4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Changeling: The Autobiography of Mike Oldfield (Paperback)
First of all it's fair to say the writing style is a bit dry but if if Mike was a writer he'd had been writing books since 1973 instead of recording some of the best and most innovative music I've ever heard in my life.
'Changeling' covers almost everything from birth to present day including the Manor days (I met one of his dog's (Bootleg's) offspring once. What a claim to fame!) I'm glad to read that he rates 'Amarok' highly. It's one of my favourites too and I wondered at the time why I almost had to almost stumble across it. Apparently the record company didn't think it worth pushing! 'Amarok' is, in my opinion at least, to 'Ommadawn' what 'Tubular Bells II' was to 'Tubular Bells'!
This book is not a collection of rock and roll anecdotes, but a brave and open account of the life thus far of one of the most gifted (and one time notoriously introverted) musicians England has produced.
Mike describes in detail how he approached each album and the circumstances surrounding him at the time. Frankly it's amazing that he's been able to do anything in some of the places he's been, like the house on Hergest Ridge! Despite it all, he's still produced work of rare genius and deep feeling.
Then there's the exegesis seminar which helped him to escape the torment of his own mind. It was given some very bad press at the time, as I remember. Here he writes about it in detail. For him it included primal scream and rebirth enactment therapy and, while traumatic, it can't have been half as bad as the world he was living in up to then.
'Changeling' is a compelling and often surprising book and he writes as he plays; with his heart on his sleeve.
Mike Oldfield is a remarkable man who's lived a remarkable life and I'm very grateful for having had the chance to read about it. At the end I felt like standing and applauding his honestly and bravery. The man has come through hell to reclaim his own mind. This is a story of pain, fear and triumph. It's also a celebration of life and the opportunity he has to report on it in the language he understands best and which we've learned to understand over the years. Thank you Mike.
And then there's the lion. Don't forget the lion.