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Buy *Sunburst: How the Gibson Les Paul Standard Became a Legendary Guitar* by Tony Bacono nline

Sunburst: How the Gibson Les Paul Standard Became a Legendary Guitar
Tony Bacon
Backbeat Books
144 pages
February 2014
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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This memoir from Hoen describes a dark journey into the hardcore punk scene of the mid-1990s. That in itself is not so original, but adding a crack-addicted father, a severely depressed sister and a disintegrating home life to the brew makes for a desperately tragic and ultimately triumphant tale.

The author performs as the singer in several Michigan punk bands, and it is only when his mouth is open in front of a microphone is he finally at peace. His world is full of turmoil, danger and uncertainly and here in this paragraph all of that is revealed.

After a while, you really do become some version of what you've pretended to be. You fake yourself straight into form. Once I could no longer recognize certain aspects myself, I realized whatever soul-exchange prophecy I'd bought into was long under way. To achieve self-invention, you first evacuate the truest parts of yourself--they were slipping from me, connected only by a fear of losing touch completely. I'd begun to sense this, an awareness that pestered my thoughts as I stared out the van's windshield or to the ceiling in an unfamiliar house.

We were playing well; that wasn't the trouble. Blaine had mastered our songs. Onstage, every beat landed as it should. Yet the shows were black holes, out of time with reality. I'd begun feeling this about my entire life, as though it had always been occurring in a dimension that existed apart from who I was.
Hoen is disconnected, feeling like he is living outside himself and uncertain--things everybody feels. His writing is edgy and sharp and somehow innocently funny. Reading his memoir will make you feel better about your own life. And isn't that what every great tell-all is supposed to do?

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2014

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