Classic Rock's Guide to the very best in Rock'n'Roll Cookbooks
From Sammy Hagar to Ted Nugent, rock's great and good have proved themselves to be dab hands in the kitchen. Here's our guide to the best rock'n'roll cookbooks
Rock'n'roll and food have always had a special relationship. Whether it's Mama Cass's apocryphal ham sandwich, Elvis's calorie-accumulating peanut butter, banana and bacon monster, or Van Halen's infamous brown Smartie trick, one thing's for certain: if you're eating in a different town every month, food begins to matter. It's why Iron Maiden's Dave Murray has baked beans shipped on him on tour, why Sammy Hagar has become rock's leading tequila aficionado, and why so many musicians are happy to donate recipes to a cookbook... or even write their own.
Here are a baker's dozen off the very best.
Recipes From The Road - Smash Mouth
The Onion's AV Club suggested the book (written by the band in collaboration with Sammy Hagar) might be the perfect gift for "distant uncles, obnoxious co-workers, or that brother-in-law who you’re pretty sure likes barbecuing," while UpRoxx describes it as suffering from an "excess of colons" (we've no idea if the pun was intended). Either way, it appears to be the the antithesis of Sheryl Crow's healthy option, and one Amazon reviewer describes it as "a portal to a hellish painscape that drew me in, scraped out my eyes, packed the cavities with jalapeños and then drowned me in The Lake of Donkey Sauce." Probably best avoided.
Are We Having Any Fun Yet?: The Cooking & Partying Handbook - Sammy Hagar
Keen for another slice of the culinary cake, Sammy Hagar published this lively volume last year to muted critical acclaim. As a restauranteur Hagar knows a thing or two about entertaining, and although the book often reads like an extended advertisement for the Red Rocker's Cabo Wabo tequila brand, recipes such as Sammy’s Asada, Sammy’s Risotto, Sammy’s Rockin’ Picasso, Sammy’s Maui Rocker and Sammy’s Rockin’ Daiquiri will enhance any party. Have you spotted a theme yet?
The Seitanic Spellbook - Brian Manowitz and Jenny Ashford
Brian, more popularly known as The Vegan Black Metal Chef to his legions of YouTube followers, has unleashed this volume from the very bowels of the earth, quite possibly. And that title? "Seitan is a wheat protein," he intones. "So it’s a way of making vegan meat that is really good, but it’s also a play on the word “satanic.”
Lost In The Supermarket: An Indie Rock Cookbook - Kay Bozich Owens And Lynn Owens
The follow-up to the widely ignored Please Feed Me (a vegan cookbook aimed at the Irish hardcore punk demographic), Lost In The Supermarket attempts to reach a broader audience and succeeds, thanks largely to a recipe for Lancashire Hot Pot provided by the gender-straddling Psychic TV frontman Genesis P. Orridge, and an excellent Rhubarb Crumble from Fugazi guitarist Guy Picciotto.
A Musical Feast - Wendy Diamond
Released to raise money to combat homelessness, a Musical Feast features plenty of underwhelming recipes from all sorts of ludicrous pop stars, but there are some free-range highlights amongst all the factory-farmed fare. Candied Yams a la Warren Haynes does a terrific job of pushing sweet-toothed diners towards diabetes, B.B. King contributes a recipe for "my favourite German chocolate cake", while Keith Richards' Shepherd's Pie is an altogether more homely alternative, perfect for eating whenever the hell you like. "The one food I can eat 365 days a year," confirms Keith.
If It Makes You Healthy - Sheryl Crow
Known as much for her youthful looks and natural chic as she is for her sunny and heartfelt songs (Sheryl's publisher tells us), Crow wrote this book with her personal chef, Chuck White, after becoming interested in nutrition in the wake of her cancer diagnosis. Recipes such as Warm Hummus Soup, Barley and Vegetable Risotto and Vegan Chocolate-Mint Brownies might not get the tastebuds trembling with anticipation, but Miso-marinated Sea Bass served with an Orange Ponzu Sauce is quite the adventure.
Bake in Black - Eve O'Sullivan & Dave O'Sullivan
While many of the dishes in this rock-themed cake manual are both fattening and delicious, it's the frightfully laboured puns providing the recipes' names that truly make the book stand out amongst the competition. Piamese Dream, anyone? Lemmy's Meringue Pie? I Was Mint For Loving You? Sweet Tooth o' Mine? You get the picture.
Love Music Love Food - Patrice De Villiers
A lavishly presented, lovingly produced coffee table tome featuring all sorts of musicians photographed with their their favourite foods, Love Music Love Food contains a forward written by crazed food boffin Heston Blumenthal. If that isn't enough to ensure your support (sales will benefit the Roger Daltrey-endorsed Teenage Cancer Trust) it also features pictures of Francis Rossi cradling a tray of Kaibasbira Ceviche with Wakame, Cucumber & Ume Boshi Dressing, Rob Zombie about to dismember a pumpkin with a chainsaw, and Brian May surrounded by several orbiting grapefruit. "I've loved grapefruit since I was a kid," explains Brian. "And I'll often have one for breakfast."
Food That Rocks: Favourite Recipes from the World of Music - by Margie Lapanja & Cindy Coverdale
‘Ere’s a cookbook for ya. Co-authored by Cindy Coverdale (wife of David), Food That Rocks is cleverly divided into music related chapters: Opening Act, Special Guests, Headliner, Encore and Jam Session (geddit?), and features contributions from the likes of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Brian May (see above) and Ted Nugent (see below).
Cindy, whose instructional pole dancing videos can be found on YouTube, is also the author of Sell Your Home with Feng Shui: A Complete Guide to Staging Homes for Quick Sale in Any Market.
Ted & Shemane Nugent - Kill It and Grill It
"How better to give honour to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," asks Ted Nugent, "than to party hardy with delicious meat, lovingly carved from the skeletons of protein-rich animals in their ultimate afterlife habitat of steel and charcoal?"
There's probably no finer summary of bloodthirsty Uncle Ted's approach to life than this lively opus, which not only features photos of Nugent and his family surrounded by the slain carcasses of their furry foe, but recipes for Sweet 'n' Sour Antelope, Squirrel Casserole, and Wild Turkey Lettuce Wraps. The book also includes favourable notices from George W. Bush and Tom Ridge, the former United States Secretary of Homeland Security.
Mosh Potatoes – Steve Seabury
Unsure where to start? Lemmy's recipe for "Krakatoa Surprise" on page 149 is worth the price of admission all by itself. It's not for the faint of heart (or weak of stomach), and features amongst its ingredients half a pound of curry powder, one bottle of strawberry syrup, and a quarter bottle of brandy. Elsewhere, Dizzy Reid's Californian take on Eggs Benedict loses marks for failing to include hollandaise sauce, but redemption is at hand, provided by a charming snap of Megadeth's Dave Ellefson in full-kit chef regalia.
Rock 'n' Roll Cuisine - Robin Le Mesurier & Peggy Sue Honeymoon Scott
This frankly monstrous collection was compiled by the son of Carry On star Hattie Jacques and Dad's Army legend John Le Mesurier, a man who otherwise plies his trade playing guitar for Rod Stewart and the French Elvis, Johnny Halliday.
Amongst its 96 calorie-packed pages you'll Eric Clapton's pea soup, a very nice scallop dish courtesy of former AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson ("if you don't like seafood, try a bacon sandwich", advises Beano), Paul Stanley's Caesar salad, Dave Murray's Beans on Toast, and (at last!) Meat Loaf's Meat Loaf (recipe produced below).
The most frightening dish is probably Ozzy Osbourne's boiled chicken curry, which demands four large apples, a tin of peaches, a "jar of curry" and "a vegetable". It's probably wise to stock up on Immodium before proceeding.
Bonus fact: Co-author Peggy Sue Honeymoon Scott (widow of Pretenders guitarist James Honeymoon Scott) is now a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner in Santa Monica.
Hellbent for Cooking – Annick Giroux
By night, Annick Giroux is vocalist in Canadian doom metal band Cauchemar, so it makes complete sense that by day she'd collect recipes by various hard-rockin' luminaries. Contributors include Bastardator, Necromatia, Denial Of God, Holocausto, Lamp Of Thoth and, uhm, Thin Lizzy. “We’re just like normal people — we’ve got to eat,” says Giroux. “We need energy to go to concerts and headbang and stay up late.”
Bonus Recipe: Meat Loaf's Meat Loaf
1 beaten egg
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 tablespoons soft butter
1 cup breadcrumbs
3 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons basil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground veal
6 cups mashed potato
- Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C
- Combine all the ingredients and shape into a loaf on a flat greased pan
- Bake in the oven for one hour 15 minutes. Baste now and then with beef broth
- Remove from oven, frost with the mashed potato, then return to oven to brown the peaks of the potatoes
- Serve with a lovely large leaf green salad with tomatoes
"It's wonderful served cold for a picnic," says Meat. "Rock On!"