18 And Life On Skid Row by Sebastian Bach (5 out of 5)

I have loved Sebastian Bach since my first glimpse of him in a Skid Row video. That hair, those legs, and more important than those things- that voice! That man can sing his skinny Canadian ass off! When I saw live clips of Skid Row on MTV, I loved him more. That attitude, that take-me-as- I-am-or-FUCK OFF aura was refreshing. After too many moons of seeing bands like Poison (blech!), here was a real band. As much of a fan of hair metal that I was, I was more of a harder edge hair metal fan…GNR, Skid, The Crue, etc. Those bands? Their catalog holds up today. I don’t see many fans stomping ass to stalwart tunes like “Talk Dirty To Me”. Just saying. 

When the news broke that Sebastian had been ousted from Skid Row, I was pissed. I vowed never to listen to whatever they would carry on as. And I haven’t. I have, however, continued to buy his solo records and support him. When I heard he was writing this book, I was ecstatic. I was even more ecstatic reading it. And I laughed out loud at many parts; dude is funny! He takes us through his childhood in Freeport, the Bahamas, Canada, and finally, after his career broke, the US, as son of renowned artist David Bierk.It’s obvious throughout the book how close he was to his father, and the family dynamic in general, even after his parents’ divorce. The music hits early, with easily the biggest appreciation of KISS I have ever read in a book. It continues with Bach being in choir and discovering his secret weapon- that bombastic voice. He pays his dues on Kid Wikkid and various other gigs along the way before Ski Row beckons. It is like the biggest nostalgia trip for this 44-year old metal fan to reread about their meteroic rise to the top through his eyes. Obviously, the wild oats were sown, grown, smoked, drank, and then some, but it’s refreshing to read about it in such an entertaining, straightforward manner. Skid Row, after three albums and years of breaking records, touring the world many times over, and meeting and touring with heroes and meeting fans, hits the skids (I am VERY sorry for the horrid pun) when they kick Bas out of the band. Well, you can’t keep a good man down, and that is very true with Bach. He goes on to Broadway, The Gilmore Girls, and a successful solo career after his sojourn with Skid Row. And this book. Another thing I really enjoyed about this is that he very candidly recounts his downs as much as he hits the highs. His dismissal from Skid Row, his disappointment in his solo records not hitting the higher chart positions he had hoped for, his parents’ divorce, his own divorce from long-time wife Maria, losing his home to Hurricane Irene, and most movingly, losing his father to cancer. I love Bas’ unwavering enthusiasm for the art of singing, rock n’ roll, his family, and his new wife. It’s obvious this guy loves life and rock n’ roll. We can only hope he’s around rocking out for a long time to come. The book is out now in hardcover, and audio book, from the fine folks at Dey Street books (an imprint of Harper Collins). 

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~ by generationgbooks on February 4, 2017.

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