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Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys.: A Memoir [Hardcover]

VIV Albertine
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)

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Paperback £8.99  

Book Description

25 Nov 2014

Viv Albertine is one of a handful of original punks who changed music, and the discourse around it, forever. In Clothes ... Music ... Boys a story hitherto dominated by male voices is recast through the eyes of one of the most glamorous, uncompromising and iconic figures of the time.

After forming The Flowers of Romance with Sid Vicious in 1976, Viv joined The Slits and made musical history as one of the first generation of punk bands. Here is the story of what it was like to be a girl at the height of punk: the sex, the drugs, the guys, the tours, the hard lessons learnt and those not considered. From Madonna to Lady Gaga, fashion to feminims, Viv Albertine has influenced a range of exceptional artists. Here, before and beyond the break-up of The Slits in 1982, is the full story of a life lived unscripted, with foolishness, bravery and great emotional honesty.

A memoir full of raw and uncompromising anecdote and opinion, Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys is an unflinching account of a life lived on the frontiers of experience, by a true pioneer.

--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: 23.5 x 15.6 x 3.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,001,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


[Albertine's] book is both a bold chronicle of her personal ups and downs and a historical document that blows holes in the established punk narrative in which men are the major players and women merely window dressing.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's mum, to Viv, in the mid-70s.) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
This item has not been released yet and is not eligible to be reviewed. Reviews shown are from other formats of this item.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have become tired of autobiographies recently because they are simply a description of what has happened with no sense of what people have learnt about themselves and how they have dealt with their challenges. But this one was absolutely brilliant. The 25% about life leading up to the end of The Splits was fantastic if you were a teenager in the 70s. And the rest was equally good. What an incredible life she has led, full of shocks and surprises and her book manages to share her emotional state and self awareness in short and snappy chapters. I loved it. The best autobiography I have read for a very long time.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By Steve13
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RAW, REAL AND BEAUTIFUL ! 15 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a 47 year old Scottish male. Husband and father of three children two boys aged 22 and 21 and a daughter aged 16. I read quite widely from politics, philosophy, to popular and critically acclaimed fiction. I sort of know what I like. I read a review of this book in the Scottish press and was 20% attracted by the fact that Viv was in the Slits. I had not a lot of knowledge of them or their music but new of them and new much better some other bands around the same time. The other 80% that attracted me to the book from the review were the review claims about its beauty and raw honesty. The 80% led me to buy the book. The book is a beautifully open and honest account of someones life - their hopes, fears, dreams, struggles, pain, baggage, strength, determination, imperfections, doubts, frailties, talents and overall tenacity to stay the course. It is simply a beautiful book that shares real insights into a real life that most of us wouldn't dream of sharing. Adding to all all that it is well written, direct, built on short chapters and gives a very accessible real insight into the human condition, confronting much of what, I suspect, most people routinely and conveniently sweep under the carpet. Really didn't want the book to end and massively enjoyed the thought provoking insights shared with us in it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I bought the book for the nostalgia but .... 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Music, life, strong woman. Love it
Wonderful frank book which traces a life through 70's, 80's etc Britain lovely glance into the London music scene, the life of a woman in music & beyond. Much further beyond. Read more
Published 18 hours ago by AndyNZ
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Viv <3
Published 7 days ago by Pauli Johansson
3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe interesting if you were a fan?
I was intrigued by the "in your face" name of the band and expected much more sordid tales of sex and drugs and rock n roll. Read more
Published 9 days ago by water buffalo
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it. Love her
Can't put it down. Love it. Love her!
Published 13 days ago by kate cunningham
5.0 out of 5 stars This is undoubtedly the best book I have read in the last ten years
This is undoubtedly the best book I have read in the last ten years. Every chapter had me hooked; I literally couldn't put the book down. Read more
Published 16 days ago by chris barnes
4.0 out of 5 stars Look At Me, Listen To Me, Be Impressed By Me . . .
Just in case there's any doubt that this should be in the "Oooh, Look At Me" section of your lending library, Viv Albertine entitles the opening chapter of her autobiography... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Roger Risborough
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody good
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... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Jeffrey M. Black
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Really good book well worth a read
Published 18 days ago by Sue J.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff.
Loved it. Absolutely tells it how it was - heartbreaking, inspiring, tough, delightful.
Published 19 days ago by Thea Bennett
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 19 days ago by Mark
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