During the '70s, Nick Kent was the enfant terrible of the music journalism world, a heroin-shooting, whisky-slugging
scribe who alternately angered and enlightened the readers of his many pithy and
insightful stories for the weekly music paper NME. He hung out with Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Iggy, writing about them, getting high with them, and gathering moments that he'd later reveal here in his autobiography.
Because Kent was so physically and mentally messed up while he was writing - he apparently took every drug he could lay his hands on, including pharmaceuticals, cocaine, heroin, valium and methadone - his memory is somewhat challenged. In fact, he sets up his mission message early on in the book by saying,
"When you get right down to it, the human memory is a deceitful organ to have to rely on. Past reality gets confused with wishful fantasy as the years march on and you can never really guarantee that you're replaying the unvarnished truth back to yourself. I've tried to protect my memories, to keep them pristine and authentic, but it's been easier said than done."
So, if he gets anything wrong, he's already covered. His stories and anecdotes are fun to uncover - especially his time spent hanging out with Keith Richards and Zeppelin - but everything needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
For all the accolades heaped on his writings, some of the pages here are littered with cliches and grammar-school prose. Here he dangles stuff: "Two years earlier, I'd returned frm the States with my suitcase laden with new recods I'd heard whilst there and fallen in love with."
He even calls Queen "prog rock" and that's just so wrong, it's ridiculous.
We read Kent because he makes us smile with his own hideous inadequacies because it makes us feel superior. But he was there in the trenches with some of rock's greatest and darkest, and if you want to feel all that energy, read what he has to say.