Saturday, July 25, 2020

High notes

Having recently read Viv Albertine's Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys, I wasn't remotely surprised to see the former Slits guitarist's book first in Fiona Sturges' list of recommended music (auto)biographies. It's brilliantly written, astonishingly candid and, as Sturges says, "a corrective to the reigning punk narrative where men are the creative geniuses and women the bit-part players".

Of the other featured books, I've only Bob Dylan's Chronicles: Volume One, which I loved despite not being a Dylan nerd. Pauline Black and Patti Smith's memoirs certainly sound worthy of investigation, and there's another ringing endorsement for Mark Lanegan's Sing Backwards And Weep, which from the excerpts and reviews I've read is even more unstintingly frank than Albertine's book.

To Sturges' selections, I'd add Things The Grandchildren Should Know by Mark Everett aka E from Eels, in which he hilariously/poignantly recounts his unusual path to adulthood and fame - including his complex relationship with his father, quantum physicist Hugh Everett III, which was the subject of the brilliant documentary Parallel Universes, Parallel Lives.

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