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Looking Back At Me Hardcover – Illustrated, 4 Jun 2012
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
As if that isn't enough, he is still touring extensively with a great band. Wilko is in danger of becoming a national treasure. Buy the book and find out why.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
jolly good. Bit like a scrapbook, but I think that was the ideaPublished 8 months ago by J. Westwood Chandler
A very easy read with some funny moments, some sad and some just plain furious. Wilko does not hold back on his feelings and why should he? Read morePublished 12 months ago by Mrs A D Tennant
Very well written and gives lots of good information, would recommend buying it to all avid fansPublished 15 months ago by TL Mills
This attractive book is a visual delight. Wilko is a remarkable man and this book helps explain why.I enjoyed it from cover to cover.Published 16 months ago by Tombo
Book arrived promptly, and is a really great, quality, interesting book.Published 17 months ago by Margaret Christian
I bought this for my dad who is a massive Wilko fan, and he is chuffed with it. He was going to wait until he'd finished another book of his before reading it, but once he'd read... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Amazon Customer
If you're a fan of Wilko or Canvey Island this is the book for you. Well written and great anecdotes - would recommend.Published on 18 April 2015 by leaning chimney