"Wouldn’t you be surprised?"
I’m sitting here sick sipping soup and scrolling through my iPhone’s camera roll. Over the last 14 months, I have photographed two dozen libraries and bookstores in the name of enlightenment. New York, London, Paris, Sydney, Bismarck, Minneapolis, and Guadalajara. Let’s keep this whole even playing field going.
Happy National Library Week!
It occurred to me that I haven’t shared my favored textual stimulation lately. So here it is, another notch in my totem pole of popular music autobiography.
The former bassist for Public Image Limited, a darling band of the UK postpunk scene, Wobble writes directly and with no other motivation than to document his musical and personal journey, with the occasional borderline bitchy comment on other players and smooth operators he’s encountered, though he always aspires to be fair.
This is most definitely not aspirational literature (the only example of that in this genre is Morrissey’s Autobiography, from Cloud publishing partner Penguin). That said, it’s still an education in a creative profession based on fickle supply and demand: it kicks you in the bollocks, repeatedly, and if you can muster the energy a la Wobble, you get back up, happier and more assured of your spiritual direction.
If you love London, Wobble is also a sage chronicler of its gentrification over the last 25 years. His East End charm jumped off the page and slapped me on the back.
Thanks to my friend gallerist and sublime arbiter of taste Stephanie Theodore for pointing me in the book’s direction and in fact for securing me an autographed UK copy. She knows the man, naturally.
This one’s a counterpoint to a top-five memoir, Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs by John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten, Wobble’s former PiL bandmate). You might experience demand for all things Sex Pistols, PiL, or postpunk when Rotten has a second go at autobiography this fall.
"Members can also bring together their favourite ‘shops’ to create a virtual high street of book recommendations. They can select shops owned by friends or family, as well as famous authors, local bookstores, or librarians."