Soooooo...you guys know I love all of these toys and candy and colors and crazy things. Let me tell you why: I didn't get to finish being a kid. Boo hoo! I am bringing this up because I thought I would let y'all know that I wrote a book on my teenage years called The Sunset Strip Diaries (on Amazon and B & N.com) that explains my story! If you feel like escaping by reading a true crazy story of life on The Sunset Strip with the hair bands of Hollywood, you might be interested in my story. Here is an interview from Kickin It Old School: 80's Pop Culture Blog
"I also had the opportunity for an interview with Amy
Asbury, the author of The Sunset Strip Diaries.
After reading her first book, I had so many questions for her. Her memoir
chronicles some of the awesomeness of the 80s, so I say that (among other
reasons) makes her pretty awesome herself. Here are some selections from
my interview with Amy Asbury...
Q: Why did you decide to write The
Sunset Strip Diaries? How long did it take to get it published? What
reaction have you received since it has been published?
Amy: I had journals
from my teen years in a box- when I was writing them back 20 years ago, I knew
they would be a book one day. But as I matured, I thought, "These stories are
too personal- I could never put them out to the world." Then I got breast cancer three and a half years ago (at age 35) and,
as they say, sometimes it takes thinking you are going to die to start living.
After going through strong chemo, losing my hair and all of that, suddenly I
thought, "What am I waiting for?" Nothing really scared me after that-
I was more brave. I took out the journals and typed up the rest of the story
while going through chemo. I thought, I could die and these stories would never
be told. Who cares what people think? It didn't take long to get it published-
it took about a year. The reaction I have had has been great. A lot of people
absolutely love it and appreciate the honesty- but there are some people who
think I was a total jerk in the book and they can't believe I behaved the way I
did. I tell them, "You're right! I was a total jerk." I am not
Q: Was it a painful experience or was it
therapeutic and/or cathartic? Were you ever hesitant about sharing so much and letting
people in at such a personal level? Did you ever consider not sharing so much
personal experience and focus more on what was going on around you?
Amy: It was both
painful and cathartic at the same time. I considered not sharing so much, but
when you're doing a memoir, you have to go big or go home; you have to be honest
about your life. Well, that's how I feel anyway. It's funny, I have heard the
opposite also: That I was only talking about what was going on around me and not
enough about how I felt about it (once I got to Hollywood). I guess people see
it in different ways.
do you feel will enjoy reading this book and why?
Amy: I think anyone
who had a tough time being a teenager will like it, or anyone who wants to be
entertained reading about a life completely different from theirs. And there is
a certain part of the population who like the 80s hair bands- I did a lot of
name dropping, so that should be fun for them.
Q: Give us a quick description of Hollywood and the
Sunset Strip area during the late-80s and early-90s which is when most of your
book takes place. It sounds like it was not only a rockin' excessively good
time, but was also quite chaotic and even dangerous. This line seems to capture
it for me, "things like that were just normal in that town".
Amy: Yes- a lot of
very bizarre things happened every time I was there. It was a huge street party
underneath the backlit marquees of the Hollywood clubs. Violent, colorful,
glittery, aggressive, over the top. Eight by ten pieces of neon paper were stapled to every phone pole
and littered the ground like huge chunks of confetti in hot pink, acid green,
lemon yellow and bright turquoise blue. Fights were breaking out, people were
making out, rock stars would wander by... It was a freak show combined with a
rock video combined with a beauty pageant. I had never laid eyes on so many
creative, extraordinary people doing so many strange and crazy
Q: Who were some of
the biggest bands that 80s fans will recognize that you saw live back then and
partied with? Any that you saw before they hit it big? Any bands you saw that
you are surprised that never did make it big time that should have or could
Amy: I saw a lot of
80s band members randomly partying around town: the guys from Guns n Roses,
Motley Crue (There is a crazy story about Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson in the
sequel, Confetti Covered Quicksand), the guys in Poison- either my friends were dating them or I
ran into them at The Rainbow. I saw the guys from Sugar Ray all over the place
back then (they were called the Shrinky Dinx) and I partied a lot with
Buckcherry, who were called Slamhound back then. As far as who should have made
it big time: Swingin' Thing and Glamour Punks- both of who just played a reunion
show at The Roxy this June, with another great band called Blackboard Jungle.
And they still had it- they sounded awesome.
Q: Sounds like Riki Rachtman (and his girlfriend) were
crucial in your infusion to the Strip. I remember him as he became a MTV
personality (around 1990 I think) on Headbangers Ball. What can you
tell us about Rachtman? Also, what were your feelings about Headbangers Ball back
in the day?
Amy: He was a scene
maker initially- the person who dictated what was cool and what wasn't, the
person who led the flock, the host of the party. He reminds me of Steve Rubell
from Studio 54, he was kind of handpicking a scene and making it into something
big. I liked that he was bringing the rock scene, my scene, to MTV. I wasn't
really too into Headbangers Ball though because it was too heavy for
me; I think I was more about the party, a little fickle
Q: What was your
preferred brand of hair spray? Aqua Net? How high would you get your hair back
Amy: You know what?
I actually didn't have big hair! I had long straight hair- I was before my time!
*laughs* I stopped the hairspray around age 14- but when I did use hairspray it
was Aqua Net all the way, baby.
Q: It sounds like you had at least one Motley Crue poster
on your wall growing up. Am I right? What other posters were on your wall back
in the 80s?
Amy: Of course! Well
let's see, I had a Ratt poster too, and my sister had tons of Poison, Cinderella
and Bon Jovi posters- she had dibs on them so I couldn't put up their pictures!
She used to make out with her life-size Bon Jovi
Q: You obviously
loved the hair bands back then (after you got over Wham! breaking up). Do you
still like that same music today or music from the 80s in general?
Amy: I am not into
the rock stuff anymore really- but I still love my general 80s music! All of it!
Duran Duran, the Go-Go's, Cyndi Lauper, Whitney Houston, New Edition, Bruce
Springsteen- I love all of those old songs. I even love the one hit
Q: You did a sequel to The Sunset
Strip Diaries called Confetti Covered Quicksand. What can we
expect from the sequel? Do we find out how you pull off becoming normal?
Amy: YES! You find
out how I pull off becoming normal, but before you do, you hear even wilder
stories than in The Sunset Strip Diaries. You go with me to the VIP
rooms of the 90s L.A. clubs, you go with me to Aspen, the coke capital of the
universe, and you listen to me name drop about twenty more 80s/90s stars' names
(I am so obnoxious). It is a completely wild book, all true. It is also out on
Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com now."