You can’t claim Roger Miret, one of the New York’s hardcore scenes founding fathers, held anything back in his new memoir, “My Riot: Agnostic Front, Grit, Guts & Glory.”
The book is surprisingly frank, detailing his horrifically abusive childhood at the hand of his father, then step-father; his confessions of being a crook, robbing drug dealers (not so bad) and innocent people, (bad, but he is at least repentant, especially over one incident where he ended up dragging one women while trying to steal her purse). He is also upfront about his drug addictions, that started at an early age and his transition into dealing.
Born in Cuba, Miret and his family moved to the New York/New Jersey area when he was four and he stayed behind when his parents and siblings relocated to Florida when Miret was still a teen. He survived by squatting in old buildings, working occasionally at a hardware store and eventually by stealing and then dealing drugs. Like all great punk stories, he had no idea how to play an instrument when he took up the bass and then moved to vocals. His early groups eventually morphed into Agnostic Front, a seminal hardcore band that started in 1980, went on hiatus in the ‘90s when Miret was in jail for dealing, and then started back up again in 1997. The band is still putting out albums and touring today.
Like his music, Miret’s memoir is uncompromising and polarizing. Unlike many rock bios, Miret doesn’t sugarcoat his past and while he does lay out his brutal childhood and the poverty he was thrust into, he doesn’t use “My Riot: Agnostic Front, Grit, Guts & Glory” to make excuses. A compelling book even if you don’t know the difference between Agnostic Front and Anti-Flag.