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A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, from Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man [Hardcover]

Holly George-Warren
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 16.49
Price: 15.14 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, from Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man + Nothing Can Hurt Me [DVD] [2012] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Big Star: The Story of Rock's Forgotten Band: Revised & Updated Edition
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Press Inc (28 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670025631
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670025633
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.2 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Biography of Alex Chilton 8 April 2014
By AW
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this as a gift for a friend. He was absolutely delighted with the book, it covers Alex's life really well and I would definitely reccomend this book to Chilton fans. Arrived promptly in sturdy packaging.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely superb biography. 24 Mar 2014
By B.E. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Short form: if you are interested in Alex Chilton or Big Star to any degree, this book is a must read. An incredibly well-researched and superbly written biography of a really complex, interesting man and his music.

Longer form: I know at least a bit about the subject matter. I'm the author of the 33 1/3 book Big Star's Radio City. I started out in the mid 70s as a Big Star / Chilton fan. Eventually met Alex in '1979, played some shows with him and stayed in touch over the decades. I spent two years doing research and interviews for the 33 1/3 book and even before doing that, had read pretty much every article written about him. I also provided material for the Nothing Can Hurt Me film. (I didn't know Holly when she started the book but gladly provided her with all of my research materials, notably Alex's last extended interview.) So before I got to read the book, I was thinking that I'd probably be pretty familiar most of the details. Well, as Lou Reed once observed, "Just goes to show how wrong you can be."

Even if you're the biggest Alex Chilton fan on the planet, you'll be amazed at how much new material (much of it from previously unexplored sources) Holly has uncovered and how many new details and insights she adds to the parts of Alex's story that you think you know all about. Start reading and you'll immediately know that you're in the hands of serious major league biographer. One paragraph in I realized that I wasn't going to be skipping past a single sentence.

Most rock /music biographies read like an extended magazine feature and don't bring anything really new to the table. Way too many are just cobbled together from already existing material that's repeated over and over as gospel truth without any reexamination (it takes a lot more work to do real research). A Man Called Destruction reads like Peter Guralnick's bios of Elvis and Sam Cooke or the Gary Giddins bio of Bing Crosby. It's on that level and that's about the highest praise I could give a book in this genre. If you're not totally familiar with Alex's work, the book will make you want to explore it all. If you've heard it all, you'll hear it in a new way. I'd write more but it's time for you to stop reading this and start reading A Man Called Destruction.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'd rate this a ten if I could! 22 Mar 2014
By James H. Lynch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Despite the Dawn Eden quote, this is an exemplary bio of a difficult man... Spent the last two nights with forty years of his music playing in the background as I filled in all the holes left in the other books covering the same subject matter
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Job Well Done 7 April 2014
By Outlier - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Holly George-Warren has done it. She has written the perfect biography of Alex Chilton. Any person who has been touched by his artistry yet sometimes confused by Chilton's mercurial persona will leave this book with the most thorough understanding of this talented and troubled icon / iconoclast. George-Warren approaches her subject with an enormous amount of affection and respect but never shies away from Chilton's troubled and troubling personal behaviors. Read Bruce Eaton's Radio City book to understand Big Star's magical studio work. Watch the Nothing Can Hurt Me documentary to see the visual representations of Big Star and Alex Chilton. Read A Man Called Destruction to understand the real Alex Chilton.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beach read for music nuts 9 April 2014
By G. Wallace - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I basically devoured this in one sitting. Chilton was the ultimate enigma, or at least that's how I explain my interest. The author has done a fine job piecing the story together around infrequent but engaging interviews Chilton gave over the years. The Cub Koda Goldmine interview must have been a great read because Chilton didn't pull many punches. Bruce Eaton got more in his concentration on Big Star's Radio City (my favorite), although Chilton seemed dismissive about his masterpiece. Chilton was enormously talented as a songwriter, singer, and guitar player and his best work was decades paying him any recompense while he sank into a dissolute life, presumably embittered by the evaporation of his best work due to the malfeasance of Stax Records management and a corporate shakeup at CBS. There was also an appalling family tragedy and the imponderable effects of the leap from psych ward to chart-topper at sixteen years old. In the end Chilton escaped the dissolute life by going all the way down to dishwasher while consulting the saner writings of Wilhelm Reich (even though he quit high school to be a pop singer). The later music seems to have been beyond ironic, meaningful to the singer and incomprehensible to the audience. Once belated recognition was available he seemed to disdain it. I expect any listener deeply affected by Chilton's songs and performances will find this hard to put down.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Books For Fans 28 May 2014
By Bradford Parks - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Alex Chilton, have all his records from every stage of his career, and I enjoyed this book very much. It gives you a lot of great background of where he came from, what he went through, and the real life of musicians, as opposed to the "Oh, he must be famous and rich"idea, which you learn was not true at all. If I had one complaint about the book I would say that it ends rather abruptly, as if the writer had a time limit to get the publisher. It could have also used a brief afterword about his ongoing legacy in popular music, and the current status of his fellow band-mates. But I'm grateful to have any detailed book about him, and grateful for the many great records he produced that still sound as fresh and beautiful today as they did when they were recorded.
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