Fool the World: The Oral History of a Band Called Pixies
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Fool the World: The Oral History of a Band Called Pixies

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  282 ratings  ·  37 reviews
It’s the 1980s and the rock landscape is littered with massive hair, synthesizers, and monster riffs, but there is an alternative being born in the sleepy East of America—we just don’t know it yet.
Before the Internet, MTV, and iPods provided far-off music fans with information and communities—and before Nirvana—kids across the world grew up in relative isolation, dependent...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 21st 2006 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published October 6th 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 703)
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i D-E-V-O-U-R-E-D this book.
the pixies are the greatest band on the planet, and this does them justice.

it reads like a conversation between 40+ people who all had different perspectives and involvement in the comet that was the pixies and is edited carefully to reveal their story in an interesting yet chronological way. i would have loved to read more about what happened with the breeders, kim deal's road to sobriety is kind of completely ignored, and i absolutely hated the inclusion of the tr...more
I've been a huge Pixies fan for years so when I randomly saw this book in a bookstore while visiting Boston, I had to pick it up. The reason I'm only giving it two stars is because I really wanted a definitive biopic with an actual structured narrative. What the book actually is is a bunch of very loose interview snippets from recording engineers, tour managers, friends, famous people, and very occasionally the band members themselves arranged in vaguely chronological order. There are some inter...more
Pixies Pixies Pixies.....
La-la-loved it.
I like patchwork-quilt style of storytelling that comes from good oral-bios, from envisioning the larger story within each individual point of view.

I really love oral histories. They read quick, they are easy to understand, they feel more intimate and honest than if someone wrote a biography of the band. I like to buy them for my husband because he has ADD and I feel like narrators that shift every paragraph would be easier for him. He never reads the books but I usually do and this was one of them.

I was 3 when Surfer Rosa came out. I never listened to a Pixies...more
Mar 20, 2007 Chris rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Pixies fans and music dorks.
So I'm not all the way through it yet. But I've been plugging away at Fool the World: The Oral History of a Band Called Pixies and I really like it. My friend Alicia let me borrow it along with a bunch of other Pixies goodies. Alicia didn't really like this that much. Our friend Sarah Flynn said the writer is a douchebag. In anycase, he's not really the writer. He conducted interviews and looked at archived interviews and basically compiled and edited them toghether in a well organized chronolog...more
Unbelievable how few years it took from bedroom recordings to when I saw them opening a Cure concert. This band great to become a favorite who could not play a note I didn't want to turn all the way up. I enjoyed the book's style of interviews even though a few, as usual, were with people who's famous perspective wasn't of much interest.

I'm fascinated by the path taken by band members after the demise. I saw the Martini's and got to say hello to both Joey Santiago and David Lovering. I had no id...more
Thomas Strömquist
"Telling the story of the band as a compilation of interviews and quotes from a multitude of sources and manages to do so beautifully I think. Despite the almost "cut-and-paste" feeling, the image conveyed feels full and comprehensive. Great value for a fan!"
Dec 27, 2009 Anna rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
I'm pretty obsessed with the Pixies right now. One of the most fascinating aspects of the band was their personal dynamics and interactions, particularly the well-publicized falling out between Charles Thompson and Kim Deal. I really wanted to know more about the band members themselves and what went on between them that enabled them to make such amazing music and also what led to their breakup. The only reason this is four and not five stars is because too much of the commentary comes from peop...more
Chas Bayfield
I read this because someone said my band sounded like them and I think Kim Deal is the business. I saw them at Reading and she looked like someone's mum (which she possibly is) so I was intrigued to know more. The book was great. It was told from the band's point of view and I loved the story of KD being such a misfit in Ohio and the move to Boston. The description of how the band's first album was put together and the room where they put Black Francis to howl was great. If you're a fan of the b...more
Nov 19, 2008 Ciara rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: pixies fans, oral historians, obsessive music nerds, noreen
i wanted this to be better than it was. it is, as billed, the oral history of the pixies, told through interviews with band members & everyone else that could have possibly had anything to do with the band during their formation, ascent to late-80s indie rock popularity, sluggish decline, & reunion. i guess it's pretty good for what it is--plenty of funny stories, informational tidbits about how the band formed & recorded, etc. i just always expect books like this to be better than t...more
Paul Austin

Not a stunning book, but the reason I picked it up is because I'm from Boston, and was there at... yes... "the beginning". The weeknight shows at dive bar Green St.Station? Yep, was actually there. (Were they great yet? No. They sure were loud, though.)

The mid-point to second half of the book is the most engrossing - the disintegration of personal and professional relationships due to jealousy and ego issues folks never knew they had (even when all outwardly is going swimmingly) is always fascin...more
Matt Champagne
Not so good. Felt like gossip. "This happened and then this happened and then this..." Not so good.
Apr 18, 2011 Saby rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Pixies and grunge fans
Shelves: 2011, non-fiction
I'm getting primed for my fourth time seeing Black Francis and my SECOND TIME seeing the Pixies :)

This book is for fans. This book reads like a string of text messages grouped together by category. It is interesting. There are nuggets of Pixies information on every page but nothing a fan couldn't have garnered in five minutes on the internet. Unfortunately, this book is by no means a good read.

The Index in this book is quite useful. You can just skim over the topics that interest you and go stra...more
The few paragraphs written by the author are nothing special, but thankfully 95% of the book is interviews with the band and those who were associated with them. As someone who lives in Boston and plays in a band as a fairly direct result of having been obsessed with the Pixies, Breeders, Throwing Muses, etc, hearing the story from the point of view of those people and the 80's Boston music scenesters was especially interesting! Definitely worth a read for the first-hand details and anecdotes.
While I enjoyed this pretty short book, it is full of stuff that could have been left out, so could easily have been half the size. The most interesting anecdotes come from the band. It also keeps going on about how huge they were in England, which is pretty misleading. They were a big indie band but indie wasn't as fashionable then. Only music nerds like me went to see them. In England they were probably about as big as The Fall or some band like that.
Nice overview of the band's career, including the latest reunion tour. I was pleased that they included a lot of material on the players in the Boston scene of the late 80's and the influence that bands like the Throwing Muses had on the Pixies. The book sort of tiptoes around Kim Deal's drug & alcohol travails but does a good job evoking the gradual build up of friction between band members until the ultimate break up.
Learned a hell of a lot and enjoyed reading the book. For some reason, the band disappears during the book and it turns into a story about the people on the outskirts of the Pixies as opposed to the people who made up the band. I would have liked it to focus more on what the group had to say, what Joey, David, Kim and Charles had to say. I'd recommend it if you like the Pixies.
Interview material used to write a modern rock opera about the rise and fall of the Pixies (one of the greatest rock bands to grace us) collated into a book. The author realized his rock opera would need to be over 8 hours long to cover everything, so he put the material out as a book, and will base his opera on extracts from the book.

Now that's true fan zealotry!
Elizabeth Escobar
Great book on my fave music band "Pixies" and on the group process that led to their break-up in 1992. I thought I would just skim it-- but I was addicted to reading the different perspectives of the variety of people interviewed in the book.
Perfect to read after I watched the "Loud Quiet Loud" documentary about their first reunion in 12 years starting in 2004.
Fool the World is a scrapbook of voices and perspectives pieced together with fondness to create an amusing and candid view of the band called Pixies. It feels like an insider's glimpse without pretension, allowing the personalities of the players to reveal themselves through first person recollections and shared stories.
One of my favorite bands gets the Studs Terkel treatment, and it's an inspiring, absorbing read.

(The first third of the book is almost a co-biography of Throwing Muses, because the two bands were integral to each other's success.)
Though the format of the book -- that is, snippets of transcribed conversations -- may get tiresome, this is a definite read for those obsessed with the Pixies. You'll learn a lot about the band from a more personal perspective.
Jun 14, 2007 Nicky rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of the band
alot of stuff about how and where the pixies recorded and some pretty cool behind the scenes touring stories. because the pixies weren't really together for very long some of the stories feel like filler and are not interesting.
I was and am a huge Pixies fan, and this is well researched history of the band, as told through a collection of interview snippets with those who witnessed this history. I really enjoyed reading this book.
Great read--the whole book is a series of interview-style quotes from the band members and everyone involved (producers, engineers, other musicians).
Mar 21, 2007 Alicia rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Pixies fans
If you enjoy reading about production studios, go for it! Not bad, really. An interesting glimpse into the workings of one of my favorite bands.
I enjoyed this book it was so badass it made want to go through my whole Pixies library and listen to the songs as I was reading the book.
Fantastic chronicle of one of my favorite bands ever, as told by the band members, fans, other musicians, rock critics, etc.
This is a great oral history of one of the most influential bands of the last 20 years.
Pixies = favorite band ever. Kim Deal = My preteen crush that will never die. *sigh*
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Josh Frank is a writer, producer, director and composer. He has penned numerous plays, including an authorized adaptation of Werner Hergoz’s Stroszek, screenplays, including an adaptation of Mark Vonnegut's The Eden Express, and musicals, including The Jonathan Richman Musical. He is the author of Fool The World, the Oral History of the Band Called Pixies (St. Martins Press USA/Virgin Books U.K.)...more
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