Bob Forrest's compelling memoir, Running With Monsters (written with occasional L.A. Weekly contributor Michael Albo), reads like a checklist of your typical junkie's life: overdoses, dead friends, homelessness, jail time. Forrest even managed to get himself banned from a Marina del Rey rehab.
But that's just half of the story. After achieving sobriety and helping countless others get on the same path, the Thelonious Monster frontman and Celebrity Rehab regular has become one of the most recognizable faces in recovery.
Raised in Palm Desert in a happy, music-loving family, Forrest found his upper-middle-class existence crashing to a halt when his father lost his business and then died while Forrest was in his teens. "The seed of anger started to take root," Forrest writes. He also would discover that his older sister was actually his mother.
By senior year of high school, he was using pot, cocaine and speed, and drinking "Bacardi rum for breakfast." He ditched college but developed a talent for maneuvering the drug-fueled, Hollywood punk club scene. He struck up lifelong relationships with the then-unknown Red Hot Chili Peppers, living for a while with Anthony Kiedis and Flea. He even worked as the band's manager and roadie.
But while his contemporaries became alt-rock heroes, Forrest's band, Thelonious Monster, never rose above indie cult status, fueling his addiction, which included heroin and crack. If booze and drugs were the only requirements for rock stardom, Forrest was bigger than The Beatles.
Like so many druggie memoirs, Forrest's book recounts in gross detail the author's addiction, such as the day he smoked heroin just before leaving for his first failed stint at rehab. "Even now, with my shaking hands and distracted mind, I could have pulled it off while wearing a blindfold," he writes.More »