Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead by Neil Strauss

This was a 500 page book that I finished in 4 days because I was extremely absorbed throughout its entirety. The book is a series of 200+ interviews with high profile actors, musicians or other times fascinating people for one reason or another. After reading a few of these interviews you start to understand that Strauss is extremely good at what he does. He as the ability to get these characters to open up to him in a way you wouldn’t think possible. From Lady Gaga, Britney, Chuck Berry, Kenny G, Hanson, Zac Efron… the list goes on and on. Reading about all these big stars who struck it rich and other talented people whose life went awry was one of my favorite reads in a long time. It also gives a perspective on life and death because so many of these interviews are of people who have since died way to early in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s. It makes you realize life isn’t guaranteed and reading about what other people find important and how they go about and what’s important in their life is intriguing. I intend to read other works by Strauss (who works for the NY Times and Rolling Stone) because I tend to stick with what I like and understand an entire authors works. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

Strauss: Do you believe in any kind of spirituality?
Liam Gallagher (Oasis): God’s within yourself. You’re your own God and you’re your own devil. You do your fucking thing, you get in you own little vibe, you settle your own shit, be nice to everyone, and if anyone gives you shit, you don’t eve speak to them again”

Strauss: But is being content something one should necessarily strive for?
Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails): It’s not about being content. It’s about: What if everything you ever wished for in your life and never thought you’d get, you got – and it still sucked? That’s the thing. I look at Oasis: dumb idiots just living life. Not to be shitty to them, but I guess the lowest strive for being an asshole and stupid. You know, ignorance is bliss and there’s a truth to that that. I guess I don’t want it, but at the same time I always wished I could fucking fit in and just escape.

Strauss: Maybe the reason is because early on you set up an image for yourself that people are holding on to?
Britney Spears: See, that’s such an irony. People are like, “You were so innocent, da da da da,” and all that. And I’m like, “No, I wasn’t. You guys said I was too sexual when I first came out with ‘… Baby One More Time.'” You can’t win, man. You know what I mean?