Rock And Roll High School (Book Review)
Released: 2013, Independent
HIn the months before it was published, I was quite intrigued to read ROCK AND ROLL HIGH SCHOOL . It sounded like it could be a very interesting look into the bands and personalities on the golden age of the Sunset Strip. The book was not quite what I expected. Not bad, just different.
Marissa at the time was a teenager living just outside Hollywood and is her life story spanning a decade or so. The sub-tilte is actually, 'Growing up in Hollywood In The Decade Of Decadence, an involuntary tribute to Motley Crue perhaps? They say everyone has a book inside them, this is hers. Marisa kept extensive journals that became the basis for her autobiography and I am always impressed by the drive of a person to self-publish.
ROCK AND ROLL HIGH SCHOOL is a 331 page paperback with a plain cover and no photos. Unfortunately the book is absolutely loaded with spelling and grammar mistakes. It is not the end of the world but could have used a good editor. There is not much else to it, it's an autobiography in the purest sense. What I was expecting was perhaps more of an insiders look into the Sunset Strip scene. Instead Tellez essentially tells of her experiences from that era.
I want to be clear, Tellez was not a groupie, nor was she the prototypical blond bimbo, however she was a valley girl, with all connotations (good and bad) that come with that. She mentions an endless stream of house parties, bars, gigs, after-parties and all the various characters that attend these functions. She hung out briefly with basically third tier bands like Blackboard Jungle and Swingin' Thing, bands that never really made it. When was the last time you read about Alleycat Scratch or Ana Black?
I wasn't thrilled with the lengthy descriptions of the endless female teenage drama of who slept with who, or who was fighting with who. Her life seemed high on emotional drama but very little substance, kind of little the classic 80's rocker chick, kind of into the music, but not really, part of the scene, but too smart to get hooked on drugs, liked to party but not be a slut.I can't be too critical because she lived her own life and provides an excellent first person perspective of a certain era but I feel there could have been more detail about the actual Sunset Strip and fewer stories about crying by the phone waiting for some boy to phone. She talks about having a crush on Nikki Sixx, hanging with Brent Muscat and just hanging out with her friends, stealing cars to go hang on the strip, and partying.
In a sense I feel bad about giving ROCK AND ROLL HIGH SCHOOL and a new, enthusiastic author an average rating but in terms of Metal content, I'm afraid there is not too much I can recommend to our hard core Metal readers. Unless you have a real fondness for that era or even lived or played in Hollywood in the 80's, this book is really just the story of a teenaged girl's life on the fringes of the Rock and Roll life. However, she tells a good tale and engages the reader to follow her life story during that time frame and in that sense, I really enjoyed ROCK AND ROLL HIGH SCHOOL.