2024 Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge
Tina has read 0 books toward her goal of 39 books.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Review of Runnin' with the Devil by Noel Monk

A huge thank you to Dey Street Books for allowing me to read this electronic ARC.

Title:               Runnin' with the Devil

Author:           Noel Monk

Genre:             Biography


I am a bit fascinated with Van Halen. I am not even sure why, I only like a few of their songs, but I guess the fact that a band can have it all and then literally implode amazes me - hoisted by their own petards has always been the saying that comes to mind when I think of them.

Noel Monk does an excellent job of describing the hectic, crazy and debauched life on the road, which is no small feat considering he was talking about Van Halen AND that he managed to never get too crude about the details.

I could not help but think how crazy people can get over show business and the "stars', be it, rock stars or tv and movie stars. When you read this type of book, you get an ideal perspective, that of looking in from the outside, which makes it easy to see just how corrupted one gets once that sacred "inner circle" is being sought. I have never been much of a follower, even in high school and anytime I have been in any kind of proximity to a "star", I have always found myself walking away, instead of to them - the whole thing is just too ridiculous, which, in short, is sort of Monk's overall attitude and take away on most of what he experienced.

Someone once told me "if you admire someone, just pray you never meet them" and I believe it.

Monk's writing style (or his ghostwriter?) was very engaging and acted as the only adult voice in a world of whinny babies. While he does not shy from telling it like it is, I suspect he also stayed away from a lot of stories, which in some ways, was apparent by the generality of most of what was written. I would have liked a little more in-depth comments, as much of what he writes is more of a generalization of the group, than specific events and people. Although he does not go easy on David Lee Roth or Alex Van Halen by any stretch.

But what is most incredible to me is that these four guys of varying talent, could not see that they were "best" together - that without each other, they would not be as successful. As predicted, large egos and even larger drug habits separated them, turning them all into crying, drooling babies. The way they imploded is fascinating and it appears as though nobody was stopping the slide into total destruction, not Monk, none of the wives - NOBODY - mind you, I am not sure that the members of Van Halen would have listened anyways......I get the feeling that nobody wanted to be on their bad side, with everyone pushing it under the rug.

The amount of drugs these guys took is staggering (and I am sure we did not even hear the half of it) oh and the sex? they should all be on their knees thanking God that they were not doing this in the age of AIDS. How are these guys still alive I will never know.

This story was powerful and extremely macabre and Monk was excellent at giving us that feeling....he knows show business and he knows Van Halen and I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even if I found myself shaking my head at every page.

Oh and for those who want to know - Valerie Bertinelli is barely mentioned in this book although there are two scenarios that made me cringe - she should have been running the other way - you know AWAY from Eddie Van halen.

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