Tattoos & Tequila and My Appetite for Destruction
Vince Neilwith Mike Sager
Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., Dec. 10, 2010
Tattoos & Tequila: To Hell and Back With One of Rock's Most Notorious Frontmenby Vince Neil, with Mike Sager
Grand Central Publishing, 290 pp., $27.99
My Appetite for Destruction: Sex & Drugs & Guns N' Rosesby Steven Adler, with Lawrence J. Spagnola
It Books, 286 pp., $25.99
Vince Neil's already dished The Dirt. That gloriously filthy and often contradictory account of Mötley Crüe's seedy reign on Sunset Strip remains one of rock history's definitive memoirs. On the occasion of his new solo album of the same name, Dr. Feelgood drags a few more skeletons from the closet, most notably an in-depth account of his 1984 vehicular manslaughter of Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle. Compiled from a series of interviews by noted beat-journalist Mike Sager, Tattoos & Tequila presents a near 300-page-long one-way conversation, broken up with occasional asides from outside commentators, such as Neil's four wives. While more entertaining than his C-list celebrity appearance on ABC's Skating With the Stars, this biography offers mere sloppy seconds, especially in comparison to Nikki Sixx's riveting Heroin Diaries. Likewise, Steven Adler's a reality wash-up (Celebrity Rehab) from the same scene and with a new project to peddle, Adler's Appetite. His Appetite for Destruction, however, plays out as a tragicomedy. After all, it takes a serious fuckup to botch a suicide attempt, and the onetime Guns N' Roses drummer failed three times. If his perpetual fall from grace comes across like a high school dropout lighting up and bragging about getting laid, you've gotten the gist of the story. There are some funny moments (his orgy with Sixx for starters), and it's a quick, light read, made even faster by the self-explanatory section headers. My favorite six-page run: "Getting My Drums," "New Drums," "The Biggest Practice Facility on Earth," "Oh Well," "The Birth of 'Slash,'" and "Working on the Drums."