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Tommylandby Tommy Lee
Chapter One: The State of the Union Address a.k.a. Chapter Juan
Hi there, my name is Tommy Lee, and there's a couple of things you should know about me right away: I don't like to do the easy thing and I don't believe that there's ever just one way to do anything. If people tell you no or assure you that you only have one option in any situation, trust me, they're lying. There are many doors to your destiny, people. Please believe it.
Anyone who knows me won't be surprised that this book isn't a typical journey in a straight line from day one to day now. I can't really do that because I'm really not into history. I'm going to rail on my high school history class in a few minutes. Right now, though, you have to know that I'm more interested in revealing what's most important about my life, like how I cook my steaks; what I think of the tabloids, the truth, my ex-wives, my ex-band, my music; and what an innocent observer might find hanging around my house on any given Sunday. You'll see, just sit back - you'll get plenty of facts and I'll tell you my story, but my real mission is that I want you to know how my memories smell.
I don't like to leave anyone out of my party - and sometimes that's a problem - but in this situation, I'm going to tell all of you fact-and-figure-loving readers where to find what may be missing here: Head into cyberspace. I suggest starting with Google and I'll tell you what you'll discover there if you type in my name: lots of pictures, porno sites, links to shitty tabloid talk shows - what I call my Untrue Hollywood Stories - crazy fan sites (you guys rule!), plus a recurring Tommy Lee Jones theme. Somehow it's true, but I don't mind because I've been getting awesome fan mail about the kick-ass roles I've played in films like Men in Black for years now. It's crazy because, to tell the truth, I didn't even know I could act well enough to carry a feature. If no one minds, I'd like to take a moment to send a message to Mr. Lee Jones if he's reading.
Mr. Lee Jones,
Readers, would you like to know why I've named this ride Tommyland? The word means many things to me: It is the name of my studio, my home, my hard drive, and the place where my nerves and pleasure centers freak each other inside my skull. Tommyland is where my boys were born, it's a playland that my ex-wife Pamela Anderson built for my thirty-third birthday, it is where I lose myself most days making records, having sex, and sleeping. It's the only word I've found to describe what makes me up and what makes up my state of mind.
All right, it's time to start the ride now, so please take your seats. I advise you to keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times. If you have a pacemaker, a heart condition, or if you are pregnant or too damn short to reach the safety bar, I ask that you turn back immediately. Same goes for those with weak stomachs, strict morals, or chronic indigestion. In fact, you people might want to just put this book down now and slowly back away or return it to your local bookstore.
I hope those who remain enjoy their tour through Tommyland. If all goes according to plan, expect that you'll leave with side effects including pure fear, a perma-grin that requires corrective surgery, and a true whiff of me. Consumption of Tommyland may
create the urge to get all "woo-hoo" with your friends. Be warned, Tommyland may cause involuntary tears and infrequent vomiting, because Tommyland is a loop-de-loop corkscrew brain masher that Six Flags wished it had.
I am Tommy Lee, born Thomas Lee Bass in Athens, Greece, on October 3, 1962, and raised in a California suburb by an American father and a Greek mother. At seventeen, I joined Mand#246;tley Crand#252;e and we became one of the baddest-ass rock bands in history. We sold more than forty million albums, we wreaked havoc, we scared parents, and we titillated too many fathers' daughters. We drank oceans of liquor, snorted and shot mountains of drugs, crashed cars, watched people die, and watched one another fight, make up, break up, reunite, and break up again. I've been married three times: once for just a few weeks to a Penthouse centerfold, once for seven years to Heather Locklear, and once for five years to Pamela Anderson, with whom I have two beautiful sons. I've gotten in a lot of fights and I've been to jail a few times, the longest for four months, in 1998, after pleading no contest to spousal abuse. In 2001, a beautiful young boy named Daniel tragically drowned in my pool during my son Brandon's birthday party.
If you've watched Entertainment Tonight in the last ten years or glanced at the "newspapers" on the racks by the supermarket checkout line, you have an idea of what has happened in my life. If you believe those stories, that's fine. If you believe that there is no more to me than what they say, that's fine too. That kind of "entertainment" is the status quo today. I don't even know anymore if that's what the public craves or if it's just a brand of societal therapy. Do people really feel better watching strangers feel bad? Or is it watching famous people feel bad? Whatever. Just remember that information is like clay: It's easy to get and those with a good hand can bend it into whatever shape they want to. Believe me - I've seen statues of myself I don't even recognize.
Listen, I'm not complaining, I'm just fascinated by this shit. I don't know if you all can relate, but it's weird, it's interesting, and it's fucking frustrating to watch your life become a play that, for the most part, you're not even in.
After years of fighting the shit, and winning and losing all kinds of battles, I've learned one thing: I see the cult of celebrity as a test. You might follow your dream to make art, but it comes with a price. I think what you do, how you act, and who you are after you've made it is the test of your mettle.
I'm not going to get all spiritual guy on you - the books I've read and the religions I've learned from are my business. I'll list them later if you care to check them out, but I'm not going door-to-door with this shit. What works for one person sure as hell might not work for anyone else. But there's one truth that's real across the board: What you send out is what you get back. Send out the good, people, and it will come back to you. There's another thing I've learned over the years: In court, in fights, and in arguments with people I love, there isn't one truth, there are many. This book is my truth. Actually, I've got one more tenet to add to my state-of-the-union address. It's a saying I found in an unlikely place: on a refrigerator magnet that I don't even remember buying. What matters is what it says and where I've placed it. It's in the heart of Tommyland, in my studio, behind the bar, stuck to my Jand#228;germeister machine, and it says it all: We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.
Copyright andcopy; 2004 by Methods of Mayhem, Inc.
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