Review: 45, Bill Drummond (2001)

4img_07375 is a collection of essays written during Bill Drummond’s 45th year. It’s a mix of autobiographical sketches and anecdotes, and autobiographically inspired musings on a theme.  These range broadly from his early years of managing Echo and the Bunnymen, through to pre-publication of this paperback edition – the last three essays are a foreword to the book, and two on getting the foreword written and accepted for this edition.
At the beginning Drummond thinks of the title as linking his age to a 45rpm record, with the end of his music career and the beginning of his writing career having come at 33 1/3 years old (in fact, he kept making music. Pictured).  However, midway through he recollects asking his dad when the best period of life is, and his dad answering ‘45, son’. Who knows if this is true, but the answer and Drummond’s thinking around it – about the benefits of less hormones, less desperation – clearly informs this work. Drummond seems to battle throughout with what he knows is a childish need for attention and applause, for public approbation.  The lessening of this desperation allows him more space here.   Continue reading “Review: 45, Bill Drummond (2001)”

'Sir Vidia’s Shadow', by Paul Theroux. Reading Notes: Part 1.

Summary: I’m halfway through this book having reached the end of the second of four parts, and so far this is a compelling study of an incredible character, that raises unsettling questions. Theroux’s honesty about himself makes the personal memoir aspect engaging, but it is the well observed portrait of V.S. Naipaul as a powerful, driven and flawed character that is the dark fascinating heart of the book. The animating question for me at this point is how much of the whole is necessary: how separable are Naipaul’s virtues and vices. The earliest part of the book shows the allure, and perhaps the need, for people who hold themself and the world to a higher standard. By the mid-point however this admirable and absolute commitment to the truth and to exposing reality no matter how uncomfortable, is shading definitively into contempt and cruelty towards (most of) the rest of humanity.   A second question, how far is the (post-colonial) insecurity underlying Naipaul’s character responsible for the strengths and excesses. Continue reading “'Sir Vidia’s Shadow', by Paul Theroux. Reading Notes: Part 1.”