Biography


“Who could forget their first view of Adam Ant on Top of the Pops, white stripes across his face, swaggering to the beat of ‘Antmusic’ or in frilly shirt and mask for ‘Stand and Deliver’? One of the most successful pop stars of the 80s, his face adorning posters on teenager’s walls from Acton to Akron, Adam Ant was a phenomenon. Now in this frank and revealing autobiography, he tells the full story of his amazing life from his dysfunctional childhood to his key role in the punk movement and creation of a unique musical style that brought him a string of hits (both singles and albums). At one point he was so famous other stars sought his company and advice – even Michael Jackson called in the dead of night to ask about music and clothes. His many girlfriends included Jamie Lee Curtis and Heather Graham and for a time he lived in LA, acting in fifteen films. Adam also writes honestly about his life-long battle with manic depression. His first episodes were triggered by the stress of living with a violent, alcoholic father, and he tried to commit suicide when he was at art school. A gruelling episode with a stalker in LA precipitated a mental breakdown, and a stalker in London led to his well-publicised arrest and hospitalization in 2001. At times funny and at other times tragic, this is gripping account of the turbulent life and times of one of music’s most fascinating figures.” (via Amazon)

I just finished pop icon Adam Ant´s “Stand & Deliver: The Autobiography” a book that gives you an up close and personal view of the artist Adam Ant and his real persona Stuart Leslie Goddard. For us who grew up in the 80s, Adam and The Ants were one of the coolest bands around in the beginning of 1980 and further on during 1981. The clothes, the warpaint, the songs, the videos, the concept, the images, the members. Everything was packaged in such a great way and they made an impression that lasted. The story gives us a portrayal of Adam in the very early days of the brief punk era to the rise that made him a true darling and poster boy of the MTV generation during the 80’s. But, we also get an insight into his personal complexity, his struggle with bipolar illness and the spiral downwards in erratic behaviour, suicidal thoughts and the ugly side of the tabloid press. This is of course his way of answering all the rumours about himself and setting the record straight. It´s tragic to read about his change to something pretty different from who he used to be and his artistic side. At the same time he set the boundaries himself once upon a time and wanted nothing more than being seen and heard. It´s a fine line to thread with the tabloids, the press and the pressure that comes with that. The tabloids don´t mind to help you to stardom, but they don´t mind either to make sure that your pop crown is thrown in the bin when they think the time has come. This book puts a good light on mental illness which is something we need to do in general globally. From having been in a close and personal relationship with someone suffering from bipolar illness, I really want to see that this topic is much more out in the open and people with it are truly treated properly. I hope Adam feels better today and that he has his bipolar illness under control. I reckon “Stand & Deliver: The Autobiography” is a must for any Ant fan.

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“The raw, undiluted autobiography of a true rock star whose music and antics inspired a generation of 24-hour party people. Shaun Ryder has lived a life of glorious highs and desolate lows. As lead singer of the Happy Mondays, he turned Manchester into Madchester, combining all the excesses of a true rock ‘n ‘roll star with music and lyrics that led impresario Tony Wilson to describe him as ‘the greatest poet since Yeats’. The young scally who left school at fifteen without ever learning his alphabet had come a very long way indeed. Huge chart success and a Glastonbury headline slot followed, plus numerous arrests and world tours — then Shaun’s drug addiction reached its height, Factory Records was brought to its knees and the Mondays split. But was this the end for Shaun Ryder? Not by a long shot. Two years later he was back with new band Black Grape, and their groundbreaking debut album topped the charts in possibly the greatest comeback of all time. Even his continuing struggle with drugs did not stem the tide of critically acclaimed tracks and collaborations as he went on to prove his musical genius time and again. And then there was the jungle… Rock’n’roll legend, reality TV star, drug-dealer, poet, film star, heroin addict, son, brother, father, husband, foul-mouthed anthropologist and straight-talking survivor, Shaun Ryder has been a cultural icon and a 24-hour party person for a quarter of a century. Told in his own words, this is his story.”

Being a massive fan of Happy Mondays since 1990 and then later of Black Grape, this is of course a must read. Shaun takes us through his life, both highs and lows, in his own words. I reckon you get a great insight into Shauns life, the rise and fall of Happy Mondays, the comeback with Black Grape and his stint with celebrity shows and his current life. I did enjoy that the book is “written” by Shaun which gives the book a solid credibility. Compared to other biographies with just a writer’s view so to say. And I did enjoy that he gives us the whole story, with all the ugly parts as well. Thus, if you like Happy Mondays/Black Grape and Shaun Ryder as a frontman/singer/writer this is for sure something you should read.

Shaun

 

“In the early 1990s, Stone Temple Pilots—not U2, not Nirvana, not Pearl Jam— was the hottest band in the world. STP toppled such mega-bands as Aerosmith and Guns N’ Roses on MTV and the Billboard charts. Lead singer Scott Weiland became an iconic front man in the tradition of Mick Jagger, David Bowie, and Robert Plant. Then, when STP imploded, it was Weiland who emerged as the emblem of rock star excess, with his well-publicized drug busts and trips to rehab. Weiland has since made a series of stunning comebacks, fronting the supergroup Velvet Revolver, releasing solo work, and, most recently, reuniting with Stone Temple Pilots. He still struggles with the bottle, but he has prevailed as a loving, dedicated father, as well as a business-savvy artist whose well of creativity is far from empty.”

STP became a band that took me to new rock n roll heights in 1992 with their debut album “Core” and I had the privilege to see them live in 1993. A massive show, but already at that point Weiland seemed to be steering himself into a ditch. I have been an avid fan of the band since, and I have followed their career closely with all their ups and downs. How can one not feel intrigued when Weiland decided to tell his side of the story in a biography. I was hoping for a proper insight into the quite complex singers life and all the craziness he has managed to go through. But, what we get is an extremely brief explanation of Weilands private life, his love to music and the bands he has fronted. There´s no real in depth info to get gripped by. The structure of the book contains of  “art”, blank pages, and huge page breaks with very little text per chapter. You can go trough the book very quickly and it more or less just pass you brain. It almost feels that half of the book is missing and that Weiland has purposely left all the interesting details of his life out. As if he started off with the intentions of baring his soul on paper, but quickly decided that he’d rather not have any information in the book that wasn’t already known. Thus “Not Dead & Not for Sale: A Memoir” wasn´t what I hoped it would be. A slight disappointment.