Ballroom Dancing

SXSW panels

Ballroom Dancing
Photo by Gary Miller

Rock Memoirs

Austin Convention Center, Friday, March 14

Like many rock memoirs, it was tempting to skip ahead a few pages for the good stuff in this panel, but when it delivered, it was worth it. Former Rolling Stone books editor/author Holly George-Warren deftly moderated talk that featured almost-famous Jennifer Trynin (Everything I'm Cracked Up to Be), former Semisonic drummer Jacob Slichter (So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star), rocker mom Laurie Lindeen (Petal Pusher), and the notorious Andrew Loog Oldham (Stoned), all of which was as confessional as it was informative. It's tough to go up against a star character like Oldham, rife with stories of Keef and Madam Jagger, but the panelists all boasted stories from the trenches that struck home. Trynin told of how "everyone told me I was going to be huge, and I believed it" in the 1980s and what happened when she "was a miserable failure." "Your memoir is the picture you paint," Lindeen recounted advice from author Tobias Wolff. Slichter agreed, calling himself "a wuss" for not detailing certain band conflicts. Leave it to Oldham for the last word, however: "We all have one book in us, whether we're Pavlov or Sergeant Barry Sadler."

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