NPR Best Book of 2017
Full-Color Poster included inside the cover!
18 And Life on Skid Row tells the story of a boy who spent his childhood moving from Freeport, Bahamas to California and finally to Canada and who at the age of eight discovered the gift that would change his life. Throughout his career, Sebastian Bach has sold over twenty million records both as the lead singer of Skid Row and as a solo artist. He is particularly known for the hit singles I Remember You, Youth Gone Wild, & 18 & Life, and the albums Skid Row and Slave To The Grind, which became the first ever hard rock album to debut at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and landed him on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Bach then went on to become the first rock star to grace the Broadway stage, with starring roles in Jekyll & Hyde, Jesus Christ Superstar and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He also appeared for seven seasons on the hit television show The Gilmore Girls.
In his memoir, Bach recounts lurid tales of excess and debauchery as he toured the world with Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Motley Crue, Soundgarden, Pantera, Nine Inch Nails and Guns N’ Roses. Filled with backstage photos from his own personal collection, 18 And Life on Skid Row is the story of hitting it big at a young age, and of a band that broke up in its prime. It is the story of a man who achieved his wildest dreams, only to lose his family, and then his home. It is a story of perseverance, of wine, women and song and a man who has made his life on the road and always will. 18 And Life On Skid Row is not your ordinary rock memoir, because Sebastian Bach is not your ordinary rock star.
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About the Author
Sebastian Bach has sold in excess of twenty million records worldwide as lead singer of his former band, Skid Row, and as a solo artist. Far from just being a multi-platinum recording artist, he has expanded his career over the past decade to include a five-season recurring role on the hit series Gilmore Girls; voice-over work on SpongeBob Square Pants and Robot Chicken; starring roles on Broadway in Jekyll & Hyde, The Rocky Horror Show, and Jesus Christ Superstar; and appearances on ABC’s Sing Your Face Off, the comedy series Trailer Park Boys, MTV, and Vstrong.
Read an Excerpt
December 27, 1989
I touch my fingers to my lips. I stand. Bathed in sweat. In the center of the stage. The taste is salty to my tongue. I look at the ground.
I see a glass bottle under my gaze. Lying askew atop the metal grid. I feel the red liquid all over my hand. I touch the crimson substance to my mouth.
Why is there red liquid all over me?
I wipe my brow. I discover that my face is completely covered in what I am assuming is tomato juice.
Why would somebody throw a glass bottle of tomato juice at me while I'm on stage?
To my shock, horror, and amazement, my face is not covered in tomato juice. My face is completely covered in my own blood. In front of 20,000 people. Opening up for my heroes, Aerosmith.
I am standing on stage in front of a packed arena with my face and hands covered in my own blood.
I see red. Not from the blood in my eyes, but from the anger in my heart.
General admission crowds are by nature, crazy.
When there are no chairs at a concert, and thousands of people crush together in one sweaty, rocking crowd, things can get out of control all too easily. I look into the seething mass of highly charged rock 'n' rollers on the arena floor in front of me. I start to utter the infamous rap, as viewed millions of times now on YouTube.
“Who in the fuck threw that?”
About ten guys circle around one guy. They're all pointing at him. They're all shouting at me.
“It was him, it was him!”
“Was it you, cocksucker?”
The man in the middle of the other ten says nothing. He looks straight at me, and extends his middle finger, in the gesture commonly known as “Fuck You.”
What happens next is the first chink in the armor. Of Skid Row. Of stardom. This is the exact moment when my childhood dream shows that first sign of an adult nightmare.
I had spent at least seven or eight years previous to this moment playing in clubs. Bars. Saloons. Playing three sets a night. Cover tunes. To drunk rock 'n' rollers in Quebec and Northern Ontario. Fighting was just a part of the scene and I had been in for years now. I did not know any other way to respond.
But this was not a club.
This was a packed arena. Full of approximately 20,000 people. Not a place where I could act in the only way I had known how to act previously. My life had changed. But I was not mature enough at the time to realize that I had to change with it.
I say into the mic, “Everybody, get the fuck back.:
I motion with my hands for everybody to move out of the way of this guy. Whose ass, I most certainly intended to kick.
I pick the glass bottle up off the stage. I walk as far back to the drum riser as I can, to get a good run at my nemesis. The song we are about to play is called “Piece of Me.” Never could I have realized that the song would be taken so literally. By a deranged fan. By me. By Myself.
I star into the man's face as he tells me again to fuck off. I am completely enraged and am not about to let him win this fight.
I then do the unthinkable.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Youth gone wild 1
1 Let's begin at the beginning 7
2 Growing up Sebastian 15
Bach in America: Pancratius on Tour 16
Lifelong Obsessions 19
"Gloria in Excelsis Deo": I Fell in Love with Singing at an Early Age 30
Breaking Up Is Hard to Do 43
The Demons of Rock 45
Winning a Ticket to the Rock 'n' Roll Lottery 49
Mens Sana in Corpore Insane-O 56
Moons Over My Hammy: Suspended Animation 72
3 Bach Formations 75
Acid, Arcades, and Aerosmith 75
I Lost My Virginity at the Age of Thirteen 95
4 From Park Avenue To Skid Row 99
5 Pretty Bad Boys 121
Bon Jovi/Skid Row Tour 1989: Young, Dumb, and Fulla Cum 124
No Need for Speed 136
No Rings, No Strings 141
End-of-Tour High Jinx: Sinister Turn 147
6 Rock It To Russia 155
Bach in the USSR 155
Make A Different Drink Foundation 160
Let the Games Begin 161
7 Feelgood, and Then Feel Better 169
No Milk and Cookie Jokes 173
Even in Rock Circles, Considered Crude and Disgusting 176
Weird Dreams 181
8 Bacj This Way 183
Watch Out for the AeroCops 190
Pretenders to Mah Throne 193
Let the Mayhem Begin 198
9 Bunch of Booze, Mountain of Blow, Quaaludes, and Tennis: My Time with Metallica 201
Never Had Nothing to Do 223
10 Lose Your Illusion! 235
Wine, Women, Song, and Duct Tape 246
11 Everybody IS Mad at Me. ALL of the Time 251
I Like to Run 255
Saturday Night Live 1991: Heavy Metal ABCs 262
My Voice Has a Life All Its Own 265
Beware the Satanic Death Metal Telemarketer 272
What the Fuck's a Shortfall? 275
12 Just Jokin': End of the Row 277
Dude, Where's My Car? 288
Under Attack: "You Don't Have a Band Anymore" 303
One Shout Too Many Devils 309
Only the Nose Knows 311
13 From Skid Row to Savile Row: Bach on Broadway 319
Escape from New York 339
14 Jesus Christ: OH The Horror 343
Let's Do the Time Warp, 'Again 343
Forever Wild 347
Jesus Christ Superstar 351
Road Warp 356
Gilmore Girls 362
SuperGroup. Well, It's a Group 364
Celebrity Fat Club 368
Trailer Park Boys 370
15 Bach in the Saddle 373
The Return of the Redheaded Stranger 373
Making Metal Dreams Come True 378
Not An Anomaly 385
I Lost my Home in a Fucking Hurricane 389
Biblical in Proportions 391
16 The Last Frontier 397
Bach to the Future: Thank My Lucky Stars 406
You Are the Rock Star 411
Peace Amongst the Chaos 413
Epilogue: Hey Dude? When Are You Getting The Band Back Together 419
Selected Bachography 425
Photo Credits 427
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If you are a fan of metal and/or grew up listening to metal then you will enjoy Baz's book. I was already a big fan before I read his book but after reading it made me really respect him.
Loved this book. It's great to see you come full circle. A reunion with Skid Row would be great! As a person who was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma at 50 I can appreciate what you went through with your dad. None of us are promised tomorrow so make the life you have the best!
Thanks for sharing! I love the stories. Skid Row’s music takes me back to a time in my life that sometimes I forget. Thanks for this book.
Took this book with me on vacation, read it in 2 days. Floated around in the gulf of mexico digesting all the stories of his life so far. He does deserve a lot of respect for adapting to all the challenges in his life and coming out on top due to hard work and determination, dedication. I grew up in Toronto, never saw Ski Row perform but I did see Sebastion perform at an music awards show. He was standing on a speaker swinging his leather jacket around. Wish I could go back in time and see that again! Great read!
A great read; read it in a day! Very well written autobiography in that Sebastian Bach tells the reader about his life in a very candid way; admitting to any wrongdoing in his life without excuses that many other celebrities seem to do in theirs. Funny in some parts, depressing in others, an honest look at the rock industry in the 80s/ early 90s.
I really enjoyed this book. The writing flowed well and I like that he shared his growing up and lifetime love of music, the influence of his parents, as well as the "tell some" of the raunchy touring stories. I couldn't put it down and ended up reading it all in one night. He was everything he seems, Rock Star, funny, reflective and his zest for life comes through. It left me wanting more. Definitely worth the read.