INXS and Anthony Bozza 

INXS: Story to Story

With Story to Story, former Rolling Stone writer/editor Anthony Bozza works hand-in-hand with the surviving members of INXS to retrace the band's steps from childhood to stardom and tragedy. The group's journey from playing the randy Australian pub circuit to the world stage is one shrouded in a somewhat exotic rock 'n' roll mystique. Tales of wild parties punctuated by sex, drugs and various debaucheries, all taken in excessive amounts by both band and audience, cast light on a secret history of decadence behind the Aussie alt-pop pretty boys.

Bozza's delivery is sculpted by each member of the group's account. As a result, his voice embodies the same catchy and playfully nonoffensive kick of the group's music.

This type of band-approved autobiography often suffers from sterilized accounts and PG versions of what really happened. But the tongue-in-cheek tone of the tales -- like guitarist Kirk Pengilly's glasses being swiped from his face during a show and his refusal to play until the "cunts" who stole them returned them -- are completely self-effacing. (Especially when it's revealed that three 12 year-old girls shamefacedly admitted to the crime when they returned his specs after the show.) Or the patently hilarious account of when founding members and brothers Andrew, Jon and Tim Farriss invited their father to see them play, only to witness many in the audience pass out from popping too many pills.

The tragedy of singer Michael Hutchence's death in an act of auto-erotic asphyxiation, and the shameless behavior of peripheral characters trying to get a cut of his estate hits hard. The road to rock 'n' roll Babylon is paved with sad stories of death claiming rock stars long before their time. Hutchence's story is one that places his spirit on the same billowy cloud as Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Bon Scott. Their excesses led them to the end, under unflattering circumstances. Bozza's report is a balanced and sometimes painfully honest work of rock journalism that documents INXS' rise, fall and push forward. The highs are high and the lows are extremely low.

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