Sing Backwards and Weep by Mark Lanegan (free download), From the back of the van to the front of the bar, from the hotel room to the emergency room, onstage, backstage, and everywhere in between, Sing Backwards and Weep reveals the abrasive reality beneath one of the most romanticized decades in rock history-from a survivor who lived to tell the tale.
When Mark Lanegan first arrived in Seattle in the mid-1980s, he was just “an arrogant, self-loathing redneck waster seeking transformation through rock ‘n’ roll.” Within less than a decade, he would rise to fame as the front man of the Screaming Trees, then fall from grace as a low-level crack dealer and a homeless heroin addict, all the while watching some of his closest friends rocket to the pinnacle of popular music.
In Sing Backwards and Weep, Lanegan takes readers back to the sinister, needle-ridden streets of Seattle, to an alternative music scene that was simultaneously bursting with creativity and saturated with drugs. He tracks the tumultuous rise and fall of the Screaming Trees, from a brawling, acid-rock bar band to world-famous festival favourites with an enduring legacy that still resonates. Lanegan’s personal struggles with addiction, culminating in homelessness, petty crime, and the tragic deaths of his closest friends, is documented with a painful honesty and pathos.
Gritty, gripping, and unflinchingly raw, Sing Backwards and Weep is a book about more than just an extraordinary singer who watched his dreams catch fire and incinerate the ground beneath his feet. Instead, it’s about a man who learned how to drag himself from the wreckage, dust off the ashes, and keep living and creating.
A visceral, unforgettable memoir. * The New European * This is a narrative packed with surprises […] but there is room in this heavy, heavy book for quite astonishing turns of kismet. * The Observer * The book is a triumph. * New Statesman * A bejewelled document of excess and redemption * Mirror * A chronicle of depravity and drugs, laced with dark humour and crackling with – well, not exactly joie de vivre, but certainly the will to live. The story of the rock star who descends into substance-abuse hell but survives to tell the tale has been told a thousand times, but Lanegan relates his experiences with irresistible swagger and honesty * Financial Times * unflinchingly tells the musician’s hardscrabble story from his early days in backwater Ellensburg, Washington as he drifts from a teen gambler and porn fiend to petty criminal * Spin * It’s a depiction of addiction and self-loathing so bleak that your fingernails come away its pages caked in dirt. In it Lanegan lays his track-marked past bare, cycling endlessly between his roles as powerless victim, talented screw up and toxic enabler from page to stinking page * Clash *.
Mark Lanegan released his first solo album, The Winding Sheet, in 1990. His most recent album is Straight Songs of Sorrow. His singular body of work encompasses dozens of albums both solo and collaborative. He lives in Los Angeles.