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Sing Backwards and Weep: A Memoir Spiral-Bound | April 27, 2021

Mark Lanegan

★★★★☆+ from 1,001 to 10,000 ratings

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This gritty bestselling memoir by the singer Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age, and Soulsavers documents his years as a singer and drug addict in Seattle in the '80s and '90s.

When Mark Lanegan first arrived in Seattle in the mid-1980s, he was just "an arrogant, self-loathing redneck waster seeking transformation through rock 'n' roll." Little did he know that within less than a decade he would rise to fame as the frontman of the Screaming Trees and then fall from grace as a low-level crack dealer and a homeless heroin addict, all the while watching some of his closest friends rocket to the forefront of popular music.

In Sing Backwards and Weep, Lanegan takes readers back to the sinister, needle-ridden streets of Seattle, to an alternative music scene that was simultaneously bursting with creativity and dripping with drugs. He tracks the tumultuous rise and fall of the Screaming Trees, from a brawling, acid-rock bar band to world-famous festival favorites that scored a hit number five single on Billboard's alternative charts and landed a notorious performance on Late Night with David Letterman, where Lanegan appeared sporting a fresh black eye from a brawl the night before. This book also dives into Lanegan's personal struggles with addiction, culminating in homelessness, petty crime, and the tragic deaths of his closest friends. From the back of the van to the front of the bar, from the hotel room to the emergency room, onstage, backstage, and everywhere in between, Sing Backwards and Weep reveals the abrasive underlining beneath one of the most romanticized decades in rock history-from a survivor who lived to tell the tale.

Gritty, gripping, and unflinchingly raw, Sing Backwards and Weep is a book about more thanjust an extraordinary singer who watched hisdreams catch fire and incinerate the groundbeneath his feet. It's about a man who learnedhow to drag himself from the wreckage, dust offthe ashes, and keep living and creating.

"Mark Lanegan—primitive, brutal, and apocalyptic. What's not to love?" —Nick Cave, author of The Sick Bag Song and The Death of Bunny Munro
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Original Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 0306922789
Item Weight: 0.8 lbs
Dimensions: 6.0 x 1.2 x 9.0 inches
Customer Reviews: 4 out of 5 stars 1,001 to 10,000 ratings
"The artist's journey to find one's true voice can travel some very dark roads; addiction, violence, poverty, and soul-crushing alienation have taken the last breath of many I have called friend. Mark Lanegan dragged his scuffed boots down all of those bleak byways for years, managed to survive, and in the process created an astonishing body of work. Sing Backwards and Weep exquisitely details that harrowing trip into the heart of his particular darkness. Brutally honest, yet written without a molecule of self-pity, Lanegan paints an introspective picture of genius birthing itself on the razor's edge between beauty and annihilation. Like a Monet stabbed with a rusty switchblade, Sing Backwards and Weep is breathtaking to behold but hurts to see. I could not put this book down."—D. Randall Blythe, author of Dark Days and lead vocalist of Lambof God
Mark Lanegan released his first solo album, The Winding Sheet, in 1990. His most recent album is Straight Songs ofSorrow. His singular body of work encompasses dozens of albums both solo and collaborative. He lives in Los Angeles.