‘JUDGE THIS BOOK BY ITS COVER’ – RON YOUNG & STEVE OLIVAS
Review By: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Preacher
Ron Young’s memoir is a powerful testament to the strength of the human spirit and the healing power of music. In his early days, Ron had all the makings of a rockstar: talent, a major label backing, and a hit band, Little Caesar. He is also a story-telling actor with some funny anecdotes about his brief claim to fame courtesy of James Cameron. We read of his interactions with the legendary Hells Angels too, as the MC have always loved and supported him and his music. But as quickly as he rose to fame, Ron’s world came crashing down.
What makes Ron’s story so gripping is how it all started. His abusive mother was the catalyst for his love of music, and it became his salvation in a world of darkness. Despite the constant setbacks and obstacles, Ron persevered and found his way back to the light. Once I started reading, I honestly did not want to stop, it’s simply that fascinating.
Through the pages of this book, we witness Ron’s personal journey of joy, sorrow, and despair. It’s a testament to the human spirit, as Ron finds the strength to overcome his heroin addiction and rise to musical greatness once again. As an ex-addict myself, I can actually empathise deeply with his fall from grace, and to remember also that revelation when you finally beat that hateful addiction.
But what sets this book apart is Ron’s raw honesty and vulnerability. He invites us to judge him not by hearsay, but by his actions. Ron’s story is a reminder that we should never judge a book by its cover – there’s always a deeper story waiting to be told. I laughed and winced – sometimes within the same page as the book goes on – and I did not want to stop reading even once.
As a colossal fan of Little Caesar, and of Ron’s beautiful blues-soaked voice, for me this was a ‘must have’ purchase. To find how certain record label moguls behave like monsters, not giving a damn about the pain and sadness they inflict is heart-breaking. Who? Buy the book to find out. Ron rages at the calculating spite he faced, but by the end of the book, we celebrate with him as he rises like a phoenix, to re-discover his love of performing.
Ron spares no-one’s feelings, he is soul-searingly honest throughout, unflinchingly open about both his victories and his failures. From his early days in The Kingpins, to Little Caesar, then to Manic Eden, The Cruzados and onwards, it is a mesmerising read. Did you know Ron was briefly the vocalist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers? No? Neither did I, but it was so. No-one’s blushes are spared, icons are skewered by his rapier wit, but it’s never malicious, simply truthful and unflinching.
In the end, Ron’s journey is one of triumph, and his memoir is a testament to the healing power of music and the human spirit. It’s a must-read for anyone who loves music, and for anyone who needs to be reminded that hope and redemption are always within reach. I urge you to buy this wonderful book. Ron Young has long been one of my heroes, after this, he is even more so!