I do not think that there can ever be enough books about anything and I say that knowing that some of them are going to be about Pilates.The more knowledge the better seems like a solid rule of thumb, even though I have watched enough science fiction films to accept that humanity’s unchecked pursuit of learning will end with robots taking over the world.-Sarah Vowell

Monday, March 19, 2018

Promise Not To Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz

In this sequel to When Have All the Girls Gone, which you don't have to have read to read this book, Krentz turns her attention to the brooding brother Cabot Sutter.  When Virginia Troy walks into his new detective agency that he runs with his brothers and his father because she recognizes the name Salinas as being that of the sheriff who rescued her all those years ago from the fire set by cult leader Quinton Zane.  Cabot and his two brothers were also rescued by Anton Salinas and later he became their foster father and raised them when no family members came forward to claim them. 

Virginia suspects something suspicious about the death of her friend, artist Hannah Brewster a former cult member, who it is believed to have jumped over the cliff near her home on one of the San Juan islands after torching her house.  What makes her doubt this is that she sent her a camera with one picture on it: the last painting of a series of paintings she had been doing of the night the compound went up.  In this last picture is a clear picture of Quinton Zane wherein the others the face was hazy. There's also a picture of a modern car in the background.  Salinas and his boys believe that Zane faked his death and is alive and well but haven't been able to find him.  This could be a major clue. 

Meanwhile, someone at Nightwatch, a small tech company, is searching Victoria's home and art gallery business for a missing key that will lead to Quinton Zane's missing money.   His ex-lover with whom he designed an app for the company, which he took credit for, is found dead at the gallery in the locked storeroom where Hannah's paintings of the fire are stored.

While Virginia and Cabot are looking for a connection between Nightwatch and Quinton Zane, the two become quite close. Neither one has a great track record in the relationship department.  Virginia has anxiety attacks and the last time she had sex she had one during it which imploded the relationship.  I love that this book doesn't make their first time together perfect with him "curing" her right off of the bat or anything.  Or that just because they get close and form a relationship it doesn't stop him from getting up at 1:35 in the morning.  Virginia and Cabot are great characters too that I came to really care about.  This book also held some real surprises for me. I didn't have it all figured out and that was refreshing. I highly recommend this book. 

Link to Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Promise-Not-Tell-Jayne-Krentz/dp/0399585273/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1521461589&sr=8-3&keywords=promise+not+to+tell+by+jayne+ann+krentz&dpID=51GTo2uyC3L&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Jessica Jones: Alias Vol 3 by Brian Michael Bendis (Writer), Michael Gaydos (Artist), Matt Hollingsworth (Colorist), Mark Bagley (Dream Sequence), Al Vey (Dream Sequence), Dean White (Dream Sequence), Robert Starkings (Letterer), Comicraft's We Abbott (Letterer), Jason Levine (Letterer), and Cory Petit (Letterer)

When last we left Jessica Jones she was going out with Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man, and trying out the relationship thing.  Things are going well on that front--at least for a while.  Jones does a job for J. Jonah Jameson, the newspaper owner, and things don't end well between them.  One night Jones comes home to find a teenager dressed up in a Spidergirl suit who is disoriented, possibly from drugs, and jumps out of the window using her ability to get away.

Scott tells her to call the cops, but Jones is wary of cops. She calls in a favor from a friend at S.H.I.E.L.D. and discovers the girl's identity is Mattie Franklin and that she once was Spiderwoman for like three seconds and that she has certain abilities. More importantly, she is the adopted daughter of J. Jonah Jameson which means a confrontation with him to let him know what she saw.  This, of course, does not go well and leaves Jones feeling obligated to find Mattie on her own, with a little help.

This comic is ten times better than the first two and I really liked those.  The art is still that soft palette look with mostly dark colors.  The dream sequence was done by different artists and therefore looks more like traditional comic book style art. It was an interesting choice to make.  This book covers issues #10 and #16-21.  I can't tell you how much I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I highly recommend it.

Link to Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Jones-Alias-Vol-3/dp/0785198571/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1521205346&sr=8-6&keywords=jessica+jones+comic


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Spider-Gwen: Predators by Jason Latour (Writer), Hannah Blumenreich (Writer, Artist), Robbi Rodriguez (Artist), Jorge Coelho (Artist), Jordan Gibson (Artist), Rico Renzi (Colorist), Lauren Affe (Colorist), and VC's Clayton Cowles (Letterer)

This comic book covers issues #19-23.  Where we left off Captain George Stacy was in jail for protecting Spider-Gwen and Gwen had made a deal with Matt Murdock, the Kingpin, to get boosters that would enable her to have her powers for short periods of time and he would work on getting her dad out of prison.  For a price. She would have to work for him.  Gwen also injected Harry with the suppressant for the Lizard mutagen in the hopes that it would cure him.

Murdock is pissed at Stacy because he is right where he wants to be--stoking the flames of the press in the hopes of creating a forum for him to clear Spider-Gwen's name because he knows they have nothing on him.  He can't control Stacy and Stacy isn't playing according to his script.

But Murdock still has Gwen.  He has Gwen meet him at Oscorp where Murdock and a scientist of his explain that the isotopes she uses as her powerups can be used to cure Harry of his Lizardness and then turned into a symbiote that could be injected into her and return her powers to her.

Murdock sends Spider-Gwen out to Madripoor where Harry is with the Hand ninjas as back up but doesn't tell her that S.H.I.E.L.D. has sent people to bring Harry back dead or alive so they can dissect him.  Neither Harry nor Spider-Gwen trusts Murdock but his plan could fix both of their problems.  Pretty soon, though, Harry might not have a voice as the Lizard takes over his body.  What should Spider-Gwen do?  Also included is a comic on the Mary Janes. This is a really great comic and shows that Gwen truly does want to be Spider-Gwen and what she is ready to do to be her.  I highly recommend this book. 

Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Spider-Gwen-Vol-Predators-2015-ebook/dp/B075MSHNY5/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1521029995&sr=8-4&keywords=spidergwen

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen Brower

Kate Andersen Brower was once the White House correspondent for Bloomberg News.  While there she got invited to a luncheon of First Lady Michelle Obama's and noticed the butlers quietly moving about in the background and became interested in them and them and in the rest of the staff.  Getting former staff to talk to her (she only got one current member of the White House residence staff to talk to her) proved to be a difficult task.  They were fiercely loyal even after all these years.  Some refused to say a bad word about any of the first families no matter what.  But Brower would get them to open up and once they found out that others were talking it made it easier for them to talk.

The resident staff is the utmost in efficiency. This is most evident when moving one president out and one president in.  The outgoing president has the House until noon on Inauguration Day and the new president will be back at the House at around five o'clock. In this amount of time, they will have moved out the old president and arranged everything of the new president's according to the president decorator if he has one and overseen by the social secretary.  The  Obamas would be the first to hire a man for the position of social secretary in 2011.  

Other firsts include the first African-American Chief Usher which went to former Coast Guard Admiral Stephen Rochon in 2007.  In 2011, the position became another milestone when the first woman and second African-American held it.  The Chief Usher oversees all of the over 90 executive resident staff.  Each office has its own head, such as Head of Housekeeping, Maitre D' who is the Head Butler, Head Florist, Head Chef, plumber, electrician, painter, etc...  You don't apply to get a job at the White House. You get recommended by someone who works there.  There are generations of families who have worked there.  

The staff lives to serve and become exacerbated when the First Families won't let them.  However, they understand and enjoyed when Chelsea wanted to learn how to clean and cook on her own and looked to them to teach her.  First Lady Michelle Obama insisted that Malia and Sasha make their own beds and do their own laundry and her mother wouldn't let them anywhere near her unmentionables so she did her own laundry too.  

Basically, the George H.W. Bushs were looked upon the most favorably. They seemed to truly care about the staff as people--asking about their personal lives and insisting they go home at an early hour so they could spend time with their families.  Nancy Reagan made the Head of Housekeeping quit for a while because she couldn't handle her angry tirades and her strict perfectionism and nearly impossible requests.  The Clintons drove the Curator nuts because they kept moving furniture around and it has to be recorded at all times.  There were also some heavy fighting where there was blood on the sheets in the morning from when Hillary had clocked Bill with a book in the head.  Johnson had an obsession with the shower needing the pressure to be hard and the temperature to be hotter than hell. It caused one of the staff to be hospitalized due to a nervous breakdown he was having such a hard time making the shower just right for the president.  Pat Nixon didn't want the staff to look at them when they were in the room so they would have to turn their bodies away. 

This book looks back at fifty years and ten presidents who came and went while the resident staff stayed on taking care of the House and its every changing occupant keeping their secrets.  Brower interviewed over a hundred resident workers, presidential aides, and first family members to write this wonderful and well-researched book.  I really loved this book and it's behind the scenes look at how the East Wing of the White House is run.  I found it touching how close the staff could sometimes be with the first family.  Doorman Preston Bruce was asked by Jacqueline Kennedy to be with the family at the funeral and graveside of John F. Kennedy.  Chief Usher West meant so much to her that she asked Nancy Reagan if he could be buried in Arlington and he was.  When James Ramsey, a favorite butler from the Carter administration to 2010 died in 2014 Laura Bush spoke at his funeral and letters from both Presidents Clinton and Obama were read aloud.  This was a fabulous read and I highly recommend it.

Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Residence-Inside-Private-World-White-ebook/dp/B017R5FBFE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520853343&sr=8-1&keywords=the+residence+inside+the+private+world+of+the+white+house           

Friday, March 9, 2018

Mind MGMT Vol. 1: The Manager by Matt Kindt (Writer, Creator, Illustrator)

The comic opens with flight 815 where everyone forgets everything and everyone they ever knew.  The pilots have to be told how to land the plane.  Families don't recognize each other.  Meru is a writer who had just finished writing her unsolved true crime book that would become a best seller.  Now she is drifting trying to find something to write about next.  She lands on the idea to write about the missing man, Henry Lyme, from the amnesia plane.  She tells her agent who responds that she needs to stop chasing that story and just sit down and write something, but if she insists on chasing it she's not sending any money.

Meru interviews the passengers but learns nothing new.  Her agent gets a tip about something weird going on in Mexico and wires her some money to check it out.  These people have no memory but keep painting the same thing over and over again on pots.  They are dying of starvation because they are obsessed with painting the pots and nothing else.  The picture is of an animal that resembles folk art of Zanzibar.

Meanwhile, Meru has been followed by two groups of people: the CIA and the Immortals.  Both hope she will lead them to Henry Lyme.  The CIA guy, Bill,  helps her out and protects her from the Immortals.  Nothing can kill an Immortal except a headshot and maybe not even that.  The Immortals worked for Mind Management a shadowy agency who recruit people with certain abilities.

This was an interesting book that contained writing from the Mind MGMT Field Guide on the left edge of the page in tiny writing that would pertain to what was going on in that particular page.  For example: Minimize physical evidence when performing in-field erasures.  If time allows, sweep the area and contact Cadaver Disposal within 24 hours if applicable.  On the opposite page is a man discovering a dead body.  The artwork is very minimalist and sketchy but perfect for the story it is telling.  I have to tell you this was a weird comic, but weird in a good way.  I intend to read the next volume to find out where on earth it goes next because it could really go anywhere.

Link to Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/MIND-MGMT-Manager-Matt-Kindt-ebook/dp/B00BUAMHAK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1520601437&sr=1-1&keywords=mind+mgmt&dpID=61w0qSXKnnL&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Lure of the Moonflower by Lauren Willig

Sadly this is the last Pink Carnation book.  Happily it is also the story of the Pink Carnation. This is the twelfth book in the series that has spanned over a decade. We have watched as grad student Eloise has hunted down the story of the Pink Carnation and uncovered many other spies and tales in the process.  Her hunt led her to England where she met Mrs. Arabella Selwick-Alderly, an elderly woman in possession of family letters concerning the Pink Carnation. She introduces her to her nephew, the one third owner of Selwick Hall, and the only one staying there.  The two immediately get off on the wrong foot. But now, all these books later, the two are getting married. It is the day before the ceremony and Eloise is sent the Pink Carnation's chest, filled with important information by Mrs. Selwick-Alderly. As she is looking at the chest, she gets a call telling her to bring the box to Donwell Abbey (a broken down building on the estate) at midnight, or harm will come to Colin's aunt.  Colin and Eloise must put their heads together and come up with a plan to try get his aunt back all before the wedding with no one finding out. (Their wedding, by the way, is one of the funniest I've read in a very long time).

The Pink Carnation story starts off in Portugal. Jane is there to meet the agent Moonflower, Jack Reid.  She has two objectives: To rescue the positively insane Queen Marie and get her on a boat to Brazil with the rest of the monarchs before the French completely take over Portugal, and to try to help reunite Jack with his family.  When they meet Jack does not, for a while, believe that she is the Pink Carnation, which is understandable.  This is 1807 and by now the Carnation's reputation is huge and no one would believe it to be done by a woman.  He's also been around long enough to know not to trust too easily.  Jane, who thinks she knows his life story, does not think too much of Jack.  He is the son of Colonel Reid who was stationed in India. Jack is the product of his second wife, an Indian Princess, which the law, and her family, did not recognize.  She was mentally ill and he ran away to the bottle to deal with it.  Neither did very well by Jack, though they tried. He told him songs and stories of Scotland and she told him tales of his royal heritage.  When he was three she died tragically and they both blamed themselves.  His father saw that he got the best education and Jack dreamed of working in the government.  The Colonel wanted to make that happen, even though Cornwallis made sure that no Indian, or half-caste, would be allowed in the military or to hold a government job. So Jack ran off to work for the French, and various others, including the English where he got some men killed.  He also stole some jewels and sent them to his little sister back in London at her boarding school.  Her roommate was Jane's sister and the two had an adventure over the jewels and were lucky they didn't get hurt, as someone came after them. Jane and Miss Gwen, now Mrs. Reid, were forced to leave Paris to find her sister and were unmasked in England by the French spy, the Gardner, or the Comte de Brilliac.  She could no longer work in France, which crushed her. Of course the Gardiner could no longer work in England which was a sort of victory for their side. So, in a way, she lost everything because of Jack, and he seems to her, to be loyal to no cause but his own.

Used to taking the lead, even though she does not speak the language or know the country like Jack does, which is why she needs him in the first place, she insists on dressing as a French officer with Jack as her servant, and they will travel to Porto and try to intercept whoever has the Queen and take her to a British fort, where she can stay until a ship arrives to take her to Brazil.  She really should have listened to Jack when he told her that traveling with the military would take them forever to get there and that going by themselves would be faster.  Not only that, but if they had gone by themselves, Jane would not have met up again with the Gardner.  Right now they have a truce in place.  In 1805 they worked together, and had an intimate relationship in Venice but once Jane saw him for what he was she quickly left.  He keeps chasing her hoping she'll marry him and go back to Paris to be a prize on his arm.  The Gardiner does not fight for France.  He hopes to regain the titles and lands of his "father" lost during the Revolution.  While many will say the Gardner is a real bastard, the truth is he really is a bastard. His mother cuckolded the Comte, whom she had already given him two sons, and the Gardner was the result.  He left the country when the troubles began and his family is all dead and he feels the whole kit and caboodle should belong to him now.  Of course Jane's not the only one who knows the Gardner.  Jack was ordered to kill his mentor and commander by the Gardener. When he didn't, the Gardner but out a hit on him, though he has no idea what Jack looks like.  The knowledge that she had an affair with him does not inspire trust in Jack.

With the arrival of the Gardner, Jane admits she is wrong and tells Jack that they will try it his way now.  So they sneak out and get a donkey and travel the rough country roads.  Even though her feet are blistered and she can barely walk, Jane says nothing. It isn't her way.  She is stubborn and proud and eventually Jack is forced to toss her on the donkey for worry that her blisters will get infected, which will cause more trouble for them.  As they travel, they get to know one another more and find that they were both rather mistaken about the other.  Of course, Jane does have a habit of changing plans at the last minute without letting him know, which she does at an Abbey they stay at that they believe the Queen may be.  The clothing they are given to wear by the head of the Abbot is rather humiliating and hilarious.  There are two other suspicious men staying there that they talk to at dinner, but dismiss, possibly a bit too carelessly.

Their search for the Queen will lead them back to the Gardner where Jane will have to face him alone and find a way to bring the Queen back to Jack and the Carnation "gang" who have a ship waiting.  As usual, nothing is as it seems, especially where the Gardiner is involved.  This is the absolute perfect book for Jane.  By this point in her life she is weary and lonely.  The joy she took in her work in the early years is lacking, but she knows of no other life she wants to live or one that she is more suitable for. She never expects to fall in love, even though Miss Gwen predicted it two books ago.  She sees it as a weakness in doing spy work.  The Gardner even accuses her of being unable to love someone and then Jack enters her life. The recurring theme of trying to name the infernal donkey in this book is hilarious.  The names they come up with once Jack stops calling it Donkey and gets into the game, are funny.  At the end of this book there is a section where Willig answers questions about the series.  I won't give away all of them, just one.  There were many stories she wanted to tell, but didn't, and while she has said that she is done with the Carnation series, she does say never say never.  There do seem to be characters she would like to revisit at a later date maybe.  I hope so, anyway, these tales she describes are quite tantalizing.  Especially the Gardner's tale.  I don't think he's capable of love.  Now, I must go and start all over again from the beginning, since its been so long and I'm having a hard time remembering the first, I don't know, eight or nine books?  This book was well worth the wait.

Jane Eyre didn’t have to plan a wedding involving three transcontinental bridesmaids, two dysfunctional families, and one slightly battered stately home. Of course, she did have to deal with that wife in the attic, so there you go.  There might occasionally be bats in Colin’s belfry, but there were no wives in his attic. I’d checked.
--Lauren Willig (The Lure of the Moonflower p 1)
Spies tend not to use their real names.  Unless they’re Bond, James Bond.  I’d always wondered why, with such a public profile, no one had succeeded in bumping him off between missions.
-Lauren Willig (The Lure of the Moonflower p 4)
People, he had learned, would tell the town drunk what they wouldn’t to their confessor.  The confessor might impose penance; the town drunk offered absolution for nothing more than the price of a carafe of wine.
-Lauren Willig (The Lure of the Moonflower p 52)\
We shape ourselves, not the circumstances of our birth. We chose our own course—for good or for ill.
--Lauren Willig (The Lure of the Moonflower p 134)
“I’d like to set you an exercise, princess. Imagine, if you will, that you live in a country—your own country, mind!—where you have no rights at all. The law forbids your entering the army, the government, any profession that might suit  your interests or talents. And why? All because you were born to the wrong mother.  Well? Can you picture that?” “Picture it?” A slightly hysterical laugh rose in Jane’s throat. “I’ve lived it.  I’ve lived it these past five years….What do you think it is to be a woman? If I had been born a man, I might have served my country in the normal way. I might have stood for Parliament or commanded a company.  Do you think yourself had done by, Mr. Reid? You can walk down the street unchaperoned. You can rent a room or sit a table in a tavern without everyone assuming that you must be a whore.”
--Lauren Willig (The Lure of the Moonflower p 139-40)
As far as I could tell, Jeremy was behaving exactly as usual, but it was hard to be certain. A force field of smarm surrounded him like the shields of the Death Star (Spaceballs edition). I wasn’t sure what would shake that cool exterior, short of squirting his black cashmere sport coat with raspberry jam.  Hey, it had worked for Lone Starr.
--Lauren Willig (The Lure of the Moonflower p 213))
Why did he have to be so maddeningly kind? It made it so very difficult to go on despising him.  And if she stopped despising him, she might have to admit that she liked him.  Rather a lot.
--Lauren Willig (The Lure of the Moonflower p 233)
There were times when it was deeply unpleasant having a logical mind.
--Lauren Willig (The Lure of the Moonflower p 282-3)
Love was terrifying. It brought with it the uncertainty of trying to please another person, trying to understand another person, the mechanisms of whose mind were by their very nature, opaque.  In the end, it just wasn’t worth it.
-Lauren Willig (The Lure of the Moonflower p 286)
I have never been entirely sure there is anything gentlemanly about duels. It’s merely a temper tantrum by more civilized means.
-Lauren Willig (The Lure of the Moonflower p 329)
All of us are creatures of both dark and light.  If one does a good deed for a dark motive, does the motive matter?
--Lauren Willig (The Lure of the Moonflower p 422)
Happiness isn’t a gift you can give. It’s a task you work on together.
-Lauren Willig (The Lure of the Moonflower p 432)
Jillian, whose bouquet was larger and whose dress was longer to mark her elevated status as both maid of honor and Great and Mighty Younger Sister (which ranked a few steps higher than Oz and well above grand poobah)…
--Lauren Willig (The Lure of the Moonflower p 454)
Acknowledgements Section: Also, to my husband, who helped me puzzle out  the Portuguese, plotted distances on maps, and generally dealt with the practical bits. (And only once suggested just sticking everyone in a TARDIS as a much easier travel alternative to donkey.)
--Lauren Willig (The Lure of the Moonflower p 462)
Link to Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Lure-Moonflower-Pink-Carnation-Book-ebook/dp/B00OQS4F58/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520433903&sr=8-1&keywords=the+lure+of+the+moonflower

Monday, March 5, 2018

Runnin' With the Devil: A Backstage Pass to the Wild Times, Loud Rock, and the Down and Dirty Truth Behind the Making of Van Halen by Noel E. Monk with Joe Layden

If you are looking for a book that explains how or why Van Halen wrote their songs or goes into great detail about how they found each other, this book isn't it.  It mainly focuses on their touring time until David Lee Roth leaves the band.  Noel E. Monk first met Van Halen when he acted as their tour manager for their first tour promoting an EP of songs that were playing on the radio, including "Runnin' With the Devil", "Eruption", "Ice Cream Man", "You Really Got Me", and "Jamie's Cryin'" that would eventually become the album Van Halen with other songs added.  The year was 1978.  Noel will adhere that he knew the band was something special and on the cusp of making it huge.

Their band manager, Marshall Berle had been chosen for them by the record company and he was lousy. He was never there and he charged them for everything.  He once put on a lavish party for them and then stuck them with the gigantic check, which also included his flight out there for him and his wife and his hotel stay.  Berle also filmed the band constantly whenever he was around doing all sorts of things, including sexual acts.  The breaking point between the band and Berle came when he showed these tapes to the brass and the female secretaries back at Warner recording studios.

While on the road for that tour, the guys, especially David Lee Roth, who was the de facto leader of the band and loved to deal with the business end of things spent a great deal of time talking to Noel about things he should have been discussing with his manager, but Noel helped him out and gave him the information he needed.   So at the end of the tour, David came to him and said that he and the guys wanted Noel to by their manager.  Noel told him that he wanted the job but that first they should go to some of the heavy hitters first and see what they could do for them since he had no experience as a band manager especially for a band that was breaking big.

They did and they still wanted Noel.  However, their lawyer would insist that Noel sign a month to month contract instead of a multi-year contract which is standard in the industry.  The guys were naturally gunshy after their last manager and Noel felt pressure to do it this way and figured he could always talk them into a real contract later. This would never happen.  And in a way, this led to him having an ax to grind with this book because Van Halen did kinda screw him over if his version of events is to be believed.   On their first tour, each was paid $175 dollars a concert even though their songs were getting great airplay and people were packing in the concert halls to see them.  They were paid a bit more for the next concert tour but the album deal was lousy.  Noel manages to get them out of their crappy recording contract with Warner and negotiate a much better one making them lots more money.  It was also his idea to do their own merchandising which meant they would make a lot of money off of it rather than if they let someone else handle it and take a small percentage of the profits. 

This book is filled with plenty of backstage antics such as trashed hotel rooms beyond the usual trashing, and one night when David went nuts trashing a room and ended up in a straightjacket because the tour manager couldn't get control of David and he happened to have one on hand.  The many stunts they pulled on each other that in the beginning caused laughs but by the end of the 1984 tour was causing them to want to kill each other.

There were also plenty of girls backstage and plenty of doctors giving the boys' penicillin shots for STDs.  However, during the first tour when they were doing a leg of the tour in England with Black Sabbath, nearly the entire audience was male so there were few groupies to have sex with and they guys went without a lot, which made David unbearable to be around.  When they sold more records and became more popular the better class of girls came backstage.

Also, the biggest thing about Van Halen was the drinking and the drugs. Edward and Alex were alcoholics and Edward would become addicted to cocaine.  Alex was what you would call a functional alcoholic.  He might not remember what he played the night before but he never made a mistake in his playing of the drums. Likewise, Edward's playing was not affected by his abuses but he wasn't functional as Alex.  He was pretty much out of it.  David knew not to get totally wasted before a concert, though he did on a least one occasion and it was a disaster with him slurring his words and not being able to jump about on stage like he usually does. This was a double disaster as it was the US Festival and it was being filmed.  But for the most part, you could count on Van Halen giving you a kickass concert that was worth more than the cost of your ticket, according to Noel.

The person who doesn't get talked about much in this book is the bass player, Michael Anthony, but when he is the author makes a point to put down his playing but says that he sings better than David Lee Roth, only he lacks the front man abilities.  Michael is a sweet guy who is dating his high school sweetheart, so he doesn't really get into the groupies. He drinks, but he seems to have a control over it.  But his niceness is his downfall as the band will attack him knowing he won't fight back.  The one I feel who really get cheated, betrayed, and loses out here in this book is not Noel, but Michael Anthony.

One point that is made about this band often is that they are like children, mostly unruly children.  At the beginning of the book, they are innocent of the ways of the music world and the world at large.  Months before his wedding to Valerie Bertinelli, Edward gets hit with a paternity suit and Noel needs to find out if there's any truth to it. Ed is freaking out that he might have gotten this woman pregnant because he did spend time with her. But the only sexual acts performed were blow jobs and Ed wants to know if he could have gotten her pregnant.  He really has no idea.

This was an interesting book, though I don't know how much of it to believe. The reason it is only coming out now is that Noel sued them after he was fired and part of the deal was that he not write anything about the band for a certain period of time.  I guess that time has finally passed.  At the same time, some of this stuff is pretty easy to believe knowing what you know about the band.  David Lee Roth is an egomaniac and some of the vanity stuff about him is pretty easy to believe.  But you do have to keep in mind that Noel has an agenda and a biased point of view.  It did make for some interesting reading though.

Link to Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Runnin-Devil-Backstage-Behind-Making-ebook/dp/B01HM27IEO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520255271&sr=8-1&keywords=running+with+the+devil+book