Here's what we learned from the latest crop of musicians-turned-authors
John Taylor, In the Pleasure Groove
Duran Duran and James Bond joined forces thanks to a twist of fate. At a party for Michael Caine, Taylor approached Bond producer Cubby Broccoli about writing the theme to 1985’s A View to a Kill. Broccoli agreed — that was the easy part. The song almost wasn’t recorded due to disagreements with composer John Barry. Now Taylor counts it as one of Duran Duran’s best tracks.
Rod Stewart, Rod
Amid confessions of rampant drug use and his many well-publicized affairs with women, Stewart shares a sweet — and very A-list — story about his close friend Elton John. One Christmas, Stewart gifted John with a novelty mini-fridge; in return, John gave him an actual Rembrandt. ”He later referred tartly to my present as ‘an ice bucket,”’ Stewart recalls.
Perter Criss, Makeup to Breakup
Stories of excess are central to any rock memoir, but Criss fills nearly every page with cocaine and orgies. He met his equal in late SNL star John Belushi, a huge Kiss fan. Criss claims their coked-up shenanigans included causing a ruckus at Grand Central station and watching Keith Richards pull a gun on a rowdy guy at a party. ”He lured you right into his insanity,” Criss writes of Belushi.
Kenny Rogers, Luck or Something Like It
Rogers has a (chicken) bone to pick with Jerry Seinfeld. At the end of a season 8 episode of Seinfeld, the comedian unwittingly forces the closing of a Kenny Rogers Roasters outlet across the street from his apartment. Rogers jokes that the episode might have had an effect on his real-life restaurant franchise. ”We went out of business a year later,” he writes.
”Weird Al” Yankovic, Weird Al: The Book
In this lushly photographed lyric book, Yankovic says he never had problems with the artists whose music he’s spoofed — until his 1996 hit ”Amish Paradise,” a send-up of Coolio’s ”Gangsta’s Paradise.” The rapper claimed the parody ”had ‘desecrated’ his original and disrespected the Amish way of life.” Eventually the two made peace.