'Rock N' Roll Cuisine': Cher's macaroni salad to Yoko Ono's 'Dream Soup', 1988 book lists some whimsical recipes
With ingredients like sunshine, dreams, hope, and laughter, and recipes that are 'boyfriend approved', the book offers a whimsical bit of history that has faded into obscurity, but remains oddly enchanting and relevant
The world of rock and roll has always been a bit weird. Of course, for the most part, that stemmed from the steady stream of sex and drugs that often accompanied the glamorous and violent lifestyles most rockers indulged in. But sometimes, we find a rare gem emerges from this world that just makes it all the more enigmatic, confusing, and downright amusing. And the 'Rock N' Roll Cuisine' cookbook, published on this day in 1988, is all of those things and more.
The 'Rock N' Roll Cuisine' cookbook was compiled by Robin Le Mesurier and Peggy Sue Honeyman-Scott. Mesurier, a British guitarist, was largely known for his long collaboration with Rod Stewart and Johnny Hallyday, but he'd also earned plenty of acclaim for his musical performances, including a sting with the band The Wombles. Honeyman-Scott was the wife of James Honeyman-Scott, a founding member of The Pretenders. The book was published by Watson-Guptill, an American publisher known for its variety of instructional books in the arts. Containing 95 recipes from various musicians, this was not your average cookbook, and one might have found the procuring of the required ingredients for these recipes a little difficult.
For all its idiosyncrasies, one thing this book did answer was what exactly the top rockstars of the day consumed to fuel their wild lifestyles. For instance, Cher had a healthy serving of 'Boyfriend Approved Macaroni Salad', Mick Jagger enjoyed a remarkably tame version of a shrimp curry, and Weird Al Yankovic somehow ended up with the most regular dish: a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But the rest of the cookbook includes a host of some of the strangest things rock and roll has offered us. Yoko Ono's contribution is easily a standout. Titled 'Dream Soup' or 'Sunshine in a Bowl', the recipe of which indicates you are to "Put a lot of sunshine in a large bowl. Mix it with your dream of your future. Spice it with a pinch of hope and laughter." Another fan-favorite is Rod Stewart's hangover sandwich which is meant for those "who have not the nerve nor the know-how to venture forth therein after a very hectic Saturday night."
Jokes aside, this book overall carried a vibe not unlike the 'Chicken Soup for the Soul' book series. It blends actual recipes with sections dedicated to self-help straight from the mouths of people who have seen some of the best and worst like had to offer. After all, hearing Ono, who suffered a series of losses and was relegated to the role of being John Lennon's mistress despite being one of the most important figures in the history of modern art and music, deliver such a simple recipe for joy somehow makes it land better than if you were to receive the same message elsewhere. Not to mention her recipe is wonderfully apt considering she is often attributed as having originated the quote, "A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality." And could there possibly be a better hangover remedy than one coming directly from an act like Stewart? But in addition to its wisdom, this book is full of charm and wit. Other recipes include Meat Loaf's meatloaf and contributions from the likes of Debbie Harry and Stevie Nicks, among others.
Possibly the best part of the Rock N' Roll Cuisine cookbook, however, is how it offers a glimpse into a different side of rock and roll, one less dominated by stories of pain and substance abuse and more dominated by little glimpses of the joyful moments rockers shared while they enjoyed some downtime and a moment away from scrutiny. After all, the one thing that gets lost the most when we discuss the era of rock is how truly delightfully enigmatic many of its rockers actually were. And how comfortable they were with simply enjoying life. Now, who doesn't want a piece of that pie?