Yes, I read three books in one day, and you can, too! Here's how: first, get three books. Read them all until you're about 20-30 pages from the end. (Take months on this step if you need to.) Then, when they're all almost done, pick a day and read the remaining few pages in each book. With the proper application, you could finish 10 or more books in one day using this method.
Then, you would get all the ass.
It's true: there are women out there who will sleep with you if you let them know you read a lot of books. And then pay them fifty dollars.
Anyway, this method can also be applied to "how to become a millionaire in one day." First, save up $999,999.50 from your chosen career. (If your career pays as well as mine, this should only take you around 50 years or so, if you never eat, pay bills, or buy anything).
Then, return some pop bottles. Ba-dang! You're a millionaire, gangsta. Go get dat ass!
Anyway, on to the three books in question. I'll save the best for last.
The Sociopath Next Door - Martha Stout, Ph.D. Broadway, 2005
Interesting psychology book about the 4% of the population who were born without a conscience examines how they think and operate, how to recognize and deal with them (avoid them whenever possible, basically), and the problems -- sometimes dangers -- they present. It's an easy-to-follow book full of recognizable examples, and explores the effect of such individuals on society. Stout is at her best when she keeps her desires to be a poet in check, and that's why you're advised to skip the last chapter, which is mostly an opinion piece where she injects an unwelcome (and dishonest) attempt to tie conscience and morality to spirituality and religion. Up to that point, however, it's an interesting study. I read it because I suspect a person or two at work. It's interesting to know that one in 25 people are sociopaths. So, if you ever find yourself in a room with 24 other people and they're all nice and well adjusted... you're it!
The Terror - Dan Simmons, Little-Brown, 2007.
950-page daisycutter of a novel combines a detailed historical saga of the 1845 Franklin Expedition to find the Northwest Passage with giant-carnivorous-beastie horror. Sailing into the northern seas (where it's so crazy cold that you'll lose a hand if you take off your mitten for five seconds), two sailing ships, the HMS Terror and the HMS Erebus, get icebound for a couple of years when summer thaws don't happen the way they're supposed to. Eventually the coal supplies burn out, and much of their lowest-bidder-supplied rations go toxic, but they're also being stalked and killed by a monster that's like a giant polar bear. With the ships being crushed by the ice, the threat of mutiny, the extreme cold, the amputations due to frostbite, the food poisoning, the starvation, the scurvy (which is a particularly horrible disease, if you've never looked into it), and the cannibalism, the whole monster thing becomes really unnecessary and would hardly be missed if it were taken out; in fact, the silly spiritual-symbol nature of it eventually becomes obtrusive in an otherwise-very-realistic story. But it's still not a bad monster overall, and the story's powerful enough to handle a bit of compromising. Even though this is a long read and remains set in a desolate landscape all the way through, it's still gripping and intense, pervaded by a menacing aura of doom. A 950 page book isn't just a read, it's a commitment; no one-night stand here, you're going to have a relationship with this thing for a while, but in this case it's worth it.
White Line Fever: The Autobiography - Lemmy Kilmister with Janiss Garza, Citadel Press, 2002.
Some say the Bible is the word of God. Ha! Then how do you explain this? Motorhead is my all-time favorite band and the ne plus ultra of musical perfection (not necessarily musicianship-wise, but just as a unit that gels into a whole solid lump of noisy protoplasm). And this is the autobiography of the guy who basically is Motorhead. Lemmy recounts (in inimitable and funny-as-hell Lemmy style) what he remembers about all the bands he's been in, which go back to the dinosaurs. He roadied for Jimi Hendrix, he saw the Beatles live when they were first getting started (he said they used to tell a lot of jokes and eat cheese rolls during the show), and he was in a ton of bands, from a weird bunch of musical terrorists called The Rockin' Vicars to drugfreaks Hawkwind. The style of this book is loose and conversational, with frequent (and always interesting) tangents, and covers everything from his birth (on Christmas Eve of 1945, five months premature) up to Motorhead's Hammered album The only flaw in it is that it'll leave you wanting more, so hopefully Lemmy will find some time between his endless Motorhead tours to write a sequel. Or two. I'm sure he could fill volumes with all the stories he's got. This is a fast, un-put-downable read with never a dull moment, just like his albums. Even if you're not a Motorhead freak this is a funny and engaging book. A few things I learned from this:
- The Rolling Stones were a bunch of mommy's-boy college students who cultivated a tough-guy image, but the seemingly-innocent Beatles were actually hardasses. Once while Lemmy was watching them, somebody in the audience called John Lennon a queer, and he jumped off the stage, smashed the guy's face so bad that he was spitting teeth, then got back on stage, said "Anybody else? No? Alright then, here's 'Some Other Guy.'" John Lennon viciously kicked a guy's ass! Mr. Peace-Boy! Whodathunk?
- Lemmy didn't fit in with Hawkwind very well because he was a speedfreak and they were all into pot and LSD. The only other speedfreak in the band was a guy named Dikmik, who played a ring modulator; all he really did was control sonic waves that would either make audience members go into convulsions, or shit their pants. To aid in this, the members of Hawkwind used to sneak around and spike the audience's food with LSD. Which is uncool as fucking hell if you ask me, but it does make for a good story. Lemmy notes that when he left Hawkwind, he "took the cojones with him."
- Lemmy has abused drugs and alcohol to such an extent that he no longer has human blood. Around 1980 he decided to clean up by having a total transfusion, the way Keith Richards supposedly did. But after the preliminary blood tests, the doctor told him that pure blood would kill him, because his blood is no longer human. He also can't donate blood, because his blood would kill anyone else. Again, doing this to yourself is ignorant to my way of thinking, but, eh, it's Lemmy!
- The only drug Lemmy would not mess around with was heroin, which he hates because it's killed so many of his friends, including his best-ever girlfriend. Since Lemmy's a history buff who collects Nazi memorabilia, some people have mistaken him for a racist, but the number one love of his life (to whom the book is dedicated posthumously) was a black girl who died of a heroin O.D. Once, while they were in the midst of a breakup, she had sex with Mick Jagger. Lemmy asked her what that was like, and she said, “Well, he was okay, but he’s no Mick Jagger,” which Lemmy thought was perfect. :)
- Lemmy did O.D. once during his Hawkwind days, when he ate about 50 downers to avoid being busted by some cops. He ended up laying on the floor with his eyes open, unable to move or tell his screaming friends that he wasn’t actually dead.
- Lemmy once tried to give Sid Vicious some bass lessons, but after a few attempts had to tell Sid that it was impossible. Sid later showed up in the Sex Pistols, even though he still couldn’t play. The bass player from The Jam once stabbed Sid in the face with a broken glass, too, and Lemmy had to check to make sure Sid wasn't dead.
- Philthy Animal Taylor and Fast Eddie Clarke used to regularly get in fist-fights with each other. And Phil was apparently notoriously clumsy and frequently had near-fatal mishaps, such as walking off the edge of the stage and stuff.
- Lemmy almost lost an arm once due to infection from some stupid fan who threw a razor blade (stuck between a couple of coins to give it weight) at him. His whole arm turned black.
- Lemmy used to have a gay roomate (he's not a homophobe, either) who was murdered by some hate-crime creeps while Lemmy was on tour. They stabbed him over 50 times, stuck a knife of his ass and pulled it to the front, cut his dick off and stuck in up his ass, and set the place on fire, and the guy still almost crawled out.
- Lemmy’s biggest money-making venture was when Sharon Osbourne hired him to write some songs for Ozzy’s No More Tears album. Lemmy wrote “Desire,” “I Don’t Want To Change The World,” “Hellraiser,” and “Mama I’m Coming Home” and made more money in Ozzy royalties than he had for the previous 15 years in Motorhead.
A few random quoted passages:
“I’ve been known as Lemmy since I was around ten. I didn’t always have the moustache... I’ve only had that since I was eleven.”
“I mean, you teach people that the Messiah was the offspring of a vagabond’s wife (who is a virgin) and a ghost? And this is the basis for a worldwide religion? I’m not so sure. I figured if Joseph believed that one, he deserved to sleep in stables.”
“I lost my father a couple of years ago -- rather careless of me, don’t you think?”
“My stepfather used to come in and catch me going at it [with my girlfriend]. He caught me so many times, it was fucking silly; I think he was a voyeur.
‘Do you know you’re on top of that girl?’ he’d shout.
‘Yes, I know I’m on top of the bloody girl!’ I’d say. ‘How do you do it?’”
“That was a great time, the summer of ‘71 -- I can’t remember it, but I’ll never forget it!”
“I was walking around with a TV under my arm, talking to it. Somebody else was trying to feed the trees outside his window. It was really interesting for a while, actually.”
“Eventually the doctor showed up. ‘If we’d got to you in another hour, you would have been dead.’
I was thinking, ‘I bet you’re sorry, you miserable bugger.’”
“Hawkwind wasn’t one of those hippie-drippy, peace-and-love outfits -- we were a black nightmare!”
“I’d like to mention that I’m available for more songwriting if anybody is interested. Quite reasonable -- just the mortgage on your first-born child!”
“You’re supposed to laugh in life. Laughing exercises all the facial muscles and keeps you from getting old. Looking stern gives you terrible wrinkles. I also advise drinking heavily -- it helps the sense of humor! Smoking pot helps the sense of humor to no end, but after a while you lose it altogether and all you can do is talk about the cosmos and shit, which is really boring.”
“To be honest, although ‘Ace of Spades’ is a good song, I’m sick to death of it now. Two decades on, whenever people think of Motorhead, they think ‘Ace of Spades.’ We didn’t become fossilized after that record, you know. We’ve had quite a few good releases since then. But the fans want to hear it so we still play it every night. For myself, I’ve had enough of that song.”
“I still like talking to fans today... except for the occasional drunk fucker who insists on singing ‘Ace of Spades’ in my ear nonstop! We have made a few albums since the Ace of Spades days, after all -- if he’s drunk and starts singing something from one of our last couple of records, I might not mind so much!”
“I don’t like walking off stage, but I will not be fucking spat on! Incidentally, one of the reasons I won’t put up with it is this: Joe Strummer of the Clash was singing once and one of these dickheads spat right down his throat! Not only was it nauseating, boys and girls, no -- wait -- he got hepatitis! Nice, huh? Not me, sweetheart!”
“The only time I’ve seen any rebellion was in the fifties, sixties and early seventies. The rest of it you can keep. The kids now have attitudes more like the parents we were all trying to fight! They’ll probably raise a bunch of fucking freaks. We raised a bunch of estate agents, a bunch of fucking accountants. God knows how we did it. I guess it’s because most people give up. As I pointed out earlier, a lot of people say, ‘I used to listen to Motorhead,’ implying that when you grow up, you can’t. Well, I’m glad they say that, man, ‘cause I don’t want no grown-ups listening to me. Grown-ups are the ones who fuck everything up. Since I was about twenty-five, nothing changed, except I got smarter and wiser and things have an effect on you. But I never thought I was any older, really. It was just a very long twenty-five.”
“In my life so far, I have discovered that there are really only two kinds of people: those who are for you, and those who are against you. Learn to recognize them, for they are often and easily mistaken for each other.”
“Inherited hatred (i. e. hatred your parents schooled you in) is not only stupid, it is destructive -- why make your only driving force hate? Seems really fucking dumb to me.”
And now, so none of you will be one of those people who only sings "Ace of Spades" if you happen to bump into Lemmy, as a public service (okay, overindulgence) I'm gonna stick in a shizzleload of various Motorhead video bits I poisonally selected for ya. Some people think all their songs sound alike, but I can identify almost any one of 'em just by hearing the first thirty seconds, and know the lyrics to around half of 'em.
That's probably why my lawn is dying, as prophesied.
A general public service announcement from Motorhead:
Remember a while back when we were making lists of scary songs? Check out this poem-thing Lemmy did. At around the one minute mark this becomes the scariest goddamn thing you ever heard:
This is an audio-only vid of Motorhead covering Metallica's "Whiplash," and this is the most crushingly monster-badass thing I've heard in quite some time. Instead of going with guitar, Lemmy makes his downtuned Rickenbacker the forefront instrument and plays it fast as hell, and it makes that song even more of a sonic annihilation.
Live "Don't Need Religion" from Iron Fist (one of the songs that convinced me I wasn't the only sane person in the world back in high school):
Newer-school song you could sing to Lemmy to make him happy, with a bit of social consciousness there.
Some mid-paced stuff just to prove they're unsafe at any speed:
One of my faves... I love the bass that opens this song, it sounds like a shot-up airplane going down, somehow. Just dirty-nasty rumble. And the lyrics get more brilliant the more you contemplate them.
And apparently there's gonna be a Lemmy bio movie out sometime in the next year or so. Me am happy! Shouldn't you have "49% MOTHERFUCKER, 51% SON OF A BITCH" written on something you own? I'm lookin' for a bumpersticker!
Freaky-ass creepy song Lemmy did in the early 70's for Sam Gopal's group:
Lemmy does Chuck Berry on Letterman:
And now this last thing has nothing to do with Motorhead, but it's the funniest thing I've seen on YouTube lately. It's kinda sad that people are bullying this poor kid (he is a homophobe, which sucks, but he also appears to be about 11, so cut him a break), but his performance here is classically hilarious...
Also look for his version of Samuel L. Jackson's Bible quote from Pulp Fiction. Oi.