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Lee Brilleaux: Rock'n'roll Gentleman Paperback – 3 Nov 2015
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'Zoe Howe is one of our finest music biographers... In the case of Lee Brilleaux, she has undoubtedly done us a great service as this is a book that needed to be written about the iconic frontman of one of the most influential British bands of all time'--Dave Jennings, Louder Than War
About the Author
Zoe Howe is a music author whose other books include the acclaimed Typical Girls? The Story of the Slits; 'How's Your Dad?' Living in the Shadow of a Rock Star Parent, British Beat Explosion - Rock n' Roll Island and Dr Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson's memoir Looking Back At Me, published by Cadiz Music in 2012. Her writing has also appeared in The Quietus, Company, Notion, BBC Music, Holy Moly, Classic Rock and NME. Zoe has also made music radio series for stations including the award-winning Resonance FM, and she can be heard talking about rock n' roll from time to time on BBC 6 Music, Absolute Radio, Planet Rock, BBC London and elsewhere.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's a good read and I was left wanting more - so was it too short or too well written?
The general story and overall impression of the man come across well. Maybe some of the anecdotes are familiar to we anoraks and long-term fans, but for a larger audience that's not a problem. However, I would have appreciated more detail. What A levels? Where was his first job? Why no Wilko songs on the final live album? We read a lot about his culinary activities, less about other parts of his life. Perhaps more input from Chris Fenwick - childhood friend and manager - and less from Wilko.
I agree with another reviewer that the photographs are poor quality. Those that I can see. But as most of them don't even appear in my kindle edition (just the captions!) perhaps I shouldn't comment. Note: don't buy the kindle edition! But for a good introduction to a great character and a damn good read, do read the book. There's not enough of it, but maybe that's a compliment!
Brilleaux is a hero of mine and I know exactly what a good guy he was, but he was human and had his faults. Zoe's book tends to paint him as a saint, excusing his displays of temper as the artistic temperament, or his drunkenness (of which a LOT is described herein, along with the usual sniggering references to "certain substances") as laddish good spirits. Domestic clashes are glossed over, and a succession of terrible albums benefit from a desire to say SOMETHING good about them. Behaviour that seems to me bullying and aggressive (pouring a pint on the carpet of a restaurant after being denied admittance, booting a Finnish fan in the face for spilling beer on him) is presented as almost admirable. All that having been said, despite the absence of critical perspective, Zoe's affection for her subject is contagious. There may be no warts on display here, but there is a fairly exhaustive trail through Lee's life and career. Some of it is heartbreaking (the end, obviously, and the savage irony of survivor Wilko's contributions - he makes no attempt to excuse himself for his obstinate behaviour, even though Lee was probably equally culpable, and obviously carries a burden of guilt for the wasted years). Oh, and as mentioned in another review, the reproduction of the pictures is terrible, but I imagine this couldn't be helped. A pity, because it's a wonderful collection of snaps.
A good read, an easy read, but, perhaps understandably, more of a tribute than a biography.
Recommended. Big time. Oh yeah.
My first experience live was with the Gordon Russell line-up at an open-air festival in Groningen, Netherlands. I was so THRILLED! Lee had a fantastic onstage presence and I loved Gordon's playing!! I am a happy owner of a fully signed copy of Doctors Orders (bought it again at that gig so I could get it signed).
It was a very sad day and year when we lost Lee in 1994!
This book is a lovely read telling the story of Lee and Dr. Feelgood and any fan needs to read/have it. The chapter about Lee's death made me cry and I cried again after finishing the book. Get this book!!!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Zoe has done a great job here. Unlike other reviewers I didn't know Lee personally but any fan of the band would be proud of what she has written - the love shines through and Lee... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is an excellent book, takes the reader on a great journey of a R&B legendPublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
No Brilleaux to consult but not bad. A few omissions...Published 8 months ago by J. Westwood Chandler
Affectionate, well researched, chronological account of the Dr. Feelgood front man and majordomo. Entertaining, shot through with a thread of humour, and never runs dry - just like... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Kevin
Unremarkable book, because Lee was basically just an honest, modest, polite guy with a convincing aggressive stage act.
The book, I think, captures this.
Thoroughly entertaining and informative,does great service to a much missed highly underrated singer,author deserves recognition from the Canvey Tourist BoardPublished 13 months ago by rougeroute