After reading a few of Edgar Poe’s delightful stories of stuffing the corpse of his wife into the walls and cutting out cat’s eyeballs etc for Gothic Lit I opted out for less gore and more rock “n” roll name-dropping and easy reading in Jancee Dunn’s autobiographical novel: But enough about me. From Eighties Geek to Rock ‘n’ Roll Chic- Adventures in Celebsville. Sorry Poe, but Jancee met, like, Madonna man!
Jancee Dunn describes herself as a nerdy, family girl from New Jersey. She has no college degree and her dorky but heart-felt family were her life. Somehow she miraculously escaped from her small-town and mundane life and became a journalist at Rolling Stone magazine meeting the rich and famous. This isn’t your average success story because Dunn never actually seems to give herself much credit for her high status in Rolling Stones and the career opportunities in television such as MTV. If anything, Dunn seems to strip away all the glamour of her job, she is honest and often very funny and seems to struggle with her inner dork.
While she is living out the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, experimenting with drugs and being a New Yorker dressed in all black she is jealous of her sisters and their husband and children, the simple domesticated life they have.
Dunn’s reflects on her family life in New Jersey with great fondness. One of my favourite moments in the book was when her father had already bought the plot of land at the cemetery:
‘One prized ritual was paying a carefree visit to the family cemetery plot, which my sensible father had purchased for all us many years back… “It’s a double plot,” he told my mother excitedly. “You can put four caskets in there, or we can have enough for, oh I’d say eight or ten cremations.”
Every chapter is broken up with a chapter on interviewing celebrities, some tips and suggestions on how to go about it such as “mastering the crucial opening patter,” and “How to approach an R & B Artist when you’re the whitest person in the western world.” Which are actually quite helpful.
The book is interesting but it was Dunn herself and her family and friends which make the most likeable characters in the book rather than the celebrities. There’s a real american core to the book and has made me actually feel american culture. Jancee Dunn, like Mia Freedman has a wholeness about her and reading her experience in the writing industry was like following a friend around.