Good Music (or otherwise) Books/Biographies

I’m currently reading Brett Anderson’s Coal Black Mornings and really enjoying it.

I was never hugely into Suede if I’m honest but am enjoying the book and he comes across very well I think.

Any other recommendations for good biogs or books in this vein.


The Dirt. Motley Crue’s book.


Both of patti smiths

Lost In Music by Giles Smith

Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl


our band could be your life


Things The Grandchildren Should Know


I recently got round to reading The Last Party by John Harris. Tremendously entertaining if Britpop is your bag.

The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds

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+1s for The Dirt and Things The Grandchildren Should Know.

Stuart Cosgrove’s books on the crossover of soul and social history have been excellent.

Has anyone read Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York that Changed Music Forever? Quite like the sound of it.

People who come out well from the book - Justine Frischmann, the lads from Menswe@r

People who come out badly from the book - Damon Albarn, Alex James. Albarn in particular.

He’s always come across as an especially odious prick. Would love a summary of what the book reveals if you could be arsed.

Top suggestions. Both brilliant books.

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It just gives a potted history of Britpop focusing on Suede, Blur, Oasis, Elastica and Pulp in particular. Weaves bits of New Labour throughout which aren’t anywhere near as cringe as one might think. It’s not really heavy on anecdote, more just talks about what they were saying in interviews etc. Holy Christ Albarn comes across as a prick. And I mean a real prick, worse than Alex James. The Menswe@r bits are great - they recount the whole thing with as much bemusement as everyone else. Especially the bit where they jokingly asked for a £500,000 advance for signing to whoever it was and the label were like “yeah ok we’ll think about that”. Frischmann seems like a really sweet person who offers really good, thoughtful insight to it all.

I mean the book’s 15 years old now and I’ve only just gotten round to reading it, but I really liked it. Although anything about Britpop has me at hello to be quite honest.

Specifically what does Albarn say FFS. Feed our hate!


Oh just banging on about Blur’s albums being the best, banging on about him always knowing he was special even as a kid, talking about Blur’s Britishness vs American grunge in terms that even Morrissey would be a bit like “steady on”, his conduct in his and Frischmann’s relationship (they were basically ‘open’ even though she had no say in the matter).

The famous anecdote about when he met Graham Coxon at school is in there where Albarn spots that they’re both wearing brogues and he marches up to Coxon and goes “your brogues are shit, mine are much better”. That’s basically how he comes across with absolutely everything.

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He’s such a Garth Merenghi

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Actually there’s another good anecdote in there about when Liam Gallagher went in the Good Mixer for the first time in '95 or whatever and took the piss out of Graham Coxon so much Coxon went to the landlord and got him barred.


Maybe a bit toooo nerdy for some, but Revolution in the Head is fucking amazing .

Basically goes through each of the Beatles songs in the order that they recorded them - whilst also covering longer passages about the 60s and how the Beatles were influencing them, being influenced by them.

Meaty, Beaty Big and Bouncy is a good compendium of music magazine articles from the 50s through to the 90s

Thing about the Beatles is I don’t understand how you can be a Beatles fan and not end up going full nerd. Like there’s surely only 2 states of being - either indifferent/unfavourable to the Beatles or full Beatles bellend. Absolutely no inbetween.

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