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Rock burnout finds healing in confessional autobiography

Steven Adler, the original drummer for Guns N’ Roses, has a pretty solid handshake for The Most Self-Destructive Guy in Rock™.

Steven Adler, the original drummer for Guns N’ Roses, has a pretty solid handshake for The Most Self-Destructive Guy in Rock™.


One stroke, two heart attacks, three botched suicide attempts, several trips to jail and 28 overdoses on everything from heroin on down.


He was so messed up that even by the standards of the depravity set by Guns N’ Roses in their heyday, he was too much for the rest of the band. He was fired for drinking too much and taking too many drugs. Even Slash, a guy he had known since childhood (and a fellow junkie), refused to stand by him anymore. From there, his life became worse than you can imagine. For 20 years.


So what do you do if you survive all this? You write a book, of course.


“There’s been a lot of stuff said and I want to set the record straight,” he says, speaking with a slight slur in his voice, perhaps resulting from the stroke, “but for me, it’s very mentally and physically and spiritually healing for me. I couldn’t continue with my life. I couldn’t move on. I couldn’t move ahead with my career, my family, if I didn’t say these things. I wear my heart on my sleeve with this book.”


He does. My Appetite for Destruction is brutally honest. Adler recounts everything from the sexual abuse he suffered as a child through to all the weirdness and sickness that was part of everyday life as a member of GNR. It also covers all kinds of Gunners history that even some of the most hardcore fans may not know about.


It was only after he finally got sick of “coming to every morning and then doing drugs,” he sought the help of Dr. Drew Pinsky (the Celebrity Rehab guy) that he was able to reverse this death spiral.


“You think everything’s party. It wasn’t such a party. Being sick, having to go on stage throwing up blood, hospitals — that’s what happened. I partied harder than any of them and it affected me differently. (Then) for 20 years, I was blaming Slash, Axl, Duff and Izzy for letting me down. I let me down.”


My Appetite for Destruction: Sex & Drugs & Guns N’ Roses is out now.


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