Allison's Reviews > Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?

Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? by Steven Tyler
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's review
May 03, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: non, rock
Read from May 03 to 05, 2011

As a huge Aerosmith fan, part of me worried this book would be self-indulgent, clearing Steven's own name while sullying everyone else's. Another part of me thought it would be all about his rock & roll decadence, drug problems, women. Walk The Way (the band's autobiography), but focused solely on Steven. I'll admit that part of me wanted that, to hear his side of the story and all the juicy gossip.

I didn't get it.

At first, I was disappointed. The narrative was scattered - a section on Steven's childhood veered off into discussing his own children. There was no timeline.

After a few pages, I was in. I got it. The stream-of-consciousness was originally distracting, but a polished narrative would have been moreso. This book is Steven talking to the reader. You can hear him, not the ghost writer, not an editor. He addresses his music, his career, the drugs, the women, but it's so much more. This gives me a feel for who he is more than any other autobiography I've read about anyone else. It's stream of consciousness, it's how he sees the world, it's what he thinks when he writes a song.

"STEVEN TYLER, an aging but well-preserved rock star moodily stares into space... He's talking into a digital tape recorder, which he barely knows how to operate." [jokingly (?) writing his movie script]

I think this is probably the most real autobiography I've read. Steven talked into a tape recorder; the ghost writer, David Dalton, transcribed it, maybe edited and organized it slightly. But I think Steven took it back, went through and made sure certain words were spelled phonetically so you could hear his voice, hear him burst into lyrics and rhymes, hear his signature scat, drag words out so you feel the weight of them. Much of the book is like this; it's very poetic, with rhymes and alliteration.

If Stephen Davis had come in and smoothed everything out, polished the tales and lined them up in chronological order, it would have been another Walk This Way. But what we have is Steven Tyler. To sum it all up, I would have to say this book is Steven Tyler, as opposed to being about Steven Tyler. If you want the stories from his life, read Walk This Way. If you want to get inside his head, read this.

A fun aside - while the cover looks typical, make sure you take off the dust jacket and check out what's underneath - shots of Steven in action like some sort of flipbook. It's pretty much the best thing ever.

On his life: "Sometimes it feels like... all I'm doing is rearranging the deck chairs on the fucking Titanic."
On women: "She could bend over backward - my kinda girl - and she had a flat head where I could rest my beer."
On Joe's amp volume: "He'd play so loud, even Helen Keller could sing along."
On fame/the media: "...they're looking at me, and what they see is this Steven Tyler entity. I began to think of myself in the third person..."
"So go on, make it up! By now Steven Tyler is pretty much a fictional character anyway... I read about him and I don't know who it is."
On lyrics: "People ask me all these questions about 'Dream On.' 'What does it mean?' What do you mean, 'What does it mean?' It means Dream On. You figure it out. You're the one listening to it... make up your own meaning."
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08/01/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Lisa Yes, you say it perfectly ... it is a real autobiography. I heard his voice loud and clear and didn't have to turn down the volume!

Sarah Beth Breck Best Book Review I've ever read.

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