Author Topic: Band Biographies  (Read 9352 times)

Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #90 on: November 27, 2018, 01:43:57 AM »
Costello one I worry he'll skip past all the interesting bits (ie when he was making brilliant music whilst acting like a complete twat for large periods of time) and just babble on about making albums with Burt Bacharach and how wonderful his current wife is.

It bounces around quite a bit chronologically, and there are some cards he chooses to play close to his vest still, but no worries - brilliant music and self-admitted twattery feature quite heavily throughout. (What interests me is that he comes off quite bitter and dismissive of Cait O'Riordan and barely mentions her more than he does, say, Bebe Buell - surely an interesting tale to be told there, but not, I guess, by him.)

Rolf Lundgren

  • Remember you're a Womble
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #91 on: November 28, 2018, 12:08:14 AM »
I've just made it past the Caroline Ahern period in Substance and will probably finish it soon. Had to have two goes at this book, not least because it's absolutely gigantic, but the bitterness (and downright moaning) is just too much at times. He's unkind to Gillian which I didn't like, but his constant sniping over Bernard is tiresome.

I loved all the detail in Hook's book, especially the song-by-song review for each album as I'd love all my musical heroes to do this. The jabs at Bernard are frustrating, we get it you don't like him, but it's still a terrific book for the comprehensiveness of it.

Bernard's book felt very lightweight afterwards, barely mentioning some albums and going into too much detail about his childhood. The emphasis on the childhood stuff would have been fine if he also went into his career in great detail but as it is the book feels like it has large, gaping holes in it. To be fair I don't think Bernard is into introspection and definitely has less interest in focusing on the past than Hook does.

famethrowa

  • mere rhetorical frippery
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #92 on: November 28, 2018, 01:08:09 PM »
and how wonderful his current wife is.

Ah so just like the Clapton book then?

Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #93 on: November 28, 2018, 03:37:12 PM »
I loved all the detail in Hook's book, especially the song-by-song review for each album as I'd love all my musical heroes to do this. The jabs at Bernard are frustrating, we get it you don't like him, but it's still a terrific book for the comprehensiveness of it.

Bernard's book felt very lightweight afterwards, barely mentioning some albums and going into too much detail about his childhood. The emphasis on the childhood stuff would have been fine if he also went into his career in great detail but as it is the book feels like it has large, gaping holes in it. To be fair I don't think Bernard is into introspection and definitely has less interest in focusing on the past than Hook does.

Oh definitely, the analysis of each song on each album is the highlight for me, along with the little extra anecdotes given after events mentioned in the timeline at the end of each year. Him being able to call on distinct memories from random NO gigs from all over the world over decades shows how introspective he is to me. It's just a shame they often relate back to "Twatto" somehow.

Finished it the other night and actually found the final 100 or so pages to be the most scathing of the lot. After 600-odd pages of softening up he really goes for it at the end!

Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #94 on: November 29, 2018, 08:32:34 PM »
Hook and Sumner don't seem to do self-criticism. Hook is rather crass about the women he has slept with, as if infidelity is no big deal. Sumner is far more discreet about sex and drugs but also implies they are par for the course on rock tours. The stuff on Gillian seems sexist, like of course women can't play.

Costello's book is beautiful about his dad but not really forthcoming about which songs are about which relationships. Too much name dropping but that is part of his schtick.

Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #95 on: November 29, 2018, 08:37:58 PM »
I'm coming to Costello's book after reading, many years ago, the "Complicated Shadows" biog and Bruce Thomas' "Big Wheel".

Read the first 70 odd pages and, yeah, the stuff about his dad is great, alongside having a pop at Sinead O'Connor for ruining an intimate moment with his close showbiz chum Paul McCartney. Arf.

Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #96 on: November 29, 2018, 09:09:52 PM »
A bit late to the party, but I'll also recommend the Lemmy, Luke Haines, Julian Cope, Bill Bruford and Steve Hanley books, as well Miles' autobiog and Please Kill Me.

I would like to recommend Faithfull by Marianne Faithfull (sweet and saucy at times), Phill Brown's Are We Still Rolling? (a mixture of the joyously technical alongside stories of Talk Talk and John Martyn sessions as well as plenty of Robert Palmer and Angie Bowie debauchery) plus Rich Deakin's Keep It Together (the dirty drug-fuelled history of The Pink Fairies).

I'd also like to throw in a wild card: Star Man - The Right Hand Man of Rock & Roll by Michael Francis. For some reason, my mum bought me this for Christmas.  No idea why. After scratching my head for a bit, I started reading it and it was wonderful. Essentially, he was a bodyguard for the likes of Gary Numan, Sheena Easton, Bon Jovi and Cher. Fascinating stuff and unintentionally funny (ie. Cher's new found love for curries and vouchers, Gary Numan's dad protecting him from rednecks while his mam ironed the band's stage outifts on the bus, and a nice touch of patriotic pride due to Bon Jovi's steamiest story taking place in Ipswich - my manor, innit). I recommended it to the Chart Music mob as this book is right up their street is packed full of the hilarious, the odious and some borderline surreal tableauxs.

Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #97 on: November 29, 2018, 09:49:28 PM »
"Head On" and "Repossessed" by Cope are essential, of course. Paul Simpson - original Teardrops keyboard player and later Wild Swan - told me he was writing his own memoirs, which I thought would have been an interesting counterpoint to "Head On", but I guess he couldn't find a publisher. He did say Cope's account of events were a tad on the "it was all me" side of things, but I guess every rock biography does that.

chveik

  • TOTALLY CURED
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #98 on: November 29, 2018, 10:15:38 PM »
Beneath the Underdog by Charlie Mingus

Jockice

  • I really have red hair. And a **********.
Re: Band Biographies
« Reply #99 on: November 30, 2018, 07:51:01 AM »
Gary Numan's dad protecting him from rednecks while his mam ironed the band's stage outifts on the bus.

Beryl used to do his press stuff too. She was lovely.