When hardcore industrial rocker and Ministry supremo Al Jourgensen recruited Chris Connelly as a singer for the Revolting Cocks, the young Scottish lad could hardly have imagined the mayhem that was about to ensue.
As an integral part of Jourgensen's Mad Max-like mutant family of musicians, Connelly joined a drug-crazed travelling circus. Live shows were transformed into an ear-splitting redneck disco from hell, under the influence of a mind-boggling cocktail of every conceivable narcotic, with sleazy strippers and even reports of live cattle on stage.
As well as Jourgensen and all the Wax Trax! crew, the book features cameo appearances by Ogre of Skinny Puppy, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, Killing Joke, Jah Wobble, and Cabaret Voltaire.
Despite the unrelenting chaos, both Ministry and the Revolting Cocks have been immensely successful; Connelly appeared on two US gold albums (The Land of Rape and Honey and The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste) and worked as songwriter on the million-plus selling platinum album Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs.
Connelly's superbly written, funny, irreverent, and sometimes downright scary memoir is one of the finest portrayals of a man trapped in the eye of a post-punk industrial storm this side of Armageddon.
Chris Connelly was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and now lives in Chicago where he has pursued a successful solo career.
©2007, 2014 Christopher John Connelly (P)2014 Christopher John Connelly
Connelly delivers a great performance reading through his memoir. The pace stays pretty good throughout taking you through the musical up and down down downs with a sordid adventure or two. Perfect for those that were there or wish they were.
Love to hear stories straight from the (acid) horse's mouth (see what I did there?). Like this better than Jourgensen's inebriated accounts of what happened at the time. Plus, Connelly's impressions of the cast of industrial characters, help move the story and are hilarious to boot!
I was so excited to see that one of my favorite artists in the Wax Trax / industrial music scene, one who was an important member of a few of my favorite bands, wrote a memoir. I still have a lubricated, ribbed Trojan condom he threw in the audience the first time I saw Pigface. This book is juicy, fun, and absolutely hilarious! It is even more so read aloud in the author's voice accompanied by many throaty laughs. This book was a joy, and I highly recommend it. it really made me a bit nostalgic for a few wonderful times and a few wonderful places.
It would be easy to dismiss this collection of hazy, drug fueled tales from the glory days of Industrial music if it weren't for the wonderfully likable, and self deprecating, tone of Chris Connelly.
Now, I don't even know the works of Ministry, Pigface or the Cocks, but none of that matters in my appreciation of this book.
What makes this read so enjoyable is Connelly's unrepentant celebration of the abstract Rock reality, where he dreamily lived ( in a bus bunk, from tour to tour, indiscriminately pounding narcotics (of all levels) and mounting everything that moved) until "something" snapped..
Connelly also is also refreshing in his willingness to dish the dirt and happily reveal the failings of ego driven, drug addeled "rock stars" as they celebrated the chase of The Big Dumb.
Call it good old Scottish self deprecation, but It also should be noted that Connelly never let's himself off the hook. Sure, this book is a unfettered hit piece on Ministry's Al Jourgensen, but who cares! Hit pieces are fun! And, let's face it, Al Jourgensen really needs a literary kick to the bait and tackle.
And he NAILS the reading. Also, the production of this book is very interesting, as the tight comical edits help convey the manic pace of the times. This one made me laugh out loud many times.
Connelly's wit and sincerity:
That is right. Connelly narrates his own book. (In case you missed that part.) It is as if you (the listener) are sitting in a room with Connelly as he invites you to unravel the dingy infested era of industrial music.The listener is immediately charmed by Chris Connelly's Scottish accent and honesty.
The fact that I am such a fan of industrial music:
Connelly shares many great (and sometimes tragic) stories of the various key names that made up the rusted mud pit that was 90's industrial/Alternative. Examples are (but not limited to): Pigface, KMFDM, Nine Inch Nails, Lydia Lunch, PTP, Skinny Puppy and of course Ministry, Revolting Cocks, and the Finitribe.
Connelly as Al Jorgensen:
Connelly's impression of Al Jorgensen is more sincere then perhaps a conversation with Al Jorgensen. I will just leave it at that.
An extreme reaction? Not really:
This book was highly entertaining. I would look forward to moments of downtime so I could pop in my earbuds and laugh along with the narrator. I like the fact that if Connelly found a memory funny he did not hold back his own laughter. (Though, Sometimes it seemed forced for the sake of story telling.)
Al Jorgensen credits himself as saying "If you remember the 90's, you were not really there." Or some such thing. The fact is Al credits himself over and over and over and over and over again for things. So, If you want another side of the tale of industrial music (Aka the entertaining bastard child that the music industry has tried so hard to forget.) and you want the story to not be told by the loudest voice in the room; give this book a go.
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