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DOUBLE TALKIN’ JIVE:TRUE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL STORIES FROM THE DRUMMER OF GUNS N’ ROSES, THE CULT, AND VELVET REVOLVER
LOS ANGELES, CA, March 18, 2021—In Double Talkin’ Jive legendary drummer Matt Sorum takes music lovers behind the scenes of a remarkable life in rock. Sorum, whose albums have sold tens of millions of copies around the world, provides an honest, engaging account of the highs and lows of superstardom. Sorum recounts his childhood years idolizing Ringo Starr and surviving an abusive stepfather. After leaving high school, Sorum sold pot to get by. Over time, his drug dealing escalated to smuggling large quantities of cocaine, a career that came to a halt following a dramatic shoot-out. Sorum fled his old life and settled in Hollywood, where he’d enjoy a rapid ascension to rock ’n’ roll immortality. He caught his big break drumming for the Cult, and only a year later was invited to join Guns N’ Roses, with whom he’d record two of rock’s most iconic albums: Use Your Illusion 1 and 2.
The Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee & Grammy Award winning Sorum opens up with forthright honesty, sharing anecdotes from his time touring the globe, battling drug and alcohol addiction, as well as working with Axl Rose, one of the greatest frontmen in rock, Slash and the rest of the GNR team. His career with the Cult, Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, Motörhead, the Hollywood Vampires, and Kings of Chaos costars an ensemble of rock royalty, from Billy Idol to Steven Tyler, Billy F Gibbons and Alice Cooper.
Double Talkin’ Jive goes beyond the clichés of sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll, telling the very human story of what it takes to make it in music, and the toll stardom exacts from those who achieve success. Sorum invites fans to revel in the debauchery of the good times, but also paints a stark portrait of life after the party. Music fans of any generation will find value in the pages of this evocative, thoughtful, and candid autobiography.
“Matt lights up rooms, corridors, clubs, theaters, arenas, and stadiums with the kind of infectious rock ’n’ roll energy that is increasingly becoming obsolete. His dedication to his craft remains virtually peerless, and when the sticks are resting, you’ll have to go a long way to find someone cooler in rock ’n’ roll. Dive into these shenanigan-saturated pages immediately and find out for yourself!" — Lars Ulrich, Metallica
“A colorfully dark look into the f * * * ed-up psyche of a legendary and badass drummer. I want to read it over and over.” — Jonas Åkerland, Film Director
Available in hardcover, e-book, and audiobook,
including a signed limited-edition hardcover with vinyl audiobook bundle,
|Photo credit: Michael Segal Photography
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LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 16, 2021 – Alot can happen during a pandemic and it did with Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy Award winning musician Matt Sorum (Ex Guns N’ Roses & Velvet Revolver drummer) and his wife, choreographer, singer-songwriter, visual artist & fashion designer Ace Harper as they have announced exclusively with People Magazine HERE they are expecting their first child this summer.
Matt & Ace have been married since 2013 and are elated to welcome this new baby into their lives. “We are beyond elated with God’s gift of our baby girl. Of all the beautiful adventures we’ve been fortunate enough to have in our lives there is nothing that compares to the joy we feel of finally creating our own family. We’re excited to show our child all the wonderful experiences life has to offer.” said Matt & Ace.
Prior to the new baby being born, ZZ Tops’ Billy F Gibbons will release a new album that Matt co-produced and co-wrote. In addition, Matt is set to release his new book “Double Talkin’ Jive: True Rock N’ Roll Stories” via Rare Bird Books in the fall. Double Talkin' Jive goes beyond the clichés of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, telling the very human story of what it takes to make it in music, and the toll stardom extracts from those who achieve success.
About Ace Harper: Ace's journey began studying ballet. She then spent years as a professional dancer working with a myriad of music legends. Lenny Kravitz, Jennifer Lopez, Duran Duran and famed director David LaChapelle to name a few. In the midst of everything, she constantly wrote songs and collected ideas, quietly assembling a sound and vision of her own. After a storied dance career; Ace started creative directing her own stage shows with music, performance art, fashion, and visuals encapsulating her kaleidoscope of creativity. Ace is launching her name sake fashion line, Ace Harper later this year. She is vehement about empowering ALL women. She believes in telling real women's stories and plans on using fashion as a means to have women cultivate a deeper connection with themselves and the world around them.
Learn more about Ace here: http://www.aceharper.com/music
About Matt Sorum:
Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy Award winning musician Matt Sorum speaks through the drums.Each hit or kick that Sorum has committed to tape or knocked out on stage can be felt by anyone within earshot. Whether it's the epic percussive backdrop behind Guns N' Roses' "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," the propulsive punked-out beat fueling Velvet Revolver's "Dirty Little Thing" or touring with The Cult, Sorum's playing remains unique, undeniable and unforgettable. The future is most important to Sorum who recently finished production on ZZ Tops’ Billy F Gibbons forthcoming album and is currently working on his non-profit Adopt the Arts , Matt’s charity to keep music alive in schools. He sits on the board of Dolphin Project with activist environmentalist Ric Obarry and Matt is U.S. Ambassador to Animals Asia.
For further info and interview opportunities please contact: Ken Phillips Publicity Group, Inc. Kppublicitygroup@gmail.com
|Photo credit: Mark Maryanovich
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|Photo credit: Jonas Akerlund
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Matt Sorum is telling tales from his storied career in rock and roll. Over his shoulder hangs a pair of framed black-and-white photos: one of Dean Martin; the other of Frank Sinatra — two men who did it their way, building careers in popular music with impeccable style, roguish charm and enough swagger to light up the Sunset Strip on a Saturday night.
In many ways, it’s easy to imagine Sorum in a more modern equivalent of the Rat Pack — or in this case, the Matt Pack.
No one has captured the beat of a city quite like Matt Sorum. The Grammy-winning musician’s skills at the drum kit have earned him induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and helped to define the soundtrack to the City of Angels: from the propulsive wail of The Cult, to the wild excess of Guns N’ Roses and the bellicose grit of Velvet Revolver.
It’s his reputation as a musician’s musician that has placed him squarely at the center of Hollywood’s A-list community of artists. From Camp Freddy to Kings of Chaos, his side-projects have drawn a staggering number of fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famers — from Alice Cooper, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry (Aerosmith), to Billy F Gibbons (ZZ Top), Joe Elliott (Def Leppard), Robin Zander (Cheap Trick) and Brian May (Queen).
Before Sorum became a world-class musician who sold tens of millions of records with a trio of bands as notorious as they were legendary, he was a California kid who dared to dream.
Matthew William Sorum was born in Long Beach, California, some 35 miles south of L.A.’s famed Sunset Strip. An appearance by The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in the mid-’60s would be a life-changing experience, and foreshadow the trajectory of his career.
“I saw Ringo, and he was sort of like this cartoon character,” he recalls. “I was just a little guy, but I remember going, ‘Oh man, that’s just the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!’ Some kids want to be a fireman or a train conductor. But for me, something clicked.”
Young Matt was in kindergarten at the time, and his parents were in the midst of a painful divorce.
“My mom was a teacher, and my dad was this wild, hippie kind of guy,” he explains. “He took me and my two older brothers to Mexico one time in a Volkswagon Bug. He told my mom he was taking us to Tijuana. Instead, we drove 2,000 miles south of the border. We were gone for two weeks.”
Sorum romanticized his father’s carefree lifestyle — a welcome escape from what he says was an abusive stepfather.
“My dad was the guy who sparked my interest in traveling, adventure, taking chances and breaking the rules. He broke the rules a lot,” Sorum admits.
Soon, Sorum started breaking the rules himself, sneaking up to Hollywood in the mid-’70s with a band he started in high school called Prophecy. They played The Starwood on Sundays, which was amateur night.
“Once I was able to move to Hollywood, I did it right away,” he explains. “I had a ‘64 Rambler station wagon I bought for 50 bucks that barely ran — I mean, literally bought it for 50 dollars. And I put all my drums in there.”
|Photo credit: Zack Whitford
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In the booze-soaked rooms of the Sunset Strip, Sorum perfected the art of the hustle. He played drums for Y Kant Tori Read, a band fronted by a fledgling singer-songwriter named Tori Amos. But he didn’t stop there.
“There was one time I was in 10 bands at the same time. They used to call me Matt the Mercenary,” he remembers. “I would get $25 for a rehearsal. You had to pay me. Because I was good enough to get paid.”
Sorum’s work ethic was strong and reliable — just like the beat he laid down for collaborators.
“I always woodshedded material,” he says. “So when I walked in, I knew the songs before the band did. I had this ability to listen to a song and play it the first time.”
But there were gigs he didn’t get.
“When I auditioned for David Lee Roth, the best drummers in town were there. And I didn’t get that gig because it wasn’t a perfect fit,” he says.
When Sorum tried out for The Cult in 1988, he was ready.
“I woodshedded for two weeks by myself. I dressed appropriately. I wore all black. I studied the band,” he admits. “It was like being an actor. If you have to read the script, get the script.”
Sorum nailed the audition, and spent the next couple of years with The Cult — until he was famously recruited by Slash to play drums for Guns N’ Roses. He was in for a wild ride.
“I’m on a pirate ship with these other pirates,” he thought. “We were a gang, and you had to act accordingly.”
Sorum spent seven tumultuous years with GNR, from 1990 to 1997. With Axl Rose on vocals, Slash on guitar, and Duff McKagan on bass, they recorded a trio of albums during that time, including the twin pillars of the group’s storied career: Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II.
“Stadiums, a private airplane, everything you saw in a Led Zeppelin movie,” he marvels. “And now you’re in that movie!”
But for Sorum, that over-the-top success also triggered some serious childhood trauma.
“You get to the top of the heap, and then you maybe don’t feel worthy of being there because you’ve been told that your whole life,” he explains. “Some self-esteem issues popped up, and then I became a pretty bad alcoholic. A lot of drugs.”
Sorum is candid about hitting rock bottom.
“There were a lot of lows towards the end of GNR, and then after,” he says. “It’s nobody’s fault but mine. If I had been of clearer mind or in a better mental state, I probably would have made better decisions.”
After a rebound stint with The Cult, he released his first solo album in 2003. Hollywood Zen was a collection of 11 poignant tracks addressing addiction, failed relationships and the smoke and mirrors of life in La La Land. Sorum played guitar, as well as drums, on the record.
That same year, he reunited with Slash and Duff to form the hard-rocking quintet, Velvet Revolver, with Dave Kushner (from the punk outfit, Wasted Youth) joining them on rhythm guitar. Their frontman was Scott Weiland, the charismatic and freshly-rehabbed lead singer from Stone Temple Pilots. The band’s half-decade collaboration led to the double-platinum album, Contraband, and its follow-up, Libertad. Their debut single, “Slither,” earned Velvet Revolver a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2005.
|Photo credit: Brendon Weyers
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“This was the pinnacle moment in my career — even more important than GNR because we were able to reinvent ourselves and have great success,” says Sorum. “I was an equal member and a driving force with this group.”
In recent years, Sorum has indulged his sense of community, tapping his musician friends for a number of star-studded side projects. Camp Freddy — his intermittent cover band with Jane’s Addiction’s Dave Navarro — was always a coveted ticket, boasting guest appearances by everyone from Ozzy Osborne, to Corey Taylor from Slipknot and the late Chester Bennington from Linkin Park. Later groups, like Circus Diablo, Kings of Chaos and Hollywood Vampires, also featured revolving lineups of rock and roll royalty.
In 2014, Sorum released Stratosphere, his sophomore solo album. It was a departure from his signature sound, exploring lush string arrangements and an Americana vibe.
In between music projects, Sorum has spread his wings as an entrepreneur. He’s the founder of six startup companies, and sits on the Global Blockchain Business Council at UCLA. He also gathers each year with top global leaders in business, government and academia at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He’s the brainchild behind a vinyl club curated by top musicians called experiencevinyl.com, and this summer, look for Sorum to introduce a Brazilian beer — appropriately titled The Drummer — to thirsty consumers throughout the United States.
In 2020, Runaway’s lead singer Cherie Currie released her long-awaited album, Blvds of Splendor. Produced by Sorum a decade earlier, the LP was nonetheless critically-acclaimed and hailed as the greatest release of Currie’s career.
Also in 2020, while the world was in pandemic lockdown, Sorum co-wrote and co-produced Hardware, the third solo album for his pal, Billy F Gibbons from ZZ Top. Sorum’s skills on the drum kit are on display, as are his creative talents as producer on a quartet of music videos, including the lead single, “West Coast Junkie.” The album drops in June, just before another highly-anticipated Sorum delivery — a baby girl for him and his wife, Ace Harper, a fashion designer and musician in her own right.
“I’m ready to be a father now,” he says.
Life has a way of coming full circle, but Sorum has no regrets.
“It’s been a wild ride,” he says. “Make of it what you will. It wasn’t perfect. Life isn’t. You try to make fewer mistakes the next time around, and you forgive yourself for past trials and tribulations. Self-respect is when you finally realize, ‘I got nothing to prove.’”
Sorum’s autobiography, Double Talkin’ Jive: True Rock ‘n’ Roll Stories from the Drummer of Guns N’ Roses, The Cult, and Velvet Revolver, is available wherever books are sold on September 7th, 2021.