(3 / 5)
This is a fun read. 208 pages, updated from a previous edition, this book traces the 230 nights of touring across six continents with Iggy Pop. Alvin Gibbs’ tour diary – ex Brit’ punk band UK Subs bass player, who got the call out of the blue to join the legend’s band and hit the road. After the Subs split, Gibbs was living in L.A. and was well up for filling the vacant spot in Iggy’s band.
Relating in a flowing and easy to follow style, the drama and excess all areas nature of his Iggy adventures, Alvin Gibbs lifts the lid on drugs and booze antics, as one would reasonably require for a rock and roll “tell all” book.
He talks about Iggy’s “tense encounter” with David Bowie backstage in New York. The outrageous goings on in a hotel room in Texas, where the rock band Guns N’ Roses were laying on a bash. He also spills the beans on a cocaine-fulled night after a triumphant show in Miami.
He joined the band after the call from former Hanoi Rocks guitarist Andy McCoy, Alvin’s mate, who was already playing for Iggy. The non-stop eight month tour took in every major city across six continents. Following Iggy around the globe, the book shines the spotlight on the “hidden” part of being a rock and roll star.
The relentless travel schedules, illicit pleasures – look out for the reference to the Japanese groupies – and satisfying stage triumphs of being in a band with the man who is considered to be the Godfather of punk, by many.
Alvin calls him, “a borderline superhuman projective artist of rare talent; one of rock music’s leading players and a uniquely gifted lyricist”. He adds: “I ask you, who else could have conjured up such a sublimely satisfying line as: ‘I wish life could be Swedish magazines?”
Alvin succinctly sums up his time with Mr Pop. “It was an extraordinary ride”. Didn’t the late and great Ian Dury write a famous song about this kind of stuff? “Sex and drugs and rock and roll”…
By Simon Redley
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’