fri., Dec. 16, 2011
The Book of Drugsby Mike Doughty
Da Capo Press, 252 pp., $16 (paper)
A couple of years ago, Mike Doughty came on my KUT-FM radio show and declined to talk about fronting Soul Coughing. Now I understand why. Without naming names, Doughty explodes with such an unrelenting onslaught of scathing negativity toward his fellow bandmates that it's hard to fathom how the group stayed together for seven years, long enough to release three acclaimed albums in the mid-to-late 1990s. At first it makes for a compelling read, but the vituperation gets old and one wonders why, if the atmosphere was so rancid, Doughty stuck around. Even then, his memoir isn't about making music; it's about addiction and redemption. Pills, pot, and Ecstasy worked for a while. "This is what I wanted to do with my life. Be outrageously high, be absolutely alone except for 'adoration from fans.'" Halfway through The Book of Drugs, Doughty is introduced to "whizz" (heroin) while on a video shoot in England. His addiction to dope and then alcohol isn't a pretty picture. With the support of an unnamed "rock legend," his eventual recovery through 12-step programs ("in the rooms," as he calls it) is inspiring. There's the requisite sex and some exotic travels, but more on the music side, particularly regarding his present solo career, would have been nice.
Raoul Hernandez, Fri., Dec. 23, 2011
Richard Whittaker, Fri., Dec. 23, 2011
Austin Powell, Fri., Dec. 23, 2011
Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Dec. 23, 2011
Jay Trachtenberg, Fri., Dec. 23, 2011
Luke Winkie, Fri., May 24, 2013
Margaret Moser, Fri., May 24, 2013
Jim Caligiuri, Fri., May 24, 2013
Abby Johnston, Fri., May 24, 2013
Doug Freeman, Fri., May 24, 2013
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