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Music Books We’ve Been Reading . . .

Into the Void With Ace Frehley by Wendy Moore (Pitbull Publishing). This trashy Kiss-and-tell-all has been out for a year, but it just showed up in my mailbox last week, and was devoured within two hours. Packed with incredibly embarrassing gossip about Kiss’ spaceman axman and his unique sexual and chemical tastes, the book goes down easy but leaves one feeling sick at heart, slightly tainted. Reads like a raunchier, more twisted granddaughter to Pamela Des Barres’ I’m With the Band— which has just been reprinted, by the way. Most outrageous allegation: Frehley’s never heard of T. Rex. (Kate Sullivan)... Big Star: The Short Life, Painful Death and Unexpected Resurrection of the Kings of Power Pop by Rob Jovanovic (Chicago Review Press). Significant insights into the ’70s band that banged out some of the spookiest pop ever: Chris Bell was a gay Christian; Alex Chilton liked to party. Okay? And no exclusive interview with Chilton. So how good can this book be? Well, since the subject’s this interesting, not good but not wretched... The Rough Guide to Heavy Metal by Essi Berelian. A rather stylishly written minipedia if you want a soft-edged, Brit-slanted skim of the major acts (no Mastodon, Hammerfall, Coroner, Cattle Decapitation), and you think Foreigner, the Ramones and the Chili Peppers are metal... Dream a Little Dream of Me: The Life of Cass Elliot by Eddi Fiegel (Chicago Review Press). She didn’t choke on a ham sandwich. Did I ruin it for ya? Clumsy writing — this supremely talented Mama deserved better.