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Memoir of a Roadie

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Joel Miller is an ex- roadie for Guns N’ Roses, Poison, Stone Temple Pilots, & The Cranberries. His autobiography is an often-hilarious personal account of a young man in his early 20’s trying to be a “good” roadie while also trying to understand life’s big picture. Through the advice of rock stars and career roadies Joel tries to find the pathway to roadie righteousness.


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Joel Miller is an ex- roadie for Guns N’ Roses, Poison, Stone Temple Pilots, & The Cranberries. His autobiography is an often-hilarious personal account of a young man in his early 20’s trying to be a “good” roadie while also trying to understand life’s big picture. Through the advice of rock stars and career roadies Joel tries to find the pathway to roadie righteousness.

30 review for Memoir of a Roadie

  1. 5 out of 5

    Armand Rosamilia

    Some great inside stories about quite a few bands (GNR, Poison, STP, Cranberries) and the author's writing style is all over the place and manic, but it actually works. It gives you the sense of the chaos on a daily basis anyone on the road with musical acts endures. Some great inside stories about quite a few bands (GNR, Poison, STP, Cranberries) and the author's writing style is all over the place and manic, but it actually works. It gives you the sense of the chaos on a daily basis anyone on the road with musical acts endures.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Karen Johnson

    GREAT read by a FUN author! I love rock books & this one was GREAT, I literally couldn't put it down! The author Joel (roadie name Rifken) is very cute, VERY cool, and a LOT of fun to read, he's just a lot of fun period. Read this, you won't regret it! (can't wait for his next one, BTW!) GREAT read by a FUN author! I love rock books & this one was GREAT, I literally couldn't put it down! The author Joel (roadie name Rifken) is very cute, VERY cool, and a LOT of fun to read, he's just a lot of fun period. Read this, you won't regret it! (can't wait for his next one, BTW!)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Richard Haynes

    Very interesting book about the life of a roadie. Good good read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bill Domiano

    Early on, I figured out that Joel and I are relatively the same age. This and my involvement in my local music scene made it very easy for me to relate to the stories and adventures that Joel has recounted in this phenomenal work. If you've ever wondered what it was like on the road of a rock tour, this book is a definite must read. Not only do you get to read about how stages are born and die, interactions between the behind the scenes staff, interactions with the people who live in the city, b Early on, I figured out that Joel and I are relatively the same age. This and my involvement in my local music scene made it very easy for me to relate to the stories and adventures that Joel has recounted in this phenomenal work. If you've ever wondered what it was like on the road of a rock tour, this book is a definite must read. Not only do you get to read about how stages are born and die, interactions between the behind the scenes staff, interactions with the people who live in the city, but also down to Earth conversations with rock Gods are also covered. Joel does an excellent job of pulling you into the lifestyle and letting you live through his trials, tribulations, and emotions.

  5. 5 out of 5

    David Shargani

    Love this book ! From the start I felt like I was back in the golden years of Rock. Visually descriptive with a sense of humor not forced the book has direct appeal to anyone who loves Rock and wondered about the behind the scenes of that life. The writer has a candid honest approach which never goes over the top and leaves us wanting more at the end. I enjoyed the read, and would recommend enthusiastically to anyone who just wants to enjoy a great walk down memory lane through the eyes of a gre Love this book ! From the start I felt like I was back in the golden years of Rock. Visually descriptive with a sense of humor not forced the book has direct appeal to anyone who loves Rock and wondered about the behind the scenes of that life. The writer has a candid honest approach which never goes over the top and leaves us wanting more at the end. I enjoyed the read, and would recommend enthusiastically to anyone who just wants to enjoy a great walk down memory lane through the eyes of a great writer who lived it. Dave in NYC 👍

  6. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Goodwin

    If you've gorged on the ungodly and balls-out crazy Rock n Roll memoirs of Guns n Roses and Motley Crue, then this is an interesting detour. Miller is an intriguing storyteller who often revels in detailing the minutae of a roadie's daily life. His brush with fame is often grounded and, at times, touching. He is a good writer who could possibly benefit at times from the scissors of an editor, however, I enjoyed reading this because he clearly enjoyed writing it. If you've gorged on the ungodly and balls-out crazy Rock n Roll memoirs of Guns n Roses and Motley Crue, then this is an interesting detour. Miller is an intriguing storyteller who often revels in detailing the minutae of a roadie's daily life. His brush with fame is often grounded and, at times, touching. He is a good writer who could possibly benefit at times from the scissors of an editor, however, I enjoyed reading this because he clearly enjoyed writing it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Diane Tucker

    Joel Miller, the roadie with aspiration! I enjoyed this carefree account of a wiseguy that learns some important life lesson while working as a rock n roll roadie. He shows you that new job preparation isn't always mandatory. Joel Miller, the roadie with aspiration! I enjoyed this carefree account of a wiseguy that learns some important life lesson while working as a rock n roll roadie. He shows you that new job preparation isn't always mandatory.

  8. 4 out of 5

    greg

    Dreamt of being a roadie In high school my friends and I were huge fans of heavy metal bands like Megadeth and Anthrax. We'd always stay after the show ended to see the stage taken down and packed. We talked about being roadies but didn't know how to get started. So it never happened but the book provides what life would have been like as a roadie. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Dreamt of being a roadie In high school my friends and I were huge fans of heavy metal bands like Megadeth and Anthrax. We'd always stay after the show ended to see the stage taken down and packed. We talked about being roadies but didn't know how to get started. So it never happened but the book provides what life would have been like as a roadie. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    James W

    It’s a Long Way to the Top—A Road-Warrior’s Guide to Rock ‘N Roll Joel Miller’s ‘Memoir of a Roadie: Axl said I made a great cup of tea…’ offers readers a no-holds-barred, ‘behind the scenes’ look at life on the road with some of the biggest rock acts of all time. Leaning heavily on his ‘fly on the wall’ experience as a roadie for some of the ‘80s and ‘90s biggest acts (from G&R and STP to Poison and The Cranberries), Miller recounts one classic tale after another. And while fans of those acts w It’s a Long Way to the Top—A Road-Warrior’s Guide to Rock ‘N Roll Joel Miller’s ‘Memoir of a Roadie: Axl said I made a great cup of tea…’ offers readers a no-holds-barred, ‘behind the scenes’ look at life on the road with some of the biggest rock acts of all time. Leaning heavily on his ‘fly on the wall’ experience as a roadie for some of the ‘80s and ‘90s biggest acts (from G&R and STP to Poison and The Cranberries), Miller recounts one classic tale after another. And while fans of those acts will undoubtedly enjoy a bevy of never-before-heard tales of decibels and debauchery, this is so much more than your run-of-the-mill ‘chicks, guitars, and fast-cars’ bio. Beginning in his early twenties, Miller’s narrative from humble beginnings to working some of the world’s biggest ‘stages’ is both highly entertaining and surprisingly reflective. Not only do we learn the priceless ‘rock star’ secrets—yes, he really did make AXL a cup of tea—Miller also offers readers a vicarious glimpse into the frenetic life of a rock band on the road. While technically a memoir, Miller’s conversational tone and unflinching honesty makes for an incredibly captivating read from start to finish. Loaded with never-before-seen pictures and chock full of hilarious observations and fascinating anecdotes, Joel Miller’s ‘Memoir of a Roadie’ is one of the best ‘rock’ books on the proverbial shelves by someone you’ve probably never heard of—a ‘must-read’ for rock fans everywhere.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Pagan

    Do not waste your money This is a book about an egotistical, foul mouthed alcoholic drug user. His vanity is sickening! He thinks he is top stuff in the rock n roll roadie department. Joel worked for has been bands like Axl Rose without the original line up. Stone Temple Pilots is another and Poison. Bret never speaks to Joel because HD witnesses what a jerk This kid is. This kids whole world revolves around himself. He abandons his dying father to go on assignment with the Cranberries in Mexico. Do not waste your money This is a book about an egotistical, foul mouthed alcoholic drug user. His vanity is sickening! He thinks he is top stuff in the rock n roll roadie department. Joel worked for has been bands like Axl Rose without the original line up. Stone Temple Pilots is another and Poison. Bret never speaks to Joel because HD witnesses what a jerk This kid is. This kids whole world revolves around himself. He abandons his dying father to go on assignment with the Cranberries in Mexico. Oh ! And his mother just found out she has breast cancer! He is never sober. Joel is hungover at all the gigs ! He starts and fails at every business adventure he tries. But back to his pretend relationship with Axl.. Axl Rose said six words to the guy, literally and he used it to con readers into buy this book. He is rude to everyone! he admits that.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

    I was asked to review this book, and I said yes, because I love reading about everything rock ‘n’ roll. Plus, I’ve never read an autobiography by a roadie before. If you’re expecting a tell-all about the rock stars Joel roadied for, you won’t get that here. These are Joel’s stories through his eyes about life on the road and how he became a roadie. You’ll meet the many roadies, tour managers, and everyone else who goes on the road to make a concert happen. There are glimpses of various rock bands I was asked to review this book, and I said yes, because I love reading about everything rock ‘n’ roll. Plus, I’ve never read an autobiography by a roadie before. If you’re expecting a tell-all about the rock stars Joel roadied for, you won’t get that here. These are Joel’s stories through his eyes about life on the road and how he became a roadie. You’ll meet the many roadies, tour managers, and everyone else who goes on the road to make a concert happen. There are glimpses of various rock bands, but nothing too personal or titillating. The book has a nice opening. Joel is at a turning point in his life. He can’t be a kid anymore, but he’s not sure how to be that adult that he is. So when an opportunity present itself to go on the road, he takes the gamble. Read more here: https://maggieblackbird.com/2020/10/0...

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Lyman

    3.5 stars. It was great to read a book written from a roadie’s perspective after having read so many by other music and film industry people. The formatting reminds me of my first book, not a compliment. "Agreeance" is not a word. Perplexing how that got by all proof readers and editors. It’s great to learn that my unfulfilled fantasies of being a roadie were exactly what they should have been, the job is tough and I wouldn’t have liked it. Writing style is enjoyable. It’s funny how Joel repeatedly 3.5 stars. It was great to read a book written from a roadie’s perspective after having read so many by other music and film industry people. The formatting reminds me of my first book, not a compliment. "Agreeance" is not a word. Perplexing how that got by all proof readers and editors. It’s great to learn that my unfulfilled fantasies of being a roadie were exactly what they should have been, the job is tough and I wouldn’t have liked it. Writing style is enjoyable. It’s funny how Joel repeatedly said he was trying to become a tough guy asshole. Maybe he always was. I will send him my concertgoer’s tour book when it’s done.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Delaney

    I expected more from this book. While some of the stories of "roadie life" were entertaining, many became boring. I wish that he delved into more information of Scott Weiland - especially since he is no longer here. There were moments in the book that appear embellished in favor of the author. In regards to the writing, I had read in another review that the author's writing was all over the place and I agree. There was a flow through a couple of chapters and then he was all over the place again. I expected more from this book. While some of the stories of "roadie life" were entertaining, many became boring. I wish that he delved into more information of Scott Weiland - especially since he is no longer here. There were moments in the book that appear embellished in favor of the author. In regards to the writing, I had read in another review that the author's writing was all over the place and I agree. There was a flow through a couple of chapters and then he was all over the place again. Overall, it was not a bad book for free.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Thompson

    I thought this was a good read overall. Was interesting hearing stories about STP and Godsmack. Was kinda disappointed that Rifkin didn't give any specific reason as to why he abruptly stopped being a touring roadie... Didn't really fill the reader in on how he has made a living ever since then... None of anyone's business really, but when you spend 7 hours investing in someone's story it's kinda cool to see how there life turned out... I thought this was a good read overall. Was interesting hearing stories about STP and Godsmack. Was kinda disappointed that Rifkin didn't give any specific reason as to why he abruptly stopped being a touring roadie... Didn't really fill the reader in on how he has made a living ever since then... None of anyone's business really, but when you spend 7 hours investing in someone's story it's kinda cool to see how there life turned out...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Wallace

    Kinda slow but actually good This book was kinda slow at times but I actually enjoyed reading it. He talks about the craziness of being a roadie. There were a lot of people in the book. If he writes another one I would suggest a list of who is who and what they do. Also some more follow ups on the people. He really brought these people to life. I would read another book by him. It kept me entertained.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Diane Herman

    I've always loved Rock n Roll and appreciated the work that goes on for all those great shows. What drew me in to this book was how young he was and obviously had a decent brain in head so why choose this path? He quick witted and funny and toured with a few bands I like, such as STP & Guns & Roses. But it can be a dark road to go down with all the drinking and such. I've always loved Rock n Roll and appreciated the work that goes on for all those great shows. What drew me in to this book was how young he was and obviously had a decent brain in head so why choose this path? He quick witted and funny and toured with a few bands I like, such as STP & Guns & Roses. But it can be a dark road to go down with all the drinking and such.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Maryann Lane

    Outrageous! Joel has written one of the best behind the scenes roadie true work book! It was both interesting and jocular. He has great writing ability and can really describe his job and life on the road. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in what goes on at a rock concert and how the roadies make it all happen! Enjoyed this immensely! Thank you Joel!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tim Forrest

    Most excellent! Excellent road book. I love music biographies especially reading about tours, and this was an interesting angle from the perspective of the road crew. It’s also a good travel book refreshingly written by someone who is not pretentious. There’s some great candid moments of a few larger than life rock stars.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Brinnier

    I liked it Funny and very interesting. I’ve seen my fair of concerts and only ever talked one roadie. My top had come down when I was prancing around. The roadie missed the show and wanted me to show him my tits. I didn’t comply. Great job on the book Rifkin!

  20. 5 out of 5

    marian van den berg

    Without content. Rambled on, seemingly thinking he was funny and interesting. Waste of time and do not waste your time. Glad it was free.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rae Goldman

    Having been a “fly-in girl” in a previous life, I was familiar with many of the venues mentioned in this book and it was nice to revisit some of those places without the jagermeister hangover.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Don Middleton

    Excellent read! Loved it! Wow. Worth every minute of your time. Joel takes us on a trip through the crazy life of a roadie and comes out of it alive!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Julie Russo

    Not a terrible read but some parts were very, well down right boring. I also had a hard time believing a lot of his situations were actually true.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Peter Frederick

    Fun read. He could have left out a lot of fluff. Best part is his time on road with STP

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mrs Sarah Chandler

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joan R. Engebretson

  27. 4 out of 5

    Roland Rivera Jr.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tina

  29. 5 out of 5

    Colleen Morgan

  30. 5 out of 5

    Linda Pullen

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