SO YOU WANNA BE A ROCK & ROLL STAR: How I Machine-Gunned a Roomful of Record Executives and Other True Tales from a Drummer's Life

Jacob Slichter, Author . Broadway $21.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7679-1470-3

Slichter's bittersweet recollections of Semisonic's rise from unassuming Minnesota trio to international rock stars navigates through the strange and uncomfortable worlds of the music business, fame and constant worry. Taken from his tour journals as the band's drummer, Slichter's insights alternate between funny and poignant as they peel back the curtain on a lifestyle that most people consider luxurious and carefree, but that is actually mentally and physically taxing. Slichter quickly learns that all the bills, from dinner to the cost of making a record, go to the artist while most of the profits go to the record label. He also finds out that the existence of profits depends on the suits at the record company picking the right song to release, a fickle radio station program director deciding to play it and MTV deeming the video cool enough to air. All this pressure to simultaneously create music and make business decisions takes such a toll on Slichter that he becomes more focused on album sales than on the fun of playing drums. Even when the band does hit it big with "Closing Time" and their 15 minutes of fame start ticking away, Slichter and his band mates Dan Wilson and John Munson never seem at home in the spotlight. But Slichter's uneasiness makes for interesting tales, like being starstruck at the Grammys or his lacking the ability to rein in his celebrity personality, which causes him to talk in sound bites. Thanks to Slichter's good-natured presentation, these stories and Slichter's work as a whole, despite their rock star origins, are surprisingly easy to relate to. Agent, Daniel Greenberg. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/26/2004
Release date: 04/01/2004
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FORMATS
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 193 pages - 978-0-7679-1901-2
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-7679-1471-0
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-12736-4
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