I picked up the singer, Tim Burgess’s, memoir recently on a whim. It’s had decent reviews and I love a good rock n roll tale.
I’m glad I did, and thoroughly enjoyed it without being familiar with all the players and the songs. Tim is a charming narrator, a genuine eccentric with a great story and a friendly voice. He has a sense of humour about himself, which for me was what made this book, particularly as this balanced out his apparent belief that The Charlatans were a bit more important than they were. I mean, obviously they were to him. But still.
I also liked how honest he was about his ‘influences’. Every song he mentions having a hand in writing, it’s always ‘a cross between the Faces and the Beatles’ or ‘inspired by Dylan, with a bit of Lennon. He even says that an entire album cover concept was ‘borrowed from the Beastie Boys’. He doesn’t pretend to have original ideas, and is indebted to his heroes.
There is a lot of sadness and madness in this tale, perhaps inevitably. I hadn’t realised how much. Again, this is told with a lot of empathy and a good sense of humour (as far as possible).
On a more frivolous note, I also hadn’t realised quite how criminally good-looking Tim Burgess had been. Worth a look just for some of those early photographs, frankly.