Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen

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Overview


The high–octane, no–holds–barred memoir by Al Jourgensen, legendary godfather of industrial music and founder of Ministry.

Al Jourgensen wanted to be a musician but he became a rock star, and it almost killed him. During his career, Jourgensen has explored electronic, industrial, metal, punk, and even country music with Ministry, The Revolting Cocks, Lard, and other bands. Along the way, he engaged in all the rock star clichés of decadence and debauchery, even inventing new ...

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Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen

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Overview


The high–octane, no–holds–barred memoir by Al Jourgensen, legendary godfather of industrial music and founder of Ministry.

Al Jourgensen wanted to be a musician but he became a rock star, and it almost killed him. During his career, Jourgensen has explored electronic, industrial, metal, punk, and even country music with Ministry, The Revolting Cocks, Lard, and other bands. Along the way, he engaged in all the rock star clichés of decadence and debauchery, even inventing new forms of nihilism. Despite all of this and heavy IV drug use beginning at age fifteen, Jourgensen managed to create seven seminal albums. After twenty–two years of heroin, cocaine, and other substance abuse, he cleaned up, straightened out, and found new reasons to live.

Filled with humor, heart, and tragedy, Ministry depicts a renegade iconoclast in an epic story of tempting fate, beating odds, and putting together the pieces of an unraveled life.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Over the years, he has been known also as Alien Dog Star, Buck Satan, Hypo Luxa, and The Alien, but most fans think of the Ministry founder as just Ai Jourgensen. In this long-awaited autobiography, this veteran Cuban-American musician describes his much-traveled youth, his breakthrough industrial metal career, his drug use, his love life, and his encounters with luminaries including William S. Burroughs, Timothy Leary, Madonna, Courtney Love, Eddie Vedder, and Ron Jeremy, to name but a few. Naked revelations from a heavy metal legend.

Publishers Weekly
True to its name, much of this book's narrative has been experimentally reconstructed from musician Jourgensen's clouded career—a career that includes drug addiction, binge drinking, stints in mental institutions, and international fame. A New Wave pop star with Ministry in the early-1980s, Jourgensen soon turned toward the harsh sounds that would become known as ‘Industrial.' Throughout the 90s, Jourgensen produced albums at a rapid rate, both with Ministry and side projects such as Revolting Cocks, and toured relentlessly. His output seems even more heroic given the volume and toxicity of the substances that he smoked, poured, and injected into his body. Despite—or because—of the extent of his self-immolation, Jourgensen is a lucid, engaging narrator. He presents his musical career as nearly accidental – something he did between sex, drugs, arrests, and brawls. Rather than music, Jourgenson focuses on settling scores, the hell he raised, and the drugs he took. What saves this account from tedium is the help from Wiederhorn and the great storytelling. Outside accounts and interviews with his friends, wife, and co-writer add texture and plausibility, but for better or worse, this is the Al Jourgensen Show. Probably no one is more surprised than Jourgensen that he lived to tell it. (July) Warrior Princess: My Quest to Become the First Female Maasai Warrior Mindy Budgor Skirt!, $24.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7627-8603-9 Caught between family pressure to marry a doctor or lawyer and to maintain a "twenty-seven inch waistline," self-proclaimed "plump, white, Gucci-wearing Jewish girl" Budgor makes an unconventional choice: she travels to Africa in an effort to become the first female Maasai warrior. As noble a pursuit as it sounds, the road to warriordom is paved with physical discomfort, including a long stint in the wilderness, hunting, and a diet of "meat, questionable herbs—and blood." Unable to be dissuaded, Mindy packs up her Frederic Fekkai shampoo and conditioner and is on her way, soon arriving in Nairobi alongside her friend Becca. There the two friends are eventually adopted by an open-minded group of Maasai, headed by the acerbic Lanet, a twenty-five-year-old, English-speaking moran (the Maasai word for warrior). He agrees to bring the girls back to a very traditional Maasai community in Loita, south of Nairobi, where they commence initiation rites. While not a natural writer, Budgor has enough chutzpah to keep the reader entertained and knows how to make use of the countless opportunities for culture-clash humor, including the extreme consternation caused among the tribesmen by Becca's sleeping bag; still, despite its unique premise the book does not add up to much more than a chatty travelogue. Photos. (July)
From the Publisher

Under the Radar, Spring 2013

“In the colorful and often highly amusing anecdotes recounting his years as a musician, Jourgensen covers his time with Ministry and Revolting Cocks in high-flying detail.”

Revolver, June/July 2013

“A tale of outlandish debauchery and mayhem…Like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas crossed with The Dirt, it’s both insanely compelling and compellingly insane.”

Texas Monthly, July 2013

“Jourgensen [is] poised to forever raise the bar on tales of rock star excess with a new memoir, Ministry…The book offers a laundry list of degenerate behavior and near-death experiences. But where most rock and roll biographies and memoirs end in the subject’s demise or redemption, the arc of this one is a lot murkier.”

Examiner.com, 7/1/13

“One needn’t be intimately familiar with Ministry’s musical mayhem to enjoy Ministry…Entertaining, enlightening—even inspirational…A riotously revealing retrospective that cements Jourgensen’s place in the modern rock lexicon while chronicling the decades-long descent into drug addiction that nearly cost the Ministry maverick his life.”

RollingStone.com, 7/8/13

“Few musicians have indulged in the sex, drugs and rock & roll lifestyle with such death-defying fervor—and over such a long period of time—as longtime Ministry leader Al Jourgensen. Now, his tale is on display for the whole world to read…A roller-coaster read. In addition to going behind the scenes for the creation of such industrial-metal classics as The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste and Psalm 69, Jourgensen dishes dirt on many renowned names whom he's crossed paths with throughout his career.”

MTV Hive, 7/10/13

“Just open the book and throw your finger on any given page, and you’re liable to hit a sentence that makes you thank god you lived long enough on this planet to read something this batshit crazy…The most entertaining rock memoir I’ve ever read.”

Loudwire.com, 7/11/13

“The ‘back-asswards’ life of Ministry mastermind Al Jourgensen has finally been documented with incredible detail.”

USA Today (website), 7/8/13

“When it comes to sex, drugs and rock and roll, you just can't have too much of them, at least if you're reading about it. To live that lifestyle, a long one, is quite a feat, one that begs for a memoir, Ministry, in stores now.”

Examiner.com, 7/6/13

“[An] unflinching account of his life and career…For someone who has lived his life as an open book, free of pretense and with complete apathy as to others' opinions of him, Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen still manages to surprise…Ministry's lone constant member tells it like he sees it with all the gory details dripping throughout…No stone unturned and no vein left untapped, Jourgensen recites events of a life lived (and ended a few times) to its unconscionable excesses in a funny, wildly entertaining, and gleefully repulsive memoir.”

Blogcritics.org, 7/9/13

“A rock and roll tale that is dirtier than that of Motley Crue’s The Dirt…Open and honest…Fans of Ministry will undoubtedly snap this right up.”

The Front Row Report, 7/9/13

“[He] doesn’t hold back one bit…Jourgensen digs down into the deepest, darkest crevices of his memory and presents us with a very blunt, honest and revealing trip through his life and career…The epitomic picture of the life of a rocker and artist and Jourgensen at his best. Any Ministry or metal fan will be captivated for hours and hours…and anyone who isn’t familiar with Ministry or Jourgensen will find everything they need to know in this book.”

Ave Noctum, 7/8/13

“A compelling read…Al is amusing and wry throughout and this is a real warts and all tale that has a jaw dropping fact or story on virtually every page…Even if you are not a fan of the music this is still a compulsive read…This really is not far off from the sort of biographical great American novels told by the likes of them, Jack Kerouac and Charles Bukowski…An absolute gem and a real treat of a book.”

Caught in the Carousel, 7/10/13

“What Ministry brings to light is Al’s sense of humor and his rollicking way of spinning a yarn. In other words, the guy’s hilarious—and Ministry provides a brilliant, dark comedic take on the very stuff that inspired Ministry’s greatest albums…Al’s book reads like a more accessible version of Burroughs’ Junkie, Naked Lunch, and the ‘Nova Trilogy’…His deadpan humor and smart philosophical and political insights (he’s one of the most politically aware and truly progressive musicians on the planet) save the book from being a downer…Al’s Ministry is so good that you’ll just have to read it for yourself to have your side split and your thoughts provoked. Just go out and grab a copy!”

The National (United Arab Emirates), 7/6/13

Ministry is charming and offputting all at once…Proof, if more was needed, that being a rock star, like playing professional contact sports, takes a permanent toll on its most dedicated practitioners.”

TheGauntlet.com, 7/19/13

“The book is both riveting and horrifying at the same time…No gory detail is left out as Al recounts the debauchery and extreme drug use that fueled his life. What sets Al's autobiography apart from others is he admits to every last bit of the shocking tragedy almost as if it were his final confession to a priest and he was trying to sneak into Heaven. Nobody said rock n' roll wasn't ugly.”

Dallas Observer, 7/16/13

“[A] harrowing tale of drugs, sex and, of course, rock 'n' roll, inspired by the artist who influenced a generation of musical pioneers like Nine Inch Nails to take metal to the next level.”

“Rock Star Radio Show,” KCLB Radio (Palm Springs, CA), 7/18/13

“One of the best music based pieces of literature, or any literature, that I have set my eyes on. Read the book. You’re going to love it.”

Intravenous Magazine (UK), 7/3/13

“A warts and all picture of life as one of the godfathers of the industrial rock scene…Where memoirs like Marilyn Manson's Long Hard Road Out Of Hell and Mötley Crüe's The Dirt pull their punches and gloss over the more graphic scenes, Jourgensen goes into heavy and often uncomfortable detail…Compulsive reading. Jourgensen is a great storyteller and the sheer insanity of his stories will no doubt keep people turning the pages. It is definitely up there with the likes of Iggy Pop's I Need More, Mötley Crüe's The Dirt and even William Burroughs' Junkie.”

The Weeklings, 7/20/13

“The most over-the-top, full-on decadent, absolute gonzo rock & roll biography ever.”

GenerationGBooks, 7/14/13

“I’ve said for many years now that I would find it difficult to find a music biography that would top Motley Crue’s  The Dirt. Consider it done.”

Billboard.com, 8/6/13

“[A] frank and revealing tome.”

HollywoodReporter.com, 8/16/13

“The man who refers to himself as ‘Alien Jourgensen’ is a really funny guy and this comes out in his recently released autobiography…He’s a danger-level genius and whatever his demons may be, or may have been, he remains wonderfully entertaining as ever…His book has the makings of a great biopic.”

Record Collector, September 2013

“An intelligent take on the filthy rock underbelly…[It] pulls no punches…A brilliant read.”

MediaMikes.com, 8/19/13

“Take[s] you on a roller coaster ride of sex, drugs, drugs and even more drugs mixed with a sprinkling of rock and roll…This is not your typical tell all memoir as Al Jourgensen gives you that and then some…The book consisted of stories that were so far out there that they had to be true due to the fact that it would be hard for someone to make up some of these experiences and, be able tell them with the in-depth conviction Jourgensen does. The book keeps you on the edge of your seat and makes you want more.”

South China Morning Post, 8/18/13

“You'll care if you're at all interested in first-hand encounters with a who's who of pop culture.”

Curled Up with a Good Book, 8/29/2013

“It is a stark retelling of the musician's life, and no rock is left unturned…You will be appalled, shocked and disturbed, but you won't put this down until the last page.”

New Noise, 8/29/2013

“Horrific and nauseatingly awesome.”

BackstageAxxess.com, 8/25/13

“Al takes us on an exciting journey through his career in the music industry as he truly tells it all; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Jourgensen’s tale is funny, frightening, and oftentimes disturbing as he offers frank accounts of the business side of the industry, his wild life on the road, and his personal battles with drug and alcohol abuse…You don’t have to be a Ministry fan to enjoy this book…A very interesting read.”

Classic Rock (UK), October 2013

“[A] roaringly entertaining read.”

HeavyMetalICU.com, 9/13/13

“Al gives you all of the sleaze you could hope for and more in this harshly real book…they should pass this book out to kids instead of a ‘D.A.R.E.’ pamphlet or ‘Just Say No’ crap…The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen is ANOTHER homerun from the publishers Da Capo Press. They are becoming by far my favorite publishers of all books music! Too many of these autobiographies are nothing more than cash grabs filled with major errors, flawed editing and worse, it’s great to see a publisher care as much about the reader as it does about their own wallets.”

Side-Line, 9/16/13

“An absolutely must-have for the fans of Ministry.”

Phoenix New Times, 9/23/13

“Any page you open up to ensures entertainment.”

CaughtintheCarousel.com, 9/20/13

“Quite simply one of the best rock autobiographies ever written.”

Washington Times, 9/5/13

“In the book, Jourgensen is brutally honest regarding his drug-fueled lifestyle, one that would make even Keith Richards cringe. His tale is as much shocking as it is cautionary.”

HighWireDaze.com, 10/5/13

“Al Jourgensen’s story is a testament to the strangeness and beauty of the universe as well as an example of the human condition.”

John Shelton Ivany Top 21, Issue 432

“A memoir both ugly and captivating, revealing Al Jourgensen as a man who lived a hard life his own way without making compromises.”

WomanAroundTown.com, 10/26/13

“Not for the faint of heart…The producer/songwriter/ vocalist and guitarist tells his story unflinchingly; this may be difficult for more sensitive readers to stomach, but it is pure Al Jourgensen.”

Chicago Sun-Times, 12/26/2013

“It’s almost impossible to believe this is a work of non-fiction. As Jourgensen’s first official biography, the Ministry singer’s torrid life is recapped in colorful and uncensored anecdotes of Timothy Leary experiments, near-death experiences, FBI raids and alien encounters, many of which are set against the background of Chicago in the glory days of the Wax Trax! industrial machine.”

BookNews.com, December 2013

“A unique memoir…Uncompromising gritty, sometimes brutal—this is an unflinching self-portrait of a ‘cranky and rough’ individual, full of anecdotes of drug abuse and touring life and meetings with iconic individuals like William S. Burroughs and Timothy Leary…Jourgensen's health battles, political involvement, personal rants, it's all here.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306822186
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 7/9/2013
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 237,196
  • Product dimensions: 6.56 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author


Al Jourgensen created seven seminal albums. After getting clean in 2002, he produced another five Ministry discs. He lives in El Paso, Texas.

Jon Wiederhorn is a senior writer at Revolver and contributes to SPIN and Guitar World. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen is a very


    Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen is a very interesting book. There are stories of sex, drugs, and rock n' roll that will leave your head spinning. Jourgensen has lived a wild life and the stories are fascinating.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2014

    Price

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2013

    Great guilty pleasure

    If you were ever a fan of ministry or rock n roll for that matter, this is a fun read. Makes Keith Richard's memoir seem like a trip to disneyworld.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

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    Posted November 25, 2013

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    Posted December 2, 2013

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