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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
This book was wonderful, an honest and touching story of a gifted lad from a humble background who survived excesses of the pop industry and who has grown to be a pillar of the musical establishment. He's got a 'live and let live' attitude and is rarely critical of others, seeing good in many. His insights of the great and good of music are fascinating and his fondness...
Published on 20 Oct 2007 by Rock Doc

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insight into Jools' background and the music scene
I read this because I am a great fan of Later with Jools. This has a great mix of music, and has introduced me to many excellent artists, previously unknown to me. Although I usually record it so I can fast forward his rather rambling interviews. The book gives his background and a good description of the various music scenes in which he played. It is fascinating to get...
Published on 24 Dec 2010 by Mr. R. J. Wyndham


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down, 20 Oct 2007
By 
Rock Doc (Aberdeenshire, Scotland United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Barefaced Lies and Boogie-Woogie Boasts (Hardcover)
This book was wonderful, an honest and touching story of a gifted lad from a humble background who survived excesses of the pop industry and who has grown to be a pillar of the musical establishment. He's got a 'live and let live' attitude and is rarely critical of others, seeing good in many. His insights of the great and good of music are fascinating and his fondness for Paula Yates stands out. He heaps praise on many, including Bono, Bob Geldof and George Harrison. It was a great read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Throughly entertaining, just like the author's music, 23 Jun 2008
By 
Stellastar (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Some people live on the sunny side of the street, seeing the good in people and bringing luck their way. Jools Holland is such a person, his irrepresible good nature leaps off every page.

In an age when so many celebrities seem to spend their biographies telling us how tough they have had it, it's refreshing to read about someone is completely happy because they spend their life living their dream.

This story starts from childhood, through school and into early years performing in pubs, first recording contracts, TV presenting and up to date with Later and the Big Band.

Holland tells a lot of entertaining stories of bad behaviour on the road but only hints at the more depraved things, which is no bad thing - sometimes less is more.

One review mentioned that the one weakness was that the more recent years were told at a bit of a gallop, and I would agree, would perhaps have been better to spend a few more chapters on them.

But then I think life has become a little more ordered and settled since he got into a rhythm playing with his big band and doing Later, so maybe the best stories are from the early days.

Whatever, if you like your music then you couldn't ask for a better narrator to take you on a music journey. Jools seems to have made many great friends through his career and this book makes it quite clear why.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No real boasts, 24 Nov 2007
This review is from: Barefaced Lies and Boogie-Woogie Boasts (Hardcover)
Some great anecdotes here, including the time he first met Bob Dylan at George Harrison's house.

Jools' humble manner is such that he drops names like Dylan and Harrison with the same love and affection that he recalls pub landlords, and friends and neighbours.

As a great fan of his music, I loved his insights on the music, and those he has worked with throughout the years.

One (small) gripe is the way that the last 15 or so years are crammed into about 20 pages, (possibly) leaving scope for a second half of the memoirs?

You get an overall sense of the honesty, and humble upbringing of Jools throughout, and I found it very hard to put this one down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Squeezing the Tube, 31 July 2008
I first came across Jools Holland as the somewhat eccentric pianist with the wonderful Squeeze and later as the somewhat shambling presenter of the Tube. After he left Squeeze for the second time I saw him premiering his little Big Band before they grew into the Rhythm and Blues orchestra promoting their fist album on Wogan. `World of his Own' was possibly my favourite record of that year and the `Full Compliment' the next year was just that.

The little Big Band played Bradford's Queens Hall, a fantastic old theatre, that May (badly promoted as Joolz Holland) and I secured a fantastic seat on the balcony. Unfortunately it was next to a couple of Jazz purists whom whooped and cheered throughout the support acts' set. There brand of trad jazz left me cold and I expecting this couple to become even more animated and annoying during the headliners performance. But as I began to enjoy the set they began to look down on the mix of big band music and what they contemptuously considered `pop' as Jools' set began to take off. I think it was on `Lonesome Joe' the band mixed the blues with an element of country music when my least favourite couple decided to leave in a huff. It was one of the most enjoyable concerts I've ever attended and a couple of years later I enjoyed the full orchestra play the Leeds festival, where they gave a wonderful rendition of Count Bassie's `Shake Rattle and Roll'. I couldn't decide if it was the intimacy of the Queens or the distain of the jazz purists that made it the better gig.

On reading Jools biography his love of all music forms came across without any of the type of snobbery which stopped this couples enjoyment and as he paraphrases his own line `Never look down on anyone unless you're helping them up' (from the song `I, is all I Ever Hear') I think I understood Jools' appeal. A true gentleman and a good book to boot.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top autobiography, 30 Dec 2007
This review is from: Barefaced Lies and Boogie-Woogie Boasts (Hardcover)
I have read a lot of autobiographies in recent years, and have a particularly partiality to those of the music world. I have liked Jools Holland since The Tube days because of his dry wit, warmth and slightly 'whacky' personality. More recently because of his obvious complete passion about music in general. I was not disappointed with his autobiography, and completely felt Jools personable and distinct style came across as I read - you definitely know its him. The anecdotes and memories of this interesting man were funny, warm and generous to ALL the people involved (even the dodgy pirates!). He has a very positive and philosophical way of looking at his journey, even in tougher times, which was actually quite inspiring. The love of 'the music' so obvious throughout. Other autobiographies I have read can be frankly depressing, self-absorbent and somewhat monotonous - definitely not here. This rates as one of the best, if not the best of all autobios I have read. A great read, if you are a fan of this man or just music in general, interesting until the end. Highly recommended. Thanks Jools.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just about the music, 27 Dec 2007
By 
A. Logan (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Barefaced Lies and Boogie-Woogie Boasts (Hardcover)
This book offers an astounding insight into music from a naturally gifted musician who has also perfectly captured the spirit of 80's Britain and is an essential part of our musical culture in the broadest sense. He writes with great modesty, succinctness, wit and has an infectious optimism that can't be ignored. This same optimism can be felt in his beautiful and inspiring music.
However, the thing I found best about this book was how hilariously funny the anecdotes were, I had to leave the room and calm down on several occasions after crying with laughter. Its probably the funniest book I have ever read and for this reason alone it is essential reading even by those who are not music fans!
Simply brilliant! I wish I could play with Jools some day, I have been working on my left hand!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MR BOOGIE WOOGIE'S LIFE - SMUG GIT ALERT, 11 Sep 2008
This review is from: Barefaced Lies and Boogie-Woogie Boasts (Hardcover)
Julian 'Jools' Holland has had one hell of a life. He has played with, or met, most of the great music stars of the late 20th Century and has personally enjoyed phenomonal success on TV with both The Tube and the best music programme of the last 10 years - Later with Jools Holland. Ok so it's the only music programme on terrestrial UK TV - but nevertheless.
This is his story and Mr Holland proves to be a very amusing and erudite story teller. Whilst there is an element of smugness that creeps in toward the end of the book it is never less than entertaining, and it does offers a unique insight into the music biz of the late 70's and 80's.
Holland's two stints in Squeeze are covered in great detail and the bands antics - especially in America - make for grin inducing reading. The Tube, The Beatles Anthology, The Rythm and Blues Orchestra, Solo Records, Sessions and much more - it's all here and delivered in a matey conversational style.
Holland may come accross as a smart arse multi-millionaire these days but, in fairness, the guy has grafted for nearly 30 years and created for himself a totally unique niche in British TV. This is also the perfect companion book to Squeeze - Song By Song. As Chris Difford says 'Jools used to draw pictures of Princesses and Castles, and now he's married his Princess and lives in a castle'. Smug git !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous story of many talents, 22 Jan 2009
This review is from: Barefaced Lies and Boogie-Woogie Boasts (Hardcover)
Jools Holland just simply doesn't look old enough does he? And what a prodigous talent he enjoys!

There are many things I love about this story. As a north Londoner myself, Jools comes from the other side of the river and that's means everything to Londoners, I know, but in recent years I have got to know those areas a lot better and Jools captures it really well, the evenings playing in the pub and everyone's tolerance of this little scamp.

He also covers pretty much my lifetime and brings a wonderfully fresh view of the music and media scene during those years. It is a telling tale of just how much of a struggle it could be but, by goodness, what a relief that Jools did struggle, otherwise we would have been denied such wondeful music.

But more than being about his own playing, it is a story of someone whose generosity towards others and absolute joy in their musicality leads inevitably to Jools' TV programme today, where he showcases the work of others. That is a very special person indeed. Whenever I see his band playing I am almost as interested in making sure Gilson is still on the drums as I am about seeing Jools up front.

It is a great story about one of our greatest contemporary musicians, certainly a magnificent band leader, and long may he continue.

Wonderful stuff, he just cannot be old enough.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sticking up for Jools, 13 Oct 2007
This review is from: Barefaced Lies and Boogie-Woogie Boasts (Hardcover)
Dear Pyewakt,
You are not really qualified to review the book because it is obvious that you have not read it and just listened to one of the short extracts on Radio 4. You describe Jools Holland as "the pianist turned presenter" but if you had even bothered to read the synopsis you would know that he has never given-up the piano, and far from having a "limited talent" he is undoubtedly one of the most skilled Pianists alive today. The great BB King once said: "I didn't think anybody could play like that. Jools has got that left hand that never stops. When the likes of Pete Johnson died, I wondered if I'd ever see that kind of playing again." And I for one thoroughly enjoy his music,
The book is pretty good too, and really does not deserve the savage attack that you have given it.

I am not a psychologist but from what you have written below it sounds like maybe you are bitter that you were never part of his "scene" when he was on the tube.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most excellent, 30 May 2008
By 
N. Rajah (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Barefaced Lies and Boogie-Woogie Boasts (Hardcover)
A wonderfully easy to read biography covering all of Jools' life up to 2005/6. The chapters are small so they are easy to read if you don't have time and the style is very conversational, with the occassional small ramble.

Overall a great insight into the man and his music (it will never be the same to me now). Also a nice synopsis on how London life has changed over the last 5 decades.

The boasts are worth it and I couldn't spot the lies.
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Barefaced Lies and Boogie-Woogie Boasts
Barefaced Lies and Boogie-Woogie Boasts by Jools Holland (Hardcover - 2007)
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