RIP magazine editor Friend recalls a quarter-century spent as a ringleader in the music industry circus. From t"/>

Life on Planet Rock

Lonn Friend, Author . Morgan Road $14 (290p) ISBN 978-0-7679-2208-1

In this nomadic, at times humbling memoir, former RIP magazine editor Friend recalls a quarter-century spent as a ringleader in the music industry circus. From the early 1980s to the late '90s, Friend enjoyed an insiders' perch for some of rock's greatest moments—he worked as a DJ, a rock journalist, editor of heavy metal's most popular magazine and had a segment on MTV. In energetic prose he invites readers along on bonding experiences like golf dates with Alice Cooper and riding in private jets with Kiss, as well as exposing moments of professional soul-searching at the hands of Metallica's Lars Ulrich and Pearl Jam. Remarkably, Friend's narrative maintains an even keel, whether he's being ignored by Kurt Cobain or wooed by Gene Simmons, and he candidly portrays the compromised, often confusing role of the rock journalist, constantly teetering between friend and patsy. The most enlightening part of the book is Friend's brief, failed stint as an A&R man, when the journalist who made a career on megabands staked his A&R career on the Bogmen, a quirky but brilliant New York outfit, and even made a run at Eels. Through success, excess and failure, music fans will enjoy Friend's anecdotes and his clear-eyed, hardly jaded view of the industry. (July)

Reviewed on: 05/22/2006
Release date: 07/01/2006
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