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Looking Back At Me Hardcover – Illustrated, 4 Jun 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Cadiz Music Ltd; 1st edition (4 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0957171706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957171701
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 2.3 x 25 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 95,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Zoë Howe is a music writer based in Leigh On Sea. Her books include the acclaimed biography 'Typical Girls? The Story Of The Slits' and 'How's Your Dad? Living In The Shadow of a Rock Star Parent', both published by Omnibus. In addition to writing she has made music radio series for Resonance FM and RTI, and has appeared as a talking head on Absolute Radio, BBC 6 Music, E4 and Planet Rock. Zoë is also a drummer and has worked with Viv Albertine (The Slits), Anne Pigalle, Mick Jones, Southend band The Voronas and Steve Beresford.


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There have been plenty of rock 'n' roll autobiographies, probably too many if truth be told. Like me you've probably read more than your fair share of them. Too many times I've finished a lengthy tome only to think 'well that was all very interesting, but it didn't actually tell me what they were really like'. However, Wilko Johnson's new autobiography, written with help from Zoe Howe, positively reeks of the man behind the black and red Telecaster. As soon as you open this book you are drawn into Wilko's world.

And what a world it is. Howe has done a superb job editing Wilko's scattergun verbiage to tell his story. The first thing that strikes you is his voice, both his voice as storyteller and his unique, twisted, amphetamine driven take on estuary English. It's a powerful voice that has been on an extraordinary journey, both physically and intellectually, and it really comes to life on the pages of this book. As Howe says in her introduction, 'this is your portal to Planet Wilko'.

Planet Wilko is a fascinating place that's made all the more interesting by the amount of photos and memorabilia taken from Wilko's personal archive. It ranges from photos taken by the hippie Wilko on his trip to Afghanistan, paintings, press cuttings and photos of the man in black at the height of his powers with The Feelgoods and as a solo performer.

This is the book that fans of Dr Feelgood and Wilko Johnson have been waiting for. A rare example of autobiography it is as interesting and quirky as its author, quite simply it is essential.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
More of a coffee table book with long anecdotes. I saw Dr Feelgood back in the late 70s (after Wilko had left) and I'd half followed his career. I was sad to hear the other day that he's been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. I would like to get tickets for his farewell tour. He's clearly something of a polymath and I enjoyed the tales of his travels in India. He was obviously a talented artist and the later sections about his interest in astronomy were also good.

What was never really discussed and what would have been very interesting was his marriage. He says he was devoted to his wife, Irene, and they were together for 40 years until she died. But his girlfriends were mentioned a lot throughout the book. There was one mention of the band not approving of his "lifestyle" but further detail here would have been interesting, and not in the prurient sense.

Very enjoyable.

9/10
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Format: Hardcover
This is no ordinary rock biography: but then Wilko is no ordinary rock musican. As co-founder and songwriter for Dr. Feelgood, he commands our full respect - not to mention his later achievements as cancer survivor, official `national treasure' and hit album collaborator (which this book doesn't, as it was published in 2012).

But what sort of book is it exactly? The publishers' blurb promises a `vibrant rock'n'roll scrapbook' - a crass phrase redolent of a hastily-compiled boyband Christmas cash-in. It's not that, fortunately. (And as the book tells us, Wilko favours RnB, not RnR). But neither is this the autobiography the publishers promise, nor is it the biography claimed by co-writer Zoe Howe in her introduction.

That the book is autobiographical in nature is beyond doubt. These are Wilko's own words and most certainly his own point of view. History is written by the victors, as Churchill said, and this is most certainly a selective account of activities and events, as dictated by Wilko and intelligently curated by Ms. Howe. That's the nature of the beast: and as a selective memoir, it makes for an excellent and fascinating read, with lots of new information, insights, artefacts and pictures. I read it in a single sitting. If you're interested enough in Wilko to have read this far, please be assured: you will enjoy this book. Buy it!

There is much to savour: art, astronomy, social history, rock music, an unconventional personal life (he loved many women and he ain't ashamed, apparently) and more. Wilko may not be the `renaissance man of rock' (another toe-curling phrase used by the publishers) but he is clearly an intelligent and perceptive man of many interests and talents.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved this! After seeing Wilko supporting Status Quo in Wolverhampton in April 2014, I became a huge fan. He had so much energy, wildness and love for good old fashioned R&B. Awesome stage presence. Blew Quo out of the water. His band are terrific. Have always admired Norman Watt-Roy's phenomenal bass playing. Dylan Howe was amazing, too. Anyway, after that gig I wanted to find out more about Wilko and Dr Feelgood. I'd only ever seen clips of Roxette on BBC4 programmes. Reading Looking Back at Me I came to love Wilko's straightforward no-nonsense approach to music, life and the universe. Superb photos and his paintings! Wow! Such a talented man. A wonderful cartoonist, too. Apparently, he was also a great teacher. How I wish I could meet this man. Reading the book was the next best thing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Top class story really well told. Thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's tinged with sadness due to his terminal illness. Such a shame.
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