Saturday, November 12, 2016

Not Only Women Bleed - Vignettes From the Heart of a Rock Musician - Dick Wagner

Dick Wagner has been a legendary guitarist since his time in Detroit with local garage bands the Invictas and the Bossmen to his late 60's hard rock band The Frost to his work with Steve Hunter on Lou Reed's Rock'n'Roll Animal and Alice Cooper and more. His innovative, melodic style has highlighted many songs over the decades, including studio sessions for Aerosmith (which surprised me), Kiss and the Alice Cooper band (when Glen Buxton was losing his battle with alcoholism). Unfortuantely, in this book, he is more likely to boast of his many sexual conquests and massive drug use than his studio work.

But, the book is written in short vignettes, making it easy to read and not get bored, and, as he jumps around chronologically, if you don't care for one part of his life, you are likely to find yourself in another time shortly. As usual, I prefer hearing about the life'n'times of rock'n'rollers in the 60's and 70's, and after his time with Alice Cooper, although he stays busy with solo work, studio sessions and producing, the story loses some interest for me. He has many, many ups'n'downs, many affairs and relationships, a number of children and a number of tragedies - deaths in his family and many serious illnesses (even technically dying a couple of times) before his eventual death in 2014.

I admire the man's work and talent, and though the book is good, it is not great. It does come with two CD's of music - I was hoping that they would cover his career, but they are later works and, unfortunately, pretty much unlistenable - for me, anyway. I would say that you should invest in a Frost album and enjoy the man's work that way.