No Encore!: Musicians Reveal Their Weirdest, Wildest, Most Embarrassing Gigs

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Post Hill Press, 2019)

Karakter: 2.5/6

No Encore book cover.jpg“No Encore!” by author Drew Fortune is essentially a collection of anecdotes and stories written by some very cool (and in some cases god-like) musicians ala Alice Cooper, Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne), Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Sammy Hagar (Van Halen) and loads of other skilled and renowned musicians who are familiar names within such genres as rock, punk, pop, and hip-hop music. As its title so neatly indicates, these written pieces all revolve around gigs that range from somewhat innocent and funny to downright catastrophic and dangerous, and it should come as no surprise that certain anecdotes are way more entertaining than others. The best ones include and elaborate on what went down before the shows and afterwards (and in some cases those happenings or events were even more ridiculous or insane than the actual concerts), but then quite a few of the ones contained within Fortune's 320-page tome on four decades of rock 'n' roll madness involve a fair share of drugs, alcohol, and rebellious behavior, so no surprises there, really.

As I said earlier on, the quality of the anecdotes vary greatly, which simply has to due with the fact that some musicians and artists are better storytellers than others. In short, some have a certain way with words that make for a compelling read, and on top of that, they also infuse their accounts of what went down and how with a sense of heartfelt passion that many others lack. I especially enjoyed the ones by Alice Cooper and Dee Snider as they were hilarious, and I could list numerous others that brilliantly illustrates just how horrifying life on the road can be, but again, the best and most memorable ones approach the subject from an ironic and sarcastic angle, and that is what makes them stand out compared to the others. A number of pieces will undoubtedly make you cringe while others will have you laughing out loud, but my main gripe with the book is that it is too uneven and constantly loses its momentum. The idea and concept of “No Encore!” is great, but the editing is a tad sloppy and there is an unfortunate number of stories that are either mildly unexciting or utterly boring, which entails that it is easy to lose focus or interest when reading the book. There are too many fillers and not enough killers, which is quite frustrating, really. Also, the author consistently introduces each chapter with a few sentences that usually sum up his relation to the band or artist in question, but he has an annoying tendency to ruin the surprise of the story and spoil the entire thing.

A shorter and more concise piece of literature containing only the very best and most captivating stories would have done wonders for “No Encore!”, but despite it varying so much with respect to how amusing the stories are, it is not entirely without its merits. As stated before, I especially enjoyed the entries by the aforementioned gentlemen that are Alice Cooper and Dee Snider, and there are others that are heaps of fun too, but all in all the entire thing comes across as underwhelming and a bit of a disappointment.


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