Released: 2001, Bazillion Points
The upstart (soon to be juggernaut) publishing house of Bazillion Points, led by Ian Christie (author of sound Of The Beast) has acquired the rights and translated the biography of Andy McCoy. Originally published in Finland, in Finnish in 2001, it would have been nice to be updated but there is certainly enough for a second book one day.
I was lucky enough to get the hardcover version. This book is a couple of hundred pages long, has quite a few photos and the pink bookmark is a nice touch. The discography is quite useful as well. The format is pretty familiar to most autobiographies, starting at the best place to start, namely the beginning. Born in 1962, it impressive how much success he had early on in life with Hanoi Rocks. They really were the, perhaps unheralded, progenitors of the whole L.A. glam/ gypsy scene.
While I really enjoyed the book, there were many problems. For one it is not really well organized. McCoy rambles on in a stream of consciousness that reminds me of the David Lee Roth autobiography. Namely, amazing stories but no continuity or detail to try to piece it together. It is more a collection of anecdotes about sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll all mushed together in a loose framework. It is very hard to follow and if the reader was not a fan of Hanoi Rocks he or she would have a very hard time keeping track of the various people who seem to drift and out of McCoy’s life, or the other way around.
In fact if you are looking for a detailed musical history of Hanoi rocks this is NOT the book to get. McCoy only really mentions the band as a framework for his travels around the world, getting drunk, high and laid. I was quite disappointed in that respect. McCoy doesn’t seem to really be a music fan (as compared to the recent Al Atkins autobiography) at all. He rarely details any recordings, albums, tours and so on, the stories come after a preamble in the vein of, “We (the band) went into a studio, I can’t remember where, recorded an album, and then we went on another tour with some new guy as the drummer, but then we ended up in India with a week off and I meet this chick and we did a mountain of drugs…” That’s not a direct quote but a synopsis of many of the stories.
Don’t get me wrong! The stories are amazing and interesting but he really doesn’t give us much insight into the music or the band. If you want ‘the dirt’ (ala Motley Crue) and stories of rock stars overdosing on heroin, injuries, accidents and so forth, then this is the book for you. Ultimately, McCoy comes off as the last of the real gypsy’s, indestructible, aimless with a bad case of wander-lust, and fully flawed with addictions barely in check. That is why this book of a true rock ‘n roll survivor with not much to say, is recommended for real fans only.