Rescued from Reality

Rescued from Reality – The life and times of Walter Trout by Henry Yates and Walter Trout

This is a great book and really surprised me, as I did not know that much about Walter Trout other than  he was a guitarist with John Mayall some time ago. A friend said I should read this, as it is a great account of the reality of the music business and the pitfalls as well as an amazing account of Walter’s descent into addiction and his rise from it. Walter has had to battle many problems in life, and recently had to undergo a liver transplant which was funded by his fans after the damage inflicted on it in his younger years took its toll. He seems to be making good progress after initial problems.Rescued from reality

I could not put this book down and read it in one day. It is really well written and is beautiful to look at with many great pictures, well laid out, illustrating the story. A lot of the issues he covers are pretty serious but he does this in a humorous way and comes across as someone who has really dealt with his past, and moved on. He certainly does not give the impression that this is easy, but proves it is possible. Some of the stories reminded me of the type of things people would share in AA meetings, such as spending a day dressed up as a Gorilla, in LA while on LSD and wild on the road stories.

He talks about the way he was treated badly by his management and his views on the record industry in general which is full of people willing to rip people off, and also about his frustration with some of the recordings he did. I found this interesting as I do think it is a mistake to polish blues music up and try to make it commercial. It often does a lot better if you capture the raw energy of a live show. I have bought his last couple of albums from Itunes and they are really good and capture the feeling of what he is singing about. Like many in this genre, he does deserve a bigger audience. He certainly knows what he is singing about and he is a great guitar player.

I think a lot of people will find this book interesting. He certainly lived a wild life and then turned things around and has built a good family life and had a solid career. Many people who like the this type of blues music are drinkers and some get into trouble, so this will inspire people to look for a solution. He put down the drink and drugs in 1987, so it was rather unnerving for me to read about his present day liver problems, but not the first time I have heard about this type of thing happening later on in recovery. It does go to show that the earlier those of us who have addiction problems, start to sort them out, the better chance we have of solving them longterm.

I am doing a run in February which supports a UK liver charity and I went for a 10 mile run earlier while listening to Walter’s albums “The Blues came Callin” and “Blues for the Modern Daze”. I finished the run in about an hour and twenty minutes and the track I was listening to at the end was called “Recovery’ which is about his battle with addiction, which was rather ironic for me. It is not easy to stay alcohol free when you are in the entertainment industry and it requires a lot of strength and character. I hope Walter gets well soon after his transplant and comes back to the UK and does some more shows. I will certainly go and watch him and look forward to listening to more of his music.

You can find the book here


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