morgainex: (Peart)
...a female "High Fidelity"?

This grew out of a post of [ profile] ephemera's, which asked a similar question. It deviated into a discussion of females in rock music generally, and the dearth of good female music biographies and memoirs.

I love music. And I love live to read, so it isn't much of a stretch to imagine that I love books about music. I have devoured music biographies and memoirs since I was a teenager, and can't imagine visiting a bookstore without checking out the "music" section. Hell, I even buy 'em in hardcover if a review or the back cover blurb entices me enough. Generally, that's an honour reserved for Iain M Banks. I even have a dvd copy of "High Fidelity", and yes, was a CHMR-er at university. We joked that to know that is to know far, far too much of me for anyone who went to MUN.

But I've never read a female equivalent. Not even close. An article in the Guardian not so very long ago suggested that men and women view music differently, with men doing the obsessive fan-boy organizing, collating and list-making (not to mention record shop oneupmanship) while women have emotional connections to it. It obviously inspired some dispute - anything that suggests a split along gender lines does. My personal response was that I consider a response to music to be the same as anything else - individual.

But when we considered the books, it got harder to reconcile. Because the best female music memoir I could come up with was Pamela des Barres' "I'm With The Band". And while I thoroughly enjoyed the book, it is peripheral - Pam was, after all, primarily a groupie.

Is that all there can be for a woman? To sleep with musicians? (And I am speaking as someone who married one... :) Of course not, but it's hard to see otherwise. Many of the books about Janis Joplin concentrate on her sexuality - her desperateness to be seen as attractive, the apparent revulsion of her young adulthood, her bisexuality. Marianne Faithfull and Grace Slick's autobiographies are less so, but even given their body of work, the physical body is still brought to the fore. Now I know that sex'n'drugs'n'rock'n'roll is the eternal triumvirate, but there is more. Isn't there?

Personally, I did the obsessive list-making, the searching for obscure versions and bootlegs - my first visit to London was essentially a tour of the record shops in Soho - and I was recognized at X Records, the Bolton collectors' shop, before long, and had the guy there holding things he thought would interest me. I agonized over the best way to organize my collection, and I am certainly glad I got most of the collector bug out of my system pre-E-bay, otherwise... who knows where it might have gone? (Note: divorce, moving and doing the trans-Atlantic relocation thing can be an effective way to rid one's self of the magpie instinct.) But even without doing too much of the magpie thing any more (and my occasional periods of obsessively trawling through mp3 blogs and the number of alternate versions I have of some songs suggests I haven't quite divested myself of that - my music is still a constant mental soundtrack. I can mentally time-stamp events by their soundtrack, and conjure up pictures of who, and what, and where, and when. Right from my first album - "Johnny Cash's Greatest Hits," given to me in 1969, to Cash's version of "Hurt" causing an hiatus in the intense conversation with Paul just over a week ago.

I'd love to read a female memoir that concentrates on her music. Not a feminised copy of "High Fidelity" or "Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story" or even "Traveling Music: The Soundtrack to My Life and Times" - as much as I enjoyed those - but something that comes from the same place - the place where someone's music and life are inextricable.

So - someone have one to recommend? Someone going to write one?
morgainex: (Default)
"Rowdymen of the Rock"

Have you read "Down To The Dirt"? Let me know...
morgainex: (Default)
Been borderline (frequently strayed over, yes) grumpy all day. Came home and curled up with Val McDermid's _The Torment of Others_, which I just finished and am now about to hopefully not blow some cash on ebay.


Aug. 20th, 2007 10:52 pm
morgainex: (northern lights)
So, here I am, reading this Lawrence Block "Matthew Scudder" detective story, and part of the plot involves viatical transactions in insurance policies. Which I'd never heard of.

Then today I get passed a copy of "Business Week" and told the cover story is interesting.

The cover has Death, in a cowl, carrying a scythe.

and the subject matter is... Death Bonds. Which are...

*shakes head*

Wild Thing

Aug. 4th, 2007 11:25 am
morgainex: (Default)
Very little could drag me to Myspace... but this did.

Joolz Denby hasn't got a publisher for her new novel, "Wild Thing", and she's publishing some excerpts on Myspace -

I've read and thoroughly enjoyed all her novels, particularly "Billie Morgan". I'd love to record an audiobook of it - the voice is fantastic.


morgainex: (Default)

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