Lou Brutus Sonic Warrior: My Life as a Rock N Roll Reprobate: Tales of Sex, Drugs, and Vomiting at Inopportune Moments

Author: Lou Brutus
Publisher: Rare Bird Books
Review by Tommy Rage
Review posted: October 2020
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Lou Brutus Sonic Warrior: My Life as a Rock N Roll Reprobate: Tales of Sex, Drugs, and Vomiting at Inopportune MomentsLou Brutus Sonic Warrior: My Life as a Rock N Roll Reprobate: Tales of Sex, Drugs, and Vomiting at Inopportune Moments

John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, Harper Lee, Lou Brutus…Yes, Lou Brutus. Who would have thought that a radio disc jockey would ever be considered a comparable for literature greats? Perhaps this may have something to do with Lou’s 25 plus years as one of the nations most recognized DJs, or perhaps it’s because Lou has lived life as a true reprobate. Sonic Warrior – My Life As A Rock N Roll Reprobate, Lou’s firsthand accounts of his life as a long time music enthusiast as well as a national syndicated disc jockey; is just a brief glimpse behind the life and times of what it means to be a radio disc jockey.

With a collection of short stories, some dating back to Lou’s teenage years where he attended a concert with his older sister and vomited all over her bewildered boyfriend, to the time a famous rock n’ roll dog urinated on him, Lou captures the essence of what rock music fans love. Each of Lou’s 21 biographical stories are just a glimpse into what meeting a rock star like Stevie Nicks would be like, or getting so stoned with Snoop Dogg that you drool on your own lap. Compiling the catalog of catastrophes in brief and easy to read short stories was something that Lou didn’t have to put much thought into. When asked how he went about penning his memoir, Lou shares his thought process. “All of these stories, are stories that I’ve been telling my friends in the rock n’ roll world, some of them for decades. Some of them, I think, have become perhaps slightly infamous, and I’ve told them so many times that writing them came fairly easy. One of the things that I strived for, and from the feedback I’ve gotten, I think I did O.K. on, was people read it, and they say, ‘Oh my God, I hear your voice in my head, that’s exactly how I would imagine you’re telling me the story’. I do add the facts, and figures, dates, and other background things, but for the most part, when I describe the action and the conversations it’s like I would tell the story.”

These first person narratives are insightful to both the music industry and to the pearls of being the professional music fan that Lou is. Cutting his teeth and refining his DJ skills with notable radio stations such as WPLJ (New York), WBCN (Boston), and WRCX (Chicago), Lou got to meet some of rock’s biggest icons. Now, as Senior Director of Music Programing at Sirius XM and host of his syndicated radio show, hardDrive with Lou Brutus & hardDrive XL, Lou can look back fondly at the time he threw up over 10,000 concert goers at the Live Aid concert back in 1985. These ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ stories of having your life energy drained out of your body through the palm of your hand by Keith Richards, or being peed on by a famous rock n’ roll dog are glimpses at the insanity of the music industry. If you pay close attention to the way Lou writes about the time he was accosted by legendary author Hunter S. Thompson, who we writes about in a Thompson-esque way, you know that Lou sought to share folklore fables and not badmouth any of the musicians. “There’s really nothing in their that’s terrible about anybody else. If anybody looks bad at any point in the book, it’s me [laughter]. Early on in the process, I made a decision that I didn’t wanna put out a book that was going to dump on other people or make other people look bad. I’ve certainly been around enough things, and I’ve seen a lot. So, if I wanted to put it in a book, and make it more scandalous - it would have been easy to do. But I didn’t wanna be an asshole and I didn’t wanna write that kind of book. I knew that I had enough things already that were funny and crazy and unlikely, and the ‘Oh My God, I can’t believe that happened.’ So, I could write these stories and not have to trash another human being, and that’s the path I chose.”

From the inside scoop on Gene Simmons’ bowling game, to the sights and sounds of what actually goes on backstage at concerts, Lou reminds us that sometimes dealing with rock stars (and the Wisconsin State Troopers), is simply a comedy of errors. Each story flows from begging to end, each one taking you along with Lou on the adventures which were often not planned, but simple happenings of being the legendary DJ that he is. With his easy of writing and focus directed on the experiences of each band, the reader harkens back to the days of saving concert ticket stubs, buying bootleg concert shirts, and the morning-after concert ringing in their ears. 

Releasing an audio version of his book read by himself in his well-known radio voice, coupled with the books clever caricature illustrations by Alan MacBain, Lou leaves us wanting more. “There was a whole lot that I did not put in the book that I could have put in; including probably at least two or three chapters that I really should have put in. I can give you some chapters of the second book, titles that would include: ‘The time 150,000 Dead Heads dropped acid right outside of my lonely teenage bedroom’, ‘The time I danced on Hitler’s grave with Pink Floyd’, ‘The time an incredibly talented 300 pound schizophrenic street singer recorded and released a song about me’, or ‘The time I turned down a private lunch with Pope John Paul II to spend time with Ozzy Osbourne’ [laughter]. But that will give you an idea of some of the stuff that would come in a second book.”

Fans who may not be familiar with Lou’s radio career will still appreciate the intriguing encounters Lou has had. By sharing these ventures with fans from all generations of rock. Whether it be the time Robert Plant charmed the shit out of Lou’s date, or swatting at a giant duct-tape penis on stage at a Slipknot concert, on thing is for sure: Lou Brutus is a true rock n’ roll reprobate. And even if he doesn’t win a Pulitzer Prize, rumor has it that Ernest Hemingway was also a huge Slipknot fan, so at least they have that in common.

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