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Adventures Of A Waterboy Kindle Edition
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As others have posted, it is a shame that the post 2000 years are missed out. These include the protracted acoustic shows with Richard and Steve, the Universal Hall, Book of Lightning, Mr. Yeats eras etc.
Mike and the band have probably been the main musical influence to me through my adult life after discovering them around the This Is The Sea time. Reading the last chapter of the book made me blast out 'A Rock' as I'm typing this.
Certainly a good read, although probably only for those already into the band. But as one of them I'm now tempted to get Ian McNabb's book.
Mike Scott is an avid reader and has always been considered as one of the more intelligent rock stars so it's no surprise that Adventures Of A Waterboy is extremely well written. An excellent mixture of imaginative and more factual chronology works well in a very honest and revealing read about Mike's musical and personal relationships, the highs and lows of his career and his machinations with the music business - despite his instinctive, often spiritual musical moves, his drive for success and uncompromising dealings with those not part of his vision also comes through. Even so, most of the musicians and managers he's spurned at various times don't have lasting bad words to say about him.
Back to the book itself, Adventures Of A Waterboy is episodic for the earlier years before becoming a more continuous biography for the mid-period from third album This Is The Sea (1985) onwards - mid-period only though as the book finishes in 2000 as Mike is still trying to assess the later years himself. Focussing at times on some of the lesser-known parts of the Mike Scott story, AOAW is an excellent read, highly recommended for fans or anyone interested in the workings of the 80s and 90s music business. Always destined to be a fascinating read, the great Scott has surpassed all expectations with this highly literate and honest musical story. Brilliant and well worth the wait.
This book is a fascinating read. The style is charming: introspective, intense, lyrical, humorous, self-deprecating but with a kind of proud integrity. The structure is intriguing: each chapter begins with a flash-back in the present tense. Imagine flipping through a photo album, looking at a snapshot (or perhaps a short video-clip) of a particular occasion and then reading about the circumstances surrounding it. This is not a continuous narrative and each episode is deliberately selected but I felt Mike did not shy away from prickly subjects, such as the logistics of taking a band on the road, the difficult decisions he had to make involving contracts, other band members, managers, booking agents, musical choices. It's amazing to see how much influence some of these support players have on the success of a musical release.
I really enjoyed the glimpse we are given into the passion which drives the music, often to the obliteration of everything else. It was fascinating to read the story behind some of the songs: the lengthy evolution of “The Whole of the Moon” from a look at the sky for inspiration and a couple of lines on the back of an envelope to a charismatic, unforgettable musical creation; or the tensions building to boiling-point and erupting in the first draft of “Fisherman's Blues”; or how personal turmoil produced the most exquisite compositions about love and its dramatic demise. The Spiddal sessions and the months in Galway read like a true otherworldly adventure then the book becomes a page-turner. An unexpected bonus: as I progressed through the book, I listened again to the songs mentioned and found that the knowledge gleaned from the stories added so much to my enjoyment of the music and helped me appreciate its deeper layers.
During the promotional drive, Mike Scott gave numerous readings and interviews, and emphasised that this book was all about the musical journey that started with him at a very early age and continues to shape his destiny to this day. I was, therefore, surprised by the personal nature of the narrative and the honesty with which Mike bares his soul in recounting salient points in his life, even when this candour doesn't flatter his image. I think he actually relished the chance to shed some light on his personal spiritual journey and to dispel the misconceptions that inevitably arose. However, there are limits to the disclosure. Mike Scott is clearly a private person and respectful of the people in his life, so it's not surprising that there is none of the usual gossip about kiss-and-tell groupie romps. His two wives, naturally, make an appearance but are not discussed in tabloid-style detail. Tucked in the middle are a few (too few!) black-and-white photos and at the end, a quirky appendix.
For me the disappointing aspect is that the book ends around 2000, leaving a substantial portion of his story untold. While this could point to a possible sequel, Scott himself has been non-committal, saying only that these missing years are still too raw to become book material. Perhaps he wanted to wait and see if there was something sensational to write about after moving back to New York in late 2012. After all, he has said in interviews that the current Waterboys are hungry for recognition, so perhaps with a fire still burning in his belly and his creativity apparently in full flood, his mature self will manage that most elusive of musical miracles, the come-back with new material. Already his “Appointment with Mr Yeats” has been remarkably well received by critics and public alike. The Waterboys in their new incarnation could well be the breath of fresh air that the currently dismal music scene so badly needs.
Meanwhile it will be interesting to see what kind of havoc this fun-loving, but formidably-focussed master of his trade can wreak with the wind back in his sails. Because one thing is clear: for Scott the music always came first and his perception of what his Muse required to manifest herself has shaped his life and philosophy. If you enjoy a fascinating real-life story, exquisite prose, original turns of phrase and vivid pictorial descriptions, as well as an insight into the mind of one of the most gifted and unorthodox musicians of our times, this book will not disappoint.
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Haven't heard all the music but interesting to read how he accepts some bits were not as good as others.Read more