I’m a pretty gnarly music biography fan—music autobiographies, even more so. Early rumblings about Keith Morris’s plans to flesh out a collected work of his history more than interested me right away. He’s a fellow born and raised Angeleno who has been a definitive, driving force from punk rock’s hardcore infancy back in the sordid ‘70s to date. If I have to tell you who Keith Morris is or what he’s done over the years, do me a solid and roll up this magazine as tight as you can and repeatedly swat yourself in the mouth with it. What made me raise my other eyebrow was finding out that our very own Jim Ruland was right beside Morris the entire time of putting this book together. Ruland helped wrangle the memories and stories as well as researched the fuck out of a hell of a lot of history these pages have waiting for you to discover. Let me tell you, there’s quite a bit here, even for the most steadfast fan. As a writer, Ruland knows his shit better than the most renowned of proctologists.
That said, I couldn’t stop reading, and sure enough, My Damage, was finished in a couple of days. Let me be clear as fucking crystal, I really don’t want to delve into the nuts and bolts specifics of Keith’s growing up and complete doings here, as it would ruin the discoveries you read along each chronologically placed chapter. And that ain’t some slip-shod, half-assed reviewing cop-out when I say that, either. I honestly don’t want to fuck up the stories for all y’all.
I will say, however, that there were a good number of shenanigans had during Morris’s early years, all while growing up in Hermosa Beach, Calif. and putting his first two bands together a bit later on. (This alone would make a great mini-series on HBO, but that’s just one guy’s opinion.) Yet, the headstrong connective theme here is how true Morris remained to music after all these years, from recording and performing to this very day (at sixty-one years old, no less!), to managing and helping out a grip of other bands he felt needed to be shared with the rest of us.
Whatever area of the spectrum you happen to fall as a fan, this book will most certainly inform, entertain, and really help put into perspective what it’s like to be one of the most recognized frontmen in punk rock. As you’re reading, you can hear it being read in Keith’s distinctive voice, just like Morgan Freeman whenever he narrates whatever the fuck it is you’re listening to. Well done, Keith and Jim. Well done, indeed. –Designated Dale (Da Capo Press, 44 Farnsworth St, 3rd Fl. Boston, MA 02210, dacapopress.com)