Stories I Only Tell My Friends
by Rob Lowe (Kindle Version)
Okay, so normally I would never have picked this book up, let alone read it. But, a friend of mine said it was awesome, and because I work in the film business, she thought I would appreciate it on that level.
She was right.
Rob Lowe can actually write, as it turns out, and I literally could not put this book down. Basically there are no big surprises here, but one thing that I really appreciated about this book was the way he handled certain... shall we say... more colourful areas of his life. Rob Lowe is classy, or at least he writes his memoirs with candor and discretion. Where some other celebs would dive right in to every meaty and pornographic detail of every aspect of their life, Rob Lowe does none of that. Oh, he covers all of the bases, even the hugely popular video romp he had with a couple of underage girls, but he glosses over things in a way that at the same time leaves you actually wanting the meat and porn, but being relieved and kind of satisfied that he has left you not feeling dirty after you have read it.
The book starts with his childhood and moves up through to his life as it stands today. I have to respect the fact that although he did veer off the highway of life down the road of has-been child actor a la Gary Coleman, he managed to course correct and create a great and memorable career in the drama world and, who knew, comedy of all things!
There is only one criticism I have of his book, and really it's a very minor one and actually made me kind of laugh in a way. Okay, well maybe there was two.
The first one was that he had a tendency to end chapters with a BIG REVEAL, which started to become extremely annoying and contrived and had me eye rolling a few times. Okay, Rob, I GET IT, you are describing something that happened, and describing the person it happened with and low-and-behold the paragraph/chapter ends with..."so, I turned to her as she walked away and said, 'Nice to meet you too, Daryl Hannah!'" Or, after talking about how much he wanted to meet his buddy Charlie's Dad, who was a famous movie star and then fatefully one Halloween night Charlie, Emilio, Chad and Rob were out creating shinanigans and a crazy man in camouflage make-up and fatigues jumps out of the bushes yelling about how he is "on patrol tonight! And there will be no monkey business!" And the paragraph ends with "Hey, Lowe, you said you wanted to meet Martin Sheen? Well, now you have."
I guess you have to read it to see what I mean, I could list about a dozen examples like this. I'm not saying that none of these events ever happened, I'm just saying that a little variation in delivery would have been nice.
The other thing is how Rob managed to stumble across people and points in the history of the entertainment business where, although they probably did happen the way he describes, are so numerous in number and he just casually happens to be in certain places, that I have to admit it makes me want to call foul.
For example: He was at a baseball game with his brother, who was getting harangued by another fan. An older guy steps in to help out, and it turns out he just happens to be the head puppeteer of the Muppets. Okay... it could happen. But then he invites them, kids he has JUST MET, to visit the set of a "little known film" (as he is always refers to in these such situations) called The Muppet Movie. It just so happens that he just coincidentally managed to stroll onto the set when they were filming the most famous scene in the entire film, the part where Kermit sings "The Rainbow Connection". Once again, leaving the name of the film to THE END, like I didn't see it coming like a parade float down the #1 highway with police lights flashing.
And then the time when he was in England and Sting invited him and his wife to visit, which they did, which I think is completely believable. And as they were hanging around at his house, Pavarotti "dropped" by and him and Sting started recording their duet "Panis Angelicus" for a new album. Sting and Rob weep openly as Pavarotti hits the high notes. Beautiful image. And then after Pavarotti leaves Rob says that him and his wife Sheryl are once again wowed as Sting records "If I ever Lose My Faith in You". Not some other obscure song from any other album, but one of his most famous ones.
There are a million of these.
I'M JUST SAYING.
But then again, I have a few stories that I no longer really share unless someone asks that involve famous people and visiting them in LA etc, that I am quite sure nobody believes, but they actually did happen exactly as I tell it. No lie. And I am not a celebrity.
I have to tell you there is one brilliant bit that still has me laughing. Rob worked with Christopher Walken and writes how Christopher talks in a way that I could have never imagined doing, but it WORKS. It goes like this...
"I saw. Your name. It's good. It was on a list. Of the cast. I'm ...glad it was you. I wasn't sure. If it was true."
Seeeriously! Is that not the best? I love Christopher Walken, like HUGE love, like if I worked with him I think I would pee every single day, kind of love.
I am going to give this a 4/5 because I think it is a great fast read that, if you knew anything about Rob Lowe in the 80's, or even if you know him from his recent work, it is a very honest look into how fame is lusted after like a porn star, and once claimed, it can have the same affect. It is ellusive, and can disappear as quickly as it showed up, and leave you feeling used and abused and taken advantage of. But once someone like Rob Lowe has the right perspective, life just seems all the more sweeter. I loved the arch he painted with his words, the arch of his dream, and how now he is living the dream he never knew was his to begin with.