Runnin’ With the Devil by Noel E. Monk with Joe Laydon. Being a huge fan of rock and roll and the band Van Halen, when I came across this book last week at Barnes & Noble it screamed, “Buy and read me now!” I don’t always read business and personal development books as I also have a passion to read biographies and this one was just what the doctor ordered. Tales of road life, the rise to fame, scandal, money and course sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll, it was a fun and entertaining read!
The book written by former manager Noel Monk pulls back the curtain on the roller coaster journey of working with one of rock’s most legendary bands during the late 1970’s and into the mid-1980’s. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be a literal rock star this book gives you a rare and interesting look at from someone who was right there during a unique moment in music history.
What I especially loved about the book is that Monk shares the good, bad, and the ugly of the music business while working with one of the top bands in the world from their early days as an opening act to a few years later selling out arenas and stadiums as one of the hottest bands in the world.
Under the Cover
A few other areas discussed in this provocative and entertaining rock-star memoir include:
- How musicians were really treated and the one-sided record deals
- What it was really like to manage and watch a band go from young, hungry, and talented to massive, global success in a short period of time
- Behind the scene deals that were made to help insure that the band stayed the course and didn’t let success, ego, drugs, and distractions destroy the band early on
- The lessons from the demanding and highly competitive music industry
- Shocking stories from life on the road
- How bribes and favoritism played a big role within the music business during the 1970’s
- Powerful lessons in protecting the band from bad business deals and unique ways to build revenue streams that made the band millions of extra dollars
Here’s a great quote from page 278 after hearing the band’s forthcoming album, 1984, for the first time:
“Better yet, I knew that millions of Van Halen fans (and millions of soon-to-be Van Halen fans) would also be hooked. It was fucking brilliant. It was Edward’s album. That much was apparent. But I gave myself a little managerial pat on the back, as well.
Hey, my bet paid off. Give these guys some time, pull them off the road and let them put all their effort into making great songs, and this is what you get: a fantastic album.”
About the author: Noel Monk helped stage-manage Woodstock, served as Bill Graham’s right-hand man at the legendary Fillmore East, and worked with rock musicians including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones, and the Sex Pistols. He is also the author of 12 Days on the Road: The Sex Pistols and America. He lives in Colorado.