‘Glenn Hughes The Autobiography: From Deep Purple to Black Country Communion’ by Glenn Hughes & Joel McIver – Book Review

I was down in St. Augustine, Florida in early August and went by a second-hand book store where this book was waiting for me it to rescue it. A couple weeks later on a flight to New York, I opened it up and started reading. On the flights there and back, I got through 2/3’s of the book as I couldn’t put it down. I finished it up in another sitting or two and really enjoyed it. I knew some stories on Mr. Hughes, but I didn’t know this story. The book, ‘Glenn Hughes The Autobiography: From Deep Purple to Black Country Communion’ was written by Glenn and Joel McIver. It actually starts off earlier than Deep Purple as it cover some of his childhood and does go to Black Country Communion which means it goes from 1951 to 2010.

The forward is by Metallica’s own Lars Ulrich. He discusses the first time he saw Glenn Hughes play and what a big fan he is. I have to admit, it was a little light as forewards go as I expected a little more insight in to what he knew about Glenn, but wasn’t much meat to it. Sorry Lars. But that was the only thing I didn’t like about this book. One of the really cool features in the book is the fact they have interviewed a ton of people close to Glenn through the years, parents, girlfriends/wives and bandmates. Snippets of those interviews are sprinkled throughout each chapter adding color commentary and texture to what Glenn is talking about. It also lets you despite all the drugs, people tended to agree with what he talks about with some minor different interpretations at times.

I know Glenn was an avid drug user, but I guess I didn’t realize to the extreme it became. Imagine my surprise when he is talking about his massive drug use in the mid-to late 80’s he was living in Atlanta. In fact, he ended up buying a house not terribly far from where I grew up and was living at the time. Who knows I could’ve passed Glenn back in the day and never knew it. Doubtful, as he was help up in house a lot doing drugs.

I really loved learning about Trapeze, his band before Deep Purple. I need to explore them more. For me, the activities surrounding his joining Deep Purple were pretty cool and to learn that he David Coverdale were actually friends and got a long really well despite them competing a little for lead vocals. Glenn’s drug problem didn’t really start until around the third album with Purple, ‘Come Taste the Band’ when Tommy Bolin joined. Glenn and Tommy became drug buddies. Glenn’s tenure ended withe Purple without him really knowing it as that is how bad it was getting.

The 80’s were a drug filled mess. His projects with Gary Moore and Pat Thrall all suffered greatly as well as relationships with his many lady friends and his wife. His times with Tony Iommi and Black Sabbath was brief and interesting as well. He was not pleasant person to be around when he was drugged out…which was often. He is lucky to have made it out alive. The drugs were so bad, he only wanted to be around those people that were heavy in to drugs. This lasted until the 90’s when he started to get cleaned up. He revitalized his solo career and eventually gets clean and gets back to his singing as the focus as he is the Voice of Rock. I’m not going in to detail as that is what the book is for so get it.

The book ends with his joining Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham and Derek Sherinian as they form Black Country Communion. Glenn really loves this band and believes it might be one of the best things he’s done. They’ve since done four albums total and they are pretty amazing. Too bad the book ends back in 2010 as we know Glenn is still going strong as he now fronts The Dead Daisies and his voice is still amazing!

The Glenn Hughes autobiography is one of the most enjoyable ones I have read in a long time. Glenn is so likable in the book despite some of the crappy things he does. It is amazing he can remember what he does, but he is open and honest about how bad the drugs were and takes full responsibility. He is lucky to be around and we are lucky to have all this great music and have that Voice in our lives. My Overall Score is a 5.0 out of 5.0 Stars as I truly couldn’t put this down and don’t think I’ve read a book that fast in a very long time.

My Sunday Song – “Sweet Magdeline” by Will Hoge

For My Sunday Song #270, we are discussing the final song in the Will Hoge series, “Sweet Magdeline”. The song is off the his self-released 2001 album called ‘Carousel’. The album didn’t chart, the song wasn’t a single and yet it is still all fantastic. A deep cut that is better than anything on the album for me. I believe the song was written by Will Hoge and Dan Baird frontman of the Georgia Satellites. Dan signed on as Will’s lead guitarist for this album so that is a nice endorsement.

The song is about a young girl named Magdeline who wasn’t so sweet anymore. She fell hard and deep into to drinking and that grew in to drugs and some not so nice things she did to get those drugs. The drug references are throughout with phrases like “altered dreams” and “needle and silver spoon” and the bad things such as “she is going down” to her medicine man. I don’t know if she made it back to the sweet side, but it doesn’t sound promising.

Vocally, Will sings in a more rocking style, loud and gritty. On a couple lines Will does something he hasn’t done frequently and that is sing in a high falsetto voice which comes out of the right speaker and sounds like a turned down low radio before fully filling the speakers and back to rocking it out. Musically, it is a rocker with some great guitar work by Dan and the drums are slamming. This album is a far cry from where he is style wise now and if you like his rock side more than that country/southern rock side, then this one will be perfect for you.

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