Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen” as Want to Read:
Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  974 ratings  ·  121 reviews

Ministry is a memoir both ugly and captivating, revealing Al Jourgensen as a man who lived a hard life his own way without making compromises. He survived prolonged drug addiction—twenty-two years of chronic heroin, cocaine, and alcohol abuse, to be more precise—before cleaning up, straightening out, and finding new reasons to live.

During his career, Jourgensen has engaged
...more
Hardcover, 278 pages
Published July 9th 2013 by Da Capo Press (first published 2013)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Ministry, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Eric He does talk about how he first heard about Skinny Puppy, and meeting Ogre. Ogre is one of the few people who Al did NOT slag on. He had nothing but g…moreHe does talk about how he first heard about Skinny Puppy, and meeting Ogre. Ogre is one of the few people who Al did NOT slag on. He had nothing but great things to say about Ogre - he enjoyed partying with him, and contrasting their different taste in women. (Ogre was also a ladies' man). Interestingly, according to AL, Ogre was the one who asked Al to produce Rabies. Ogre liked the result, but cEvin and Dwayne hated it - which may be why Ogre and cEvin were frosty back then.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  974 ratings  ·  121 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen
Greg
This is Al Jourgensen:



This is my 'review':

This book is part of the Book Riot, Read Harder 2018 challenge. You can see it here: https://bookriot.com/2017/12/15/book-...

This is my entry for the twelfth challenge, celebrity memoir. (Does the dude from Ministry count as a celebrity? Sure in some circles, and it’s everything you want in a celebrity memoir, copious amounts of drugs, many bad decisions and a metric shit ton of gossip and trash talk).

For a brief period in 1992, I liked Ministry. “Stigma
...more
Jeff
Nov 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
A few things make me glad I read this at the bookstore instead of wasting money on it...

1) Al puts down everyone who helped make him famous.
2) Al puts down all the hit songs that helped make him famous.
3) If it wasn't for "the Book Club" keeping an eye on him and keeping him straight enough to make the occasional album every 3-5 years, he never would have achieved the fame he attained.
4) They really should have had the editor give this book a serious run-through in the grammar department and t
...more
Brad
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars.

Thirty years of a band's existence in less than 300 pages, ably pasted together by the co-author from conversations with Al Jourgensen. I laughed out loud and felt the need to quote passages to my roommates and brother. I am happy to have read the book and was pleased that it wasn't the lose-all-respect-for-the-artist horror show I expected, though there are certainly more drugs and debauchery in these pages than I can imagine. It doesn't endorse the indulgences--in the book, Al repo
...more
Rob Granniss
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Savage, brilliant, funny and I could not put it down ... Even when I desperately wanted too. I love ministry and my only minor quibble is there wasn't enough descriptions of his studio time and those mixing techniques he, ahem, appropriated from Adrian Sherwood. His recounting of his encounter with Madonna is worth the price of admission.
Edward
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
As a big fan of Ministry, this book proved to be a very difficult read. It is very apparent that Al has read "The Dirt", thought "Oh, I can be more outrageous than that!" and is trying too hard to out-do Motley Crue to the point that he is laying it on far too thick. It seems that every other paragraph mentions "debauchery". There is nothing more frustrating than being told what to think when reading a book. Show, don't tell.

There is also something very tragic about this book, if Al is to be tru
...more
Laurie
Aug 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Having worked in the extreme underbelly of the music industry myself, I thought I was inured to tales of debauchery, decadence, and bad decisions - but Al proves me wrong with this incredibly entertaining read. I have met quite of few of the characters in the book - his descriptions are spot-on and hilarious. He hides nothing, and yet doesn't waste our time with rationalizations of his life - relentless drugs, booze and punishingly loud music - an easy read, every page is wonderfully interesting ...more
Bean
Dec 27, 2013 added it
This is a tough book to rate. Al has two personalities. One is likeable, one is repugnant. If you asked me if I enjoyed the book it would depend on the day and which Al I was reading about.
Thomas
Jul 02, 2013 rated it liked it
You have to give Al Jourgensen a bit of credit- he doesn't care what you think of him, of his music or his life. If you are not part of anything in his daily comings and goings, it doesn't matter to him. That being said, I had heard/read of his attitudes concerning these issues and he does not disappoint in this memoir. Rude, crude and terribly honest, Al tells it like it is. The debauchery, the drug abuse (holy ****!) & the music. I enjoyed the book a lot, but still find it hard to believe that ...more
Santino J. Rivera
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I couldn’t wait to get this book. I’m not the type to read pompous rock star biographies because those books are usually fake and really lame but this was different. I consider myself a huge Ministry fan and to have a book written by Uncle Al himself? Sign me up.

I bought this the day it came out. The lady at B&N had to get it from shipping and receiving because they hadn’t put it on the shelves yet. Ha!

One of my earliest memories of Ministry is going to a club on The Hill in Boulder, CO with m
...more
David Ball
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
Once again my stroll down memory lane proves to be a slight waste of time. I loved Ministry growing up, so I was pleasantly surprised to see Jourgensen's face peering up at me at my local book shop. "Al Jourgensen? I wonder what he's up to these days?", I thought to myself. Apparently quite a bit. I'd lost interest in Ministry after Filth Pig, so I was amazed to find out that the group has gone on to make another 8 albums since. Considering he was a hard core junkie for a large part of the past ...more
James
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Some takeaways:

1) Al Jourgensen has a name for the act of shoving food items partway up his ass and running backwards at someone.

2) That name is a "flying ham sandwich."

3) Al Jourgensen's autobiography includes multiple anecdotes about "flying ham sandwiches." At least one such story involves members of Metallica.

It's a wildly entertaining book, halfway between a rock memoir and an addiction memoir, saved from the clichés of the first category by the fact that he doesn't talk that much about mus
...more
Lorra Fae
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Well this is a damned crazy heck of a book - normally I would take writing technique into account, but this was just too fun for me to care - I couldn't stop reading, i took every spare moment I had to read more. The debauchery is intense. How is he alive? I know that is a common question. Despite his misanthropy, you can tell Al is a hell of a guy with a good heart. The whole book felt like he was right with me telling me his story in HIS voice. It was quintessentially him, all the way.
Great ro
...more
Andrea  Greene Myers
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Al is an ornery, ornery man. You can't help but like him. At times offensive and always quirky. It's a wonder he's still alive. Probably made a lot of enemies from this book, but he I doubt he cares. Not sure all of these stories are actually true as most of his life he was drunk and/or high, but got lots of laughs from them, especially his tales about Barker and Connelly - and Madonna... Probably the fastest I've read a book of this length.
Larry
Jan 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography, music, 2016
What a tool! (Him or me? I read the whole thing)
Jacob
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this one a lot! I couldn’t put it down. I wouldn’t recommend it to my mom or to any fu*kin’ posers though...
Ru
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
In high school, I was thrown off of a public transit bus by the driver, because apparently I had Ministry's "Stigmata" playing too loud on my Walkman. I didn't make a big deal over the fact that he never asked me to turn it down, because it was only about a 10-minute walk home, anyway, & I could still enjoy the music during that time. That's essentially how this rock autobiography of Al Jourgensen, lead singer of Ministry, played out for me -- it was kind of a hassle to get through, but ultimate ...more
Melanie
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As far as rock memoirs go, this is a good one. The story is told not so much as homage to excess, but as a black and white tale of excess and its price. Because there is a price, and it’s huge.

Al Jourgensen is no dummy. He doesn't try to hide the COST of the hard life he chooses to live. He has stomach ulcers, he hasn’t had much of a relationship with his daughter, and he is currently a 'functional alcoholic’. One of the biggest costs of Al Jourgensen’s many addictions is time. Time with his l
...more
Joe
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
What can I say . . . I love Uncle Al. I remember being a snot nosed kid and hearing "Just One Fix" and wishing that I could create music like that. 20 plus years later, I wish the same thing when I hear "Rio Grande Blood" and "Permawar." Despite other reviews here, I actually found much of this book to be an insightful look into Al's career, his early life, and his spiral into a hellish addiction I cannot even begin to imagine. It's a harrowing story with some redemption buried in between the ba ...more
Michele
Jul 13, 2015 rated it liked it
I have no idea how this man is still alive! Crazy tales from a crazy life. It does seem a very familiar tale, an exceedingly talented, smart person, buzzing with ideas-- who doesn't conform to societies definitions. I'm glad we have brave people who push the boundaries of art. I'm sad that those choices usually wreak havoc on relationships and health.
Ray Daley
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I do like a good music biog, and this is one such beast.

Al gives us an unparalleled look into his life, warts and all. He's not afraid to tell it like it is, what he can remember of it! And for the bits that have eluded him thanks to a life of drugs, drink and hard living there are his friends and family to fill in the missing parts.
Kent Huffman
Jul 31, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction
I read The Celestine Prophecy in 1994, and have held it ever since as the worst book I've ever read.

Until now.
Simon Sweetman
Aug 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Finished reading this - absolutely disgusting. And so thoroughly recommended
Brady
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rock-criticism
hilarious and unbelievable. "Uncle Al" has led one of rock history's most epic lives. you have to read this.
Hunter
Jan 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
my favorite rock autobio since Keith Richards's.
Jenn
Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Even if you're not a fan of Ministry, you need to read this book.
Al has lived quite the life. This book has it ALL - sex, drugs, rock and roll AND aliens. My hat is off to you Uncle Al.
Angie
Mar 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Not sure how good one's memory can be after sooooo many (I mean so, so many. Really, so many.) drugs, but five stars for pure entertainment. Thank you, Uncle Al!
Samuel Goff
Such a confusing book to critique!! And such a polarizing author/musician to dissect. I have tried many times in my life to try and separate the music from the personalities who create the music. If we never listened to individuals who had questionable morals and/or extreme blemishes on their character we would never listen to anything. Music is filled with incredible geniuses who were not the greatest people in life. Everyone from Beethoven to Brown (James) were not the greatest people personal ...more
A.M. Steiner
At one point in this biography/memoir Al Jourgensen repeats the old adage, "never meet your heroes". How right he is! Ministry and industrial metal were a huge part of my young adulthood, and Jourgensen was at the forefront of that. It turns out that he has a very interesting background, his bonkers behaviour was entirely authentic, and he's an endless source of outrageous anecdotes. Unfortunately, it also turns out that he's also a world-class asshole.

He's juvenile, in denial about most aspect
...more
Russell Schmidt
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book appeals to me because I've been a Ministry/RevCo fan forever. My very first concert was Ministry/Sepultura/Helmet which set the bar impossibly high for all subsequent live acts. That was a terrifying, exhilarating experience, and knowing now what this man's life was like makes it all the scarier.

This book reads like you are sitting around drinking with Al, with occasional moments when he goes to the bathroom and a bandmate or friend is planted in the narrator seat to correct Al and/or
...more
Blane
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fun, if slightly tedious read (sex, drugs, alcohol, more sex, more drugs, more alcohol). I tend to appreciate musical artists who completely ignore the commercial possibilities in their easiest work, instead following their muse wherever it takes them. "Alien", like some of my other favorites (Bjork, Mark E. Smith...may he RIP, David Sylvian) began life making easy-to-digest "pop" music...but quickly realized this was not the way to satisfy his artistic impulses. Even though I have only follow ...more
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Long Hard Road Out of Hell
  • The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band
  • Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk
  • Beastie Boys Book
  • The Icewind Dale Trilogy Collector's Edition (Forgotten Realms: Icewind Dale, #1-3; Legend of Drizzt, #4-6)
  • Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir
  • The Beautiful Ones
  • The Lazlo Letters
  • Positively Unstoppable: The Art of Owning It
  • Tougher Than Leather: The Rise of Run-DMC
  • Welcome to the Desert of the Real: Five Essays on September 11 and Related Dates
  • Violence and the Sacred
  • A Year from Monday: New Lectures and Writings
  • Une Histoire Symbolique Du Moyen Âge Occidental
  • The Mass Psychology of Fascism
  • Heavy Duty: Days and Nights in Judas Priest
  • It's So Easy: And Other Lies
  • Sing Backwards and Weep: A Memoir
See similar books…

News & Interviews

It’s October, which means it’s the perfect time to scare yourself with a truly unsettling book. But if you’re a casual reader of dread and...
201 likes · 63 comments
“When we used to play “Stigmata” I would leave halfway through the song so I could get down to the dressing room and have a nice quiet drink by myself while the band was still playing onstage. That night I finished my vocal parts, slammed the mic down on the ground, and” 0 likes
“left to navigate the treacherous stairs of the Ritz and have a moment of peace. I get to my dressing room, and there are these three wankers with mullets drinking my beer. I said, “How did you get down here?” and they said, “We’re Metallica.” And then they turned away from me. I said, “Okay, this is my dressing room. Why are you still here? Scramtallica.” They told me to fuck off, which was the wrong thing to do. I grabbed my deli tray, looked at these arrogant fuckers, and” 0 likes
More quotes…