Best of 2014: Books

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Enjoy these excerpts from the minds of Joe Perry, Jaz Coleman, Walter Trout and Scott Ian. Expect chipmunk-hunting, bus crashes and drugs in underpants...

JOE PERRY GOES BACK TO NATURE “The water in which my grandfather drowned continued to call to me. Maybe it was a way of defying death, but in the aftermath of what happened to my grandfather I plunged deeper into Lake Sunapee. Water was my element. I didn’t want to come up. I wanted to stay submerged in silence. “The woods close to our house held another kind of silence. No human talk, just rustling and chirping and scampering over leaves. I stalked through the bushes with my BB gun, a lever-action copy of a Winchester. I loved hunting chipmunks and squirrels and birds. I hadn’t read the writers and thinkers who had turned their dialogues with nature into philosophies, but their thoughts were in my blood. As a solitary creature in a forest, I felt at home. Wild animals lived in these woods. And so did I.” From Rocks: My Life In And Out Of Aerosmith (Simon & Schuster) _

JAZ COLEMAN’S DINNER PARTY ETIQUETTE

“You will note that we are generally polite to each other in public (as it is the only time we don’t all turn on each other, which provides the ideal opportunity to direct our collective vitriol on an unsuspecting stranger, which in turn exacerbates our sense of brotherhood, as outsiders are fair game). It is not surprising that an aura of menace emanates from us as time has bestowed upon us certain telepathic abilities. Maybe you noticed the up-turned corners of Youth’s mouth, belying an amused contempt, or the evil grin of Geordie (who may have detected an involuntary tic or the faintest trace of a speech impediment), and that is before you become aware of the deathly silence of Big Paul Ferguson, periodically broken by the clearing of his throat in the manner of a judge about to pass sentence of death. Don’t worry, just smile and surrender.”

From Letters From Cythera: A Ludibrium (KJ Books). Order it here

WALTER TROUT HITS ROCK BOTTOM

“There’s a knock and there he is with the coke. Now, the plan is, we’re gonna cook it and make what’s called freebase, which is a higher version of crack. I had a glass pipe and a blowtorch, and we’ve got ammonia: we’re like a couple of chemists. He goes: ‘Well, we need a coffee filter to filter it through’. Well, fuck, I didn’t travel with coffee filters. So he goes: ‘Okay, let’s use some underpants.’

“So I went through my suitcase and got out the cleanest dirty pair of underpants I could find. So we’ve got the glass pipe, and we’re scraping the yellow-brown cocaine base that we’ve made into the pipe. We run out of coke, but there’s still stains all over the underwear, so we’re cutting little squares out of the underpants, and we don’t care if the stain is cocaine residue or piss and shit. We’re fighting over this: ‘I want that stain, God damn it…!’”

From Rescued From Reality: The Life And Times Of Walter Trout (MLG). Order it here

SCOTT IAN HEAR’S OF CLIFF BURTON’S DEATH

“Kirk was pretty drunk, but stable. He told us what happened. He wasn’t awake when the bus crashed. All he knew was he was getting thrown around like a rag doll in a dryer. Then it stopped and everyone was screaming. Everyone was trying to account for everybody else, and no one could find Cliff. And then they saw his legs sticking out from under the side of the bus, and they fucking lost their minds. Even to this day it’s hard for my brain to wrap around that image.

“James started crying and screaming: “Cliff! Cliff!” Then he became destructive. He kicked over lamps and threw bottles of booze. Frankie and Charlie looked at each other and, without saying a word, decided to get James outside. The hotel management wouldn’t care that Cliff was dead. They’d just want to prevent their place from getting trashed.”

From I’m The Man: The Story Of That Guy From Anthrax (Da Capo)