At age 15, Rob Lowe found himself as one of the first teen idols at a time when actors under the age of 20 were not a big deal. Young and naive Rob learned the hard way about life as a star and struggled through many movies in his early career days such as starting with a couple after school specials, then onto The Outsiders, Class, ST Elmo’s Fire, Young Blood, Masquerade, About Last Night, Wayne’s World, Tommy Boy, The West Wing, and Brothers and Sisters just to name a few.
Rob’s story is multi layered as he opens up Pandora’s box and shares the excitement of the first big break, to the pain of poor choices, bad publicity, and then finally… finding himself among the wreckage and pulling himself out.
I came into knowing Rob in the mid 80’s. I would say if you were to ask me what he is known for I would immediately gush out something like “St. Elmo’s Fire!” (I don’t think I have ever even seen The Outsiders.) Basically, no, I was not a groupie. 😀
When this book came out I confess mild interest… I had heard through the years of his struggles with alcohol, but nothing that made me run out and grab the book. Then when I seen the audio was narrated by Rob, I was a little more interested, and finally went ahead and picked it up.
Here is what I expected from this audio:
Tales of a child star, movies and tv show connections, crashing and burning at an early age, how he pulled himself together, and a little info about his current life.
I did not expect:
Connections to powerful people at a very young age, long before he made a name for himself, painful revelations into his early acting career, behind the scenes play by plays to such movies as The Outsiders where most of Rob’s parts never make it to the screen, a loss of many friends to drugs at a young age, an incredibly life shattering experience and connection tot he events of 9-11, and a couple times where I just openly wept as I listened.
Never sounding braggy, or conceited, in a very calm and amazing narration, Rob Lowe shares the stories of his career. The early days of hanging out with the likes of Shawn and Chris Penn, Charlie Sheen and Emelio Estevez, this was his original brat pack.
His early childhood was one of hardships, parents were divorced by age 5, and his mom struggled with mental health issues…yet Rob finds himself in amazing situations! Once while doing a little theater he encounters a heart to heart talk with Liza Minneli and another time has a conversation with Tally Savalis.
While this may all sound like yeah, yeah, yeah…. stuff, when Rob gets into talking about the auditions surrounding the well known movie The Outsiders, you really feel for him. In great detail you hear about the painstaking readings of any part at random. How he struggled and eventually succeeded to get the part of Pony Boy, only to be shocked when he is not invited to a big pre screening and again when the movie is finally on the big screen and much of what he has done is cut out.
And Rob talks about death. It seemed to be all around him even at a young age. He names friends who overdosed, others – suicide. As Robb listed name after name I was amazed, and this follows him all the way through his life. At one point he talks about shooting for the cover of George Magazine, the magazine ran by his friend John Kennedy, after Rob had completed the shoot, John, his wife, and sister-in-law were on their way to connect with Rob when their plane went down… the rest… is history.
And story after story is like this. Through his struggles with addiction and eventually rehab, to scandals that cost him much, Rob is never finger-pointing, never accusatory. Instead, he is … humble. He is quick to accept his blame.
At times I laughed, Rob does a funny impression on Chris Farley (shoot, he does many great voices!) eating pieces of steak with butter on it, and at times I cried, when once again Rob shares the loss of yet another actor.
I can’t tell you how much this audio this moved me. I had no big crush on Rob as a teenager, if anything… I found him a little too pretty. I listened to this audio, myself being an outsider, I looked in to a soul that made me look around the room and wonder why I had not gathered friends to listen to this with me. This is an audio I want to share. It may very well be the best audio memoir I have listened to this year.
If you were a fan – or not, I HIGHLY recommend you treat yourself to this audio. Days after finishing it, I am still moved.
I picked this up from audible.com
19 thoughts on “Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe (Two Thumbs Up!)”
I want to read this one…you know I’m not a fan of audio! lol
It sounds like the kind of story I would enjoy.
I think this one will read well too Laurel – even I think I will need to own the book 🙂 There are some parts I want to read over.
I’ve been really torn on whether to listen to this one or not but I think you have me convinced. I really like Rob Lowe but don’t know much about him. Glad to hear it’s one that stuck with you!
Trish I was so impressed with it. I hope you do read it 🙂
I wasn’t a groupie but I always enjoyed looking at Rob Lowe, so I’ll have to look for this one.
Oh yes Kathy – I think you would enjoy his stories!
I loved this book and I didn’t do the audio. I found it refreshing and while he didn’t go extremely deep into somethings, I found the honesty refreshing. I’ve always been a big fan of Rob’s steming from The Outsiders (you must watch) to currently on Park and Recreations.
I can’t wait to see what he does next.
I did too Julie – when he narrates, he sounds very humble.
I wish I had listened to this one instead of reading it, in reading it he did sound a little whiny when he got passed over or things didn’t work out. It would be interesting to see the Outsiders with all the scenes of him as Soda Pop put back in. I loved the book in middle school and watched the movie more than once. Glad you enjoyed it!
Thanks Jill- if you come across it on audio I would recommend it 🙂
I should probably read it since he played Soda Pop, and you know, we have so much in common me being a softdrink. 😀
But honestly, I just can’t get excited about it.
LOL – I thought about that when Kathy asked you about Soda Pop on your questions post! 😛
I have got to find a copy of this audio – hopefully at my library! I’ve often thought his face is too pretty too, but I loved his role on West Wing. I don’t know a lot about his background either, so I’m sure I’d encounter some surprises.
Alyce a fantastic listen! I hope you find it!
I read this book over the summer and loved it. I was amazed by the series of uncanny coincidences he’s seemed to experience in his life. Fascinating. I picked it up at audible to listen to it again.
It really is isnt it Joy – it almost seams like death surrounds him…
I was looking forward to this audio before and your review has me even more excited! I like him, but don’t consider myself a huge fan, but know that his life has been one that I would find interesting.
Stacy, truly this is an audio that really impressed me – one of the best of the year for sure 😉