You are here

Do What You Want: The Story of Bad Religion (Hardcover)

Staff Pick Badge
Do What You Want: The Story of Bad Religion Cover Image
On Our Shelves Now
6 on hand, as of Sep 26 1:30am
(Biography and Memoir)

Staff Reviews

Since forming 40 years ago, Bad Religion has seen the rise and fall ...and rise... and fall... of punk music. In this authorized biography, author Jim Ruland tells the story of California's greatest and most enduring punk outfit. With full access to the band (excepting former guitarist Greg Hetson) this reads more like an oral history then a straight biography, and comes out better for it. Just try to resist putting on one of the bands 20+ albums while tearing through this book. Yeah hey!

— Josh


From their beginnings as teenagers experimenting in a San Fernando Valley garage dubbed "The Hell Hole" to headlining major music festivals around the world, Do What You Wanttells the whole story of Bad Religion's 40-year career in irreverent style.

Do What You Want: The Story of Bad Religion reveals the ups and downs of the band's forty-year career. From their beginnings as teenagers jamming in a San Fernando Valley garage dubbed "The Hell Hole" to headlining major music festivals around the world, Do What You Want tells the whole story in irreverent style.

While Do What You Want tracks down nearly all of Bad Religion's members past and present, the chief storytellers are the four voices that define Bad Religion: Greg Graffin, a Wisconsin kid who sang in the choir and became an L.A. punk rock icon while he was still a teenager; Brett Gurewitz, a high school dropout who founded the independent punk label Epitaph Records and went on to become a record mogul; Jay Bentley, a surfer and skater who gained recognition as much for his bass skills as for his onstage antics; and Brian Baker, a founding member of Minor Threat who joined the band in 1994 and brings a fresh perspective as an intimate outsider.

With a unique blend of melodic hardcore and thought-provoking lyrics, Bad Religion paved the way for the punk rock explosion of the 1990s, opening the door for bands like NOFX, The Offspring, Rancid, Green Day, and Blink-182 to reach wider audiences. They showed the world what punk could be, and they continue to spread their message one song, one show, one tour at a time -- with no signs of stopping.

About the Author

Bad Religion formed in Los Angeles in 1980, and ranks among the most influential American punk rock bands of all time. They have released 17 albums that have sold over five million copies, and they continue to sell out venues all over the world.

Jim Ruland has been writing for punk rock zines like Flipside since the early '90s and has written for every issue of Razorcake, America's only non-profit independent music fanzine. He is the co-author of My Damage with Keith Morris, the founding vocalist of Black Flag, Circle Jerks, and OFF!

Praise For…

"Ruland serves up a heady, revelatory collaboration with the enduring
punk band Bad Religion... his testament to the value of hard work and independent thinking offers
a thrilling alternative to the conventional rise-and-fall rock narrative."—Publishers Weekly, "Summer Reads Staff Pick"

"[A] fascinating story... the band has overcome a lot of challenges over the years,
and this sufficient narrative documents every one of them."—Kirkus

"[DO WHAT YOU WANT is] the book treatment their legendary career deserves."—Entertainment Weekly

"A breezy and enjoyable oral history of being in one of the most
respected and enduring punk acts in American history."—A.V. Club

Product Details
ISBN: 9780306922220
ISBN-10: 0306922223
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication Date: August 18th, 2020
Pages: 336