When hardcore industrial rocker and Ministry supremo Al Jourgensen recruited Chris Connelly as a singer for the Revolting Cocks, the young Scottish lad could hardly have imagined the mayhem that was about to ensue.
As an integral part of Jourgensen's Mad Max-like mutant family of musicians, Connelly joined a drug-crazed travelling circus. Live shows were transformed into an ear-splitting redneck disco from hell, under the influence of a mind-boggling cocktail of every conceivable narcotic, with sleazy strippers and even reports of live cattle on stage.
As well as Jourgensen and all the Wax Trax! crew, the book features cameo appearances by Ogre of Skinny Puppy, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, Killing Joke, Jah Wobble, and Cabaret Voltaire.
Despite the unrelenting chaos, both Ministry and the Revolting Cocks have been immensely successful; Connelly appeared on two US gold albums (The Land of Rape and Honey and The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste) and worked as songwriter on the million-plus selling platinum album Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs.
Connelly's superbly written, funny, irreverent, and sometimes downright scary memoir is one of the finest portrayals of a man trapped in the eye of a post-punk industrial storm this side of Armageddon.
Chris Connelly was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and now lives in Chicago where he has pursued a successful solo career.
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The Debauch Fantastic!
It would be easy to dismiss this collection of hazy, drug fueled tales from the glory days of Industrial music if it weren't for the wonderfully likable, and self deprecating, tone of Chris Connelly.
Now, I don't even know the works of Ministry, Pigface or the Cocks, but none of that matters in my appreciation of this book.
What makes this read so enjoyable is Connelly's unrepentant celebration of the abstract Rock reality, where he dreamily lived ( in a bus bunk, from tour to tour, indiscriminately pounding narcotics (of all levels) and mounting everything that moved) until "something" snapped..
Connelly also is also refreshing in his willingness to dish the dirt and happily reveal the failings of ego driven, drug addeled "rock stars" as they celebrated the chase of The Big Dumb.
Call it good old Scottish self deprecation, but It also should be noted that Connelly never let's himself off the hook. Sure, this book is a unfettered hit piece on Ministry's Al Jourgensen, but who cares! Hit pieces are fun! And, let's face it, Al Jourgensen really needs a literary kick to the bait and tackle.
And he NAILS the reading. Also, the production of this book is very interesting, as the tight comical edits help convey the manic pace of the times. This one made me laugh out loud many times.
Chris Connelly - The Man
- Daniel Greene