The Days of Guns 'N' Roses
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 In his biography of Jim Morrison (No One Here Gets Out Alive) and his own autobiography (Wonderland Avenue), Sugerman has previously waxed poetic about roads of excess leading to palaces of rock 'n'roll wisdom. Here, he revives his shaman's chant to celebrate the wanton drug binges of Axl Rose and his Guns 'N' Roses ensemble. Sugerman assumes numerous guises to express this book's ``fascinating and life-affirming experience.'' As literary historian, he makes countless facile comparisons between Rose and Plato, Blake, Poe, Hamlet, and even Joseph Campbell by citing the delirious rock idol as an archetypal ``trickster'' playing havoc with Judeo-Christian repression. As musical philosopher, he connects the Guns 'N' Roses beat to Nietzsche's insights about Dionysus and the sensuousness of Wagner. The intellectual slapstick intensifies when Sugerman becomes a cultural anthropologist, tracing all things cerebral and antinatural to European culture and all virtues of ``body, sex, and rhythm'' to ``Congo Square.'' Even Guns 'N' Roses takes a back seat to these ``larger'' arguments. Sugerman attempts some simplistic summaries of each band-member's life and background, but it seems he uses the band just as a gimmick to sell his rambling discourse. A mercifully brief kitsch hodgepodge, with 16 pages of color and b&w photographs of Rose and his pals Pied-Pipering away.

Pub Date: July 15th, 1991
ISBN: 0-312-05814-4
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1991