The boys in the bands BY JIM DEROGATIS (06/19/00)
Jim DeRogatis offered five excellent choices for rock biographies, but he missed the one that certainly had a greater influence on impressionable teens than any other: "No One Here Gets Out Alive" by Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerman.
Those who read this biography of Jim Morrison before they were 15 years old not only found a role model for their first attempts at drug-bingeing, drinking, sex and the donning of stinky leather pants, but a wonderful reading list too (Celine, Ferlinghetti, Huxley, Brecht -- just for starters). As a trashy classic, it's hard to beat this one.
-- Rich Byrne
Perhaps as a self-confessed "Gen X-er" DeRogatis hasn't had the discipline nor the time to read extensively, explaining his statement, "I wanted to select the five all-time great rock 'n' roll novels. Trouble is, with the possible exceptions of Nick Hornby's "High Fidelity" and Tom Carson's "Twisted Kicks," there haven't been any. Yet." How could he overlook Thomas Pynchon's "The Crying of Lot 49" (and to some extent "Vineland"), Roddy Doyle's "The Commitments," Francesca Lia Block's "Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys" and Sherman Alexie's "Reservation Blues"? Even Pagan Kennedy's "The Exes" might round out a five-best list (and is certainly more deserving than the narrow worldview of Carson's herky-jerky adolescent novel).
-- Tod Nelson