Funk legend Rick James‘ autobiography saw its posthumous release this week and it might be the craziest rock autobiography ever to see print. Assuming even half the stories depicted in the tome, titled Glow, are true, James’ life is worthy of its own three-part, Lord of the Rings-like epic film series.
Rolling Stone has shared excerpts of the book — which was co-written with David Ritz, who finished it posthumously after James died of a heart attack in 2004 at the age of 56 — depciting the singer’s interactions with Joni Mitchell, Salvador Dali, Neil Young, and some unfortunate animals.
After detailing how he dodged the Vietnam draft with a little help from Bob Dylan‘s future bandmates, James recounts his years spent on the periphery of the music industry. A time during which he would try any tactic in order to make a buck, including smuggling drugs internationally.
Still hungry for success and staying at the home of Stephen Stills in 1966, James woke up one day to find a man sitting cross-legged on the floor next to him, “stoned as a motherfucker” and cutting himself. After an alarmed James woke up Stills, who said, “Oh, fuck, he’s doing it again,” and bandaged the man up, James was introduced to James Douglas Morrison (as in Jim Morrison).
James also dishes on his feud with Prince — both of whom were later famously satirised by Dave Chappelle — and recounts how he left a napkin on which Salvador Dali had sketched a portrait of him in his shorts pocket, and later smoked a joint and went for a swim in the same shorts.
Included in the book is a lengthy list of famous dalliances, including Exorcist star Linda Blair, actress Elisabeth Shue, and Marvin Gaye‘s wife. However, whilst steeped in an all-consuming cocaine addiction, James claims that his “lowest level of hell” included orgies, S&M, and even bestiality.