Bodies: Life and Death in Music

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Bodies: Life and Death in Music

Bodies: Life and Death in Music

RRP: £99
Price: £9.9
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The Frank Turner/social media section was weirdly framed, though, and neglected to discuss the good faith criticism people of marginalised identities (not “cool kids” or “trolls”) have tried to engage with him on, including offline. The saga of Ian Watkins is, by some distance, the most shocking in Bodies, a book filled with shocking stories. The book struggled to stick to the topic, and it didn't answer questions, only reaching one conclusion as the possible cause of addiction and death in music business.

I found the content of this book quite astounding and got the same feeling of complicity that I felt on watching the Amy Winehouse documentary. Finished the book feeling very strongly that Lennon was right about the men in suits who take the bulk of the money generated from the sales of the music made by creative but naive people. Definitely not for the faint hearted with some of the details, but the brutal reality of how some people deal with being at the top of their chosen game, and how they chose to deal with the fame, not always in the most healthy way (including an awful insight into Lost Prophets ending).Bodies: Life and Death in Music is as harsh and unremitting a piece as it is deeply moving and warm.

The glamorisation of drink and drug use in rock music is pervasive in our culture but Bodies peels back the curtain to reveal the deep-seated mental health and addiction problems impacting so many performers, all too often actively enabled by the machine that is the music industry.

The book has opened up a much-needed debate about the nature of the music industry as an insatiable meat grinder for creative souls with an instinct for self-destruction. The music industry has a gigantic, dangerous problem that is ruining musicians’ lives — and I, the punter, am fuelling that problem. Still, if you are interested in the music business and rock music in particular, this is a book worth reading. At least until, distressingly, the author's familial narrative comes crashing down, adding yet more fuel to a blaze of self-immolation. Perhaps this was intentional; the author spends time boasting about the amount of coke he was shoveling up his beak, but this means that stories about individuals are only hinted at or loosely defined.

Seven years stooped in darkness, inhaling coal dust, gave this sweet and modest man license to provide his music journalist son, Ian, with some lessons in perspective. Ian Winwood's had a hard time of it himself, as someone who's as much a part of the scene as those on stage.However, I think in places it tried too hard to be sensationalist and in others demanded a more authoritative POV and in both instances it comes up short. He drops a lot of band names and places he's visited as if to reinforce the privileged position he found himself in but for me this just makes his cliched decline into substance abuse even more idiotic. It should be a harrowing read, and it frequently is: that it doesn’t make you despair entirely is down to Winwood’s skill as a prose stylist. It's an unusual life, that of a touring musician, long stretches of travel, un-sociable hours, endlessly surrounded by drugs and alcohol.

You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice. This book is incredible in the way it gets behind the scenes to tell Ian's own devasting story of loss and mental illness as a casualty of the music scene that he loves. The guy seems likeable and honest and, even if I’m not a fan of most of the bands mentioned, the stories of life on the road were very interesting. It’s clearly a book with limitations: Winwood sticks with the world he knows best – heavy metal, hard rock and punk predominate – which means the vast majority of the interviewees are male and almost all are white.

Hotjar sets this cookie to know whether a user is included in the data sampling defined by the site's pageview limit. I found this book disturbing, but ultimately positive as, for the author himself and bands still making music now there seems to be an improvement.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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