It's kind of amusing that Steven Tyler would use a variation of the old "trick" question "Does the ringing in my ears bother you?" as the title of his memoir. If the goofy question were not rhetorical, the answer would clearly be a resounding "Yes!" Does The Noise in My Head Bother You? is certainly not without merit but Tyler has delivered a stream-of-consciousness (unconsciousness?) ramble here that is difficult to keep up with. The initial thought is to blame the editor for this train wreck but then again by the time you're through with the book you can see that even the most talented of editors would just be shaking his head at this manuscript. The first fifty pages or so are the most difficult to get through as Tyler addresses one subject for a paragraph, then---zippity do dah!---he's off on a tangent. Sometimes the thoughts coalesce into something meaningful and sometimes they don't (kind of like any given Aerosmith record) and it doesn't help that he peppers the text with undecipherable colloquialisms like "So up in your own Kool-Aid." So while there are snippets of detail here (he had sex with a DJ while she was on the air; he got the nickname Spider because he would crawl on the floor looking for dropped drugs) there is not much depth. Tyler even speaks directly to the reader about the matter, saying that he never promised a "linear" read and acknowledging his prose writing style as being affected by his own personalized rock'n'roll version of ADD. Still, if you tough it out, you'll find that Tyler reinforces three notions here; he loves his family, he loves his band and he loves his right to party. Early in the book Tyler states that he didn't "become Steven Tyler" all at once, meaning that his rock monster persona grew slowly with every song, album and show, with every drunken and drugged-up moment, with every arrest and rehab, with every dollar well-spent or pissed away. And you can read about a lot of it here in Twitter-length bursts. Last year the Ozzy Osbourne memoir I Am Ozzy was a surprise hit; a surprise mostly because the book delivered an extremely well-written and edited encapsulation of Ozzy's life when many expected the tome to be as shambolic as the befuddled portrayal of Ozzy's life on the TV show The Osbournes. Does the Noise…on the other hand seems to be just a transcription of what Tyler spoke into a recorder and much of the "excitement" fails to translate to the printed word. There's no doubt that if this were a book on tape spoken by Tyler himself it would be a riot. Those who only know Tyler from his American Idol gig (barely acknowledged here) may be shocked by some of the debauchery that's laid out in no uncertain terms but those who know enough about the man via four decades of Aerosmith and its attendant noise will get exactly what they'd expect in these pages.
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