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Cheetah Chrome

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  95 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Here is the autobiography of Cheetah Chrome, lead guitarist of the Dead Boys, one of the greatest punk bands ever. It's a tale of success--and excess: great music, drugs (he overdosed and was pronounced dead three times), and resurrection. The Dead Boys, with roots in the band Rocket from the Tombs, came out of Cleveland to dominate the NYC punk scene in the mid-1970s. The...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published November 10th 2010 by Voyageur Press (MN) (first published 2010)
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Apr 30, 2011 Andy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: punks
Recommended to Andy by: punks
Shelves: rock-sleaze

If there's anything better than a rock autobiography, it's a punk rock autobiography, because the dirt's dished in a hardcore, Jimmy Cagney-type fashion, no self-pity, just the hardboiled facts, the way they should be reported. Cheetah Chrome has done a great job in reporting his battle years with Dead Boys.

Cheetah Watch #3: After being dumped by Sire Records for being punk rock and not Depeche Mode the (dead) boys unwisely decide to wear matching suits on...more
Every single rock memoir/autobio I've read has been an addiction and recovery narrative. Dead Boy's guitarist Cheetah Chrome's is particularly messy, incorporating a lot of broken things: teeth, cheekbones, amps and guitars.
True stories (or as true as he can remember, anyway) from a true punk rock icon

I actually debated over giving this book five stars because, no, it isn't some masterpiece of modern literature that will stand up against the great writers of our day... but then I thought, dammit, it's Cheetah Chrome telling his priceless stories from the good old days of true punk rock. Cheetah is just as authentic as ever, and while he tells it like it was, this book reads more like a time capsule than some gossip...more
I waited for weeks to get this book from the library. While the Dead Boys are not, by any means, my favorite band, Young, Loud, and Snotty is -- without a doubt, hands down, no questions about it -- one of my very favorite albums. So, upon discovering that Cheetah Chrome, guitarist of the Dead Boys, had published a memoir, I was, to say the very least, compelled to read it. On the whole, I wasn’t disappointed with the book. Although it is certainly a biography of Cheetah and is emphatically told...more
I'm still reading about Cheetah's childhood , in the early 60's. Some people wish these Bios would skip childhood , but , I find his personal recollection of JFK's assassination , The Beatles' arrival , and just going to the dangerous parts of his neighborhood that he was warned not to , or going to Catholic School (I , too , am a Veteran.), very engaging. John.

Conclusion : Chrome finds redemption without losing his ideals. At some point , he even tries to make Rock'n'Roll a part time thing. The...more
Pet Danforth
Being a former Clevelander, New Yorker, and Stiv Bator friend , I found the book an interesting history of Cleveland and NYC Punk scene. True as far as I know. I felt that the beginning of the book about Cheetah's younger years a bit long and I found the writing style a bit bland for someone that's been through that much and was such a hooligan. Cheetah name drops a lot and I finally realized he was connected to these people through his and their addictions. There was a lot of whining about how...more
Amy Sammartino
Really enjoyable book by one of the early American punks who lived to tell the tale (not all of them did). It's written quite well, and goes from childhood to now, pulling no punches. He spends quite a bit of time on his childhood, which really draws you in as he grew up very poor, with no father in the mix. The pranks of the Dead Boys in their prime are hilarious. You also get a close up look at what it was like to be part of the early CBGB's scene. He's made mistakes and doesn't gloss over any...more
Sabrina Edgington
I picked this up when Cheetah was doing a book signing at a Nashville punk clothing store called Boa. I procrastinated on reading the book for over a year thinking that it wouldn't be so great. I was completely wrong! I read through the book quickly and had a hard time putting it down. I loved reading about his days in the NY punk scene and I felt like I got to know some of the major players more intimately. I wish I would have stuck around and talked to him a little more when I met him. Though...more
Ed Wagemann
Apr 14, 2012 Ed Wagemann marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Why Everything You Think You Know About Punk Is Completely Wrong:

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Keri Kresler
Great autobiography by an icon of the punk rock era. To my surprise, I actually liked the stories about Cheetah's childhood more than the later chapters on punk rock excess. They document the anatomy of a true musician. He paints a portrait of Cleveland and New York that is priceless, and of course all of the stories of debauchery are entertaining. But overall this book is about an interesting guy, a smart guy, who survived and you should never underestimate.
An entertaining read and more well-written than I expected. There is a lot of name dropping and "man, that guy was really cool" or "God, that guy was a dick". But they probably were really cool and/or dicks. There are some pretty funny anecdotes (especially Stiv Bators' pranks and Cheetah seeing ghosts and UFOs). Well worth the read. It also serves as a great catalog of every type of drug or substance that you can and should not put in your body.
This book is great it's got a similar voice to Going Underground. It's like you're talking to Cheetah Chrome on the phone and he's telling you all these great stories. There's a lot of misprints or grammatical errors in my copy though. Some editor at Voyager Press must've phoned it in from the pub.
great book

my interview with the author is here
Chris Brown
Dead Boys were one of the most overlooked CBGB bands. Fun read. What's not to like about stories from that scene? Sure, a little Behind The Scenes-ey but I enjoyed it.
I'm loving this book. Great for people who love music. Lots of stuff about Cleveland in the late 60s, early 70s. I'm 100 pages in, can't stop reading it.
Absolutely a great read. A must for fans, and people interested in the history of punk rock.
Jim Jones
Cheetah always struck me as kind of a cartoon character punk--like Sid Vicious or Dee Dee Ramone--but the guy's actually pretty smart and self-aware. Fun, juicy memoir of this seminal Cleveland/NY punk legand.
Sarah Ferguson
Sarah Ferguson marked it as to-read
Sep 25, 2014
Bill Wendel
Bill Wendel marked it as to-read
Sep 20, 2014
Johanna Beyenbach
Johanna Beyenbach marked it as to-read
Sep 14, 2014
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Sep 10, 2014
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Aug 23, 2014
Rachel Anita ♥
Rachel Anita ♥ marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2014
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