Chris Connelly recently put out an autobiography entitled, ‘CONCRETE, BULLETPROOF, INVISIBLE AND FRIED: MY LIFE AS A REVOLTING COCK’. I stumbled upon this back a couple months ago on Mr. Connelly’s website and made a mental note (that of course, disappeared) to purchase it when it came out.
Flash forward to last week at work and what do I stumble across but the Connelly book. I had been carousing for a new read, and although the Bret Easton Ellis kick is still going strong I couldn’t resist. I bought the Connelly and read it in a couple days. Great fucking book.
These days the ‘Rock’ section of the bookstore is overrun. Marketers and musicians (mostly of the washed up variety) have seen the light and the opportunity with ‘tell all’ tales for every band imaginable. These usually consist of crap – everybody’s craziest road stories, all co-written by a second, professional writer to make sure it’s at least halfway readable. The ‘writer”s job is essentially to find dozens of different ways for someone like Nikki Sixx to say ‘dude, I was so high’ over and over again.*
And there are tons of ‘scene’ books – everything from black metal (burn those nordic churches you evil, evil wankers!!!), punk, rap, crap, hip, hop. I’ve even seen a few specifically on grind, noise, no-wave. But I haven’t seen anything on Industrial. And NO, I do not mean mindless self promotion-hack era industrial, I mean the musicians and scenes that began the genre, if you can call it that (which normally I do not).
Throbbing Gristle, Foetus, Ministry, Revco, etc.
Connelly’s book is not about the industrial scene. But it is. No sense here? Just hold on, let me try to explain.
What Chris, if I may call him that, set out to do is tell everything that happened to him from the time he was in Fini Tribe back in Scotland in the late 80’s-early 90’s and first heard Revco all the way up through when he joined them, toured with them, begat countless bands with them, and eventually began losing touch with this form of music he helped bring to fruition and then, then began making AMAZINGLY introspective, beautiful music under his own name**.
And this he does in a fluid, wonderfully animated and joyously entertaining way. But what he also does is what none of those blowjob hacks from the eagles or motley stupid or whoever couldn’t do even with a pro writer on their team – he gives the reader a first person account of a truly unique moment in music history – the Wax Trax scene.
And it’s great. Especially for anyone who has ever lived in Chicago. Everything’s here folks: the Metro, Smart Bar, Medusa’s, The Riv, Grandpa Jourgensen, Mr. Paul Barker, Texas, Killing Joke, Martin Atkins, Pigface, William Tucker, and finally Wicker Park and Bucktown before they became the yuppie nexus’ they are now.
Concrete, Bulletproof, Invisible and Fried is a trip down memory lane and a riotous good story about climbing on board a fledgling ‘movement’ and riding the crest, going wherever it takes you. Kinda like life I guess, but life as a revolting cock. Now how couldn’t you want to read about that?
* Seriously, if you haven’t seen this douche bag’s book, The Heroin Diaries, next time you’re in a book store pick it up and marvel at the absolute moronity. I mean, he’s in Motley Crue, so it wasn’t going to be intelligent or thought provoking, but it is just page after page of ‘yeah, I was at the Cathouse, did a couple bumps, felt this bitch up, did a couple more bumps, drank a bunch of jack, did some more bumps, told famous person A what I really thought of them, did more shots of jack and more bumps, woke up with this hot bitch still on my junk’. And if you think I’m exaggerating I assure you I am not. You think that dickhead was jealous when the Seattle scene became associated with the horse? ‘Dude, I was doin’ H long before the guys in that band…’
** I’m as big a fan of Revco and Ministry as the biggest, both are from my home town and came of age in the era I grew up and began getting seriously into music, and I’m not saying Chris’ albums are better, but damn, they are fucking amazing in a completely different way than that old school industrial stuff. Night Of Your Life is a MASTERPIECE that sends chills up my spine every time I listen to it, still after regular rotation for three or four years