I knew this book was going to be fun when in the opening foreword, co-writer Jon Wiederhorn stated that Uncle Al’s trials and tribulations “makes Motley Crue’s The Dirt look like Goodnight Moon“. And it really, really does! Ministry: The Lost Gospels According To Al Jourgensen is a must-have for Ministry and rock bio fans because when it comes to Jourgensen, sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll isn’t just a saying it’s a way of life.
As a longtime fan (Going on 20 years!) who’s traveled to Chicago twice for their “final” performances, this book is exactly what I wanted. It’s a candid, chronological history of the man who many say (Myself included!) is the godfather of industrial music and the narrative is such that it feels as if you’re sitting at a bar with Uncle Al passing stories back and forth. If you’re of the ADD generation then take comfort with the advanced knowledge that the memoir is occasionally broken up by interviews with former tour managers, bandmates (Gibby Haynes, Jello Biafra), and his wife/manager/savior Angelina Jourgensen to give some outside perspective on the man sometimes known as “Alien” (And then there’s the occasional visits by what Al refers to as “The Greys” but you need to pick up the book for more on that).
And what tell-all wouldn’t have its’ share of celebrity sightings. From hook up’s with Courtney Love, Aimee Mann, and Sean Yseult to putting a young, naive, pre-NIN Trent Reznor and post-stardom Joey Jordison through Ministry “boot camp” to supposedly introducing Layne Staley to heroin and baring all to Ice Cube (literally), The Lost Gospels… has something for everyone. Musically, the book is a great history lesson for fans and through it all, Al’s voice is loud and proud. Whether he’s proclaiming his undying love for fallen guitarist Mike Scaccia, complaining about the “Book Club” (If you love former Ministry co-horts Paul Barker or Chris Connelly you might want to skip a chapter or two or three), or commenting on Ministry’s slew of members over the years (On the departure of guitarist Brian Kehoe during the Houses Of The Mole’ sessions who worked with Les Claypool previously: “I don’t know what he expected-Sailing The Seas Of Cheese? This is Ministry, for fuck’s sake”), The Lost Gospels… is an entertaining read that’s equal parts awesome and awkward.
Ministry: The Lost Gospels According To Al Jourgensen is available here and now. If that doesn’t satisfy your Uncle Al/Ministry needs, be on the look out for Enjoy The Quiet: Live At Wacken 2012 featuring the last live Ministry performance of Mike Scaccia coming to Blu-Ray/DVD/CD on August 27th followed by the “final” Ministry album From Beer To Eternity on September 10th.