1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An unexpected surprise,
This review is from: No Off Switch (Paperback)
Having had this recommended to me by so many people I gave in and bought a copy; I was reluctant as books by DJ's are usually self-aggrandising (see Mark Radcliffe's multi-volume self-puffery) or smart-alecry masking as social insight (see Stuart Maconie's books) or just plain old 'and then I got the Breakfast Show ' boring. I was way off in Mr Kershaw's case though as this is a veritable suspect device of a book, full of wildly egocentric stuff, no question, but also telling an incredible story most credibly and with far more self-reflection than you normally find in books of this type. A total unwillingness to compromise might make for a difficult colleague or partner but makes for an interesting life, with all the adventure - North Korea, Haiti and all the rest - and the gnarly bits -prison, turmoil at home - left in too. It's tragic in some ways - he had it all, on a plate, nice and hot, vaulting from being a student ents sec to presenting the Whistle Test and being all over the radio and record industry in no time at all, and then losing the lot. But the book doesn't feel downbeat and, for all the loss and misadventure, you get a feeling of his blazing appetite for life and most of all his absolute delight in and passion for music. Plus, he writes truthfully and respectfully about John Peel even though he feels the older man abandoned him to the wolves when the time came. Peel, as Kershaw notes, was an establishment creature to his fingertips - Kershaw was and is not, and this book shows him, for all his flaws and faults and misjudgements, to be a true original and an independent voice.