When we hired Mike to play our local concert series, I was ridiculous. I nearly wept as I sat in my office and held his W-4 form. Seriously. I even took a photo of myself with it and declared it my "favorite piece of paper." I didn't even flinch at his long list of green room demands.
The day of his concert arrived and I was doing a Doughty Countdown at work. 4 hours until Mike's here. 3 hours until Mike's here. Finally, his car pulled in.
And from the first second I met him, I was astonished...nearly speechless...at what an arrogant jerk he was.
I was hesitant about reading his book. Mike Doughty had broken my heart by being what I didn't expect him to be. But because I was such a fan of his poetry and music, I took the book home from the library. I can sum up "The Book of Drugs" with one word: ARROGANCE.
Through the dizzying confusion of Mike's half-memories about his life and constant drug use, the only thing that I really learned about Mike Doughty is this: he will never be happy.
Waaaaa...the guys in Soul Coughing were mean to me! Waaaa...I didn't get a big enough cut of the money. Waaaa...I had so much sex and I'm still unfulfilled.
Read this book if you want to feel good about your life. What Mike can remember about this life he really doesn't like. It's so unfair for him.
Look, I admire those who find the road to recovery. I also admire musicians and the crap they have to go through to earn a living. The reason I admire them is because they suffer...IN SILENCE!
Mike could have really gotten somewhere with this book. He is a skillful writer and is a lyrical genius. He tells good stories. He has a hardcore group of followers who admire his musical sensibilities. However, his Eeyore-esque approach to telling his story doesn't make us feel like we've gotten any further to understand Mike Doughty. Whining isn't a memoir.
I'm still a little lost as to Mike. When his music comes on, I've been skipping it. I don't want to hear him sing anymore. At least not for a while. How much do we have to like musicians in order to like their music?
Here's the thing: you should probably read the book if you're a Soul Coughing fan, even though none of the band member's names are mentioned in the book. I guess Mike thought calling him "the drummer" would make us disassociate ourselves from him as a real person. It comes off as manipulative to me.
If you're not a Soul Coughing fan, none of this book will really make sense to you. It's so disjointed and vague that you would have to look the band up on the internet to figure out what the hell Mike is talking about.
Well, that's it. Sorry, Mike.