During the time of quarantines and social distancing, we do like to recommend good reads that can educate our follower base about addiction. One such example is the newly released memoir Hollywood Park by musician Mikel Jollett. It is a deeply personal account of his battles with alcohol and drugs; which recently received some coverage from NPR.
Jollett previously fronted the band Airborne Toxic Event and is very open about the substance abuse battles that have plagued his life. The history can be traced to his upbringing, with parents that struggled with dependencies. As NPR explained, Jollett’s accounts illustrate how addiction in the home can wreak serious havoc on young children.
One other word used to describe Jollett’s memoir is “compassion.” Through his lens, there is no anger towards his parents. He ultimately comes full circle; understanding that their addictions had complete control and these bad habits were truly a disease.
Jollett saw alcoholism cause the separation of his mother and father. From there, a stepfather figure comes in who also is battling substance abuse. The cycle then continues throughout Mikel’s adolescent and teen years; eventually leading him to use.
When speaking about his biological father, Jollett shares difficult many gambling stories. As a child, his time with his dad was spent at horse racing tracks. Money was tight and made even tighter over lost wages and bad bets. In fact, the title Hollywood Park is in reference to the famed casino he grew up near, just outside of Los Angeles.
Mikel’s memoir then takes him into adulthood and some notable success as a musician. As he described to NPR, lyrics were an early way for him to pour out his emotions and many did center around addiction. He found (and continues to find) guitar playing as a meaningful outlet throughout his sobriety.
Several portions of the Hollywood Park book are broken out into song lyrics. A meaningful snippet called out by NPR highlights Jollett’s current view on the world and how surviving the pain of addiction helped shape him.
“The longing, the fear, the heartache and dread, the ability to see these broken pieces of yourself like cracks in an armor through which you are better able to see the world,” Jollett writes. “Too broken to be normal, just broken enough to see beauty.”
We certainly recommend spending some time with this powerful read. Hollywood Park is currently available on Amazon and many other online book shops.