It only seems five minutes ago that Jon Hotten undertook work experience at Kerrang! magazine as the art editor’s ‘lackey boy’, but his timing was perfect. These were the over-the-top 1980s and Kerrang!’s pages were full of the big-haired, big-mouthed likes of Mötley Crüe, Poison, Van Halen… Slave Raider, even. A fertile hunting ground for any budding rock journo worth his salt.
Set in Los Angeles in 1988, My Life And The Beautiful Music is an off-kilter, part-autobiographical account of the hedonistic Hollywood rock scene of the time. Hotten, who broke the legendary Nikki Sixx/Matthew Trippe doppelgänger story, uses this as a springboard for all kinds of surreal musings.
Mysterious female characters – Iris, Brenna, Lana – flit in and out of the narrative, as does a wayward photographer clearly modelled on the late, great Ray Palmer. Hotten himself cuts a curiously detached figure, as if he’s observing events through a gauzy lens.
An odd book, then, but weirdly compelling all the same. And certainly a step up from Letrasetting Krusher’s headlines./o:p