In all the excitement of recent blogs I forgot to mention I had finished the Tim Burgess memoir, or autobiography – feels more like something I’d call a memoir though, Telling Stories¹. I’ll go further than say I have read it: I liked it. It’s a decent account of the life of himself and the band he fronts, The Charlatans. He certainly doesn’t pull any punches when he’s describing – in intricate detail – how members of the band blew cocaine up each other’s arses. I feel it’s sometimes difficult to tell how good an automemoirography is when you already really like the person. And I have loved The Charlatans for 20 years. I even like Tim Burgess’ solo album².
So, I don’t know how reliable my thought that it is good is as a review. Helpful. He is quite frank about a lot of stuff. Sometimes he skates about stuff: he manages to talk about someone becoming a heroin addict without mentioning heroin. There’s a lot of anecdotes that manage not to be repetitive which is quite impressive when it seems a lot of the period between 1990-20010 seems to just involve taking a lot of drugs and making (mostly) great music.
Two little bits that stood out were: (1) He describes people wanting to see their performance supporting Oasis at Knebworth as wanting to see ‘car crash TV’ ; There was a perception that they might crumble as it was their first gig since their keyboard player Rob Collins had died in a car crash. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t anything flippant or clever about the phrase ‘car crash TV’ but it seemed a bit inappropriate. (2) He talks about how he wasn’t into being a sex person when he toured. One of the reasons being he wasn’t interested in cheating on people he was in a relationship with. And then he tells about meeting his wife and them sleeping together while he has a girlfriend. Hey, I’m not judging him: he’s Tim Burgess – he can do what he wants.
It’s not full of celebrity anecdotes/name dropping, but he does mention member of the band The Charlatans a lot, however there is some mentions of meeting other famous people. He mentions Steve Coogan being backstage at an American gig. This only adds fuel to the fire of my suggestination that Coogan’s character Keanu Reeves from Saxondale is an exaggeration of TB. If you’ve not heard TB speak then watch this.
Whatever. Read it your fucking self if my opinion isn’t helping. What am I? Your fucking eyes? The part of your brain that reads?
¹Why not treat yourself? Continuing the confusing pricing phenomenon I have encountered several times it is £5.84 for the paperback and £7.99 for the Kindle version. I know there isn’t much goes into producing a book (and I mean literally, yes literally, pressing a book) in terms of cost; I believe a hardback costs the published a single pound to make so one can only assume a paperback is a bit cheaper.
²That kind of makes it sound like I’m saying I like it despite it being shit. I’m not: I’m saying I like it and I don’t think it did that well so I’m a member of a more select group than people who have liked Charlatans, and I’m not trying to say that makes me special, I’m just talking numbers. It’s a great album though check these out: you tube link to a Tim Burgess solo song or you tube link to a Tim Burgess solo song.