Sunday, August 13, 2006

Book Review: "Tommyland" by Tommy Lee with Anthony Bozza (2005)

First off, let me tell you that in my opinion, Tommy Lee IS the Crue. I saw them in 1999 in Vancouver with the late Randy Castillo on drums, formerly of Ozzy's band, and there was something missing (and I'm not talking about the acres of empty seats despite the co-headlining Scorpions being on the bill), especially compared to when I saw them in 1990 at the Skydome on the "Dr. Feelgood" tour on the last day of grade 10. In 2002, I devoured "The Dirt" and shortly thereafter received the "Lewd, Crued and Tattooed" DVD as a gift, the one that featured Samantha Maloney of Hole on drums in T. Lee's place. With all his faults, "The Dirt" just showed the sheer likability of the guy as well as fact that it's just not the Crue live without him was reinforced through the DVD, and their triumphant 2005 reunion tour which I saw in Montreal at the Bell Centre with Lee firmly in place on the skins just confirmed it: if there's one guy who exemplifies the spirit of heavy metal in that band, it's him, so naturally, I loved this full-length, full-on, pedal to the floor memoir of the life and times of Tommy Lee, heavy metal madman extraordinaire.

It's all here: what it was like being married to Heather Locklear in the 1980s, his thoughts on Vince Neil and Kid Rock, his version of what happened with Pamela Anderson and how he ended up in jail, how he felt when a six-year old drowned in his pool during his son's birthday party in the early 2000s, and all the other stuff we read about in "The Dirt" but from Lee's perspective. It's like sitting down at the beach with the guy and just having a few ales: he peppers his conversation with words like "craise", "rad" and "skills" - not an ounce of pretense to be found here. He talks about his relationship with the press, what it's like to be a dad, and his feelings on fans who approach him with autograph requests, among many other things. You won't find a more honest look at what it's like to be a rock star than this, and it's an easy read that you can breeze through in 2-3 days, no problem. (Plus, my wife's first ever rock show, which was the Crue in Ottawa on the Girls, Girls, Girls tour in October 1987, even gets a mention! How cool is that?)

Overall rating: 9.5/10


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