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Got the Life: My Journey of Addiction, Faith, Recovery, and Korn

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Overview

What have you got when you Got the Life?

From Korn's legendary bassist comes a no-holds-barred look at the extreme highs and drug-and-booze-fueled lows of the biggest heavy metal band of our era

Music was in his bones. From the time he was an infant, Fieldy watched his dad's band perform, and soon enough he found his own calling: the bass. After high school, with a guitar and little else, he left his small California town for the music scene ...

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Got the Life: My Journey of Addiction, Faith, Recovery, and Korn

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Overview

What have you got when you Got the Life?

From Korn's legendary bassist comes a no-holds-barred look at the extreme highs and drug-and-booze-fueled lows of the biggest heavy metal band of our era

Music was in his bones. From the time he was an infant, Fieldy watched his dad's band perform, and soon enough he found his own calling: the bass. After high school, with a guitar and little else, he left his small California town for the music scene in L.A. Before long, Fieldy, Brian "Head" Welch, James "Munky" Shaffer, drummer David Silveria, and Jonathan Davis would gel together and form a band with a completely new sound—Korn.

What happened next was something Fieldy had always dreamed of but was totally unprepared for: Korn exploded, skyrocketing to the top of the charts and fronting the nu metal phenomenon. Fieldy was thrust into the fast-paced, hard-rocking spotlight. Korn began to tour incessantly, creating intense live shows fueled by wild offstage antics. Fieldy became a rock star, and he acted like one, notorious not only for his one-of-a-kind bass lines, but also for his hard-partying, womanizing, bad-boy ways. The more drugs he took, the more booze he drank, the worse he became: He was unfaithful, abusive, mean, and sometimes violent.

By all appearances, Fieldy had the life. But he was on the dark path of excess, alienating friends, families, and loved ones, nearly destroying himself and the band. It took an unexpected tragedy to straighten him out: the death of his father, a born-again Christian, to a mysterious illness. Following his father's dying wish, Fieldy found God. Filled with thespirit of his new faith, Fieldy quit drugs and drinking cold turkey, and found the best part of himself.

With never-before-seen photos, and never-before-heard stories, Got the Life is raw, candid, and inspiring—the ultimate story of rock and redemption.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Repetitive and vague, this memoir from former Korn bassist Fieldy is a slog only fans could love. For 200 pages, addiction dominates the narrative of Fieldy's rock and roll career, which revolves numbingly around the same two points: "I didn't realize what a jerk I was" and "I didn't want to talk... I just wanted to drink and get high." That might explain why he can't seem to remember much from the band's early days, painted in broad strokes: "It was a rough tour but we still managed to do whatever was necessary to get through"; "Somehow, between all of the tours and being on the road, I had gotten my first wife pregnant." Fieldy fares better when he reaches the recovery and faith stage, confessing that "I don't want my children to go through the depths of hell to discover there's a better way." Fieldy's redemption seems sincere (though readers may wonder if his apologetic letters to former friends weren't written for the book), but his tale is strictly for those impressed by details like "I knew DJ Lethal from his days of being in House of Pain, though he would later join Limp Bizkit." Photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061662492
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/10/2009
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 323,163
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Reggie "Fieldy" Arvizu is the bassist for the massively popular nu-metal band Korn, which has sold more than 25 million records worldwide. He is now happily married to his wife, Dena, and has three children.

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Read an Excerpt

Got the Life

Chapter One

All in the family

I've been clean for three years. I don't fight with my wife anymore. I don't lust or cheat anymore. I don't overeat before I go to bed anymore. I don't have to try and remember anything I did because I don't lie anymore. I don't hate to come home anymore. I don't put off my dreams anymore. I don't wake up feeling like hell anymore. I don't spend money on things I later regret anymore. I don't deny my blessed life that has been waiting for me . . . anymore.

I began sending my friends and family text messages like the one above shortly after my father died in 2005. Losing Dad was my wake-up call to see that I had to change the way I lived or I was going to die, too.

By the time my father fell ill, he had become a total Holy Roller, completely into Jesus. But he never once made me feel like the way I was living was wrong...even when he knew I had fallen pretty far off the right track. I had spent the last twenty years of my life popping pills, drinking beer, smoking weed, and throwing wild parties at my house. I was living the life I thought I was supposed to be living as a rock star. Dad often came to visit and hang out, but he never once said a negative word or made me feel judged for my actions. You'd never know Dad was a religious man because he loved hanging and having a good time, something he could easily do sober. Of course, he wasn't always that way and that's why I thought having a good time was all about getting drunk or being high. I was oblivious that I was on a path of destruction.

Long before I was born, Dad made his living as a musician. He was in a band called Reggie andAlex...Dad being the "Reggie" in the name. They were one of the hottest bands around, packing in sold-out venues all throughout Southern California. He played guitar, the bass pedals, and keyboard and sang while Alex played drums. Dad was an extremely talented and gifted musician.

We shared a common bond from the day I was born...literally...which was our love of music. I was born in Los Angeles in 1969. Back in the day, Mom traveled with Dad and the band all the time. But, the stress and transient lifestyle of being on the road became too hard for her toward the end of her pregnancy so she just stayed at home until the big day. When she went into labor, every musician Dad knew in L.A. came to the hospital to support my parents as they welcomed their only son on November 2.

Six weeks later, our family was back on the road, traveling in Dad's white tricked-out van so Reggie and Alex could finish the last leg of their tour. Our first stop was Aspen. The band set up while I slept onstage in my infant seat. Touring with the band didn't last too long, however, because my parents realized the road wasn't the right place to raise a kid. Since they made the choice to start a family, Dad would have to make the necessary sacrifices to ensure I had a good stable life.

By the time I was around three or four years old, my family was living in Bakersfield. We moved into our first house that was literally in the 'hood. We were the only white family on our street. I vividly remember the day we moved in because I never thought I was "white" until I took a good look around the neighborhood, which was primarily black and Hispanic. My father's family heritage is Spanish Basque, so I have very dark features. If I had to, I could easily pass for Mexican.

I got my looks from my dad. His complexion was so dark that he looked half black and half Mexican. He had black curly hair that he'd blow-dry straight, so it looked longer. When he didn't blow-dry his hair, it was more of an Afro. He had a big thick handlebar mustache that made him look extremely ethnic.

Dad was the epitome of 1970s cool. He wore button-up T-shirts with funky designs on them, shirts with big wide collars, opened halfway down his chest, and those crazy 1970s platform boots with a zipper on the side. He was always dressed in style...or at least what he thought was in style. I'd look at him and think, "I'm never dressing like that!" But that was hip at the time, so to the rest of the world, he looked cool.

On the day we moved into our new home, neighbors stood outside their homes, staring at us as my folks tried to get us settled in. When I woke up the next morning, I looked out my bedroom window to see if all of those strange faces were still there. That's when I noticed our house and Dad's brand-new truck had been egged the night before. I was really scared. I didn't want to live there. I had never experienced racism or prejudice, and my mind was too young to understand why anyone would want to hurt us.

When Dad woke up that same morning, he told me I had to go out and make friends with the other kids, but I didn't want to hang out with anyone in that neighborhood. I would have been very content staying inside forever. I was a pretty shy kid anyway, so making friends was hard enough. Trying to fit in as the only white boy in a neighborhood of Hispanics and blacks scared me to death. Dad told me I could say I was Mexican or white...whichever I wanted. Maybe he was joking, but at the time, I felt confused. Even though I looked it, I wasn't Mexican at all. I reluctantly took his advice and did what I had to do so I wouldn't get beat up.

Got the Life. Copyright © by Fieldy. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

Falling Away from Me ix

Old Fieldy's Rules xiii

1 All in the Family 1

2 Make Me Bad 35

3 No Place to Hide 63

4 Hollow Life 105

5 Blind 139

6 Coming Undone 159

7 Good God 183

8 Got the Life 213

9 Here to Stay 243

10 My Diaries 264

Acknowledgments 273

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 20 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2009

    GREAT

    I've been a long time fan of the band KORN. I couldn't stop reading about all the crazy experiences the band endured. Really inspirational that a person can change from the life of drugs and alcohol, and still be able to rock.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Found it enlightening regarding the struggle with addiction and recovery.

    I teach substance abuse content in my nursing courses and this book helped clarify many issues from the perspective of the individual struggling with addiction and recovery as well as the effects on those around them. I think that Fieldy is also timely in that it will attract young people that are familiar with his musical career. The writing is very candid and the honesty is truly touching. Enjoyed the read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Got the Life Not So Thrilling

    I am a huge Korn fan, and wanted to learn more about Fieldy's past experiences with the band (especially now that Brian "Head" Welch has left). While the first third of the book was interesting, containing shocking accounts of substance abuse and rock star excess, it quickly transitioned to repetition. Although the conclusion of the book is inspiring, the writing is poor and repetitious, and I can't say I'd recommend it to fans of rock biography or of Korn.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2009

    Journey into the mind of a true rock star

    Its very captivating to me, to read how one grew up like myself in a bad neighborhood and became one of the most inspirational rock stars of all time. Reading in between those lines is a journey into someones life that you have grown up with for 15 years. Only its personal this time. Very good book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2013

    KoRn

    Korn is the besta and fieldy is one of my main idols

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  • Posted November 20, 2010

    I love this book

    I would highly recommend this book if you are a big Korn fan. I can read this book over and over again. I love it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Inspirational

    Great book..!!! Very inspiring and motivational to someone who wants to change his or her life around.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    Please read this book...

    When this book came out I didn't get a chance to buy it until recently reason why I brought the book is I love the group Korn plain and simple I learned a lot reading about Fieldy's troubles and how he went from being an addict to going cold turkey that takes guts and courage because i'm sure it's hard not to go back to your old habits I really enjoyed reading this book..

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  • Posted July 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fieldy's Got the Life shows a different side to the famous bass player.

    This book is very entertaining to read, especially to Korn fans. From start to end you'll be captivated by his life experiences with drugs, family, and Korn. A must buy for all Korn fans.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 30, 2009

    Great Story

    This isn't a book you read for its literary quality, it's one you read because you love the music and want to know how Fieldy got where he is today. Fieldy's discussion of how he because a Christian and how his life changed, changed mine too. I'm glad he wrote it -- no preaching, no soapboxes, totally real.

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  • Posted June 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Got The Humility?

    I was interested in this book because I have been a fan of this band for years and when I read it I was struck by Fieldys arrogance. I expected the typical ROCK STAR attitude, however the stories of his past violence and cold hearted abuse of women were enough to make me sick. Its great that he can get clean, and I really hope for his wife and daughters sake he can remain that way. God does miracles every day. I also hope he is paying for therapy for his ex-wives cuz Im sure they need it. Im done with Korn. Fieldy sucks.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted April 7, 2009

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    Posted November 1, 2009

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    Posted January 29, 2013

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    Posted July 18, 2011

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    Posted March 16, 2009

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    Posted March 16, 2009

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