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Laid Bare: A Memoir of Wrecked Lives and the Hollywood Death Trip
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Laid Bare: A Memoir of Wrecked Lives and the Hollywood Death Trip

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  112 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
A powerful chronicler of the American Nightmare through his gripping examinations of near-mythic Southern California murders (the Black Dahlia, Tate-La Bianca), John Gilmore now draws upon his personal experiences to turn his sights on our morbid obsession with Celebrity and the ruinous price it extracts from those who would pursue it. With caustic clarity and 20/20 hindsi ...more
Paperback, 250 pages
Published August 28th 1997 by Amok Books
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Sep 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: hollywood babylon fans
Shelves: hollywoodbabylon
John Gilmore was a champion hang-out artist in old Hollywood and has a story to tell about every celebrity.Thank God he put it all down on paper! According to Gilmore Janis Joplin was a skanky old barfly who had hot pants for him, Dennis Hopper brown-nosed James Dean to death, Steve McQueen was scared of his own shadow, acting classes were filled with psychos, Barbara Payton was a pig and Roddy McDowall was the coolest queen Hollywood ever saw. I don't even care if half this shit is true, Gilmor ...more
Bob James
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
John Gilmore's life has encompassed what would be multiple lives by any other standard. Actor, Writer, Director, Journalist, you name it, he's not only lived it, but had an intimate experience with the lives of others, many of whom have become mythological over the passing of time. The common element is the search, the quest, the longing for meaning, for happiness, for transcendence, played through the pain and damage that these people, Gilmore himself no exception, had incurred in their lives. ...more
Tom Schulte
Jun 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
John Gilmore, author of Cold-Blooded: The Saga of Charles Schmid, The Garbage People, Severed: The True Story of the Black Dahlia Murder and more has always been associated in mind with telling and vivid analysis of true-crime, true-slime. Peripherally, I was aware of his Hollywood connections and career. Now his sordid lens reveals in this past self-destructive drug and alcohol use, murders, loveless and guilt-inducing homosexuality and the corrupting intoxication of the pursuit of fame. The bo ...more
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Cheers to John Gilmore for surviving Hollywood (Paris and New York and even Hawaii) and then writing about it. I found Gilmore's ability to see both the beauty and the tragedy in the desperately flawed individuals he writes about truly, well...for lack of a better word "human". A fascinating memoir; I can't imagine anyone calling this book boring. Comparisons to Kenneth Anger's "Hollywood Babylon" can't be helped I suppose, but I tend to see Anger as more of poser than Gilmore. Speaking of Holly ...more
Jun 25, 2015 rated it liked it
I wanted to give this a two, but I kind of liked all the salacious material and dope about actors, male and female, who Gilmore knew and claimed to have bedded. Jane Fonda, Susan Oliver, Ronnie Haran, Jean Seberg, and so many others. His main association, and the one most seem to have known hims for, was with James Dean, who he also seems to have had relations with. Some portraits are pretty cutting: Joplin, McQueen, Hopper. The level of drugs and sex was amazing, and it seems almost as if it wa ...more
Aug 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book was boring! I figured it'd be a memoir of Hollywood and the lives destroyed but there was no point. Gilmore goes on these bizarre philosophical rants and discusses James Dean every chance he gets. He'll mention celebrities but it's usually told in "they did this and then this happened" to the point that I kept spacing out. There were a lot of people he mentioned that I didn't even know, and I'm quite the celebrity watcher. It's a bland biography from someone who was a hanger-on, oddly ...more
Jul 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Gotta admit this was more of a guilty pleasure read. I learned more about some of his subjects than I needed to. At times, Gilmore recollections of entertainers like Hank Williams are hauntingly beautiful. In most cases, his subjects are deconstructed to fragile people searching for an identity. At this point its the only book of his I've read but it seems to be a good overview his milleu.
May 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Some parts of this book are amazing, but mostly it's kind of a jumbled mess. But the parts that are good are REALLY good. Like the first three chapters. So basically, I highly recommend the first three chapters.
Ezekiel Tyrus
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A great fun name-dropping sleazy read.
Jun 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Kathi Jackson
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love true stories, especially about Hollywood. This has some rough information so may not be good for some readers.
Dec 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
i liked this book a lot. john gilmore is a total character who was on the periphery of the hollywood scene in the 50s and 60s. he writes well he's very hyperbolic which is great.
Jun 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Impressionistic, sleazy, gonzo memoir. Could not stop reading. This book should have had a thorough edit (not for length but for typos).
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John Gilmore was born in the Charity Ward of the Los Angeles County General Hospital and was raised in Hollywood. His mother had been a studio contract-player for MGM while his step-grandfather worked as head carpenter for RKO Pictures. Gilmore's parents separated when he was six months old and he was subsequentl
More about John Gilmore