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1 Beaverton Music- Rock Biography

Crazy Enough: A Memoir

by

Crazy Enough: A Memoir Cover

ISBN13: 9781439192405
ISBN10: 1439192405
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Excerpt

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

People think I’m nuts. They think that I am a killer, a badass, and a dangerous woman. They think that I am a boot-stomping, man-chomping rock ’n’ roll sex thug with heavy leather straps on my well-notched bedposts and a line around the block of challengers vying for a ride between my crushing thighs, many of whom won’t survive the encounter.

That’s what I like people to think, anyway. Some actually buy it. My manufactured mythology had begun on stage in San Francisco, and was full-on folklore here in Portland. My band, The Balls, had become a wild success over the past three years, and we packed a downtown club called Dante’s once a week, as well as clubs throughout the west coast from Seattle to San Diego. My sex thuggery is reserved for only one man, however. And though we fuck like we just got out of prison, home life is domestic. I help with the care and feeding of my boyfriend’s young son, cutting off crusts, giving back tickles. I even own an apron.

Despite my disenchanting normality, however, I get to sing for a living, drink free most places, and I get laid regularly. Life is good.

And now it’s Christmas time, so I’m all extra everything with good cheer. December in Portland can be a dreary spectacle. Right around Halloween, a big chilly sog plops its fat ass over the Pacific Northwest and stays parked there until Independence Day. Even in the gray, spitting rain, however, I’m all atwinkle, heading to Hawthorne Boulevard to skip through herds of wet hippies to Christmas shop. And even though I find those pube farmers highly irritating, I am humming “In Excelsis Deo” and in love with the world, so fuck ’em.

Hawthorne is a main thoroughfare in southeast Portland where, on one block, you can buy a latte, Indonesian end tables, pants for your cat, a vinyl corset, or a two-hundred-dollar T-shirt. It’s a great place to find perfect gifts for the loved ones in your life, and I am going to buy the greatest Christmas gift ever.

“The Greatest Gift of All”: I hear my little fourth-grade voice trilling in my memory bank. It was in a school Christmas play and was the first solo I ever took on stage. It was also one of the few times my mom saw me sing in front of a real audience.

“The greatest giiift of aaall . . . it can come from aaany wheeere!” I sang the heck out of it, if memory serves.

My mom had started beading and was taking it very seriously. She was selling pieces on eBay—seriously—so I’m headed to a store called Beads Forever to get her some killer imported beads, maybe some semiprecious stones. I have a vision of getting her a badass assortment and putting them in a cool, funky box. It’s the first Christmas gift I will buy for her in maybe ten years, and it will be perfect.

“Per-fect!” I sing in a fake opera voice.

I see the store ahead through my swishing windshield wipers and, “Fuckyouuu!!” I sing in triumph, to no one, as there is a perfect parking space directly in front of the store. “ Rock-star fucking parking!” I pull up, swoosh my wet car into the spot, throw it into park and my phone rings. The little lit-up window reads “BDLarge.”

“Dad? Hey, Dad.”

“Hi, sweetie.” His voice sounds heavy.

“What’s wrong?”

He sighed. Someone must’ve died. My grandmother. Neeny. God, at Christmas we lose Neeny Cat?

“Dad?”

“Your mom died last night.”

What?

“Who?” His mom. Neeny. Ninety-four, lost her mind when her husband of sixty-odd years passed.

“Your ma.”

“Who?” More sighing. Why the fuck is he sighing so much? Should I get out of the car?

“Your ma. Your mom died last night. They don’t know what happened yet sweetie, but . . .”

I’m literally looking into the store where I’m going to get her Christmas gift. Should I still? My hand is on the door, my car is parked . . . rock-star parking and the best gift ever. No. I say no to this. My dad says something about having to call my brothers and will I be okay? He’ll call me back right away. Love you. Bye.

Love you. Bye.

It’s dark and raining but people can still see into the car, and I must look crazy. I grab the steering wheel with both hands and suddenly I’m sobbing, screaming at the gauges. What the fuck to do? Where do I go, home? I can’t see. I can’t drive. I call my boyfriend at work.

“Hi. Can you come get me? My mom is dead and I’m on Hawthorne.”

She’s gone.

My first thought. She is gone. Not my first thought. No. Fucking no.

I’m thrashing around inside my body. What the fuck do I do?

What am I thinking? No. I peel my mind away like a child turning its face from a tablespoon of cough syrup. No. My first thought. My first?

Thank God. Thank God she’s gone.

“Thank God she’s gone.”

© 2012 Storm Large

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

EcoGeek, August 9, 2012 (view all comments by EcoGeek)
Wow. As you might expect from a book by Storm Large, the narrative starts out fast and strong with zero apologies for making you somewhat uncomfortable. Her story feels honest and heart-breaking with a healthy dose of humor (sometimes dark, sometimes just darn funny). Whether you were fortunate enough to see her one-woman play by the same name or not, I recommend reading this book, though it's not for the faint of heart. Be ready to delve into one person's experience of a family member with mental illness and the ripple effect that can have on others' lives.
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SwimKitty, March 26, 2012 (view all comments by SwimKitty)
From the second I read the first word I was swept away in a whirlwind! I could not put this book down. Heartbreaking, romantic, hopeful, inspiring, and so much more. Thank you Storm for letting us see into your life ... the life of a human being who has fallen down so many times and come back round house kicking!
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Randy Blazak, January 14, 2012 (view all comments by Randy Blazak)
I just finished this amazing book a few minutes ago in Portland coffee shop so it might take a while to process. There has been a shift in the publishing world from celebrity autobiographies to memoirs allowing non-celebrities to share stories from their lives that are might actually be meaningful. While Storm is a supernova rockstar to those of us in the Rose City, this is really the story of a life not always well-lived that is moving and passionate. She is a rock star in her mind and that serves as a defensive posture to wrestle with a childhood that seems more like a game of hide-and-seek with sadistic demons. It’s clear that walking the tight rope between normality and the manic anxiety about not being normal was the crucible that produced this brilliant artist that we tightly hold to our breast here in Portland. She is a powerful Viking warrior, free to plunder and pillage at will. And if you try to hurt her we will rip you fucking spine out through your left eye socket.

There will be those that want to focus on the sex, drugs, and rock and roll in Crazy Enough. Yeah, there’s plenty of that; heroin, abortion, Tommy Lee, and fans that tattoo your name on their emaciated bodies. But the guiding narrative is Storm’s relationship (and then the absence of it) with her institutionalized mother. The revelations at the end of the book had me in tears. Storm’s ability to retain her empathy through all this has proven that she is, in fact, not insane. That she has turned this life into a compelling story that readers will not be able to put down shows she is a insanely talented artist. There were too many nights that I stayed up “just one more hour” to continue reading.

The thing I wanted to say most in this review is that Storm Large can fucking write. Yeah, her songs are great and she’s hot and she does not hold back anything. But she can slam words together in a way that makes me think Charles Bukowski is alive and well in her fingers. You can open any random page and find a sentence that just smacks of brilliance. Here, I’ll show you. Page 149, “Anything that touched me sent a crazy acid-splash sensation that shocked my nerves. Satin, worn raw silk, even a baby’s breath would have felt like razor wire.” Her sharp descriptive style has caused me to reflect on my own ability as a writer.

While there will be those who will gain a vicarious thrill from Storm’s bohemian life, like a 21st Century Van Gogh, Crazy Enough is a manifesto of survival. All the shit you go through in life is fuel. You have the power to turn that into something meaningful that will last long after you are a handful of ashes drifting off to sea. "Everything you experience today is part of the story tomorrow."
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781439192405
Subtitle:
A Memoir
Author:
Large, Storm
Publisher:
Free Press
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
Storm Large, singer-songwriter, musician, Rock Star: Supernova, Crazy Enough, Playboy, punk, mental institution, psych ward, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, multiple personality disorder, depression, memoir, mother daughter, mental health
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20120110
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Biography » General
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Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Schizophrenia and Psychotic Disorders

Crazy Enough: A Memoir Used Hardcover
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$7.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Free Press - English 9781439192405 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Yes, Storm Large is her real name, though she’s been called many things. As a performer, the majority of descriptions have led with “Amazon,” “powerhouse,” “a six-foot Vargas pinup come to life.” Playboy called her a “punk goddess.” You’d never know she used to be called “Little S”—the mini-me to her beautiful and troubled mother, Suzi.

Little S spent most of her childhood visiting her mother in mental institutions and psych wards. Suzi’s diagnosis changed with almost every doctor’s visit, ranging from schizophrenia to bipolar disorder to multiple personality disorder to depression. One day, nine-year-old Little S jokingly asked one of her mother’s doctors, “I’m not going to be crazy like that, right?” To which he replied, “Well, yes. It’s hereditary. You absolutely will end up like your mother. But not until your twenties.”

Storm’s story of growing up with a mental time bomb hanging over her veers from frightening to inspiring, sometimes all in one sentence. But her strength, charisma, and raw musical talent gave her the will to overcome it all. Crazy Enough is a love song to the twisted, flawed parts in all of us.

"Synopsis" by , Yes, Storm Large is her real name, though shes been called many things. As a performer, the majority of descriptions have led with “Amazon,” “Powerhouse,” “a six-foot Vargas pinup come to life.” Playboy called her a “punk goddess.” Youd never know she used to be called “Little S”—the mini-me to her beautiful and troubled mother, Suzi.

Storm spent most of her childhood visiting her mother in mental institutions and psych wards. Suzis diagnosis changed with almost every doctor visit, ranging from schizophrenia to bipolar disorder to multiple personality disorder to depression. As hard as it was not having her at home, Storm and her brothers knew that it was a lot safer to have their beautiful but unreliable mom in a facility somewhere. Then one day, nine-year-old Storm jokingly asked one of her mothers doctors, “Im not going to be crazy like that, right?” To which he replied, “Well, yes. Its hereditary. You absolutely will end up like your mother. But not until your twenties.”

That was the starting gun for a wild race to escape what Storm believed to be her future. Desperate to delay the lonely sickness and sadness that haunted her mother, Storm stomped her size-twelve boots straight toward as much sex, drugs, and rock n roll as she could find. Losing her virginity at thirteen, she sprinted through her young life, trying to smoke and fuck and wail away the madness that she feared would catch up to her at any moment. Instead, she found herself deep in a life of craziness of her own making.

Then, in her twenties, with nothing to live for and a growing heroin addiction, Storm accepted a chance invitation to sing with a friends band. That night she reconnected with her long-term love of music, and it dragged her back from the edge. She has been singing and slinging inappropriate banter at audiences worldwide ever since. Storms story of growing up with a mental time bomb hanging around her neck veers from frightening to inspiring, sometimes all in one sentence. But her strength, charisma, and raw musical talent gave her the will to overcome it all. With tremendous honesty and tremendous dirty language, Crazy Enough is about an artists journey of realizing that the mistakes that make, break, and remake us are worth far more than our flailing attempts to live a life we think is “normal.” It is a love song to the twisted, flawed parts in all of us and a nod to the grace we find when things fall apart.

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