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Bad Vibes: Britpop and my part in its downfall [Paperback]

Luke Haines
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 Jan 2010

Forget Blur/Oasis and Cool Britannia. None of that actually happened. Bad Vibes is the true story of English Rock in the nineties. Written with wit, brio and no small amount of bile, Luke Haines recounts how it felt to ride a wave of self-congratulatory success in a world with no taste.

As frontman of The Auteurs, Haines tells of supporting Suede, conquering France, and failing to break America. Of knuckle-headed musos , baffling tours and a swiftly unravelling personal life. And of what it's like to be on the cusp of massive success.

Funny, honest and ridiculously entertaining, Luke Haines attacks anyone within rifle range, and is more than happy to turn the gun on himself. Bad Vibes is a brilliant memoir from a man who tells it how it was - and how he wishes it hadn't been.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Windmill Books; 1st Edition edition (7 Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099522268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099522263
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"These recollections could be mistaken for a great comic novel... Haines is as funny as he is grumpy" (Independent on Sunday)

"Haines' prolific spleen, pasty English wit and peerless way with a smartly tailored insult was always going to make this memoir essential reading" (Time Out)

"Beautifully acerbic and elegant. . . a viciously funny writer" (Q Magazine)

"A lavishly bitchy memoir packed with gripes, grievances and tall stories told at the expense of other more famous musicians ... Haines has constructed a vivid literary persona for himself as the great, grumpy Nearly Man of 1990s rock ... He pours endless scorn on his amiable peers, who bizarrely seem not to mind or even notice ... Rock's misanthrope in excelsis" (The Sunday Times)

"As entertaining as Spinal Tap" (Guardian)


'As acerbic and hilarious as you'd expect from a man who thought it completely reasonable to call a pop single "unsolved Child Murder". Haines clearly relishes - and shines in - his role as the Ancient Mariner at the Britpop party.'
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So you want to be a rock and roll star? 10 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read too many books on pop, but this is straight into the top ten (with a bullet), not so much for its insights on the music, but for what it reveals about the trials, tribulations and downright horrors of being in a band. To be honest, I knew little about the Auteurs or Luke Haines before picking this up, having always casually (dis)regarded them as also-rans in a scene which itself never much interested me, whose ambition almost certainly outran their ability by several miles. Oddly, I come away from reading this book with those opinions not greatly changed, but with a tremendous sympathy for Haines himself, and the rapidity with which his vocation was crushed to powder and blown away by the relentless grinding machinery of the music business, with the album driving the tour, the tour schedule demanding the new album, the need for novelty demanding changes in production and playing personnel which Haines can barely control, in a never-ending cycle, until every last vestige of inspiration has been wrung from our hero. It's an old story of course (over which the shadow of Spinal Tap casts a lengthening shadow), but Haines tells it with savage, caustic and hugely readable wit. Mums, Dads - if your kids want to grow up to be pop stars, make them read this book...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hilariously bitter and twisted. 18 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The best Rock Curmudgeon alive today. If you were even slightly a fan of all things Britpop - this is a must read. He hates everyone (except the drummer from Suede). His self-belief is unstoppable and his proclaimations of genius many. No one is safe from his scathing criticism,(yes, that includes YOU Justine Frishmann)and this book is all the more funny for it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Slade! Suede! 5 May 2009
I read Bad Vibes in one sitting. It's a real page-turner, unputdownable, etc...

It's a POV history of the bad old Britpop days by the former frontman of The Auteurs. It's a swingeing, whingeing, barking, snapping, curmudgeonly masterpiece of a memoir, with Haines' ego on overdrive and dripping with vemom at every perceived and real slight and grudge that he has absolutely no intention of forgetting or forgiving. I found it immensely funny and accurate, but then I was never a Britpop fan. He seems prone to the same sort of enthusiasms as me (anti-art, avant-garde, conspiracy theories, murder, terrorists, utopian movements...) so maybe that helped. It's a full-on rant with the charm of Niven, Stanshall, Mark E Smith or Ignatius J. Reilly.

Try it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damned funny 10 April 2009
Old Haines does himself proud in this memoir, complete with David Peace puff on the cover. Which isn't that odd as Haines comes across as not unlike Brian Clough in his obsessions. You'll laugh out loud I promise.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An album on paper 4 Feb 2009
Excellent first book and very pleasing to find Luke Haines can keep up the vitriolic persona for 250 pages of memoirs. So very very funny too, a home for the jokes and witticisms that just can't work in song form. Really wish there was an index though, maybe in the reprint?
A must have for anyone who was into music in the 1990s.
Roll on Volume II please.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars New Brat In Town 10 Jun 2009
All the more disappointing because Haines is one of my musical heroes and has shown himself onstage to be a witty, bitter man, but one capable of creating music of incredible depth and beauty. He seems embarrassed at the desperate scramble for fame and wealth, and so adopts the pose of the cynical outsider.

The problem is that he takes on the mantle of curmudgeon and is unable to cast it off - he snipes and sneers at just about everything, until we're crying out for him to say something positive about SOMEONE, just to balance the bile! As Morrissey said, "It's so easy to laugh, it's so easy to hate..."

As a history of the era, it's great, but it's nothing like as funny as you'd expect from the man. There are amazingly few direct quotes from him...a lot of the time he meets a loathed celeb or, perish the thought, someone SUCCESSFUL, and tells us what he FELT like saying, or what he was THINKING - very rarely does he actually employ his caustic wit on these offenders. He also seems to regard his pop records as acts of terrorism - Luke, Baader Meinhof is one of the best albums of the last twenty years but it's about as "dangerous" as Basil Fawlty not mentioning the war.

Towards the end, he just seems to be padding, trying to fill up his quota of words. I found the trepanning segment dreary, and the lengthy acid trip just plain tedious.

And so I return to praying for a new Auteurs album...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Puts the Boot into Britpop 3 May 2010
By Duncan
The Luke Haines revealed in this loose trawl through the 'Britpop' years of 1992-97 is an arrogant, ego-driven, abrasive, misanthropic, irresponsible, embittered old git. And the book is all the better for that. He skewers many [admittedly easy] targets, from record company suits to Chris Evans to obsessed fans to 'the north'[although, perversely, Noel Gallagher is allowed some positive comment] and also doesn't spare himself - the archetypal 'nearly man' whose success never quite matched his undoubted talent. The Auteurs, Hianes's original band were there at the start of Britpop, along with Suede, but fell by the wayside and Haines eventually had his biggest success years later with Black Box Recorder. Recommended, and with this volume ending in '97, there's hope that a sequel may appear at some stage.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The singer says funny thoughts in the book and Suede are here too.
Mostly he talk of the 90s when he was playing that kind of music in that time. Not before as much. I think at the end of the book he stop writing it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Count St Germain
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic memoir from "the Adolf Hitler of Britpop"
If it were not for the Misanthropism of Luke Haines, the Auteurs may have made the mainstream of the charts, but they would never have been the same band, and this book would... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mr. M. Wilkinson
5.0 out of 5 stars disfunction never read better
Not much more to say about this really, Luke Haines is one of those 'I coulda been a contender' musicians, but his writing style is funny, embittered and unfailingly honest,... Read more
Published 10 months ago by C. Sheldrake
4.0 out of 5 stars Jolly good show
Haines is a splendid raconteur and often very funny indeed. Readers expecting a blow by blow account of britpop may be a little disappointed as this is mostly focused on his own... Read more
Published 11 months ago by John F. Wallcraft
5.0 out of 5 stars Good vibes
Arrogant, insightful, fun, angry. The best book I've read about the britpop era delivered in an acerbic fashion. Read more
Published 12 months ago by markhadfield
3.0 out of 5 stars HappyShopperOrridge
Luke Haines seems to think he's Genesis P Orridge rather than an (emminently listenable) singer/songwriter. I enjoyed the bitchiness mind
Published 15 months ago by Saul Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool
It was all perfect. No complaints! Thanks so much! Happy costumer! ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^
Published 16 months ago by kurten
1.0 out of 5 stars 6th Form......
If Mr Haines intended to portray himself as a small minded, mean spirited, faux-intellectual tosser then I've got to hand it to him: he succeeded. Childish.
Published on 10 Mar 2012 by Mr. S. J. Garry
5.0 out of 5 stars Haines Manual
I'd been strongly advised to read this book by a good friend. I knew very little of The Auteurs music, even though I was in my teens at the time they were recording. Read more
Published on 3 Mar 2012 by Demdike
4.0 out of 5 stars A Near Genius
I chose that particular title because I thought it would really wind up Mr Haines (only kidding, Luke). Read more
Published on 3 Oct 2011 by Keith M
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