"some music was meant to stay underground..."

"The Road" (Book)

 - "The Road" Book cover image

Reviewed by on July 22, 2011

"These are not the stories of Led Zeppelin, but the underground (lots of punk), the guys truly hitting the pavement just to play."

"The Road" by Tony Patino is an addictive read about what happened on the road during the underground hardcore scene of the 80’s through recent years.

This collection of stories paints a real picture of what it's like for an underground rock band on tour. The stories are humorous, sometimes dark, and always rock and roll. The common theme is today’s culture and the revolution that naturally comes backstage or “on the road” with this style of music.

The author (Patino) has lived this life, not as a band member, but rather various roles including manager, roadie, and merchandise handler. Each trip was the same: You have to reach your destination no matter what. This alone turns any road trip into an all out adventure. The bands covered? The author’s list is extensive ranging from Helmet to the Dead Kennedys, Gwar, The Lemonheads, Circle Jerks, and many more.

A few highlights:

MOJO NIXON: Tells the story of band mate (and roommate), Skid Roper who was cheap (i.e. broke) and used a cut up plastic milk container every day to eat his cereal. One night there was a party, and a girl slept over. In the middle of the night she used couldn’t find the bathroom so she used the milk container. The next morning, as if nothing had happened, Mojo found Skid eating his cereal out of the same container.
 
TEXAS TERI: An old friend had come to see one of her shows. She was a mother who hadn’t had a night out for a long time. After several drinks, she let loose and came on stage, spraying breast milk all over the audience.
 
DEREK O’BRIEN (Social Distortion): A long narrative about one night that started with a fight, leading to jail, and ending the next day in suburban New Jersey with Glen Danzig cooking burgers on a grill.

These are not the stories of Led Zeppelin, but the underground (lots of punk), the guys truly hitting the pavement just to play. If you were in a band and once packed four guys and equipment into a van this book will bring back memories. For the rest of us, it will wish we had. Some of the tales are difficult to digest, maybe even painful. That’s what makes this collection beautiful. These stories are real. These are the stories that make life worth living.

Highs: The endless unique stories told from hundreds of band members.

Lows: If you're looking for Led Zeppelin hotel mayhem stories, move on. The Road is much more indie, much more punk driven.

Bottom line: For those who have played in a band or still in a band this book will make you smile. For everyone else: You will wish you can relate. The road accentuates the motto of living life to the fullest.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)