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Drugs Are Nice: A Post-Punk Memoir

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Overview

In this eye-opening memoir, Lisa Crystal Carver recalls her extraordinary youth and charts the late-80s, early-90s punk subculture that she helped shape. She recounts how her band Suckdog was born in 1987 and the wild events that followed: leaving small-town New Hampshire to tour Europe at 18, becoming a teen publisher of fanzines, a teen bride, and a teen prostitute. Spin has called Suckdog's album Drugs Are Nice one of the best of the '90s, and the book includes photos of infamous European shows. Yet the book ...
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Overview

In this eye-opening memoir, Lisa Crystal Carver recalls her extraordinary youth and charts the late-80s, early-90s punk subculture that she helped shape. She recounts how her band Suckdog was born in 1987 and the wild events that followed: leaving small-town New Hampshire to tour Europe at 18, becoming a teen publisher of fanzines, a teen bride, and a teen prostitute. Spin has called Suckdog's album Drugs Are Nice one of the best of the '90s, and the book includes photos of infamous European shows. Yet the book also tells of how Lisa saw the need for change in 1994, when her baby was born with a chromosomal deletion and his father became violent. With lasting lightness and surprising gravity, Drugs Are Nice is a definitive account of the generation that wanted to break every rule, but also a story of an artist and a mother becoming an adult on her own terms.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Shock-performance artist Carver (Dancing Queen) offers a spunky, well-fashioned memoir devoid of self-pity but heavy on moral-of-the-story hindsight. Carver grew up in Dover, N.H., with a sickly mother, but spent her 15th year with her father in California, when he got out of prison for murder. His hard-knock lessons "shame and shock [her] out of everything [she] knew to be and think," so that when she returned to Dover, she was transformed and fearless. Meeting "scum-rocker" GG Allin inspired her and a friend to start a "band," Suckdog, and join the wave of atonal, angry prankster gigs then in vogue (it was the late 1980s). Connected to the DIY underground, a cassette-trading society that eliminates the need for producers, seed money, even talent, Carver met and married French music rebel Jean Louis Costes; together they achieved notoriety with their outlandish performances (one act involved her peeing in a litter box). Other jobs include publishing the early zine Rollerderby, which segues into an infatuation with the troubled neo-Nazi Boyd Rice. Carver had Rice's child, born genetically disabled, and the family collapsed when Rice revealed himself to be an abusive alcoholic. Carver slides into a chirpy concluding regeneration, while the overall ride of this iconoclast is surprisingly tame. Agent, Erin Hosier. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Alt-culture celeb Carver's debut memoir asks: What comes next when you've lived more by the age of 20 then most people have in their whole lives?Raised in a peripatetic manner by a Nietzschean drug-dealer father in California and an absent-minded mother in New Hampshire, the already high-strung author upshifted fast into mid-'80s adolescent freakdom. While still a teenager, she started a flirty correspondence with shock punk GG Allin and formed her own noise band, Suckdog. The first show featured a bass player and keyboardist who couldn't play, a recording of the Bee Gees in the background and Carver ripping off her dress and screaming as she dove into the crowd of bikers and agro-punks, slapping faces at random. Over the next few years, she traveled the country with Suckdog, performing hostile, anti-art "operas" in basements and small clubs to negligible crowds, usually accompanied by her much older French husband (long story). It was all part of her inner burning, and an emptiness held at bay with movement, rage, shock: "If Suckdog isn't good, at least we can make it unique." Along the way Carver was a teen prostitute, occasional journalist and eventually the victim of an abusive relationship with a pseudo-celebrity neo-Nazi. In 1994, when their son Wolfgang was born with a chromosomal deletion that left him requiring constant care, she finally got off the life-as-performance-art merry-go-'round. Carver's account is explosive, an X-ray of doomed souls and attention-seekers. "We try to get out of these cocoons and make our way down to where our bodies are. We try shoplifting and racist/sexist/ageist humor (trying to offend our way out); we get naked on stage. . . . We can't get out. Wecan't wake up."Strobe light flashes of insight.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932360943
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/9/2005
  • Pages: 250
  • Sales rank: 601,095
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.82 (d)

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