Cheetah Chrome – A Dead Boy’s Tale From The Front Lines Of Punk Rock (Voyageur Press)

Guitarist Cheetah Chrome’s story is one avid rock biography readers have likely read before. His tales of rock’n’roll excess rival the all-time abusers: Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Aerosmith, Keith Richards, Slash…etc. Chrome lived an insane lifestyle for almost forty years, starting in the early-1970s and ending (we hope) in 2007, and he’s still here to talk about it. How he managed to outlive peers like Johnny Thunders, Jerry Nolan, The Ramones and Dead Boys’ singer Stiv Bators is nothing short of a minor miracle, considering all of the hospital visits, O.D.s, prison stays, and general mayhem detailed in A Dead Boy’s Tale. What’s also amazing is how long Cheetah Chrome was able to live the carefree life of a rock star (drugs, girls, hanging out with The Rolling Stones, destroying hotels) without the benefit of a hugely successful band or a hit song (“Sonic Reducer” is well known, but hardly a big hit) to fund his exploits. As expected, Chrome’s high times are followed by a bottoming out period (addiction and homelessness), and a redemption (rehab, marriage, and children) which ends the book on a happy note. Although A Dead Boy’s Tale feels somewhat familiar, it’s an enjoyable read, and an invaluable addition to fans’ bookshelves.