Boys Keep Swinging: A Memoir

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In this “exhilarating yet poignant account of one boy taking flight” (Shelf Awareness, starred review), one of rock music's most entrancing figures transforms the vividness of his musical world into an unforgettable literary account of overcoming the odds and finding his true voice.

Long before hitting the stage as the lead singer of the iconic glam rock band Scissor Sisters, Jake Shears was Jason Sellards, a teenage boy living a fraught life, resulting in a difficult time in high school as his classmates bullied him and few teachers showed sympathy.

It wasn’t until years later, while living and studying in New York City, that Jason would find his voice as an artist and, with a group of friends and musicians who were also thirsting for stardom and freedom, form the band Scissor Sisters. First performing in the smoky gay nightclubs of New York, then finding massive success in the United Kingdom, Scissor Sisters would become revered by the LGBTQ community, sell out venues worldwide, and win multiple accolades with hits like “Take Your Mama” and “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’,” as well as their cult-favorite cover of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb.”

“Brutally honest” (Elton John), candid, and courageous, Shears’s writing sings with the same powerful, spirited presence that he brings to his live performances. Boys Keep Swinging is “a wild, sexy, emotional ride through underground New York at the millennium. From the fringes to the top, it's a tale that speaks to the outsider in all of us” (Andy Cohen).
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About the author

Jake Shears is the lead singer and a primary songwriter of the multiplatinum-selling glam rock band Scissor Sisters. Born in Arizona, he grew up in the Seattle area before moving to New York City, where he studied fiction writing at The New School. He wrote the music for Tales of the City, a 2011 stage musical based on Armistead Maupin’s bestselling book series of the same name, and he has played the role of Charlie Price in Kinky Boots on Broadway. Jake Shears recently finished his debut solo album, which will be released in mid-2018. He divides his time between Los Angeles and New Orleans.

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5.0
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Feb 20, 2018
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9781501140143
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts
Biography & Autobiography / Music
Music / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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From one of the greatest rock guitarists of our era comes a memoir that redefines sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll

He was born in England but reared in L.A., surrounded by the leading artists of the day amidst the vibrant hotbed of music and culture that was the early seventies. Slash spent his adolescence on the streets of Hollywood, discovering drugs, drinking, rock music, and girls, all while achieving notable status as a BMX rider. But everything changed in his world the day he first held the beat-up one-string guitar his grandmother had discarded in a closet.

The instrument became his voice and it triggered a lifelong passion that made everything else irrelevant. As soon as he could string chords and a solo together, Slash wanted to be in a band and sought out friends with similar interests. His closest friend, Steven Adler, proved to be a conspirator for the long haul. As hairmetal bands exploded onto the L.A. scene and topped the charts, Slash sought his niche and a band that suited his raw and gritty sensibility.

He found salvation in the form of four young men of equal mind: Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin, Steven Adler, and Duff McKagan. Together they became Guns N' Roses, one of the greatest rock 'n' roll bands of all time. Dirty, volatile, and as authentic as the streets that weaned them, they fought their way to the top with groundbreaking albums such as the iconic Appetite for Destruction and Use Your Illusion I and II.

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It is also an intensely personal account of struggle and triumph: as Guns N' Roses journeyed to the top, Slash battled his demons, escaping the overwhelming reality with women, heroin, coke, crack, vodka, and whatever else came along.

He survived it all: lawsuits, rehab, riots, notoriety, debauchery, and destruction, and ultimately found his creative evolution. From Slash's Snakepit to his current band, the massively successful Velvet Revolver,Slash found an even keel by sticking to his guns.

Slash is everything the man, the myth, the legend, inspires: it's funny, honest, inspiring, jaw-dropping . . . and, in a word, excessive.

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