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Sex, Drugs and Books About Rock

Lives of Carly Simon, Gregg Allman, Keith Richards and Steven Tyler come alive on the page

Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? by Steven Tyler; Ecco, 376 pages, $27.99

Steven Tyler memoir Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?

(reviewed by Bob Cataliotti)

The title of this "rock 'n' roll memoir" by Aerosmith lead singer (and American Idol judge) Steven Tyler seems to promise a fun-house tour of the author's rock-star psyche. Aside from the gonzo "Tylerisms" that pock the narrative, however, it's a fairly standard litany of an unholy trinity: drugs, sex and rock 'n' roll.

The revealing stuff comes early on: Tyler evokes a youth divided between the Bronx and a rustic family retreat in Sunapee, N.H. He spent his teen years as an aspiring drummer, hanging out in Greenwich Village and idolizing Brit invaders like the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds. "They were the musical G-spot," goes a tamer Tylerism.

Once Aerosmith hits the big time, the memoir rides a merry-go-round of drug abuse, dysfunctional relations with women and bandmates (notably guitarist Joe Perry), and R&R — relapse and rehab. "Like most rock stars," writes Tyler, ringing our doorbell with a cannon, "I suffer from Terminal Adolescence." His fans will rush to climb aboard this carousel; those not yet along for the ride may answer Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? with "Dude, it kinda does."

Writer and musician Dave Shiflett, author of the 2012 e-novel In the Matter of J. Van Pelt, posts original music at daveshiflett.com.

You may also like: A special tour inside the offices of Ray Charles.

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