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Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? by Steven Tyler With David Dalton

Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? by Steven Tyler with David Dalton is my first rock n’ roll memoir.  Steven Tyler, lead singer for Aerosmith, always struck me as very Bohemian, and he even says as much in his memoir.  Readers will be surprised to find that the memoir is Steven Tyler telling his story and not some writer’s idea of what his story should sound like.  It’s not prettied up.  As the pages turn, readers will find that Tyler remembers a great many details, even street names and house/apartment numbers.

(Aerosmith was considered a Boston band, and many were thrilled when the band set up Mama Kin Music Hall.  The band was often considered the bad boys of Boston, and the closure of the club caused some angst among followers who felt the band had snubbed its nose at the hometown.  But I digress.)

There is a no-holds-barred quality to the writing and the story in this memoir, but that’s just how readers would want it.  From his early influences of piano played . . . more like breathed . . . by his father to his drug use and religious upbringing as a Bronx native who summered in New Hampshire, all sides of Steven Tyler are exposed.  His childhood seemed pretty typical for any boy with artistic parents, with summers in the country, a love of animals, hunting and fishing, and being overzealous about girls and just about everything.  His family moved to Yonkers and he was enrolled in a private school.

Tyler’s memoir is a bit of back and forth as memories seem to crop up and send him off in new directions, but readers will get a good sense of how he is on a daily basis with this kind of narration.  Drinking, drugs, and girls are his main vices, but the music is a constant as he jams with his father’s band as a young teenager on drums and eventually grows into his own as a musician.

Tyler loves capitalizing words for emphasis and he does “talk” to himself from time to time.  Readers put off by swears and other vulgar language may find the memoir to gritty, but for a rock n’ roll artist, what else can be expected.  An unexpected surprise throughout the book are snippets of poems, though it is not clear when exactly they were written or why.  Readers also will learn about musical terms from dissonance to fifth notes, etc.

Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? provides readers with an inside look at what it means to be a rock musician, what makes them great at what they do, and how they can maintain their success over the long term in spite of the downfalls and obstacles they face.  Steven Tyler offers more than just an inside look at his life; he’s offering an inside look at music, artistry, and the drive to succeed along the way.

 

This is my 58th book for the 2011 New Authors Reading Challenge.

 

 

 

Seeking help at a drug abuse treatment center is necessary for people who have been abusing drugs for a long time.

  • Dawn – She Is Too Fond of Books

    The audio was excellent – the reader/narrator totally channeled Steven Tyler.

    Yes, his drug problem is huge (we saw him promo this at BEA in May 2009; he was back in rehab that fall), and he has very little respect for woman.

    So, I can’t explain why I like him so much … it’s really the music. It’s all about the music!

    • Dawn, I agree, it is the music. I really don’t like him as a person…but I found this memoir fascinating. Unfortunately, the library didn’t have the audio, so I read the book.

  • Oooh, you read this book? I was a huge fan of Aerosmith–even waited on the entire band and got Steven’s autograph back in the 90’s. I bet it was pretty rough. I love to read a big, old meaty rock memoir like this, full of tales of, well, everything. Lucky you!

    • I snagged it from the library! I had a good time reading this, and I think it was very genuine and revealing. I think you’d like it.

  • I listened to the audio book but I think I might have enjoyed it better if I read it. The rambling nature was a little difficult to follow. The narrator was very good though. I thought there was way too much emphasis on the sex and drugs and not enough about the band, family and friends. I do like Aerosmith and enjoy Tyler’s music; maybe I was just expecting a different kind of book.

    • I agree that he rambles a bit going back and forth in time, but that made it seem more like a sit down with him than a memoir. I didn’t mind that it was mostly about sex and drugs, since I expected that it would be given the “media” attention to that aspect of his life…but he may also want to keep the family and friends bits private.

  • Tara T.

    I really love celebrity memoirs, especially ones concerning addiction. This looks right up my ally. I am a little apprehensive considering I’m not the biggest Steven Tyler fan, but it still looks worth checking out!

    • I really enjoyed it, but do expect a lot about drugs and sex

  • Lenasledgeblog.com

    I really enjoy Steve Tyler’s music. I didn’t know he had a memoir. But I would expect it to be gritty and slightly vulgar. Does he talk about his daughters in his memoir? Or how he balanced being a father and rockstar? That would be interesting to read.

    • There is more in the memoir about sex and drugs than about family.

  • Another great review — I’m not a fan of contemporary memoirs as a rule but there is something fascinating and compulsively intriguing about celebrities like Tyler. I appreciate that his memoir seems to be very honest, but like you and others, I suspect his attitude toward women would turn me off. Too bad!

    • I think the bad attitude toward women is part of who he is unfortunately, and I think it didn’t bother me because I wanted honesty…and that’s what I got here — I think, for the most part.

  • Glad you enjoyed it. Sounds interesting, but not sure it’s for me.

    • Not sure this would be your cup of tea either. I like rock and roll documentaries, and this memoir is interesting to say the least.

  • I enjoyed this as I listened to it, but also wondered how Tyler would feel if people talked about his daughters they way he spoke about women.

    • I wonder what this would sound like on audio.

  • As a music lover, I totally enjoyed this book. To me, it was like the history of rock and roll, because Tyler was right there in the middle of it. He didn’t offend me, but I can’t say I like him more now. I think the way he treats women is abhorrent, and I also have doubts as to whether he will ever kick his drug habit (I really thought he had by how he was acting on AI). If you resort to snorting Lunesta, then there is a more pervasive problem that dozens of rehabs can handle!

    • I agree with you that there is a real pervasive problem underlying his drug use that has not been addressed and I’m not sure that it will be. I like to read these memoirs to see where these rock and roll artists are coming from. I love the history in this book and Tyler comes across as very intelligent about music, and that makes it more disheartening that he hasn’t kicked the drug habit. I just wanted to call attention to his language and graphic nature…for others…it doesn’t bother me at all. I hate how he treats women as well.

  • Excellent and fair review, Serena! I. must. have. this. book! I have been a fan of Aerosmith since, get this, 3rd grade. I have seen them in concert 7 times (front row once) and I have their wings logo (sans name) tattooed on my right ankle. There has to be something about these people that is genuine. I truly believe this. For all they have weathered as a band, the drugs, drinking, and, I’m sure, the egotistical moments, they have stuck together when most bands would have thrown in the towel and have enjoyed longevity and vast popularity as a band. And after watching Steven on American Idol earlier this year, I really felt that he brought some realness to the show. If he’s still a judge next year, too bad I won’t be watching because he is the one I will miss. Thanks again for the great review. This book is definitely going on my wishlist!

    P.S. I won David Bowie’s memoir from Reviews at Martha’s Bookshelf and I can’t wait to read it!

    • Jealous! I am Jealous about the David Bowie memoir Win! I just love that guy too. I hope you pick this one up…I borrowed it from the library, but now I want my own copy!