STARS, CARS, AND CRYSTAL METH
The Adventures of a Personal Assistant who could Really have Used One Himself
This memoir (with a twist) tells the story of Jack Sutherland’s adventures in drugs and delinquency in the celebrity service industry, where he worked with stars such as REM’s Michael Stipe and the actor Mickey Rourke, among others. But it is much more than a story of excesses in the celebrity universe. It is the journey of a beguiling and troubled young man, as told to his father, which lends a depth to the story which wouldn’t otherwise exist.
They moved to California for a fresh start and Jack began his teen adventures in drugs and delinquency. Following a catastrophic encounter, on the fringes, with the life changing effects of drugs and guns, Jack went clean and for many years lived a law abiding blameless life, finding his way into the celebrity service industry.
Chaos lurked at the edges, though, and Jack finally began to live a life of chaotic indulgence in sex and drugs and all the mayhem that brings. This is his story.
Jack is no writer but he is a wonderful talker, so he has talked the story to his father John and John has transcribed the tale. It is, mostly, Jack’s words. John pops up with a fatherly word or two in the margin every now and then – to great effect, both comic and moving. It is through this filter that we hear about Jack’s time as PA to REM’s Michael Stipe, and Mickey Rourke, among others.
The story that emerges is equally comic and moving – a tale of triumph over addiction (for both Sutherlands) and a beguiling story of love and forgiveness.
Jack Sutherland worked for many years in Los Angeles as driver, bodyguard and personal assistant of celebrities. He has made and lost fortunes, and succumbed to addictions for some years. He is now back to a quieter life in London.
John Sutherland is Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College London and a visiting professor of literature at the California Institute of Technology. He is the author of many works of literary criticism, biography and publishing history. A notably versatile man of letters, he is one of Britain's best-known literary reviewers and writes regularly for The Guardian.
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