Most dedicated readers to this website know this project is a way for me to combine two passions: glam metal and writing. If you like writing - or the study of the craft - consider visiting www.slushpile.net.
Recently, I made friends with Scott McKenzie who runs Slushpile. Scott is also a rabid music fan, especially Motley Crue and Guns n' Roses. Scott very kindly offered to share a very big interview with Bring Back Glam!. The following are my questions to Anthony Bozza, writer of the new Slash autobiography. I started the book last night, and so far, I can say it is amazing. The following is a transcription of my questions to Mr. Bozza.
Bring Back Glam!: How did your partnership with Tommy Lee and Slash begin?
Anthony Bozza: It started with The Cult. When I was still at Rolling Stone, I wrote the bio for their last record on Atlantic. It was the first time that their manager had ever had a bio approved straightaway by Ian Astbury who is notoriously fussy and likes to be quoted the right way. It was the first time anyone had just gotten in his head properly and written something that he really liked off the bat. A couple of years later when Tommy Lee's manager started looking for a writer for him, my name was one of the ones thrown on the table, and he remembered it because he also manages The Cult. He remembered that I had done a good job on that bio and he got me on the phone with Tommy and that's pretty much how that happened. With Slash, he and Tommy are friends so I think he was a little aware of me from that project. I came out to L.A. to meet him and we just had a good vibe. We just sat-the first night that I met him-we sat in my hotel room overlooking the Sunset Strip and he started telling me stories. And we were there for six hours, talking all night, which was definitely a foreshadow of our interviews to come. That was kind of it. In Slash's case, the manager again got in touch with me because he was familiar with the other stuff that I had done.
BBG!: What is it like reconstructing a very messy history, and create some semblance of fact? Both Slash and Tommy Lee are recovering addicts, so how are you sure their truths are matching those of others you interviewed?
AB: The thing about doing an autobiography or an as-told-to book is that from the start, all you are saying it definitively is, is that person's experience and point of view. Slash is really careful about making sure that he says he is only speaking for himself and to his experience and will never put words or memories into anyone's-especially Axl's (Rose)-mouth. That was his perspective from the beginning so it's clear where we're coming from. The trade off to getting one person's point of view is that some people might be like "well, then it's not objective." No, it's not objective, it's a memoir. The good side is that when you do an as-told-to is that you get so much more stuff that you would never be able to get if you were doing a biography. That's the plus side of doing an authorized autobiography. You're getting more information than you can ever get talking to people and associates. With Slash, the fact that he's 100% clean and sober now, that helps tremendously. He's also a really detail-oriented, kind of obsessive guy. That's why he's such a great guitar player. For example, when I first met him, he had just gotten an edition of Guitar Hero II. And we used to play at the end of every interview, and he wasn't really that good when we started. Then he went on vacation for two weeks with his family snowboarding, and came back and he was amazing. I couldn't beat him anymore. That's the kind of guy he is. He was so annoyed that he wasn't good at it that he practiced and practiced and kicked butt.The book became a similar exercise where once we started, then he got really obsessive about finding out if he was right in his memories. The good thing about this book is that we had Duff (McKagan, bass - Velvet Revolver) and Matt Sorum (drums - Velvet Revolver) right there, pretty much on tap, to double check things with. And Slash was very, very, very intent upon getting in touch with all his old friends and double-checking facts and stories. Although we didn't bring anyone else's voices into it ultimately because it was important to both of us to keep this intimate tone of him just telling you his story, behind the scenes there was a lot of meticulous fact checking with the people who were there at the time. He has a surprisingly good memory compared to some of the people I've worked with. He keeps thinking under that top hat.
BBG!: Is it hard lending your writing craft to larger than life celebrities? In a sense, they gain more fame from the books you lovingly prepared.
AB: I'm credited right there. Most people who are involved in writing, or most fans, realize that the celebrity probably didn't do any of the writing. Some fans think that they did. And that's cool. I feel privileged to be the one they vibe with and tell all this really intimate stuff to. My payback for that is giving them a book that they're proud of that should be a reflection of them. My challenge is to get inside their head and express what they're like, to get them into a sort of two-dimensional format. And at the end of the day, I did slave over all this stuff, but this is like 43 years of hard earned living that this guy has done. Slash lived it, I'm just writing it.
Remember, you can read the entire Anthony Bozza interview at www.slushpile.net.