Don't Try This at Home

( 12 )


Step into the booth. Check your judgments at the curtain. Close your eyes. Listen: you can hear the voices of the visitors who sat here before you: some of the most twisted, drug-addled, deviant, lonely, lost, brilliant characters ever to be caught on film. What do you have to offer the booth?

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Don't Try This at Home

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Step into the booth. Check your judgments at the curtain. Close your eyes. Listen: you can hear the voices of the visitors who sat here before you: some of the most twisted, drug-addled, deviant, lonely, lost, brilliant characters ever to be caught on film. What do you have to offer the booth?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
After messy breakups with two major rock bands (Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane's Addiction), Warner Bros. (the label with whom he was going to release a solo album) and his girlfriend, guitarist Dave Navarro began shooting coke and heroin again. He also bought a photo booth and with New York Times music writer Neil Strauss (coauthor of Marilyn Manson's The Long Hard Road Out of Hell) began to chronicle the next 12 months of his life. Their collaboration, Don't Try This at Homeusing photo booth strips, essays and interviewsdocuments over-the-top scenes: Navarro jotting down his phone number on a syringe wrapper for a mortified record company executive and Navarro, with Marilyn Manson, trying to blow up a photo of Courtney Love's vagina (for an album cover). Keanu Reeves, Leif Garrett and Leonardo DiCaprio are just a few other celebrities whose often-embarrassing antics are recorded here. ( June 1) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
In a book originally scheduled for publication in 2001, rock guitarist Navarro (Jane's Addiction; Red Hot Chili Peppers) and rock journalist Strauss (coauthor of bestselling celeb autobios including M tley Cr e's thrillingly crude The Dirt, Marilyn Manson's The Long Hard Road Out of Hell and Jenna Jameson's How to Make Love Like a Porn Star) chronicle the year Navarro turned his house into "a cross between a crack den, an after-hours club, a halfway house and Andy Warhol's Factory" to test his theory that "[t]he only people who stay in your life are the ones you pay." Navarro had had messy breakups with his girlfriend and his record label, and he'd decided to start using drugs again. He installs a photo booth and low-tech surveillance equipment to record every rock star, sycophant, drug dealer and prostitute who stops by his house. The book's 57 episodic chapters (some of which are simply transcripts) relate the demise of a relationship, drug overdoses and detoxes; they include Navarro's jokes about a "committed three-way relationship" and his pseudo-philosophical ruminations about the impossibility of romantic love for the emotionally challenged. Drug-addled chapters such as "Ten Ways to Tie Off" and photo strips of wacked-out, cosmetically enhanced women speak to a sort of quasi-glamorous, semisick, half-desperate pathos. Navarro's experiences turn out to be a lesson in accepting the "rainbow of emotions that come along with life," and there's even a happy ending, as he sobers up, restarts his career and gets married. Weirdly fascinating for a while, but ultimately for the fans. Agent, Ira Silverberg. (Oct.) Forecast: If Strauss's track record is any indication, this book should do well despite its flaws-and booksellers who stack this near Anthony Kiedis's autobiography (Forecasts, Oct. 4) may find their aisles clogged with the Tower Records crowd. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060988531
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/18/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 447,424
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Dave Navarro racked up four platinum records and three Grammy nominations as the guitarist of Jane's Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. His 2003 marriage to Carmen Electra was captured in MTV's popular reality series, 'Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen and Dave.

Neil Strauss is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Game and Rules of the Game. He is also the co-author of four previous bestsellers: How to Make Love Like a Porn Star (with Jenna Jameson), The Dirt (with Mötley Crüe), Don’t Try This At Home (with Dave Navarro), and The Long Hard Road Out of Hell (with Marilyn Manson), and the co-author of the satirical graphic novel How to Make Money Like a Porn Star (with Bernard Chang), which has been banned in Singapore. Under the alter ego “Style,” he achieved the distinction of becoming the world’s greatest pickup artist. Strauss lives in Los Angeles, CA.

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Table of Contents

Part I The Concept 2
Part II This is How I Do it 12
Part III How The Record Industry Is Like a Unicorn 14
Part IV Stalked 18
Part I The First Person Dave's Paid to Come Over to His House Who Has Actually Kept Her Clothes on 22
Part II Love in L.A.: Christmas for Grown-Ups? 35
Part III She's Such a Great ... 42
Part IV An Image 53
Part V Spiritual Guidance 54
Part I The Rhetoric of Dave 58
Part II The Great Chili Peppers Debate: "Bringing it on Yourself" 64
Part III The Great Steve Vai Debate: "Speak Only for Yourself" 74
Part I How to Get off Drugs without Really Trying 84
Part II Ten Ways to Tie Off 101
Part III On Dave's Dick 108
Part I Dear Diary 113
Part II About a Girl 118
Part III Crystal Koalas, Pet Rocks, and the Tennis Mom Theory 130
Part IV The Mystery of Mr. Young 136
Part V Invaded at Home 138
Part VI The March of the Baby Unicorns 142
Part I It's Too Bad Dave Can Only Die Once; He's Got So Many Ideas 146
Part II Show and Hell 148
Part III Close Calls 152
Part IV Good Omens/Bad Omens 154
Part V It's Too Bad Dave Can Only Die Once ... 158
Part I The First Time (with Sound Effects) 162
Part II Cuckoo or Cuckold? 164
Part III Love in L.A. II: The Myth of Counting on One Hand 166
Part IV One Hot Visit 168
Part V Dear Dad 170
Part VI Psychobabble 172
Part VII Closer Calls 174
Part I The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle: A Watched Object Changes Its Course of Motion 178
Part I Navarro Hypothesis #9 184
Part II A Temporary Reprieve from Darkness 186
Part III Dear Adria 188
Part IV Love in L.A. III: Intimacy and Communication 190
Part V Running on Empty, Scene One 192
Part VI Running on Empty, Scene Two 193
Part VII Running on Empty, Scene Three 194
Part I Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the C: A Journey into The Mind of a Girl Considering Prostitution 198
Part II Cracking Up in The City that Never Sleeps 204
Part III A Series of Answering Machine Messages 206
Part I The Sweep 210
Part II The Note 212
Part III The Confession 214
Part I A Not-So-Triumphant Return 218
Part II Tori's Story 220
Part III A Triumphant Return 228
Part IV The Outpatient 230
June 2000
Part I "What Was I Thinking?" 234
Postscript: June 2004
Part I Good-Bye to Hollywood 240
Part II Love in L.A. IV: Love Doesn't Have to Crush Your Heart Like a Coke Can 243
Part III This is How We Did It 245
Part IV Ten Reasons Not to Tie Off 252
Part V A Final Image 253
Acknowledgments 255
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First Chapter

Don't Try This at Home
A Year in the Life of Dave Navarro

Chapter One

The Concept

"Do you know what to do when somebody shoots up too much?"

That's the first question Dave Navarro asked as we began this collaboration on June 1, 1998, making it clear that I had more than a life story on my hands; I had a life. Not a series of past events filtered through the dirty grate of memory, but a heart that was still beating. To document the beating of that heart was the goal, and if the past was relevant at all, it was only as the blood that coursed through that heart and gave it a reason to beat. Or to not beat. Because at times, that heart didn't want to beat.

That night, Navarro showed me what he called his Spread movie. It began with a phone call to a rehab center. Navarro told the operator that he was in trouble and needed help badly; the operator said she'd call back later. The rest of the movie was a series of scenes he had filmed to the accompaniment of his music. It centered around three images: a spoon in a bowl of Jell-O, symbolizing the nourishment of his past; a spoon with a rock of cocaine, symbolizing the nourishment of his present; and a picture of his mother, the bond that connected both spoons. In the movie, he shoots up with a picture of his mother in the background, an image all the more disturbing if you consider that Navarro's mother was murdered by an ex-boyfriend, a man Navarro had grown to trust. Occasionally, that camera would pan to a computer screen, which displayed the phone number of his lawyer and directions on how to find a certain song in his CD changer.

The movie seemed disgusting not because of the images, but because Navarro's eagerness to exploit a tragedy for the sake of a self-aggrandizing art film. At least, that's what I thought until Navarro said it wasn't an art film. It was his will. The song in the CD changer, which he wanted played over and over at his funeral, was "This Is How We Do It" by Montell Jordan ...

Don't Try This at Home
A Year in the Life of Dave Navarro
. Copyright © by Dave Navarro. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2012

    So so

    Kind of the same story the entire book. Thought it would cover .ore of his life and his time in the bands

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2012

    Great book

    Loved this book! Hopefully he will write more

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2005

    Too short!

    Great book I wish it was not just a year in Naravos life. I wish it had gone back bit further. if he hasn't already he should write a bio (not just a year). other than that I was a great book.I felt once I was getting into the book it was almost over, and I had to begin to look for a new book already!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2005

    Not what its made out to be

    I was very excited to read this book. I thought it was an autobiography of Dave's life. Instead it was a year in the life of Dave's life. I believe the yyar was 1999. The book makes no senses in chapters. Its just a mixture of drug induced conversations, random encounters, etc. Would not recommend reading the book. The only chapters I found interesting is when they talk about Dave & Carmen and that is 4 years later. I would not waste my time reading this. If you want to read a good book about life as a rock star, check out Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chilli Peppers)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2004

    So awesome there are no words ...

    i bought this book at a signing with dave navarro and i just have to say that its just so good i dont even have words to tell you. and dave navarro is awesome so go buy and read this book ...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2001

    Cosmic Insanity Causes Doses Of Reality

    Ok - I¿ve been a HUGE Jane's Addiction fan as long as I can remember. When a friend of mine told me he got an advance of 'Don't Try This At Home', I had already stole it from his house. This book starts out with a line that will keep your eyes glued to the page just to get to the next word!! I swear, after the Jane's Relapse tour, Dave really spread [no pun intended] himself to the edge of existence. To be a rock star in the Hills of Hollywood may seem like a bit of a fantasy but in the actual reality of it all - read this book! Pressures, pleasures and quick endeavors ¿ life can get the best of you if you let it. The book ties itself to the classic photo booth [like the kind you¿d find at Coney Island] or as Dave calls it, ¿a triumph in cynicism, mistrust and abandonment fear.¿ The photo booth was bought to document one of Dave's hypotheses #1: The only people who stay in you life are the ones you pay¿ but the cleaning lady, the pizza delivery man and the drug dealer are forever. The review headlines will lie - this book is riddled with sex (hookers & whores), drugs (legal & illegal), and rock stars (actors & actresses included) ¿ shown in the way that people who typically see these dreams of becoming a rock star or movie god - are shown the actual pressures involved. I¿m telling you ¿ this book is a roller coaster ride of a dysfunctional reality mixed with chemicals, cocktails and adrenaline. If you¿re a fan ¿ buy this book!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2012

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    Posted December 15, 2013

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    Posted December 31, 2012

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    Posted July 21, 2009

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    Posted June 7, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2009

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