All right, it's time to start the ride now, so please take your seats. I advise you to keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times. If you have a pacemaker, a heart condition, or if you are pregnant or too damn short to reach the safety bar, I ask that you turn back immediately. Same goes for those with weak stomachs, strict morals or chronic indigestion. In fact, you people might want to just put this book down now and slowly back away or return it to your local bookstore.
So warns Tommy Lee (best known as a founding member and drummer for Mötley Crüe) in the first chapter of his autobiography Tommyland. I have an admonishment of my own to add. Don't read this in places where bursts of loud laughter are inappropriate. Not in a board meeting, hidden behind the pages of an annual report; or in class, with a textbook propped up on your desk for camouflage; nor a public library. There are times in my life when I would have wished for a copy, either as a way to get a seat on a crowded train or ward off a weirdo or two, as people tend to move back from anyone sitting alone in a communal area har-de-har-har-ing for all to hear. Consider yourself warned.
Written by Tommy Lee and Anthony Bozza, Tommyland is a solid portrait of the man - his life and state of mind. It's the name of his studio, home, and hard drive. It is how he lives and breathes. A quote from the back cover of the book puts it this way:
But this book isn't your typical journey in a straight line from day one to day now. My real mission here is to paint you a picture of my life, and show you how it smells. Because if there's one thing I've learned over the years - from the Crüe, from my ex-wives, from my dad, in court, in fights, in sex, in sex videos, in the tabloids, from Dick (who you'll meet on page one) - it is this: there isn't one truth, there are many. This book is my truth.
He certainly doesn't pull any punches in these pages. He talks about all the above-mentioned parts of his life and more. You meet some interesting people along the way, friends, associates and wannabes alike, several of whom were part of his process of putting his life down on paper. For example, after warning us to hold onto our hats as Tommyland starts, he and co-writer Bozza introduce us to the British editor assigned to oversee the book. His contributions to the writing, or at least his attempts at editing, are sometimes placed on the pages, as if they are sticky-notes. Poor guy — he really didn't stand a chance at having control over the situation. But the resulting comments are very amusing.