Picks and Pans Review: Baby Plays Around

updated 02/16/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/16/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

By Helene Stapinski
MEMOIR

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The drummer is the muscle of a rock and roll band. And when Stephonic's beat keeper was mean mistreated, first by her no-good cheating husband, then by her two-timing bandmates, her reaction was as fierce as a John Bonham drum solo. A former PEOPLE contributor, journalist Stapinski chronicles the joy, heartbreak and recrimination of her parallel lives as a newlywed and drummer for a struggling rock band. Whether writing about the slow transformation of posthoneymoon bliss to the under-the-same-roof estrangement that plagues many marrieds or the first-datelike jitters and commitment phobia of bandmates, Stapinski keeps the pace brisk. "We were coasting on that wave, lost inside that zone, that Tilt-a-Whirl spin, three of us all together," she writes of her band. While only one of her cherished relationships survives, her matrimonial and music mates learn that a drummer's heart is not to be trifled with.

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