SickthingsUK: Me, Alice by Steve Gaines

'Me, Alice' is the very hard to find Alice biography 'as told to Steven Gaines'. It has been out of print since at least 1977 and was sadly never published outside the USA. Nowadays copies go for crazy money when you can find a copy. That said it IS worth finding it if you can, as while it has many mistakes and some stories are surely made up by Alice, it does give some insight into the early years of Alice's life and the creation of the band.

I was the editor of Circus Magazine and worked closely with Alice over the years before I asked him to write his autobiography. Nothing in our book was taken from Circus, unless I wrote it. In 1973 and 1974 I continued to write my 'Top of the Pop' column for the New York Daily News while I virtually moved in with Alice and his then-girlfriend, Cindy Lang, and traveled around the world with him for over a year. I was his golf partner, best friend, and chauffeur. Most of the book was written apart from Alice in a rented house in Connecticut, then I rejoined him in Los Angles and spent a few months with him going over drafts. There was no fact checking because Alice and Shep and the other members of the band read it over and over again, and they declared it accurate. Despite this, I'm sure there are factual mistakes. There was a lot of booze consumed.

I don't know how many were printed. Probably only one printing is correct.
I have about 30 copies left. It was never printed in paperback. Alice and I own the rights equally. I have the original typewritten manuscript that was first presented to Alice and Shep Gordon. The editor at Putnams was an old timer, Bill Targ, who appreciated what Alice had accomplished professionally, although Targ never personally listened to any rock music. You must try to imagine how huge a star Alice was at the time. His fame certainly had transcended his craft. This was the first time, to my knowledge, that a rock star had written a biographical book. The Beatles approved one on them in England in 1967, but they didn't contribute the way Alice did, and it was written in the third person. The original manuscript started with a scene in Brazil where tens of thousands of fans attending a concert actually got crushed up against the stage and Alice watched in horror. They made me replace it with the silly passage of Alice playing detective. Last I heard "Fast" Frankie Scinlaro was running a club called Heartbreak on lower Manhattan.
If I had the time I would try to get Me, Alice reprinted.


Steven Gaines (July 1999)

You can try the links below in case Amazon have a copy, or just laugh at the prices.