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Don't Try This at Home

Don't Try This at Home

3.8 12
by Dave Navarro, Neil Strauss

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One day, Dave Navarro decided to open the doors of his house in the Hollywood hills to the chaos of the valley below. The only rule was, "come in the house, you get in the photo booth." The result is a diary, a sociology experiment, a documentary of Hollywood, and an exercise in exhibitionism: strippers, Kurt Loder, Marilyn Manson, pizza delivery boys, Rose


One day, Dave Navarro decided to open the doors of his house in the Hollywood hills to the chaos of the valley below. The only rule was, "come in the house, you get in the photo booth." The result is a diary, a sociology experiment, a documentary of Hollywood, and an exercise in exhibitionism: strippers, Kurt Loder, Marilyn Manson, pizza delivery boys, Rose McGowan, Keanu Reeves, record executives, Scott Ian, Billy Corgan, hookers, Flea, Billy Zane, drug dealers, Angelyne, Leonardo DiCaprio, the cleaning lady, Leif Garrett, Natalie Imbruglia, and everyone else who came into the house are all caught on film—whether zany, inebriated, naked, hamming it up, looking beautiful, or looking ugly, the photo booth tells no lies.

Accompanying the strips are hilarious stories, musings, tell-all anecdotes, and other glimpses into the lifestyle of one of the most decadent rock stars of our time. This chronicle of a year in Navarro's life is also a gritty portrait of his descent into drug use and self-destructiveness, and his struggle to find meaning. Designed by the mad genius who produced Manson's, Motley Crue's and Mankind's books, Don't Try This at Home is a visual masterpiece, a celebrity exposé, and a shocking, hilarious and irresistible read.

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.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Parental Advisory Explicit Content
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 9.12(h) x 0.83(d)

Read an Excerpt

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.

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, Rules of the Game, Emergency, and Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead. He is also the co-author of three other New York Times bestsellers - Jenna Jameson's How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, Mötley Crüe's The Dirt and Marilyn Manson's The Long Hard Road out of Hell. A writer for Rolling Stone, Strauss lives in Los Angeles.

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Don't Try This at Home 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kind of the same story the entire book. Thought it would cover .ore of his life and his time in the bands
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! Hopefully he will write more
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Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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)
Guest More than 1 year ago
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 ...
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!!