BY JOHN B. MOORE
Despite that fact that you
have likely never heard of Jim Miller or his music, there is still something
refreshingly compelling about his (almost) rock star memoir. Unlike the slew of
rock autobiographies that seem to be churned out faster than artists record
albums nowadays, the book is actually a bit humbling, with Miller admitting
that his bands (he was in Black Angel’s Death Song and Trash Can School simultaneously)
weren’t exactly household names outside of LA (or even in all many parts of
that city). But as a member of a sometime touring band and a staple at various
small LA clubs, Miller was a part of the LA alternative rock scene (remember
when that phrase meant something?) getting close to bands like Jane’s
Addiction, Hole and L7.
If the book reads a bit like
that guy at the end of the bar who goes on and on about how he knew Courtney
Love before she married Kurt or that he knew the real Jane from “Jane Says”, well that’s because he is that guy. Nothing new is really
revealed (Courtney was a fame whore who very likely drove Kurt to kill himself
or worse…; the guys in Jane’s Addiction really liked drugs; Dave Grohl is really a great guy), but because Miller was actually
there, his stories are worth listening to again.
The book does have a very DIY
feel to it, which considering the topic is rather appropriate. On several
occasions, Miller refers to Nirvana’s bassist as “Chris” Novoselic, rather than
“Krist”, his actual name, but that sort of adds to the appeal, coming of more
like a hastily thrown together ‘zine vs. a corporate rock book.