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Book Review, 'A Shot of Poison: An Insider's Tales of One of Rock's Most Outrageous Bands'

Disclosure: the ad for A Shot of Poison: An Insider's Tales of One of Rock's Most Outrageous Bands by Christopher Long at the top of this website is part of a paid campaign.

A few weeks ago, writer Christopher Long emailed. He said he'd stumbled on my site and I might be interested in his book. He arranged for a promo copy to be sent to me and I awaited the book's arrival. When all 240 pages of A Shot of Poison: An Insider's Tales of One of Rock's Most Outrageous Bands (Collector's Guide Publishing, Inc., 2010) arrived on my doorstep I honestly didn't have high expectations. I've read so many music bios that I figured I'd heard every story possible. The good news is that A Shot of Poison actually had some new stories (for me at least).

I think if you're a big Poison fan, this book is definitely for you. If you like Bobby Dall, this book is for you. Long and Dall apparently go way back and that's why there is a big focus on Dall in the book. Turns out, Bobby must be hell on tour. At one point, Long served as a tour assistant for Bobby in 2006 -- let's just say that's a job I'd never want and/or accept. (This was the tour with Cinderella. I was at that tour, were you?)

Long talks about the other members of Poison of course. It seems the author genuinely respects all the members of Poison and gives a little insight into Bret Michaels. Long says that Bret rarely interacts with the other members of Poison while the band is on tour and is pretty much quiet and all-business.

The book is broken down into traditional chapters and then each sub-section within a chapter is chopped up by a little drawing of a needle. For whatever reason, these little needles upset me. I'm still not sure if the needles are 100% in reference to "the shot of poison," Bret's diabetes or a member's possible drug use or something else. Whatever the case, I think I would have used another picture to break apart text.

Speaking of pictures, Long adds many of his personal photos to the book to help the stories come alive. These photos are sort of like looking at a friend's Facebook page - the images are just that personal.

Now, for the honesty. My favorite part of the book is the chapter that deals with Bobby Dall's keen sense of smell. I'm serious. Now you want to read the book, right? You should. It's on Amazon and maybe even at your local library.

Reader Comments (6)

I read this book a while back and it definetely portrays Bobby as an egotistical asshole! I think the needles were just a play on the name of the book.Overall the book is a good read even if your not a huge Poison fan, but this book is no 'THE DIRT'.
August 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKEVON
I have a good friend who ah...had some fun with Mr. Dall on and off in the early 90s and she always talked about his keen sense of smell. Met him several times and he was always cool but struck me as an odd egg. I always found the Warrant boys, particularly Eric and Jani (R.I.P bro) to be much more talkative and friendlier.

I saw this book about a year ago at B&N and gave it a look-through; seemed ok but I didn't buy it. The Dirt and Hammer of the Gods still remain my fav music bio books. I'm still waiting on a decent bio of Van Halen as Ian Christe's was ok but still not quite good enough.
August 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteri'mtheone
I am a huge Poison fan, but found the book uninteresting. I didn't find too much insight that I hadn't already heard from various sources. It seemed like a 240 page excuse for
the author to brag & name drop. Hell, if I had those experiences, I might be inclined to do the same, but that doesn't mean people have to like it.
August 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGEO II
Geo, I know nothing of the old Poison stories, but like the biographies that give the backstage info. For someone that hasn't heard the stories, is this worth reading?
August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrian C.
I'm The One! I thought "Hammer Of The Gods" was THE best band biography I had ever read (and not just because it's about Led Zeppelin) until I read "When Giants Walked The Earth", also, coincidentally, about Led Zeppelin, but far better, IMHO.
August 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Oooh..I'm so glad to hear that, Metalboy! I've been wanting to read "When Giants Walked the Earth", I'll pick it up the next time i'm in B&N, thanks!
August 31, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteri'mtheone

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