Inside ''The Rock & Roll Cookbook'' -- The book contains more than 100 recipes that keep Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam, and other rockers full

By Erica Kornberg
Updated September 10, 1993 at 04:00 AM EDT

What do the Spin Doctors prescribe for breakfast? (Banana pancakes.) How does INXS’ Michael Hutchence keep that sinewy body primed and ready for the road? (A fish dish called Pla Rad Prik.) And where does Neil Sedaka stand on the whole bake or fry debate? (Bake.) If you thought rockers subsisted on bourbon, cigarettes, and a good time, here comes The Rock & Roll Cookbook (General Publishing, $14.99) to tell you otherwise. Compiled by groupie-turned-author Pamela Des Barres (I’m With the Band) and early-’60s doo-woppers Dick and Sandy St. John (Dick and Dee Dee), the book contains more than 100 recipes, each donated by a notable from rock’s past or present and often named after his or her greatest hit (like the Kingsmen’s Louie Louie Salmon Chowder, or the Angels’ My Boyfriend’s Back ‘Cause He Loves My Mocha Cheesecake). Joe Walsh waxes knowledgeable on how to boil pasta at varying altitudes. Peter Frampton, who cooks to Led Zeppelin, finds that ”the guitar solo is the best time to put the cooking oil into the pan,” while Pearl Jam’s bassist Jeff Ament informs us that ”tiger prawns make a weird little scream when you throw ’em in hot oil.” But Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain reveals the rock-food shocker of the book (maybe the decade): ”What people don’t realize is that the so-called Seattle Grunge scene grew out of several close-knit gourmet supper clubs — we would pick up guitars to pass the time while our dishes were simmering, baking, boiling, etc.”

The cookbook may read like light fare (despite the density of some of its offerings), but some of its profits go to a serious cause: the establishment of a rock-musician retirement center at the National Music Foundation in Lenox, Mass. Says Sandy St. John, who cooked up the idea for the book: ”In the ’50s and ’60s, many of the founders of rock & roll got ripped off by the industry. They ended up penniless. This center will be a place where they can go.”