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One Way or Another (Nikki McWatters, Black Inc.)

In her Gold Coast home in 1981, with the aid of a stuffed rabbit named Andy Gibb and numerous Countdown viewings, 15-year-old Nikki McWatters connects her ever-consuming lust with rock stars. ‘Rock and roll was the only sensible sex education I had,’ she says. With her three aspiring groupie friends dubbed the Vulture Club she sets out to bed rock gods, sneaking out of her bedroom window at night while her parents sleep, and working her way backstage. This memoir is a who’s who of Australian ’80s bands with some big international names thrown in, full of backstage antics and teased hair, unflinching yet discreet enough to protect the identities of her conquests. Just. We follow McWatters to Sydney, and deeper into a world of sex, drugs and rock‘n’roll, right up to the birth of her first child on her 21st birthday. McWatters renders her story with skill, sensitivity, wit and honesty, and writes from a place of hindsight and maturity, adeptly lifting her telling above the mere salacious and sensational. Her story of groupiedom is not without its consequences and is a fascinating look into some of rock’s seedier aspects. This will appeal to those who love rock‘n’roll tales, fans of the ’80s, and anyone with an interest in Australia’s
music history.

Deborah Crabtree is a Melbourne-based writer and bookseller



Category: Reviews