The story of Steven Adler's life as a member of Guns N Roses, one of rock and roll's most volatile, decadent and out of control bands, is both terrifying and awe-inspiring. His new book, My Appetite For Destruction: Sex and Drugs and Guns N' Roses, due for release July 27th, really hits home--but not for being a thrill-inducing rock and roll story. Actually it's just the opposite. Adler's candor and self-reflection make this book a different kind of rock star memoir entirely.
Steven Adler absolutely doesn't try to pretty up his story; there's no attempt to make himself look heroic or, as so often happens in rock star biographies, victimized. Adler puts aside his own ego to tell a story that is bitingly poignant in its brutal honesty.
Adler also proves that sometimes coming clean is the harder part of getting clean. Something he does well in My Appetite For Destruction. At times you feel distinctly, painfully, the breakdown, the regrets, the realization of all that was lost.
Steven opens up with an admission that he had locked himself away in his trailer to do drugs directly after opening for the Rolling Stones in 1989; his dreams had finally come true, but he was in no shape to enjoy it. He couldn't walk around backstage, meeting, greeting, basking in the amazing, historic moment — the drugs were calling, and he had to answer. It was just one of those moments that he can't take back; he'll never get a chance to do it over. It's the kind of regret that will haunt him forever after.
In the band Guns N Roses you had five men whose dreams all came true, but the joy in their rise to fame was finished before it had begun, lost in the pursuit of the next fix.
They were living in a fog of heroin, cocaine, alcohol and women that never allowed them to really feel what was happening to them, the highs and lows muted by drugs — except Axl Rose, of course, who had an affliction of his own which, rather than forcing him to get control of his manic abusiveness, acted as a license to further brutalize his bandmates, and Steven in particular.