Released: 2010, John Blake Publishing
Paul’s autobiography was just republished for the first time in paperback so I grabbed it to pair up with the Bruce Dickinson biography I happened to be reading at the time. I also reviewed the Dickinson as well this month so check out the reviews, a double shot of Maiden singer books!
I have met Paul Dianno, interviewed him in person, and have had the pleasure of seeing him live. He was a real gentleman. After reading his autobiography I have come to the conclusion that either Paul is completely schizo or it is all an elaborate act. Unfortunately, Paul ‘The Beast’ wrote THE BEAST (not Paul the human) and the story suffers for it. By this I mean that Paul has written the expected, perhaps even quintessential rock star bio of sex drugs and rock and roll. This is clever and calculated to give the people what they want, or perhaps expect. Well, I expected more.
THE BEAST is a decent enough paperback, 350 pages, spread across 19 chapters with 17 black and white photos. There is no real rhyme or reason to the book, it is just an endless string of anecdotes about Paul’s bad behavior. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a story about shagging a bird as much as the next bloke but to read endless graphic pornographic accounts of his encounters with wasted groupies, I’d rather look at the Page 3 girl and have a wank in the bog.
Speaking of bog…Paul street slang may be difficult for non-British readers to follow. Words like ‘Bog’, ‘gob’, kip’, ‘nosh’, ‘toss’, soppy’ etc may throw some readers. Fortunately me Mum was a Brit so I could follow. He certainly dumbed it down with story after story about snorting coke in some hotel room or bathroom in a club or wherever. It became exceedingly dull.
The book is painfully short on details about his music, his career, his band mates. It is far more a long-winded detailing of his various addictions, compulsions, crimes, the dizzying highs and the crushing lows. Somehow people keep paying him to tour and he blows (or snorts) it all away. THE BEAST is vaguely linear from his youth but it really gets blurry with lack of detail, lack of dates and so on.
It’s a bit sad and he has many regrets and demons especially his physical abuse of his wives when he gets drunk, which is often. It ain’t pretty but he seems to take it all in stride because drinking, fighting and fucking was his street education in East London, so there doesn’t seem to be a ton of sincere remorse about beating on and cheating on his wives. Chapter 19 is a collection of quotes about people who know him or have worked with him and those are quite amusing as they corroborate some of his more outlandish behavior.
THE BEAST is a cautionary tale with very little detail about Paul the man, the musician, husband, father, instead deciding to revel in past misdeeds for shock value. If you want to read how Paul shoved a gun up the snatch of some poor tart, get this book. If you wanted a overview of his work, bands, tours and music you will have to wait, that book has yet to be written.