While browsing the Biographies section at the Bookstar Barnes & Noble, a converted movie theatre located along my favorite stretch of Ventura Blvd in Studio City, California that now houses rows and rows of shiny new books, I came across a memoir whose cover dared me to pick it up.
A black and white photograph of a young girl wearing an Islamic headscarf stared back at me, her face half hidden beneath irreverent symbols of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
THE LAST LIVING SLUT: BORN IN IRAN, BRED BACKSTAGE by Roxana Shirazi.
I devoured 145 pages in-store before making my way to the cash register.
Roxana Shirazi emigrated from Iran to England at age 10 to flee the Iranian Revolution. She came from a culture where women were not allowed to show skin or express their sexuality and entered the adult playground of Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll. Shirazi proudly claimed the sex-positive moniker of SLUT which she earned as a groupie in contemporary London, entertaining members of Guns N’ Roses, Mötley Crüe, Velvet Revolver and other aging 80’s hair metal bands and heavily tattooed young blood newbies.
Shirazi writes in vivid prose and graphic detail, naming names and describing sexual acts with both men and women, relishing in the fact that she was the one who initiated the encounters, flaunting her curvy corseted Persian body, unveiled. She takes the reader by the hand and leads us past security where we gain VIP access backstage at well-known venues, climb aboard tour busses, and share beds in hotel rooms with rock stars summoning their muses.
There’s nothing like a backstage pass.