Confessions of Punk Rock's Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout
By Laura Jane Grace
From the provocative transgender advocate and lead singer of the punk rock band Against Me!, a "riveting" (PW, starred review), "savagely candid transgender memoir" (Esquire) - named to Billboard's 100 Greatest Music Books of All Time list - exploring her search for identity and her true self.
ONE OF BILLBOARD'S "100 GREATEST MUSIC BOOKS OF ALL TIME"
The provocative transgender advocate and lead singer of the punk rock band Against Me! provides a searing account of her search for identity and her true self.
It began in a bedroom in Naples, Florida, when a misbehaving punk teenager named Tom Gabel, armed with nothing but an acoustic guitar and a headful of anarchist politics, landed on a riff. Gabel formed Against Me! and rocketed the band from its scrappy beginnings-banging on a drum kit made of pickle buckets-to a major-label powerhouse that critics have called this generation's The Clash. Since its inception in 1997, Against Me! has been one of punk's most influential modern bands, but also one of its most divisive. With every notch the four-piece climbed in their career, they gained new fans while infuriating their old ones. They suffered legal woes, a revolving door of drummers, and a horde of angry, militant punks who called them "sellouts" and tried to sabotage their shows at every turn.
But underneath the public turmoil, something much greater occupied Gabel-a secret kept for 30 years, only acknowledged in the scrawled-out pages of personal journals and hidden in lyrics. Through a troubled childhood, delinquency, and struggles with drugs, Gabel was on a punishing search for identity. Not until May of 2012 did a Rolling Stone profile finally reveal it: Gabel is a transsexual, and would from then on be living as a woman under the name Laura Jane Grace.
Tranny is the intimate story of Against Me!'s enigmatic founder, weaving the narrative of the band's history, as well as Grace's, with dozens of never-before-seen entries from the piles of journals Grace kept. More than a typical music memoir about sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll-although it certainly has plenty of that-Tranny is an inside look at one of the most remarkable stories in the history of rock.
Laura Jane Grace is a transgender musician best known as the founder, lead singer, songwriter and guitarist of the punk rock band Against Me!. Since coming out as transgender in a 2012 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, she has become an outspoken advocate for transgender awareness. She has a daughter and lives in Chicago.
Dan Ozzi is a New York-based writer and has served as the editor of VICE's music site, Noisey
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- Publication date:
31 Aug 2017
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Laura Jane Grace shows great bravery diving into every detail of a story seldom told, with the advantage of having kept journals documenting everything she went through, from childhood to the beginnings of her band. Capturing the pain and struggle, self-doubt and lack of support she experienced, Grace provides a valuable starting point for a conversation to broaden the understanding of, and empathy for, trans people. — Joan Jett, Billboard's 100 Greatest Music Books of All Time
An ambassador for the gender revolution currently sweeping through public restroom policy and National Geographic covers [and] a potent tool for empathy that hasn't quite existed in pop culture....Grace and co-writer Dan Ozzi spin green room drama and rock star recklessness into a gem of a rock bio that belongs on a shelf alongside Hammer of the Gods and Get in the Van. — Paste Magazine, Best Nonfiction Books of 2016
A full-length tell-all about Grace's lifelong journey to discovering, accepting, and at last publicly acknowledging her true identity....[told] with daring candor...the memoir establishes her as at once a transgender icon and a modern day heroine. — Harper's Bazaar, Best Books of November
A savagely candid transgender memoir, and thus far, the only quintessential text regarding Against Me!--one of the most significant punk bands of the aughts and onward. Without a smidgen of sarcasm, I would highly recommend the book to your grandmother, even if she is afraid of transpeople and can't name three Clash songs. — Esquire