MATT SORUM: Why I Decided To Name My Autobiography After A GUNS N' ROSES Song
May 5, 2022
After being delayed several times due to the coronavirus pandemic, former GUNS N' ROSES drummer Matt Sorum's long-awaited autobiography, "Double Talkin' Jive: True Rock 'N' Roll Stories From The Drummer Of Guns N' Roses, The Cult, And Velvet Revolver", will finally arrive on May 10 via Rare Bird Books.
In "Double Talkin' Jive", Sorum takes music lovers behind the scenes of a remarkable life in rock. Sorum, whose albums have sold tens of millions of copies around the world, provides an honest, engaging account of the highs and lows of superstardom. Sorum recounts his childhood years idolizing Ringo Starr and surviving an abusive stepfather. After leaving high school, Sorum sold pot to get by. Over time, his drug dealing escalated to smuggling large quantities of cocaine, a career that came to a halt following a dramatic shoot-out. Sorum fled his old life and settled in Hollywood, where he'd enjoy a rapid ascension to rock 'n' roll immortality. He caught his big break drumming for THE CULT, and only a year later was invited to join GUNS N' ROSES, with whom he'd record two of rock's most iconic albums: "Use Your Illusion I" and "Use Your Illusion II".
Sorum opens up with forthright honesty, sharing anecdotes from his time touring the globe, battling drug and alcohol addiction, and navigating volatile relationships with Axl Rose, Slash and the rest of the GN'R team. His career with THE CULT, GUNS N' ROSES, VELVET REVOLVER, MOTÖRHEAD, the HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES and KINGS OF CHAOS co-stars an ensemble of rock royalty, from Gene Simmons and Billy Idol to Steven Tyler and Alice Cooper.
"Double Talkin' Jive" goes beyond the clichés of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, telling the very human story of what it takes to make it in music, and the toll stardom exacts from those who achieve success. Sorum invites fans to revel in the debauchery of the good times, but also paints a stark portrait of life after the party. Music fans of any generation will find value in the pages of this evocative, thoughtful, and candid autobiography.
Sorum's co-authors Leif Erickson and Martin Svensson previously co-wrote Samantha Fox's "Forever".
In a new interview with AXS TV's "At Home And Social With", Sorum stated about the "Double Talkin' Jive" title: "That was a song that was on [GUNS N' ROSES'] 'Use Your Illusion' [albums]. And [Then-GUNS N' ROSES guitarist] Izzy Stradlin wrote the title. And we recorded that song just the two of us. And to me, it was sort of a play on words with the business of music that I've been through."
He continued: "There's people [in the music business] that tell you they love you: 'We're family' and 'I'll do anything. I'll take a bullet for you, man.' And then the band breaks up and they don't return your phone call. [Laughs]
"So it's sort of a way of saying this is a wild ride, if that makes sense, with a profound sentence that I used that ties back to GUNS N' ROSES," he added.
Sorum previously touched upon his book title during an appearance on the "Stop! Drop & Talk" podcast. He said: "I named it after a GUNS N' ROSES song, 'Double Talkin' Jive'. Izzy Stradlin wrote that song. We played it together — on the ['Use Your Illusion I'] album, me and Izzy tracked that in one take. And the premise of the lyric was based around the kind of pitfalls of the music business and success. There's this undercurrent that's not pretty. And I talk very truthfully about things that I went through, from my perspective.
"I didn't wanna come off jaded," Matt continued. "I have to tell the story the way it went for me, and I hope that people don't take it as I sound jaded or something. I just wanted to be as truthful and honest as possible, from my perspective, if that makes sense.
"I think there's a misconception that maybe, as musicians, we're a bit elitist or privileged, or things are handed to us, and we just automatically appear, and now, all of a sudden, we're famous. So I just look at it, I'm, like, well, yeah, I have a great job. I've got a great life. I'm super grateful for all the things I've been able to do. But in the book, you can see that it was a lot of hard work. It was a lot of bruises along the way. And then, as the career goes and you get successful, stuff happens. There's, of course, the famous drug-and-alcohol shit that is kind of like 'Behind The Music' VH1 — I mean, that all happened to me. You know, the pitfalls of rock and roll stardom and all that shit.
"For me, when I was doing it," referring to the rock-star lifestyle, "and when I was at the height [of GUNS N' ROSES' success], I'm, like, 'If I don't do this now, I'll regret it later.' So I just tried to live my life as I thought I would wanna live it as a kid dreaming to be in a rock and roll band."
METALLICA's Lars Ulrich said about "Double Talkin' Jive": "Matt lights up rooms, corridors, clubs, theaters, arenas, and stadiums with the kind of infectious rock 'n' roll energy that is increasingly becoming obsolete. His dedication to his craft remains virtually peerless, and when the sticks are resting, you'll have to go a long way to find someone cooler in rock 'n' roll. Dive into these shenanigan-saturated pages immediately and find out for yourself!"
Sorum, who replaced Steven Adler in GUNS N' ROSES, recorded "Use Your Illusion I" and "Use Your Illusion II" (both 1991) and "The Spaghetti Incident" (1994). He also supported the group on the "Use Your Illusion" tour and can be heard on GUNS N' ROSES' "Live Era: '87-'93" (1999) and "Greatest Hits" (2004).