There are a myriad of memoirs available detailing struggles and success, but you haven’t read a story quite like Jean Beauvoir’s memoir Bet My Soul on Rock ‘n’ Roll: Diary of a Black Punk Icon. You probably know him best for the signature blonde mohawk or the catchy song “Feel The Heat” that was featured in the Sylvester Stallone flick Cobra. However, you’ll find there are so many other layers to the man by reading his fascinating story.
The book takes you through his journey – from his childhood in suburbia to the New York City streets with various musical interludes along the way. Jean Beauvoir joined the Plasmatics in 1979, playing bass and keyboards for one of the most notorious bands to emerge out of the New York City punk scene. In 1982, joined Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, a retro-rock revival act led by Steven Van Zandt. The Disciples of Soul videos played on MTV during the network’s earliest years, making Beauvoir one of the first Black recording artists to cross the start-up music channel’s “color line.” He had Michael Jackson and Prince pursuing him to join their respective teams.
Beauvoir went on to become a multi-platinum artist, producer, and songwriter. Bet My Soul on Rock ‘n’ Roll follows his roller-coaster ride through the music industry, detailing his encounters with rock stars such as Bruce Springsteen, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Lita Ford, Doro Pesch, and many others. He has a vast catalog of music and has appeared on over 200 albums in his career. Although he has mingled and collaborated with interesting people, Beauvoir is the most intriguing person in the room.
While many of his experiences are thrilling, lighthearted, and fun; there were pivotal moments that provided Beauvoir the thick skin required to survive through difficult moments too. You can’t ignore his final chapter: Racism, Role Models & Setting Examples. If you choose to skip this portion, perhaps this book is not for you. For others, you’ll find a candid discussion about an important issue. This alone is required reading.
There is so much more found in the pages that documents the life of a person who has seen and done it all. It holds a special place in my heart and my bookshelf. It’s a magnetic and magical story. After reading Bet My Soul on Rock ‘n’ Roll: Diary of a Black Punk Icon, you’ll understand why I’ve dubbed Jean Beauvoir a “rock ‘n’ roll octopus.”
BET MY SOUL ON ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: DIARY OF A BLACK PUNK ICON IS OUT NOW VIA CHICAGO PRESS! FOR INFORMATION ON IT, CLICK HERE!