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Petal Pusher: A Rock and Roll Cinderella Story

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  296 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
Set in the years between the meteoric launches of Madonna and Courtney Love, Petal Pusher takes readers on a stirring journey across rock and roll, from the big-haired 1980s to the grunge-filled 1990s, when Laurie Lindeen brought her all-girl band, Zuzu's Petals, to compete in the indie rock arena.

Minneapolis in the eighties was a musical hotbed, the land of 10,000 lakes
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 15th 2007 by Atria Books (first published 2007)
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Oct 10, 2008 shannon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
maybe i just react badly to midwestern passive fucking aggression. or passive aggression in general. i don't know. writing this up just made me more irritated.

what could have been a really entertaining book was in my opinion marred by this obnoxious undertone of bitterness. she freely fesses up to insecurity and envy toward many of her female contemporaries, complains about all of the sexism and "you rock for a girl" and then is so completely undermining and nasty about how "these are the things
Romancing the Book
Apr 27, 2011 Romancing the Book rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Review by Melissa Cornwell

Here's the blurb for Petal Pusher:
In the years between the meteoric launch of Madonna and Courtney Love, Petal Pusher takes readers on a thrilling journey across rock-and-roll—from the bighaired 1980s to the grungefilled 1990s—when Laurie Lindeen brought her all-girl band Zuzu’s Petals to compete in the indie rock arena.

Minneapolis in the eighties was a musical hotbed, the land of 10,000 lakes and 10,000 bands that gave birth to Prince, the Replacements, and Soul Asylum
Leah W
Nov 09, 2008 Leah W rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If possible, I'd give this book a 3.5 star ranking. It's a very engagingly-written description of being a woman in an indie rock band (Zuzu's Petals, to be specific) in the late 80s and early 90s in Minneapolis. I am a fiend for the music of this particular era and location, so just seeing everyone pop up in the story is really great. Mark Louris works as a fry cook with the author! Dave Pirner's just hanging about! Oh my gosh, Butch is Butch Vig! The first half is really zippy and fun, but then ...more
Jul 17, 2012 Andrea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book wasn't exactly horrible but I had a hard time with it because I could not manage to like the author. She came off as very unappealing to me. Also she was descriptive about what was going on in the band until the very end when she leaves out how the group breaks up. It bugged me. I'm glad it's over.

Aug 07, 2011 Ron rated it it was ok
The fact that this memoir is compellingly readable and fairly thrilling does nothing to discount the fact that is comes across as almost wholly inauthentic. Lindeen is an unrepentant asshole from the very start, and she never seems to improve on that lot in life. She's rude, aggressive, distant from friends and family, obsessed with fame and success and a star fucking social climber. She appears to be self-deprecatingly honest about who she is, but it's really all a big pity party (she avoids he ...more
Sep 18, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. I'm fascinated with the scene she was in and described. My mom's best friend and her family lived in the same area of Madison as the author, my friends went to the same schools, and I totally nerded out over the connections she had to Butch and Steve, who eventually formed Garbage. The Midwestern passive aggressive nature and self-loathing fit did a great job of telling this story. Maybe it's because I'm a Wisconsinite myself. I was disappointed when she said she hated ...more
Jenny Ahern
Oct 17, 2012 Jenny Ahern rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was excited to read this book because it has so much history about the Minneapolis rock scene. At first, I was bothered because parts of the book seem unpolished, but honestly, that's perfect. That fits right in with what Laurie Lindeen says about Zuzu's Petals, and how she didn't want their albums to sound too slick. It's much more than a book about music, though. It's about being human among humans. It's reflective, raw, and honest. After reading it, I feel inspired to embrace my own creativ ...more
Jan 10, 2008 Gina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Rather disappointing. I need to read some sexy groupie books, I think. Laurie Lindeen's style is incredibly annoying, or it's probably just her personality. Really vapid! I can't believe she managed to marry Paul Westerberg. She's probably a nice person - just a lousy writer.
Jun 10, 2010 Chris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Defensive much?
This was one of the books I had marked as to read several years ago. That list existed when I moved back, and so I'm reading them, even though in most cases I have no idea what the book's about or why I wanted to read them. Which is its own sort of mysterious adventure.

It's the story of Zuzu's Petals, a band I'd heard of but never listened to - they were ever-so-slightly before I was in college. (Also apparently they don't merit a Wikipedia page? Really?) But despite not being a fan, it was an i
May 05, 2012 Sheba rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lindeen captures perfectly the world of the 80s post-punk DIY aura in Minneapolis. It helps that she writes the book from a place of first-person past. Her youthful self is portrayed as snotty, naive, a little crass, a lot self-absorbed, inappropriately flippant, unconsciously manipulative, unnecessarily provocative/provoking and youthfully cruel. Lindeen's honesty in this kind of portrayal is refreshing, even if one comes away from the book disliking her youthful narrator one can respect that L ...more
Richard Kearney
Laurie Lindeen's Petal Pusher: A Rock and Roll Cinderella Story is an engaging, often funny, sometimes morose Bildungsroman about a young woman who took chances, followed her dreams, and eventually found her vocation after finding her voice leading a rock'n'roll band through the challenging landscape of indie rock in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, Lindeen enjoyed a mostly stable suburban childhood, becoming an admitted school "overachiever" and taking inspi
Trixie St. Claire
Just OK.
Jul 20, 2010 Gene added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any one who likes Rock and Roll Bios.
Recommended to Gene by: Found at the public library.

An interesting book you might want to look into is Petal Pusher by Wisconsinite Laurie Lindeen about her adventures in the all woman band she founded, Zazu's Petals. (I really love this book!)

Lindeen is very engaging and fun to read. A really serious story running through the whole narrative is the attacks of Multiple Sclerosis which happened during the band years. The first one she had paralyzed the left side of her body. It lasted about 10 days, and of course, could have continued much longer
Laurie Lindeen is Paul Westerberg's wife. She has MS. She was in the 1990s Minneapolis rock band Zuzu's Petals. In her memoir, she writes about her childhood in Madison, WI, summers in Martha's Vineyard, road stories from her life on tour, one debilitating MS attack, a six month recovery session from said MS attack, and things she is annoyed with (sightseeing, her job at Al's Diner, her job as a low-paid musician, being in a rock band, people's obsessions with Paul Westerberg, her sister's weddi ...more
Mar 30, 2010 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Music fans of Lindeen's era will probably appreciate this entertaining account of her band's struggle to make it big while gender, age, and style work against them in the face of the early 90's grunge revolution. Lindeen also chronicles struggles with her own inner demons, most notably her diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Her writing is casual and her voice is wry and often sarcastic, but just like some other recent memoirs written in the same style by women, this one seemed to fizzle a bit and ...more
May 28, 2008 Heidi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great read for people who were into the Minneapolis music scene in the 80's and early 90's. Laurie Lindeen headed the all-girl band, Zuzu's Petals and is still married to Paul Westerberg, of Replacements fame.

It was a good read - I read it in two days - I enjoyed the name dropping and the stories about how the band came together. But you know? Lindeen spent a lot of time complaining, second-guessing herself, putting herself down. After a couple hundred pages, it detracts from the stor
I liked the parts of this book where she writes about her experiences in the indie rock world in the late late eighties and early nineties. I was "transported" back to that time and it felt good to get away from the current era that depresses me so much. However, I did not like a lot of the memories from her childhood she included. I don't think they meshed well with her main objective, which was to discuss her life in the band Zuzu's Petals. Maybe I just didn't get it, but I don't think that's ...more
Sep 20, 2015 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-has
I didn't know who this woman was, and I only have a vague idea who the replacements were. I don't really understand how their band made it as far as it did, especially since the whole book talks about how horrible they were. In the early chapters I had Hole's Olympia in my head as she complained about how common she was and how common everyone in Madison was.... yawn.

I cannot believe how vapid this woman is. What is it that she thinks will endure us to her tale? The whole final scene where she'
Jul 05, 2007 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rock History
I checked this out at the library yesterday and cant stop reading it; it's an account of the band Zuzu's Petals (late 80's early 90's Minneapolis) as told by the guitarist Laurie Lindeen. A great romp through the underbelly of incessant touring, recording and album promoting, this book really focuses on the music business and the super unglamorous side of being in an all girl band in the early 90's. The camraderie of the three bandmates and their hijinks remind me of my youth (however I was neve ...more
Jun 21, 2009 Lori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009june
If you've ever thought life in a rock band is glamorous, Laurie Lindeen is more than happy to dispel your fantasy.

I'd never heard of Zuzu's Petals (found this on the bookstore's $1 rack), but Petal Pusher made me wish I'd been a fan in the '90s. (Started to buy some songs on iTunes, but the preview function quickly changed my mind. I might've really liked them at 18, but not so much these days.)

Still, Lindeen's brushes with greatness -- touring just ahead of Nirvana before the band made it big,
Jul 06, 2014 Shuré-Nachelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one hell of a book that screams "GIRL POWER", "FUCK YOU", ups and downs of the punk rock/grunge music, and the experience of making it in the business. Awesome book to read for those (like myself) who go against the grain.
Dec 04, 2009 Jolene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lover's of indie rock biographies. Especially chick band related.
Shelves: rock-biographies
Petal Pusher A Rock and Roll Cinderalla Story is the autobiography of Laura Lindeen guitarist for the indie rock band ZuZu's Petals. Lindeen's love for music and rock n'roll starts off with a chance meeting in Martha's vineyard with Carly Simon. Then careens into the college indie rock scene of late 80 to early 90's in minneapolis. Through several failed relationships, a minor bout with MS, and a series of bad live shows Lindeen kept trucking on with ZuZu's Petals. Once again revealing that the ...more
Mar 08, 2010 Lori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Laurie Lindeen is a great and very honest writer. I liked this book and the story it told but I think I would of liked it much more if I were a fan of her band. However, the fact that I'd never heard of them made it so I didn't know what happens with the band, so I guess that's a positive. I also felt that Laurie was a bit too...pissy. I guess it's cool that she didn't pretend to be something she's not but I found myself at times not caring too much for her. Oh well, in the end, I think this boo ...more
Shay Mcallister
This book wasn't bad. It chronicled the rise of Zuzu's Petals (of which I'd never heard of), a girl band that came out of the Minneapolis scene in the 90's.

It was fairly well written, and I enjoyed the "history lesson" about some of the great bands that were out there in the early 90's. It brought back a lot of memories: L7, Babes in Toyland, Hole, The Replacements, riot grrls, etc.

I didn't like the ending though. It seemed really abrupt and I want to know more.

All in all, a decent book to pas
Emily Novak
This was an interesting and introspective view into the rock/punk-rock/alt-rock Minneapolis music scene in the 90s through the eyes of the lead singer and guitarist of Zuzu's Petals. She leads you through her bands highs and lows, while peppering with lots of childhood, teenage and young-adulthood anecdotes. You meet lots of characters along the way, and learn about life on the road with an all-girl band, and the many challenges of trying to rise to musical stardom in an era dominated by all-mal ...more
Oct 15, 2012 Eileen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't make up my mind about this book. Lindeen paints herself as a surprisingly unlikable person considering she gets to tell her story. She also spends the first half of the book talking about how she wanted to start a band without any help from men then tells story after story about how her band benefited from all it's connections (mostly through friends who were dating famous musicians).

Still, it was a fun book filled with 90's nostalgia and I would recommend it to anyone who loves music.
Jul 29, 2007 Janet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gutter punks
Shelves: grown-upbooks
Can't decide if I like the writing, nevertheless I'm enjoying this because the author is from Madison and did a lot of rocking in Minneapolis. I recognize lots of the scenery. I don't think I've ever actually listened to Zuzu's Petals, but there's a lot of stuff about other bands I like. Good fun.
So far my favorite part is the mention of Poopshovel, a band that was allegedly started in the basement of my former apartment on Brearly St. in Madison. Heh.
Feb 03, 2009 Simone rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Someone on Facebook suggested this book, and I'm glad I picked it up at the library. It's a great peek inside the world of a female rock band. It's Laurie Lindeen of Zuzu's Petals autobiography. She is one tough broad. I can't believe what she and her two band mates went through on the road to rock history. Definitely a good read.
Apr 15, 2009 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The writing bugged me a lot at the beginning, but got better as the book went along. A good editor should have fixed that. At times, the book was slow and at others compulsively readable. If I could, I'd give it 3.5 stars.

I don't really remember Zuzu's Petals, but you can enjoy the book without being familiar with them. A good memoir of music and being in a band in the early 90s.
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