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Lee Brilleaux: Rock'n'roll Gentleman Paperback – 3 Nov 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Polygon (3 Nov. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184697335X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846973352
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 2.7 x 15.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 218,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

'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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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Well done to the author. This was a book that needed to be written, about a man deserving of greater recognition. As soon as I heard about it, I signed up for it on 'Unbound' (and eventually got my money back when it was switched to new publishers).

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!
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I'm a big early Feelgoods fan and I lumped them in with The Clash, Damned et al in my youth. The first 2 albums are essential rock n roll. Enjoyed the book immensely - though while I realise it was primarily about Brilleaux some more insight into his wife and other band members would have been helpful - too much repeated lines about booze and cooking.
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I feel like I'm kicking a puppy by saying anything negative about this book. It's obviously a labour of love by Zoe, and as a result the writing is a little gauche and "on the nose" at times.
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.
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A brilliant biography of a wonderful man I knew relatively well. Without Dr. Feelgood there would be no punk rock and without that no Kaiser Chiefs or Killers or Replacements or...you name it. And without the late great Lee Brilleaux there would be no Dr. Feelgood. Yes, Dr. Feelgood still play but with no original members and it is simply not the same. Lee Brilleaux influenced so many and it is beyond cruel he is not here today. As a fan of author Zoe Howe I note how she has gotten better and better as a writer with each book. You go, girl, you climb as high and as fast as you can!
Recommended. Big time. Oh yeah.
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I chose to fund this via Unbound, but it didn't follow that route, which put me off for a bit, though I did buy it when it came out. However, Zoe has written a fantastic biography here, bringing us very close to the man. I was a Dr Feelgood fan right from when I was 15 in 1975 and I saw them at Guildford Civic Hall. I've always been fascinated by the band and the Canvey connection. I think Zoe captures the influences and experiences brilliantly that formed and informed Brilleaux and the band. I enjoyed reading this book so much, that I would go beyond saying it is a very good music biography, and say it is one of the best biographies I've ever read.
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I have enjoyed reading this account of Lee Brilleaux's life so far but am afraid I lost interest just over half way through. I think this may be because I just did not find him quite interesting enough. I do not regret buying the book and feel pretty sure I will return to it. To sum up a good read but not a fascinating read for me.
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Discovered Dr. Feelgood by chance when hearing the one-of playing (I only heard it once) of Milk & Alcohol on (Dutch) Radio. It was a time when I could buy about 2 elpee's in 3 weeks. I had somehow all the elpee's out at the time within two weeks! Can't remember how I did that!
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!!!!
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