Getcha Rocks Off

Author: Mick Wall | Publisher: Orion

Needing something else to pad out a Christmas stocking, I bought my partner Getcha Rocks Off: Sex & Excess. Bust-Ups & Binges. Life & Death on the Rock N Roll Road for Christmas, and borrowed it back (10 Book Bingo points for me!) because I needed something to read on the train home from the in-laws. Mick Wall is one of those names that’s synonymous with the excesses of 1980s heavy metal, so I had some hopes it would at least be interesting. Though have to say, I came away with mixed feelings…

Where to even begin…

Mick Wall himself is completely unlikeable. And I mean, completely. I challenge you to find one redeeming characteristic, because I could not. I know that the music scene has a well-earned reputation for bands (and their hangers-on) taking too many drugs and doing unspeakable things to silly women on tour buses. This isn’t news to anyone, right? Is anyone else super bored of hearing about it? Because I am… Like, yes, I get it… You did drugs and slept with people, how original… Did you do anything else? Something we might actually give a shit about? Most sensible people don’t think that the purpose of life is to get as fucked up as humanly possible and treat other people like pure crap. You read any other autobiography in this genre and yes, there will be a fair bit of that. But there will also be stories of human decency, frailty, success and failure. Other things in general… And, chances are, the person won’t glorify their stupidity. They’ll tell you that these things were a profoundly bad idea. Fun, yes, probably – but ultimately, dumb. Mick Wall would like you to know he took too many drugs, passed out a lot, and the graphic details of some fairly unpleasant-sounding sexual encounters. And that he thinks this was truly the life.

I actually came away from reading this book feeling slightly uncomfortable, and like a shower wouldn’t go amiss.

There are lots of stories of the talented, better and more interesting people that Mick Wall met along the way. If you’re a metal fan, Getcha Rocks Off was sort of worth reading from that perspective. I do love a good Lemmy story… And, of course, there was the famous falling out between Axl Rose and Mick Wall, as immortalised in the Guns n Roses song Get in the Ring. I was curious to find out what happened from Mick Wall’s perspective. The funny thing was, I came away inclined to completely disbelieve every word out of Mick Wall’s mouth on the subject…

The story goes like this: a slimy Kerrang journalist (Mick Wall) gets a call from his “friend” Axl Rose, from Guns n Roses, one day. Axl asks Mick to write a story, on the record, to refute another story in the magazine. The slimy journalist has clearly got a great “scoop” here, so of course he trip-traps off to Axl’s hotel with his tape recorder as fast as his little trotters can carry him. However, once the story is published, Axl claims Mick made the whole thing up. And Mick refuses to release the tapes, which he says would clear his name.

According to Mick Wall’s autobiography, the reason he declined to produce the tapes was that “he was afraid Axl would doctor them”. Like, yeah, right… No-one is buying that. He also spent a good solid two paragraphs claiming Axl can’t be trusted anyway, because the whole band were on drugs. I mean… Pot, kettle…

The book is written in a sort of pale imitation of Hunter S. Thompson’s style. Now that guy was the real deal… But the Gonzo-style, first-person narrative did make Getcha Rocks Off readable and entertaining.

Overall, I’m not sure what to think about Getcha Rocks Off

If you’re a metal fan, you’d probably enjoy the stories about Lemmy and Iron Maiden and all the rest; I certainly found that interesting. However, Mick Wall has a real talent for only reproducing the worst of people, and is himself a complete waste of oxygen. This wasn’t a pleasant read. And, as a human being and narrator, the guy was completely untrustworthy. Also, considering it was supposed to be an autobiography, the story seemed to be about everyone else but Mick Wall. It had the feel of a shady “tell-all”, which is a little distasteful.

All in all, I don’t think I would recommend it…

Rating: 2/5



December Bingo

I’m ticking off “borrowed book” and “author you don’t like” for 20 Book Bingo points.

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