Die ou met die snor by die bar reads like a drunken conversation at a dive bar, the kind that is interesting enough to stick around for long after the storyteller veered from his original story. This is Zander Tyler’s life as told by his alter ego Jack Parow (and penned by Theunis Engelbrecht).
The book is selectively personal, divulging details of his childhood and rise to fame but limiting details of his current home life to scant mentions about his supermodel girlfriend and daughter Ruby.
His hard party days however are chronicled in detail starting from his skelm (and later less skelm) drinking as a teen, travelling as far as Russia with a bottle of brannas to his current carefully managed Jägermeister and water habit.
The book is filled with previously unpublished lyrics of his songs and the events that inspired them. The rap of my favourite Jack Parow tune, Die Vraagstuk, was written in 2 hours in front of the Ferrari garage near Assembly in the light of a street lamp.
The mothers who send him passive aggressive hate mail will find it quite hard to believe what a “nice boy” Zander really is. He has better manners than their children he “corrupted” because his momma raised him right and he is not afraid to praise her and his father every chance he gets.
That said, this is not the book to give your 11 years old cousin for Christmas. It will give him too many ideas and his Afrikaans teacher a few grey strands. Only those with a platinum album under the belt can get away with the ‘write as you speak’ style of writing.
The above mentioned style does lose some of its punch without that punchy inflection or facial expressions. Even with the random doodles and happy snaps with witty captions, a book is far too 2D to capture the complete Zef phenomenon that is Jack Parow.
With its bright blue cover that looks more like a graphic novel, Die ou met die snor by die bar a sweet guilty pleasure read. I got quite a kick seeing it next to the unauthorised Nancy Reagan biography I’ve been struggling though on my nightstand. One might get a lot closer to the truth with an unauthorised biography, but a memoir has more spirit(s).
Die ou met die snot by die bar written by Theunis Engelbrecht and published by Penguin Books. The recommended retail price is R200 and is also available in ebook format.