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Hollywood Rocks Ė The Book

By Frank Meyer, Contributing Editor
Wednesday, February 18, 2004 @ 11:12 AM


(Cleopatra Publishing)

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It's amazing that no one ever thought of this before, a book chronicling the Sunset Strip rock 'n' roll scene in it's '80s heavy metal heyday. Well, the fine folks at Cleopatra thought of it and delivered it via a terrific full-color coffee table style tome titled Hollywood Rocks.

Hollywood Rocks is a collection of photos, flyers, posters, ticket stubs, ads and so on documenting the glam era of the Sunset Blvd.-based scene. Band as popular as Guns n' Roses, Poison, Jane's Addiction, Warrant, L.A. Guns, Faster Pussycat and even the Red Hot Chili Peppers appear alongside lesser know acts such as Black Cherry, Brunette, Triangle, Tryxx, Rattlesnake Shake, Cathouse (the band, not the club), Ruby Slippers and Sam Mann and the Apes in this visually stunning book. For anyone that lived through it, this is a fantastic trip down memory lane, as practically every base is covered here. For anyone that wondered what the famed scene was actually all about, this is a damn good resource guide.

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One could easily complain that many bands were left out (what no Fishbone? No Hangmen?) or that some bands were given more space than they were worth (do we really need a full two-page spread of Tuff?), but that would just be nitpicking. The reality is that this collection of memorabilia from this era far surpasses anything out there thus far, and no one can cover everything, so '80s hard rock fans should be pleased.

Picture heavy and text light, the only thing lacking in Hollywood Rocks is good reading material. A few stories and anecdotes are delivered by a handful of rockers, but are fairly lightweight they are few and far between. No one could find anyone to talk about the booze, blow and bimbos? No one would share stories of decadence and destruction in full gory detail? While the photos are all awesome, I feel like we're only getting half the story.

A fantastic, visually pleasing document of Hollywood in the '80s this is. A good read, this is not. But I'd still highly recommend this book to anyone that digs this genre of music.

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