Back in the 1980s and early 1990s, Lonn Friend was a big time music player. He started at Hustler magazine and worked his way up to editor of RIP magazine , largely lauded as the heaviest magazine in rock. After the magazine went out of publication, Friend became an A&R rep for Arista records, and later a consultant for several major rock acts.
Friend was on the outside looking in, looking back out. He had privilege and access few only dream of (myself included). After a near mental breakdown, failed marriage, and money problems, Friend returned to the fold to write a book about his life in music, aptly called Life on Planet Rock. The book is a music biography like no other, filled with behind the scenes details and testimony to Friend's power in the very fickle industry. Left with only his pen and memories, Friend is able to transport his readers backstage at the Monsters of Rock Festival or to the dinner table with heavy hitters like record executive David Geffen.
What also makes this book a great read is that Friend is first and foremost a journalist. As a member of the press, it's nice to know that not every celebrity hates the journalists that make them famous and keep them in the public eye.
As the rock scene changed in the late 1980s, Friend's demeanor and authorial voice also changes. From 80s decadence to 90s self-awareness, Friend reflects on his life and his (sometimes) failed career moves. As someone who dreams of working for a music magazine, this book proves an invaluable resource.