Author Topic: Band Biographies  (Read 43152 times)

Jockice

  • I really have red hair. And a **********.
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #180 on: November 30, 2020, 11:57:32 AM »
Some useful tips on Kindle use on the old thread here.

Thanks for this. I'll take a closer look later.


New page Thread On.

Fr.Bigley

  • Shall I boil this kettle dry?
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #181 on: November 30, 2020, 12:02:40 PM »
Read Scar tissue once, I suppose it's just Keidis yabbering on about himself. A hundred thousand references to his old man the celeb drug dealer, Losing his virginity at whatever ridiculous age and California. It was shite.

Jockice

  • I really have red hair. And a **********.
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #182 on: December 03, 2020, 10:20:03 AM »
So anyway, I'm my Kindle books buying splurge I purchased a one called Just For One Day: Adventures In Britpop by Louise Wener. Now I wasn't a big Sleeper fan, nor did I fancy her (my Britpop heart is forever taken by Sonya from Echobelly) but I just think she's an interesting character.

So yesterday evening I was still finding Memorial Device hard work, and thought I'd go for something a bit lighter so switched to it. It's quite good but more than once I thought: "I've heard that anecdote somewhere before.''

So I checked and it turns out that  I bought it on paperback ten years ago when it had a different title. I didn't know Amazon had records going that far back. I think I read it once, lent it to a bloke at work and never got it back. And then it totally slipped my mind.

It's okay though. Not bad, although obviously not particularly memorable. Like most of Sleeper's output. I note she still hasn't included the story of how I interviewed her in the early days and afterwards sent her a tape of My Bloody Valentine, who she'd never heard up to that point. Bloody pop stars. Forget those who made them pop stars in the first place.

Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #183 on: December 03, 2020, 09:21:49 PM »
So anyway, I'm my Kindle books buying splurge I purchased a one called Just For One Day: Adventures In Britpop by Louise Wener. Now I wasn't a big Sleeper fan, nor did I fancy her (my Britpop heart is forever taken by Sonya from Echobelly) but I just think she's an interesting character.

So yesterday evening I was still finding Memorial Device hard work, and thought I'd go for something a bit lighter so switched to it. It's quite good but more than once I thought: "I've heard that anecdote somewhere before.''

So I checked and it turns out that  I bought it on paperback ten years ago when it had a different title. I didn't know Amazon had records going that far back. I think I read it once, lent it to a bloke at work and never got it back. And then it totally slipped my mind.

It's okay though. Not bad, although obviously not particularly memorable. Like most of Sleeper's output. I note she still hasn't included the story of how I interviewed her in the early days and afterwards sent her a tape of My Bloody Valentine, who she'd never heard up to that point. Bloody pop stars. Forget those who made them pop stars in the first place.

Aye, they changed the title but didn't point out to anyone that it's the same bloody book.

Jockice

  • I really have red hair. And a **********.
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #184 on: December 03, 2020, 09:28:49 PM »
Aye, they changed the title but didn't point out to anyone that it's the same bloody book.

I'll certainly never buy another Sleeper record now. Not that I did before, apart from their second album as a present for someone. I never listened to it though.

Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #185 on: December 04, 2020, 11:11:09 AM »
I have just finished The Big Midweek and it is stark how much the booze completely ruined Mark E Smith, even earlier than I thought. At the start of the band he was a bit of a curmudgeon but he seemed to have a sharp wit and at least some ability to cope but from the early 80s onwards there seems to be a sharp decline, in wit, intellect, artistic drive, temper, sanity, everything really. He really did seem like an awful person and an awful "boss" and a lot of that could be attributed to his alcoholism

It is a great read though, with a matter-of-fact frankness that is refreshing in that sort of book. It discusses the realities of touring without sensationalism or downplaying anything. Great ending as well

Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #186 on: December 04, 2020, 11:41:43 PM »
I'm currently reading the This Is Memorial Device novel (basically cos I like the Twitter site) and although I can what it's getting at, I'm finding it a bit hard going at the moment.

One of the worst books I've ever (partially) read. Fucking hell, it was bad. Chuckling just remembering the beautiful artist who was so entranced by her work that she set fire to her hair. Fuck. So so bad. That Twitter account is little more than SPANGLESLOL too.

Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #187 on: December 04, 2020, 11:42:42 PM »
I have just finished The Big Midweek and it is stark how much the booze completely ruined Mark E Smith, even earlier than I thought. At the start of the band he was a bit of a curmudgeon but he seemed to have a sharp wit and at least some ability to cope but from the early 80s onwards there seems to be a sharp decline, in wit, intellect, artistic drive, temper, sanity, everything really. He really did seem like an awful person and an awful "boss" and a lot of that could be attributed to his alcoholism

It is a great read though, with a matter-of-fact frankness that is refreshing in that sort of book. It discusses the realities of touring without sensationalism or downplaying anything. Great ending as well

Is it worth reading if you only have a passing interest in the Fall but enjoy reading about what a cunt MES was?

Not got time to trawl the thread but has anyone read that one by the Spacemen 3 bass player?

Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #188 on: December 05, 2020, 12:49:33 AM »

Not got time to trawl the thread but has anyone read that one by the Spacemen 3 bass player?
Well-written, and he seems to be a genuinely nice bloke that loved what he was doing. I'd have liked more dirt on the doings of Pierce and Kember but, otherwise, a really good read.

Jockice

  • I really have red hair. And a **********.
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #189 on: December 05, 2020, 10:34:52 AM »
I've got it on my Kindle but haven't started reading it yet. I'm reading a real book at the moment, the Madness one I mentioned earlier. Which is actually very good so far, with all seven members (even Chas Smash, who I thought had left. It was only published last year) talking about their upbringings and how they met. I'm just up to the bit where Suggs plays his first gig with them.

Jockice

  • I really have red hair. And a **********.
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #190 on: December 05, 2020, 10:50:36 AM »
One of the worst books I've ever (partially) read. Fucking hell, it was bad. Chuckling just remembering the beautiful artist who was so entranced by her work that she set fire to her hair. Fuck. So so bad. That Twitter account is little more than SPANGLESLOL too.

To be fair to the Twitter site, it contains some Scotland-specific early 70s stuff, which takes me back a bit, and I like the lists they (or he or she or whatever does it) basically cos they chime with my own tastes. The novel is a different matter though. A friend of mine reckons it's brilliant. I'm totally failing to see it and I'm 41% in. I might try and finish it though, otherwise it'll go into the American Psycho/The Secret History/Saturday Night And Sunday Morning pile of critically acclaimed novels I've tried to read (several times) and never got beyond halfway.

magval

  • Magnum Valentino
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #191 on: December 05, 2020, 08:24:29 PM »
One of the worst books I've ever (partially) read. Fucking hell, it was bad. Chuckling just remembering the beautiful artist who was so entranced by her work that she set fire to her hair. Fuck. So so bad. That Twitter account is little more than SPANGLESLOL too.

I just want to defend Keenan's follow up novel For The Good Times which is about a couple of IRA idiots who end up running a comic book shop in Troubles Belfast. It's very funny and, in passages, unforgettable. It is as good as Memorial Device is bad. Please give it a go if you have any interest in the "stupid criminals" genre or Irish history.

Jockice

  • I really have red hair. And a **********.
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #192 on: December 05, 2020, 11:16:22 PM »
One of my other kindle purchases is a book called Trouble Songs, which is about Northern Irish music and politics. I used to vaguely know the writer a long time ago and thought he was a twat but I've decided to let bygones be bygones cos I'm interested in the subject.

Very magnanimous of me I'm sure you'll agree.

magval

  • Magnum Valentino
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #193 on: December 06, 2020, 12:16:52 AM »
Haha, I went to see him interviewed for Blindboy's podcast live and left halfway through, so I guess he still is a twat cause he was awful hard to listen to.

Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #194 on: December 07, 2020, 02:50:27 PM »
Is it worth reading if you only have a passing interest in the Fall but enjoy reading about what a cunt MES was?


Absolutely. I am not a massive fan of the band but it could be any band really. It is just a frank and honest account of life on and off the road in a reasonably successful indie band, with the added extra of tales of how much of a cunt MES was, though you end the book pitying him as much as hating him

buzby

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Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #195 on: December 08, 2020, 08:39:36 AM »
Just finished Fast Forward, the second volume of Stephen Morris' memoirs. This one largely covers the period from Gillian joining the band at the end of 1981 to Hook's unilateral decision that the band had split after the South American tour in 2007.

For the most part, it's written in the same cheery vein as the previous volume and there's plenty of tales of the perils of being an early adopter of technology, and the perils of substance abuse (it seems a lot of New Order's problems can be traced to coke, once they started becoming successful in the US around the time of Low life), but just as that took a turn for the serious near the end with Ian's troubles and  subsequent demise, this gets to about half way through until the various problems with Rob Gretton's heath, Factory, the Hacienda, the increasing dysfunction in the band, his family's health issues and eventually Hook take the book down a more serious path. Steve's dry wit does help, but some of it is not easy reading (and not in the tiresome way that Hook's New Order volume became - Steve is pretty even in his criticism of all sides, at least until Hook's decision that New Order had split up and his remarks about Gillian).

It does illustrate that no matter how 'wronged' Hook felt about his role in New Order being diminished, the Morrises probably had it worse on that score. For example, for what little live drumming there was on Republic, Stephen Hague brought in a session drummer instead of using Steve. They also both had to take pay cut on Get Ready for not being available for all the sessions due to their daughter becoming seriously ill and Steve's dad succumbing to dementia. Gillian was then effectively forced out against her will for putting the care of their daughter first and had to face teaching the person who was brought in to replace her the keyboard parts and the band continuing to record and rehearse at their house. However, rather than flouncing (they were pretty happy living off their royalties and soundtrack work) or declaring the band had split, Steve stuck with it, for better or for worse.

At over 400 pages it was probably wise to stop at 2007, and carrying on to cover the public slanging and court cases may have tipped the balance to be too much of a downer. He has said in interviews that he did carry on writing and he hints at the end of the book that this may be a future volume to cover the 'post split' era.

4/5 FV433 Abbot Self-Propelled Guns

Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #196 on: December 08, 2020, 08:49:43 AM »
I struggle to come up with a reason why, when you have Stephen Morris there, you'd think "best play safe and get a session guy in". Though it might explain why, a couple of songs aside, 'Republic' is an album I haven't returned to in well over 20 years.

If the third volume comes out posthumously, will it be called 'Stop'?

Jockice

  • I really have red hair. And a **********.
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #197 on: December 12, 2020, 04:53:01 AM »
Just finished Fast Forward, the second volume of Stephen Morris' memoirs. This one largely covers the period from Gillian joining the band at the end of 1981 to Hook's unilateral decision that the band had split after the South American tour in 2007.

Is it worth getting them both together? I bought the first for a mate when I went to see Morris give a talk on it (the night he got into my car thinking it was a taxi) but never read it before handing it over. My pal has pretty bad mental health problem and is a massive JD/NO fan, but was so unwell he wasn't able to make it to the talk, so since he'd missed it I gave it to him a couple of days later.

I could ask to borrow it back but now I have a kindle I was thinking of getting it that way. Could I do them both at once?

buzby

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Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #198 on: December 12, 2020, 08:21:48 PM »
Is it worth getting them both together? I bought the first for a mate when I went to see Morris give a talk on it (the night he got into my car thinking it was a taxi) but never read it before handing it over. My pal has pretty bad mental health problem and is a massive JD/NO fan, but was so unwell he wasn't able to make it to the talk, so since he'd missed it I gave it to him a couple of days later.

I could ask to borrow it back but now I have a kindle I was thinking of getting it that way. Could I do them both at once?
Oh aye. They were written as one manuscript anyway and split into two volumes for publication. Fast Forward starts at the exact point Record Play Pause ends, so if you get them both together it will just be like one 800-odd page memoir.

Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #199 on: December 12, 2020, 08:25:41 PM »
They’re also on audible too, read by the man himself. Very enjoyable and certainly the best band autobiography so far.

Jockice

  • I really have red hair. And a **********.
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #200 on: December 13, 2020, 07:05:13 AM »
Cheers, I'll probably go for that when I've gone through the stuff I have on there at the moment. Never tried Audible, although people rave about it. I think I just prefer reading stuff than having it read for me. Doesn't make me big or clever though. It's just a preference.

markburgle

  • A flavourless mush I call Rootmarm
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #201 on: January 15, 2021, 12:52:45 AM »
I found John French's book one of the most remarkable rock autobiogs I'd ever read. It does need editing, as mentioned - in fact there were whole chunks of pages early on that I just skipped over entirely. But once it got going I found it engrossing, and full of the kind of musical detail you want as a fan. He's not at all impressed by the fame and debauchery of the business. That might put some off, but as someone not untouched by debauchery or egotism I kind of enjoy having those values/vices roasted a bit, it's a breath of fresh air in a highly permissive genre.

Don Van Vliet was clearly totally unique - words, painting and melodic ideas just flowed out of him at all times. He was also musically illiterate, impatient, dishonest, a cheat, a coward, and a massive bullying arsehole. He comes across as a thoroughly contemptible figure at times, as all abusers do. The way he manipulated and traumatised impressionable younger musicians is upsetting to read.

It's not all dark though, there's an arc to it - French gradually begins to stand up for himself and in his later stints acts as a protector toward newer players, and by the end when they make Doc At the Radar Station they're interacting as something close to equals. I found that part of the book - esp when Don pulls him into the vocal booth to sing Dirty Blue Gene with him - quite moving.

His track-by-track breakdowns in the appendix are really good too, full of musical analysis, equally generous with praise and criticism. Don just sounds like a completely chaotic presence who could either render a track brilliant or totally sabotage it, completely at random.

The Mollusk

  • Yeah, you better gasp collectively
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #202 on: January 15, 2021, 06:28:23 AM »
Not sure if it's been mentioned here already but I want to sing some praise for the amazing Beastie Boys Book, cribbed from a Facebook post I wrote about it two years ago:

I just got done listening to the audiobook of this, narrated by Mike D and Ad-Rock, as well as Jarvis Cocker, LL Cool J, Steve Buscemi, Kim Gordon, Wanda Sykes, John C. Reilly, Amy Poehler, Elvis Costello and many more. Twelve hours of audio which I managed to steam through in around five days.

It is, from cover to cover, a humbling, exhilarating, charming, ridiculous and beautiful story of three best friends and the amazing music they made. There’s not a single dull moment. Every step of their journey is fucking bonkers fun, cocky, cool and at times almost unbelievable. I loved listening to it so much, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Even if you’re not all that into the band, there’s so much to unpack and enjoy here as an objectively awe-inspiring story of creativity and friendship. The fat-assed physical copy is also a thing of greatness, chock full of photos, studio floor plans, a graphic novel and many other lovely visual nuggets. It’s a goddamn work of art.

I’m very hard pressed to pick a favourite moment, but one of the most marvellous standout chapters documents their first trip to England in ‘86, getting pissed on snakebites and going to the cinema with their idols The Clash and John Lydon to watch Re-Animator, and chucking a scotch egg out of a hotel window at a bowler hatted businessman - narrated in the audiobook by the warm, amusingly deadpan tones of Jarvis Cocker. Absolutely fucking magical. 10/10

Norton Canes

  • He's nerveless and full of dancing!
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #203 on: January 21, 2021, 04:21:22 PM »
Up to the nascent Warsaw gigs section of Record Play Pause. Good stuff but there was something very endearing about the first 60-odd pages of him just waffling on about life as a child in 60's/70's Macclesfield.

Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #204 on: January 21, 2021, 05:24:18 PM »
Tony Iommi's was funny in how he shamelessly and matter-of-factly talked about tax avoidance techniques, like flying round Jersey in a helicopter and stuff.

There was a Led Zep one I got out of the library just before covid - called something like "Led Zep in words" and it was the story of the band told entirely in paragraphs of interview/speech quotes, from the band and the people around them. I've read a couple of books on LZ, but probably enjoyed that one the most.

Johnny Marr's was ok, I liked the way he made Moz sound like a totally ordinary intellectual nerdy young man you could imagine hanging out with at college rather than some mysterious figure. It's a bit dull once the Smiths break up though.

Just finished the (audio) of Confess by Rob Halford. The Metal God (TM) from Judas Priest

Ah that sounds great can't believe I haven't grabbed that yet

Quote
Very good. Down to earth, almost dour tales of coked up illicit gay sex, meeting The Queen

amazing, going on Amazon to order it now

Quote
making Turbo

I'll pass


« Last Edit: January 21, 2021, 05:45:04 PM by willbo »

Norton Canes

  • He's nerveless and full of dancing!
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #205 on: January 23, 2021, 09:26:50 AM »
Stephen Morris is on Radio 4's Saturday Live this morning BTW

Rich Uncle Skeleton

  • Oh it's a whole flock of detectives.
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #206 on: January 26, 2021, 04:00:00 PM »
Got the first Stephen Morris one on audible after the mentions in this thread so cheers to all involved sounds like it'll be great!

Also going to finally finish Mark Lewisohn's extended Beatles book so skimming through the audiobook of the standard version read by Clive Mantle to refresh my memory up to around 1961. It's funny hearing Mantle put on different voices and accents when reading quotes, whether they're scouse, German, man or woman. He does an alright Paul and Ringo too.

I think I keep putting off finishing it to make the wait between book 1 and 2 shorter but regardless of what some might think of the arguably superfluous detail in the extended version it's a fantastic read thats certainly made me appreciate the early Beatles stuff a hell of a lot more than I used to.

Norton Canes

  • He's nerveless and full of dancing!
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #207 on: January 27, 2021, 11:13:16 AM »
Did they not get Kevin Eldon to read it as George Martin? Missed opportunity.

markburgle

  • A flavourless mush I call Rootmarm
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #208 on: January 27, 2021, 01:28:52 PM »
Got the first Stephen Morris one on audible after the mentions in this thread so cheers to all involved sounds like it'll be great!

Also going to finally finish Mark Lewisohn's extended Beatles book so skimming through the audiobook of the standard version read by Clive Mantle to refresh my memory up to around 1961. It's funny hearing Mantle put on different voices and accents when reading quotes, whether they're scouse, German, man or woman. He does an alright Paul and Ringo too.

I think I keep putting off finishing it to make the wait between book 1 and 2 shorter but regardless of what some might think of the arguably superfluous detail in the extended version it's a fantastic read thats certainly made me appreciate the early Beatles stuff a hell of a lot more than I used to.

I thought Clive Mantle did such a great job. Mark Lewisohn is threatening to do the others himself, but I think he should stay out of it

easytarget

  • five gas lighters for a pound
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #209 on: January 31, 2021, 04:57:47 AM »

I'll pass

Turbo is their second best record.

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