Roxana Shirazi is the ultimate rock band groupie, but she’s the first and quickest to tell you: she’s not a groupie, she’s a slut.
In her first (published) novel, “The Last Living Slut,” Shirazi chronicles her war-torn childhood in Tehran Iran, her necessary emigration to Great Britain from Revolutionary Iran, and her subsequent descent (ascent?) into the leather-clad, smoke-filled, sex-slicked world of rock and roll.
It’s a trip not taken by many, not least because of the watchful eye of Iran’s dignity police, and it’s been a difficult road for her. Shirazi told me that she’s received multiple communiqués from concerned Islamic people, warning her to be careful and to expect the worst. She’s scared, but when asked if she’ll return, her response is characteristically brazen:
“I’m scared to go to go back to Iran, but I want to because I love it, and that’s where my family is. I really want to write about the underground sex parties there. There’s a lot that goes on there that people don’t talk about, I think I’d like that to be my next book.”
This book, on the other hand, is an unapologetic, all-access pass into her life (with a handful of names changed), and it’s something you couldn’t make up. In its introduction, Neil Strauss says it, “makes Pamela Des Barres’ ‘I’m with the Band’ read like a nun’s diary.”
He’s not far off. But the reason it’s gripping is
nothing not fully to do with vaginal contractions.
After being rejected by several publishing houses that were too afraid to publish the material for fear of fatwa, Shirazi ran into Strauss in Los Angeles, told him her story, and persuaded him to put her truth in a binding. And it’s a good thing he did. Because, unlike the Strauss-authored “The Dirt,” “The Last Living Slut” is not just a laundry list of decadence. I mean, decadence is listed. But it is much more about the people involved, their emotions, Shirazi’s love and lust (as opposed to just lust), and how she struggled through her experience-packed years as a woman and a self-described slut.
Shirazi doesn’t just talk the talk, though. She is a proficient and infamous ejaculator, and when asked how female friends of Made Man can best execute this elusive sexual skill, she offered the following:
“Well, not every girl can squirt. I can. But not everybody can. I’d say the first thing she should do is to squirt by herself. Tell her to use her vibrator or whatever she uses. And then, she should…huh…” (at this point, Shirazi attempted to adjust her dress so as not to flash me) “You’ve got to put your legs up…not all the way above your head but…here,” (at this point, Shirazi laid on her back on the ground in my office with her thighs 90 degrees from her spine, and her knees bent 90 degrees as if sitting in a chair) “You’ve got to put your legs in sort of an L-shape like this. What do you call that? I don’t know, anyway, have your legs like that and she’ll have a much better chance at squirting.”
This woman has her M.A. from Bath Spa in England, and she’s slept with members of Gun ‘n Roses, Velvet Revolver, and Buckcherry. She’s a busy bee.
On a less-positive note, music lovers will be disappointed to know there is very little written in the book about the music itself. Shirazi defends (probably rightly, I hate to admit) that, “80s hair metal isn’t my favorite genre of music – I think if I’d been writing about the music it would’ve all just sounded the same. It’s all about banging chicks and doing drugs, and that’s not substantive.”
Fair enough. What does she listen to? “The Doors, Leonard Cohen, John Lennon, Frank Sinatra, Mozart and Celine fucking Dion when I am cooking or cleaning my flat.”
Hers is obviously a complex story. By the end of the book, you feel like you’ve been on tour. You’re tired, your empathic, you feel like you can’t do, read, snort, screw or drink anything else…but you want to. It’s out now, and you can buy it from Amazon here.
B.J. Fleming is a writer living in Venice, CA in a beach barn. He owns swords(5) and a scooter, though he rarely uses them at the same time