You want to know Storm Large. A Portland, Ore., rock legend, she’s tall, talented and inspiringly self-aware; in her brand-new memoir, Large describes her teenage years as a “turd in a punch bowl.” She was loud, obnoxious, slutty and druggy, and she’s the first to admit it.
I approached Crazy Enough as a book that would focus more on Large’s notorious stage presence and music career (I'd never heard of her, but she is most known for her appearance on Rock Star: Supernova), but this tome is about Large’s relationship with her mother, who spent most of her life struggling with mental and emotional problems. Clinically lonely and unhappy, Large’s mother drove her family away with years of hysterics, drug-addled hazes and hospital stays, convinced of one medical anomaly or another. Thus, Crazy Enough feels like it veers a bit once Large enters adulthood and escapes to the West Coast. While the first half of the book is rich with Large’s poignant memories and acerbic-yet-eloquent passages, the second half has a more wrap-up-y, overview approach.
Here, one of Large's expressive moments from an early chapter, when she recalls a mental institution where her mother stayed:
“I would hazard a guess that some of the people who were in charge back then are either behind bars or mopping up their own shit in a soggy cardboard box under a bridge somewhere in hell.
“… Sadville was a mental institution that looked exactly like you would expect a looney bin to look like had you only seen them depicted in horror films: a monolithic, gulag-type building with walls the color of yellowing chicken bone.”
You almost wish Large had held off for a while on writing this, to really pen all her memories. If her college days in Alphabet City and heroin era in San Francisco (where she calls herself “a loser among real addicts”) are any indicators, Large has plenty of stories to tell, and they deserve the full treatment. Maybe another memoir is in order.
And for more book reviews and coverage, click here.