The Dirty Dirt….

Okay, so I may be reviewing books that have been out for a long, long time…..but as I’ve only just discovered them, so maybe some readers out there are the same. In any case, this book is part of my trip back in time to the 80s rock scene. You can see other related posts here and here.

So here’s my latest review….

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The Dirt – Motley Crue
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Having recently read the excellent Dirty Rocker boys by Bobbie brown, I thought I’d spend some of my Amazon Kindle vouchers on purchasing The Dirt by Motley Crue. It’s always good to get the other side of the story where possible, and after reading Bobbie’s book, I was intrigued to learn more about the guys from the Crue. I’d already read the Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx and the truth was, I ended up quite liking the guy. His chapters were easily the best ones in this book, however the others didn’t fare that well…..so where do I begin?

Let’s begin with Vince Neil.  This book makes him come across as total dirt. He’s cheated on every woman he’s ever had, betrayed ever person he could ever call a friend, killed someone (and then bitched about how badly off he was afterwards…..whining on for sentences about how hard his life was in the aftermath, without ever mentioning the other people in the other car again), let down his family, his friends, himself; all while trying to justify his actions. He called the car crash an accident. How is it an accident when you’re off your face on booze and drugs? Or driving like an idiot and doing 70 in a 25 zone? He literally comes across as the most self-centred, spoiled, egotistical brat on the face of the earth. The only time I felt any sympathy whatsoever for him was when his little 4 year old girl died (very, very sad story). He could have taken something utterly tragic and it could have made him a better person; made him take stock of his life and turn his ass around but I don’t think he did, I don’t think he ever will.  He may be an outstanding front man, but he is one selfish, self-important shit. Safe to say, his chapters in the book and the way others spoke about him did not endear him to me. At all.

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Tommy Lee doesn’t come off looking much better. He’s not an arrogant prick like Vince Neil and I can see that he has a good personality and maybe a good heart from what I read, but seriously this guy’s favourite line is something about “…..never in my life would it have occurred to me to hit a chick..” just before he hits chicks. I’m not saying it’s okay that Pamela Anderson hit him (it really wasn’t), but to kick her when she was carrying their son? And then push her? Nice guy! This is after what I’d read in Bobbie’s book about how he attacker her in front of her daughter. Then he complains about being perceived as a wife beater. Hmmm.

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Mick Mars comes across as mostly okay although he seems to consider himself enlightened and everyone else pretty much stupid because they don’t have the secret cool knowledge that he does. But that’s okay, he’s also one of the sanest guys in the band and his battle against his illness is talked about candidly and the ‘grey ghost’ concept done really well. His chapters are few and far between though, almost as though he thought it beneath him or just couldn’t be bothered.

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These guys were real asshole in the day – beating up men, women and cops just because. Knocking a woman’s teeth out and leaving her bleeding on the sidewalk. Making babies all over the place but never being straight or sober enough to raise them. Drink, drugs, parties, fights, arrests, rape, violence, theft, guns, killings, vandalism, cheating, lying, jail…….for a long time, this was the world of the guys in Motley Crue.  They thought they were rock gods, but they were just overgrown kids with parent issues and insecurities and no place to call home.

I still have a soft spot for Nikki though.

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I wish I could say I liked this book, after all, I’ve always liked the music. The truth is though, I rolled my eyes at when they talked about how many drugs they did how often, or which musical instrument they inserted into which woman’s body part….they seem to think that their wild lifestyles were what made them cool and ‘legendary’. They’d be wrong. It was what made them thoughtless, selfish, inconsiderate assholes who people didn’t want to be around. They used people, they abused their partners, wives and girlfriends, they abused themselves and each other and all in the name of being one of the coolest rock bands to rule the sunset strip.  It made for very entertaining reading indeed, it just left a sour taste in my mouth…..they did some seriously questionable, illegal, horrible immoral things and then seemed pleased with themselves about it. They’re unapologetic, still full of shit and the only redeeming quality is that now they’re mostly clean and have maybe (hopefully) seen the errors of their ways.

Unbelievable tales of debauchery await you if you fancy giving this a read.

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Benefit Cosmetic Dupes – by Maybelline

We all love high end cosmetics with their sleek packaging, fabulous branding and innovative ideas. Normally the only thing we don’t like is the price tag. It would seem that budget high street cosmetic brands agree with us and so they seem to be focusing on bringing affordable versions of high end cosmetics to the market. Does it work? Sometimes – check out this post from Nina’s bargain beauty, which features a dupe of Urban Decay’s Naked palette that is priced at £4.00. Amazing!

So it seems that other beauty brands have realised that Benefit Cosmetics are the forerunner when it comes to amazing, ingenious, new and clever products that are different to the regular mascara, foundation, blush, eyeshadow and lipstick staples (not that they don’t sell these too). What Benefit does best is fix your face with targeted, specifically designed products. Maybelline now offer 2 items that are pretty much Benefit dupes. Let’s take a look.

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Baby Skin costs £7.99, whilst The Porefessional will set you back around £22-£25, depending where you shop. So you save around £13-15. Pretty impressive! Except…..I’m guessing you pay the bigger bucks for something. Is it superior ingredients? Is it the packaging or the brand? Let’s see how these two products measured up when I tried and tested them.

The Benefit formula is tinted and when applied, pores visibly reduce and in some cases, completely vanish. This stuff is so good it even reduces lines around the eyes and leaves the skin feeling silky, matte, and more than ready for make up. It’s a fantastic blackhead concealer but also an amazing base. This product is expensive, but it works.

The Maybelline formula is clear and upon application, I saw NO visible reduction in my pores. Still feeling hopeful though, I tried it in other areas and ended up with slightly greasy skin. I tried blending it and pretty much ended up with something resembling a mini oil slick on my face. It didn’t reduce pores, it didn’t give me baby soft skin. It was okay as a base, but by lunchtime my skin was so shiny and oily that it was difficult to tell I was wearing my normal make up because this stuff seeped through and took over everything.

Benefit : 9½/10
Maybelline : 3/10

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I’m afraid things don’t get much better. The Smoother is Maybelline’s answer to Benefit’s Cult Classic Dr Feelgood.

Benefit’s Dr Feelgood is a silky balm that smoothes lines, wrinkles, blemishes and generally mattifies your face, while packing on tons of vitamins and good stuff. Polyfilla for the face!! It works wonders, especially on slightly older skin. It carries a price tag of around £24.50 but unlike some of Benefits products, it lasts for ages. And it really works and you can also use it over make up for a top up that removes shine and makes you even prettier!

Maybelline’s The Smoother is like a pink version of the stuff in the Baby Skin tube, just a little thicker! It’s quite greasy, takes ages of patting and gentle rubbing to absorb in and then sits on the face until you look shiny and worn out. I really didn’t like it and even the £6.99 price tag doesn’t make things any better. At a push I would use the Maybelline stuff (sparingly), but if you want pore reduction, wrinkle coverage, lasting results and cosmetics that really work and are a pleasure to use, stick with Benefit.

Benefit :8/10
Maybelline : 3/10

Nice try Maybelline, but ultimately a fail for me.

What’s sad about it all, is that when Maybelline stick to producing their own ideas, the stuff they come up with is wonderful and works a treat! I LOVE their ‘Dream’ range – the foundation, dream mousse eyeshadow and blush – all amazing. Stick to what you know.

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Charlaine Harris : Sookie Stackhouse Series

Beware! There are spoilers below!

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If you’ve never read the books before, stop – and read them. If you have read them all, it’s safe to read on!

Before the HBO TV show, there was Sookie Stackhouse in book form, namely the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris.

Long before Kindles and tablets existed, I was a member of WorldBooks (The Sci-Fi and Fantasy division). I had signed up and got something like 6 books for 1p each and then you just had to commit to buying more books throughout the year. Well, the magazine came one month and I was in a situation where I had to order something to fulfill my membership deal. I scanned the magazine over and over again and then thought I would give this set of 3 books for £15 a whirl. The covers intrigued me. It looked like the best I was going to get out of the magazine. These 3 books were:

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When the books arrived, I started reading without much enthusiasm. However, from the first page, I was hooked. I have relations from Tennessee and I’ve travelled to Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida etc….it wasn’t too hard for me to picture Sookie’s town, her house, the bar…..I was fully immersed from page 1 of book 1. When I came up for air a few days later after reading all 3 books, I wanted more. These first books are definitely the best of the series – I am just re-reading them now for the 5th or 6th time (I’m up to Dead to the World). So I started looking and found out there were about 2 more books out. I ordered them – one I had to get from the states – and then quickly got up to date. From then on, I picked up a new novel every time I went on vacation to the US to see my family. The last few novels I bought I had to get the tacky HBO TV series covers (booooo!) and were bought from Amazon.co.uk, right up until the series concluded with book 13. By then, I was ready for Sookie’s tales to come to an end. There was a lack of originality, nothing new to add to the mix and little remaining of the Sookie from book 1. I know that character development means people change, but thinking about the last book I read…..it didn’t have me hooked as the first ones did, as the re-read is proving!

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Still, I would much rather be in Sookie’s world than most other novels, these days. It’s familiar and fun. There’s humour, action, great writing and fantastic characters. Sometimes, there’s genuinely heartbreaking moments such as Bill confessing to Sookie why they really met and how it was engineered. That scene still reduces me to tears, even now, after many reads. The betrayal and hurt that Sookie feels leaps off the page and thumps into your chest with a boom! Fine writing.

For me, where things started to get tangled and a bit blurry was when the fairies appeared. I think there was just a little too much of them, too much betrayal and double crossing (when you think Sookie has found some kin and happiness at last, but tons of people still want her dead). I liked the back story to Sookie’s Grandmother. I liked the Cluviel Dor. I liked a lot, but there was a lot I could take or  leave. Sookie getting almost tortured/beat to death lost its impact after 9, 10, 11 books……we always know she’s going to make it. In the beginning, the attacks and injuries were shocking and upsetting, but later it’s just like yup – Sookie is almost dead again. The Supes will save her. Again.

Having said that, it’s easy to feel Sookie’s pain and frustration at being dragged into that whole world. Like when she’s been through so much but just can’t seem to find a way out of always being caught up in their wars and fights for power and domination. Also sad is the way Sookie’s own mother treated her – again, piognant, well-written and heartbreaking. Thank goodness for Grandmother Adele!

I was so excited that there was going to be a TV show of my beloved book series. The books had been getting more and more popular in the UK and I was delighted other readers were discovering Sookie and her universe. Let it be said that I love the show – mostly. I love elements of it. I didn’t particularly enjoy when it went off canon, or when characters who should have been long dead by book 1 were still parading around in series 5. I liked the introduction of new characters like Jessica and some of the casting was utterly inspired. Having said that, I didn’t let the TV show affect the mental pictures I had imagined about characters and locations. They got Merlotte’s spot on though – I definitely saw that one in my mind!

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The series was due to end at book 10. But Charlaine’s publishing house managed to squeeze her for another 3 books, and it shows. I do utterly agree with the way the series ended though – that Sookie was more than likely going to end up in a relationship with Sam. No neat, parcelled up ending. Why would there be? Charlaine knows her readers are intelligent enough to not need to be spoonfed a sugary sweet ending. Sookie was never going to end up as a vampire – she loves the sun too much, and she was never going to be the other woman on the side for Eric. Likewise, Bill never stood a chance because she could never fully trust him again.

There was a huge outcry when she didn’t end up with Eric or Bill, but I just can’t understand why. From book 1, Charlaine Harris lets you know that Sam has feelings for Sookie and she has them too for Sam. They go on a date. There’s love, understanding, friendship, warmth, and genuine affection in this relationship from the very start. Sam was always there for Sookie, was a rock for her in many ways. He helped her whenever he could and he saved her life more than once. Unlike the vamps who betrayed, lied to, used and abused Sookie. From the very beginning I could see where Sookie would go; it was inevitable really. Sookie loved to sunbathe – she likes warm, sunny, bright things. The vampires may have brought silence in her head, but they also took her to dark places where she never belonged. At the end of the series, you get the feeling that she really will get to step out into the light and live happily there.

Here are some of my favourite bits of Sookie art (aside from the Lisa Desimini covers which I love):

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Book Review: Dirty Rocker Boys by Bobbie Brown

Dirty Rocker Boys – Bobbie Brown & Caroline Ryder, Gallery Books.
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Following on from this post, you might have correctly guessed that my music genre of choice is rock and that I have more than a passing interest in the bands and musicians of that era. The book has been out for quite a while but I only just discovered and read it recently.

Bobbie Jean Brown was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and her stunning natural beauty helped her to win beauty pageants and become a model. She ended up in LA during the height of the Glam Rock/Rock movement (think back to Motley Crue crusing the Sunset strip in a limo. With a pool in the back. Surrounded by women. And champagne and drugs….yeah, you’ve got the idea!). Bobbie did modelling and also found fame by starring in rock music videos (most famous for Warrant’s Cherry Pie). All of Hollywood was teeming with gorgeous, successful long haired rock gods during this time and Bobbie Brown was the woman who many of these rock stars wanted to get with. It’s really not difficult to see why.

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Front of that queue was Warrant’s lead singer, Jani Lane who was already head over heels with Bobbie after seeing her in another video. Jani Lane and Tommy Lee of Motley Crue were both after Bobbie and it was a contest to see who got there first. Jani did after getting Bobbie to star in one of Warrant’s videos, and he sealed the deal by marrying Bobbie and getting her pregnant with their daughter, Taylar Lane. However, Jani soon succumbed to drink and also cheated on his wife, so next in line was Tommy Lee. He and Bobbie seemed to genuinely have a good time together and were engaged to be married. But whenever they argued, Tommy Lee went running to Bobbie’s rival Pamela Anderson, to make Bobbie jealous. This worked several times until he was violent towards Bobbie in front of her daughter Taylar. Bobbie left him this time and meant it. He paid her back by marrying Pamela Anderson mere days later on a beach.

Pamela Anderson was on the scene at the same time as Bobbie. They had much in common and might even look inter-changeable to some people. BUT, that’s where the similarity ends. Bobbie was still open, friendly and warm at a time when Pamela was guarded, cunning and smart. Pamela made an open play for Tommy Lee, right in front of Bobbie when she was all too aware of Bobbie & Tommy Lee’s relationship status. There are 2 sides to every story, sure…..but the facts speak loud and clear. Pamela married a man she hadn’t had a relationship with and barely knew. The same man who 4 days earlier had just come out of a long term relationship. I know which lady comes off looking better in this scenario – and it isn’t Pamela.

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Pamela – already with painted on eyebrows and immaculate make up, Bobbie – natural and stunning.

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2013-2014: Bobbie, proving her natural beauty. Pamela? Not so much.

I don’t want to give too much of the book away but what I am trying to highlight is that yes, Bobbie has been around. Is it her fault? Yes, some of it. BUT whenever she has been with a guy, she has been a one guy woman and hasn’t slept around. She wanted her marriage to work, she wanted to have a secure, loving relationship with Tommy Lee. The men in her life always seemed to have other ideas.

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She was approached by so many rockers of the day – Vince Neil, Sebastian Bach, Dave Navarro, Bret Michaels – they all wanted a piece of Cherry Pie. Most of them had girlfriends and wives at the time but seemed to think that they had a god given right to sleep around and treat women like Bobbie as trophies. What they didn’t bank on was her unbreakable spirit, strength and street smarts. Bobbie had to learn quickly what an unforgiving town Hollywood is. Sometimes she didn’t do so well when she found herself homeless and addicted to drugs, but she always managed to do what was best for herself and her daughter in the end and get herself back on her feet.

The book contains many tales about the sordid, dark side of Hollywood. There are chapters featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kevin Costner. Bobbie doesn’t pull any punches. The book is written in a sincere voice though and is completely uncensored, making it highly entertaining. I did feel that the ending didn’t tell us where Bobbie is now, but I hear rumours of another book so maybe she was saving some of her story for that. I hope so. My only criticism of this book is that it was too short and I didn’t want it to end. I ended up really liking Bobbie and being glad that she’s still around in the entertainment industry now. I hope we hear a lot more from her.

Awesome links:

Bobbie Jean Brown on Twitter
Bobbie on Facebook
Bobbie’s online clothing store
Ex-wives of Rock official Fuse page

Bobbie Gallery:

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