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A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, from Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man Hardcover – 28 May 2014
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"It's a credit to Warren's unflinching tone that the Chilton of Destruction is a charismatic, oft-frustrating man unwilling to kowtow to anything or anyone ... You'll never hear his music the same way again."
Jason Diamond, Flavorwire
"This book is all Chilton, all the way."
The New York Times
"A revelatory account of [Chilton's] career."
Kirkus Reviews (starred) "The immensely gifted and highly influential musician Alex Chilton has long deserved a big biography. Holly George-Warren's meticulously researched and beautifully written book shows us Chilton in all his mysterious glory. A Man Called Destruction gets to the heart of the man by focusing on the music he made (and the music that made him) with great precision and authority. I loved reading this sensitive, sympathetic, and intelligent portrait of a complicated and important figure."
Dana Spiotta, author of Stone Arabia "This book is the very definition of a labor of love. Every page of it is infused with Holly George-Warren's affection for and deep understanding of Alex Chilton and his groundbreaking work. Even its most candid moments are presented with empathy and a profound respect. Chilton could be thorny and difficult character -- he is fortunate to have found a biographer eager to untangle the knots of his character and to find the sweet heart beating within."
Anthony DeCurtis, Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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What interests me most, however, is Chilton's post-Big Star era, when he descended into a dissolute mire of drugs, drink and debauchery, that is even less edifying to read about than the often awful records he made. Then, in a determined effort to clean up his act, the mid-eighties onwards, and into the nineties when he finally started earning money off the great records that he had made with Big Star (especially the royalties coming in from cover versions), there's something of an epiphany, a redemption of sorts.
George-Warren doesn't stint in painting a picture of Chilton as an occasionally obnoxious and awkward character, who could oscillate between charming and good-natured and mean-spirited and downright nasty. In the end, this is a very readable and revealing biography of a mercurial and at times wildly self-sabotaging individual - 'A Man Called Destruction' indeed.
Not quite a 5 star read in my opinion but very good none the less.
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