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Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys.: A Memoir Hardcover – 25 Nov 2014

219 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 25 Nov 2014
£22.95
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (25 Nov. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250065992
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250065995
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (219 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 652,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

[Albertine's] book is both a bold chronicle of her personal ups and downs and a historical document that blows holes in the established punk narrative in which men are the major players and women merely window dressing. (Independent)

Rarely can a book be so personal yet still resonate with a whole movement - and beyond. (Alexandra Fullerton Stylist)

A brutally honest book about the blood, guts, sweat and tears that went into becoming a woman in the Seventies. You don't need to be a fan of the Slits or even punk to be gripped from the off.

(The Telegraph)

With a title that is an incantation and a picture of the gorgeous author on its cover, Viv Albertine's autobiography is quite something...maddening and magnificent all at the same time - rather like her band, the Slits. (Suzanne Moore The Guardian)

Love or hate the punk movement, this memoir of those turbulent times by The Slits' guitarist is infused with humanity and vulnerability that gives it far broader appeal. (Holiday Reads Recommendations Sunday Express)

The Slits were perhaps the most subversive punk group of all . . . Their adventures, musical and otherwise, are a the heart of this searingly honest memoir. (Sean O'Hagan Observer)

Her voice is important in the back story of women in British rock, but she is now as original and interesting an entertainer in words as in music. (The Times)

Albertine's music has never offered easy answers or comfortable conclusions. This brave, funny, honest autobiography doesn't either, and is all the more admirable for it. (Mail on Sunday)

A fresh, insider's take on punk. (Evening Standard)

A frank and fearless account of sex, drugs and life on the cultural frontline. (Esquire)

Pithy, hilarious and smart, this is a wonderfully observant account of the life of a woman who made her dreams come true. (Independent on Sunday)

Driven along by her eye for detail, willingness to reveal all and, let's be honest, fondness for melodrama, there is much that's vividly thrilling here. But it is also a desperate, yearning howl of a book, written by an unlikely romantic who longs above all for love.' (Tracey Thorn New Statesman)

If Clothes, Clothes, Clothes...was simply a rock memoir, it would come recommended for the fearless was Albertine challenges the orthodox male histories of punk. But in the context of her own personal tragedies, her subsequent recovery and the rebirth of her music career, it has a much wider resonance. (Uncut) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

'Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys.' (Viv Albertine's mum, to Viv, in the mid-70s.) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey M. Black on 11 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback
Quite literally. Viv doesn't shy away from all manner of bodily fluids, functions and infestations. Some people might consider it TMI, but it only reinforces how honest and unflinching she is. It's far more than just a punk rock memoir (in fact, her time in The Slits - her 15 minutes of fame - has been dealt with before we're halfway through), It's also about the need to stay true to yourself - to stay creative and to reject convention even when middle-aged and weighed down with life's usual trappings. Viv has been fighting all her life - against sexism, gender expectations, a treacherous womb and the Big C - and she's won every time. It's an inspiring story. At the end, you feel you almost know her well enough to say "hello" - and maybe point her at some slightly more reliable men. I loved it and was inspired enough to decide not to give up on my own creative endeavours.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Pete Newman on 2 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback
Viv Albertine's book is the Saving Private Ryan of punk memoirs! Gritty, visceral and painfully honest it is a no holds barred account of life at the raw edge of the punk rock scene and her life thereafter. She describes her life as a struggling female artist in what was a very male dominated world with sparkle and great humour. She paints a very accurate picture of 70s London, which although a total dump was also a fun, scary place to be and her stories had me laughing and crying in equal measure, as well as biting my nails at the graphic honesty of some accounts. Sex and drugs and rock and roll is written large throughout this book for sure, but what sets her book apart from other memoirs I have read is the beating heart at the centre of the story. In particular her obvious affection and love towards Sid Vicious brings an alternative personal spin to a sordid and tragic story and really made me think. So many others from that era have passed on and Viv takes time to pay tribute to many of them. She comes across as both vulnerable and tough as nails at the same time, a real survivor who is still carving an individual creative path for herself today. Viv has a gripping writing style and her accounts of the characters, famous and infamous whom she has met along the way are funny and moving at the same time. A must read for anyone interested in the music of this era and indeed anyone who wants to read a fascinating life story which is tragic and funny in equal measure.
Well done Viv this book is my read of the year!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By M. Smith on 1 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having recently hit the big 50 I have become big on rekindling links to my lost youth. I bought this book for the nostalgia tales: The Slits (very underrated band); punk; and Ms Albertine's friendships with Sid and Johnny, Joe and Mick. This part of the book (Side One) was fascinating - I never know punk London was so small - virtually every punk anyone appears - along with some surprises, including: Neneh Cherry and Chrissie Hynde.

The revelation of the book is Ms Albertine's marvelous writing and Side Two of her volume (life after The Slits). This is the most engrossing part of the book - the struggle for her health and against the perils of life make for a great read. Even this cynical reviewer was both moved and inspired.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Kathy Kiernan on 1 July 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As most of the other reviewers here have already stated, this is one of the best autobiographies I have ever read and I did not want it to end. (I even put the book down for a day, because I wanted to postpone the painful inevitability of having no more Viv Albertine words to read.) It's a wonderful book on so many levels--an inside look at the creation of punk; wildly interesting portraits of friends such as Mick Jones (who comes off as a sweetheart--wish he'd write a book too), Johnny Thunders, and Sid Vicious; ordinary stuff about what it's like to be a woman, but told in such an appealing, signature way; and a message that there are second acts in life (and third and fourth acts too--Albertine's intriguing performance in the Joanna Hogg film Exhibition led me to this book). And her priceless Vincent Gallo encounter, described so hilariously by Albertine, is just icing on the cake.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Steve13 on 2 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I saw the Slits on the White Riot tour and again on their own tour. But I knew they would be something as soon as I saw a photo. Just as I had with the Pistols and the Clash. Punk was like that. You either recognised it and went for it or you came along later when it was safe. 16 and stuck in Yorkshire, gay and knowing I was an outsider because of that the Slits sent a message to me as powerfully as the Pistols. You can be exactly who you wish to be. Right now. Albertine humorously lists the key punk sections at the beginning of the book as well as an honest declaration of why she thinks people write autobiographies and why she wrote this. It set the tone for the book and had me grinning from the off. Didn't put the book down after that unless I absolutely had to. Yes, the account of the punk period is fascinating. Good to hear from someone who was at the epicentre about the energy and the personalities now that the cliches, tired tall tales and empty chest beating is what we are usually presented with.
However, the book does not slump once the Slits are out of the picture. She continues to write about rediscovering herself in the aftermath, through marriage and fought for motherhood into the rekindling of her clearly creative spirit latterly. All the while the prose is considered and the sentiments frank.
If only more people were so honest about themselves. There is a counterfeit honesty that many writers of autobiographies use to hide in plain sight. For someone who admits to doubt and insecurity Albertine hides from nothing.
A valuable, precious book that I really do think everyone would benefit from reading, particularly as we are now entrenched in a culture of manufactured reality.
Cut remains to me one of the best records made. This book too is essential.
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