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5 Great Rock Memoirs By American Musicians I Accidentally Read Instead Of The Canonical Books On My American Lit Syllabus

My classmates think I'm illiterate and my parents are so angry at me. But I now have a deep appreciation for America's rock musicians.

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1. Moby's "Porcelain: A Memoir"

Moby / Via moby.com

Oft-regarded as his finest work, Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick" tells the story of the obsessive whaler and ship captain, Ahab, who wants to kill a big whale in retaliation for eating his leg once. At least that's what I gleaned from class the other day. I bought Moby's "Porcelain" at the school bookstore by mistake and came prepared to discuss a coming-of-age story in which a nobody from Connecticut named Richard Melville Hall arrives in the gritty New York of the '80s and transforms into the million-record selling superstar known only as Moby.

2. Kim Gordon's "Girl in a Band: A Memoir"

Kim Gordon / Via harpercollins.com

According to my professor Stephen Crane's 1893 novella, "Maggie: A Girl of the Streets," is an early example of American naturalism, and reflects the social anxieties caused by the rapid industrialization of America's cities in the waning days of the 19th century. I literally have no idea what this means, because the book I read, "Girl In a Band," documents the cool life of Kim Gordon, a smart lady who played bass for a rock group in gritty '80s New York. I hadn't heard of them, but apparently they were very loud, but important. They even got to hang out with Chuck D from Public Enemy!

3. Anthony Kiedis' "Scar Tissue"

Hyperion Books

Apparently Nathaniel Hawthorne's most famous work, "The Scarlet Letter" has been adapted for the silver screen several times, and the movie "Easy A", staring Hollywood superstar Emma Stone is based on it! I learned this from the Wikipedia article I read on my phone five minutes before class when I realized none of my classmates had a copy of Anthony Kiedis' tell-all memoir, "Scar Tissue." Anthony's had a rough life, so I have a lot of respect for his great date-recall. He even remembers the day he was conceived! I wish I could remember to double check my syllabus before buying these memoirs.

4. Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run"

Simon & Schuster / Via brucespringsteen.net

Bruce Springsteen's frankly told memoir "Born to Run" peels back the rock n roll mythos that powers his epic three hour performances, revealing the working class and mental health struggles that have inspired some his most enduring classics. According to my older brother, who I called in a panic before class, in John Updike's "Rabbit Run" the main character is a mean loser and nothing like the Boss. This guy Rabbit (weird name) leaves his wife and dreams about his glory days as a basketball player in High School. He even parties with his creepy former coach! Really glad I didn't end up reading this downer book, even if my professor is threatening to give me an F in her class.

5. David Lee Roth's "Crazy From The Heat"

I honestly have no idea how I messed this up. I was supposed to pick up "East of Eden" by John Steinbeck. When I had to call my dad and explain why I was flunking out of school, he told me that the book was about a couple generations of dads who love one son more than the other, which made me feel pretty bad about myself. David Lee Roth's memoir is cool, though. He speaks Spanish and has kissed a lot of really pretty ladies.

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