- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 8 hours and 3 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 9 Nov. 2012
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00A4TJ224
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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Telling Stories Audiobook – Unabridged
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The Charlatans' front man is no mean author in the traditional sense, but then again he's not a professional writer. What he is though, is a natural storyteller, and he has written his book in a chatty, conversational way, making it seem as though he is speaking directly to you. I really liked this style, it made 'Tellin' Stories' quite different to the average rock n rock autobiography on the shelves. Oodles of facts are scattered around it, but the text does follow a general chorological flow.
What comes across loud and clear is Tim's enthusiastic love for music, and he shares his encyclopaedia-like knowledge about the artists who have inspired him, he recommends so many songs for you to listen to, that you might just want to have a paper and pen handy to start a list.
It's all here in his book, the beginnings of The Charlatans in 'Madchester', their mainstream success, the music, frank confessions of his love for drugs, the armed robbery incident, smuggling, fraud, and all the highs and lows laid bare, including the unfortunate deaths of fellow band members. This is the story of survival, and Tim came across as a decent bloke, a good laugh, warm, witty, more than a little egotistical, and at times, selfish. However, he had to be the latter in order to keep the future and success of his band alive, and I admire him for it. Along the way, there are plenty of stories about his encounters with fellow musical icons, from the Gallagher brothers to Joe Strummer to Ronnie Wood, and they all make for good reading.
If you're a fan of Tim's band, 'Telling Stories' is a must read, if you're an inspiring musician, you'll find lots of inspiration, and if you're just looking for a good rock music memoir, you'll enjoy this particular ride. Illustrated throughout, and highly recommended!
I was particularly interested to read Telling Stories because The Charlatans were a band I listened to a lot during my teens. I grew up in Monmouth, in a midterraced house on Rockfield Road, just a couple of miles from where The Charlatans recorded. I actually met Tim Burgess twice in the mid 90s, and was completely in awe of this beautiful man. He had an ethereal quality, seeming much more introvert than his outer persona would suggest. I still have his autograph on the back of a National Lottery slip.
Burgess talks about his teenage years clubbing in Manchester, particularly at the legendary Hacienda, and his early experiences of substance abuse. As a vinyl collector he is knowledgeable about an eclectic mix of artists and bands, name-checking and recommending them throughout the book. You'll be reaching for your music collection (or youtube for some of the more obscure recommendations) as you read. Then of course there are his experiences as a musician. The Charlatans are often referred to as part of the 'Madchester' scene and also the later Indie/Britpop genre. However, part of the beauty of The Charlatans is their constantly evolving sound, and when you read Telling Stories and see the diverse list of influences, it becomes apparent just why their sound transcends so many genres.
Most music memoirs are chock-full of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Burgess himself acknowledges that drugs and rock and roll were his focus, openly admitting to the methods he used to smuggle drugs across borders and his drug reliance which he refers to as self-medication. The tragic death of bandmate Rob Collins, fraud scandal and armed robbery add depth and emotion to this compelling autobiography.
An honest, insightful look into the mind of a notable musician, Telling Stories is an interesting memoir which will particularly appeal to music fans of a certain age.
Having been a fan of the charlatans for seventeen years i loved learning the inside story of the bands beginnings. Tim's enthusiasm for music is clear, I found it endearing and reading the book has introduced me to stuff I'd never heard before and is now firmly on my play list.
I could hear Tim's voice telling his story as i read, leaving me in no doubt that these were his words and no-one else's. I read the entire book in one sitting (with toilet breaks) i just couldnt put it down. By far my favourite book in ages.
Everyone should read this book, charlatans fan (who isn't and why?) or not.