“The best rock ‘n’ roll biography ever written. . . . There is a novelistic intensity to this story of tragedy, triumph and love. Its portrayal of a society alien to mainstream America is riveting.” Newsday
978-0-8021-3566-7 • $16.00 • Paperback • May 1998
“Nick Tosches’s Hellfire is the finest book ever written about a rock ‘n’ roll performer—nothing else comes close. But that is hardly all it is. Sooner or later, Hellfire will be recognized as an American classic.”—Greil Marcus, from the Foreword
The dramatic and tormented life of Jerry Lee Lewis is the most fabled in rock-‘n’-roll history. Hellfire is a wild, riveting, and beautifully written biography that received universal acclaim on its original publication and remains one of the most remarkable biographies ever written.
Born in Louisiana to a family legacy of great courage and greater madness, Jerry Lee was torn throughout his life between a harsh Pentecostal God and the Devil of alcohol, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. He began performing publicly at fourteen, and at twenty-one he recorded “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” which propelled him to stardom. Almost immediately, news of his marriage to his thirteen-year-old cousin all but destroyed his career. Over the next twenty years, Jerry Lee, ever indomitable and ever wild, would rise again as a country star, and then lose it all again to his own inner demons. Hellfire is a brilliant, audacious journey into the soul of a rock-‘n’-roll legend, and into the soul of rock ‘n’ roll itself.