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Blitzed!: The Autobiography of Steve Strange [Hardcover]

Steve Strange
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 Mar 2002
Steve Strange was head boy of the New Romantic movement. He ran the best clubs in London - Billy's, Blitz and Camden Palace - which defined the glitzy banality of the era; places where Spandau Ballet and Boy George came to life. He was the glamourpuss of glamourpusses, the campest boy in town. He formed, with Midge Ure, Visage that became one of the biggest bands of the time selling millions of records and gaining tabloid notoriety. BLITZED! recounts the rise and fall of the Blitz Kid himself and recounts from the epicentre the excess of the early eighties: the clubs, the people, the music, the money, his time spent recovering in Ibiza and India, the subsequent steady decline into cocaine and heroin abuse and his rise back to sanity. Steve recounts how he lost all his possessions in a house fire and days later learned of the death of his close friend Michael Hutchence. Within a couple of years Paula Yates had also committed suicide and Strange had ended up back in South Wales, homeless, mentally unstable and facing a court order for shoplifting. He recounts how he pulled himself back from the brink. He now manages a band, is clean, is re-recording Visage tracks and is ready to tell his amazing story.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (21 Mar 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752847201
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752847207
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Blitzed: The Autobiography of Steve Strange is the candid, if lumpen autobiography, of night club impresario, pop star and founding father of New Romanticism, Steve Strange. For a nanosecond in the early 1980s he was the most fashionable man on the planet; the driving force behind of the legendary Billy's and Blitz clubs and the "singer" with electro pop pioneers Visage. Nearly 20 years and over £100,000 of heroin later he was caught stealing a Teletubby doll from a supermarket. Ignominious declines have rarely been more spectacular but Strange, who in 1982 spent £1,500 on a fetching leather zoot suit, always did have a penchant for excess.

Born Steven Harrington in South Wales, he was officially Newport's first punk rocker. After organising a few local punk gigs, one of which resulted in a night of passion with Stranglers' bassist Jean-Jacques Burnel, Steve moved to London in 1976. Here he took vast quantities of speed and mingled with Billy Idol, Vivienne Westwood and Boy George. Bored with punk, he and Rusty Egan set about creating their own more glamorous--New Romantic--scene (or, as he modestly puts it, they started a whole "leisure revolution"). An appearance in David Bowie's Ashes to Ashes video was swiftly followed by hit records (and equally silly promotional videos) of his own with Visage. "A lethal cocktail of success and drug abuse" was soon making him "demanding and difficult" (Midge Ure, for example, walked out of the group after Steve insisted on riding down Fifth Avenue on a camel to promote the American tour). The hits and the money dried up and Steve went from supping champagne and snorting cocaine with celebrities to forging cheques to score heroin. He cleaned up but after a short renaissance as a club promoter tragedy (and heroin) struck again. Although his book covers similar ground to the memoirs by fellow 80s popstars (and drug addicts) Marc Almond and Boy George, it's rather po-faced; he lacks their humour and their gift for self-deprecation. That said there are enough revelations here to satisfy fans (and even detractors) of those hair-gelled days. --Travis Elborough

Review

Steve Strange was head boy of the new romantic movement. He ran the best clubs in London and defined the glitzy banality of the era. With Midge Ure, he formed Visage which became one of the biggest bands of the time selling millions of records and gaining tabloid notoriety. Blitzed! recounts the rise and fall of the Blitz Kid himself from the excess of the early Eighties: the clubs, the people, the music, the money, to his time spent recovering in Ibiza and India; the subsequent steady decline into cocaine and heroin abuse and his rise back to sanity. He unflinchingly tells how he pulled himself back from the brink. Strange now manages a band, is clean, is re-recording Visage tracks and is ready to tell his amazing story.

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My parents were always very stylish. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 22 Sep 2004
Format:Hardcover
Loved this book! I was a huge fan of the Boy George biography and needed a fix after I had finished it...(no heroine pun intended). Not old enough to have experinced the eighties, Steve Strange was mentioned a great deal in 'Take it like a man' and i was fascinated by the glamourous scene in what was considered by all, a depressing time. Although a little ego-centric at times, Steve was funny and brutally honest. Just reading it made me want to go back in time, get glammed up and get a cab to the Camden Palace. Although not all glamour, his honest account of humble up bringings and the vile side of the drug scene is admirable. A great book whether or not you lived through that era or are even a fan of the new romantic scene.
Has Phillip Salon or Marolyn done a book yet? I think that would be the next on on the list!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read This Book!This man was The 80's....... 4 May 2002
Format:Hardcover
If you only read one book this year,then this has to be it.It takes you on a journey from Steves early days as Wales first punk through to his clubs nights at The Blitz etc,where he was responsible for the "Movement with no name" which the press eventually labelled "New Romanticism",a name which Steve hates to this day,to his fight & brave comeback from drugs hell.Now we will all get a chance to see him on the up & coming "Here & Now Christmas Party" this December.
The book tells such tales as the day Steve had to sack Boy George for picking pockets (allegedly!) at one of his clubs and how Steve Norman & Martin Kemp "kidnapped" Steve to try to get him off drugs.
This man is a survivor.
Read this book!
You won't be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chatty, candid, humble and warm! 28 Jun 2002
Format:Hardcover
I really enjoyed this candid and chatty autobiography..... only wish it was longer, and wished there were even more photies.. maybe a follow up would be nice...Steve is sometimes overlooked and not always credited as the leader of a total movement ....not just a movement about 'dressing up' and re-creating yourself but about the way in which the music/club scene in London progressed.... far too often Boy George is credited globally yet it really was Steve who paved most of the way.... in this book he is amazingly humble and far from grandious - really enjoyed it! Also a great read for anyone who is in any kind of recovery...Wish him so well..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heaven and Hell! 10 Dec 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Pick any pop-culture movement of the last 30 years and you'll find that a single, shadowy figure keeps cropping up at conception-time. That immaculately-dressed man, the uncrowned king of pop-culture, is Steve Strange.

Far from being a book about ego, this is a book about the power and fragility of creativity - and reads like copy typed directly from the dictation machine. The tone of the narrative is so matter-of-fact at times that you have to keep pinching yourself and re-reading passages to truly take in the amazing events described.

My advice: blitz the book in a night, then sit back and have a good think about where pop-culture would be without Steve Strange. Think about the themes that emerge - the constructive and destructive power of creativity, the politics of influence, the impermanence of fame, image and reality, honesty. Steve Strange's autobiography has got it all!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steve Strange 7 May 2013
By Nat F
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Love this biography of Steve Strange.He could do with updating his biography to the present day with visage new 2013 album hearts and knives due to be released soon.He has done a lot of music material with different bands since this biography he has made tv appearances on shows such as uk chat show loose women when he was on about making new music material.Steve strange and visage made way for the disco and dance era he is an absolute genius a must read for people who like Steve Strange and about his career as a doorman at the Blitz club in London well he was known as the (door whore) for the Blitz club.
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