Laid Bare: A Memoir of Wrecked Lives and the Hollywood Death Trip

John Gilmore


A powerful chronicler of the American Nightmare through his gripping examinations of near-mythic Southern California murders (the Black Dahlia, Tate-La Bianca), John Gilmore now draws upon his personal experiences to turn his sights on our morbid obsession with Celebrity and the ruinous price it extracts from those who would pursue it. With caustic clarity and 20/20 hindsight, Gilmore unstintingly recounts his relationships with the likes of Janis Joplin, Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper, Jane Fonda, Jean Seberg and Lenny Bruce on the way up and at the peaks of their notoriety. In baring his role in James Dean's attempts to push the bounds of sexual experimentation, Gilmore explores the actor's legendary fascination with speed and death. With hip, vivid prose, Gilmore describes his illuminating and often haunting first-hand encounters with Hank Williams, Ed Wood, Jr., Briggite Bardot, Sal Mineo, Eartha Kitt, Charles Manson, Jayne Mansfield, Vampira, Steve McQueen and many other denizens of the 20th century's dubious Pantheon.

trade paperback, 250 pages, illustrated
ISBN-10: 1-878923-08-0
ISBN-13: 978-1-878923-08-0


"John Gilmore is an amazing writer, and Laid Bare is his most astonishing work." — Gary Indiana

"In this exquisite contemporary classic of American confessional literature . . . we are catapulted through an imploded catalog of carnality, of unremitting exploitation, relentless mutual abuse and omniverous futility. . . . A graphic vision of Hollywood — a dark, new existentialism full of grossly compelling characters . . . Magnificently necessary!" — Genesis P-Orridge

"Reads like a first-person Hollywood Babylon" — V. Vale, RE/Search Publications

About John Gilmore

Described by the Sydney Morning Herald as "the quintessential L.A. noir writer," John Gilmore has been acclaimed internationally for his hard-boiled true crime books, his Hollywood memoirs and his biting, literary fiction. He is considered one of today's most controversial American authors, with a following that spans the globe from Tokyo, Paris and London, to his native Hollywood where he was friends with the likes of Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. He traveled the road to fame in many guises before turning to literature: kid magician, painter, poet, actor in films, TV, and the New York stage, then screen-writer, B-movie director and a "bang 'em out alive," nine-day pulp novelist.