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Owning Up: The Trilogy: Scouse Mouse; Rum, Bum and Concertina; Owning Up (Penguin Classic Biography)
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Owning Up: The Trilogy: Scouse Mouse; Rum, Bum and Concertina; Owning Up (Penguin Classic Biography)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  21 ratings  ·  4 reviews
George Melly's three autobiographical memoirs - "Scouse Mouse", "Rum, Bum and Concertina" and "Owning Up" in one volume for the first time. An account of the author's life from childhood in middle-class Liverpool in the thirties, through national service in the navy as an ordinary seaman to his emergence as a connoisseur of surrealist art and his career as a jazz singer.
Paperback, 608 pages
Published July 27th 2000 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published July 2000)
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Mike Johnson
The most significant part of the trilogy is "Rum, Bum and Concertina" which covers Gorgeous George's early days from prep schooldays to life as a naval rating, where he discovers his sexuality, and his entry into the London art world. It was only after his school mates read this book that George's son first discovered his dad was bi-sexual.
The third part, "Owning Up", will be partricularly appreciated by musicians, as George describes in great detail the decadent life of a 1950s jazz singer.
It took me a long time to read this book, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. In three parts, the first dealt with Melly's childhood in Liverpool and gave an insight into the city in the 30s and 40s as well as a good portrait of his large family. The second, my favourite was his days in the Navy, it sounds like he had a great time amongst all the sailors, but also discovered women along the way! The final part was in the time of the 50s and 60s, his days on the road with the band, meeting the jazz grea ...more
I read this some years ago, but just recently re-read one of the memoirs in this super volume. George Melly was an eccentric, who was bi-sexual, surrealist-fan, and a blues/jazz singer as well. Witty, charming, and "Owning Up" is a memoir about his years as a traveling jazz singer in the UK during the 50's. Great touring stories, with a great cast of characters. British to the core, you can taste the post-war years of London via this book.
Sharp, funny and insightful memoirs from a great cultural commentator - as cool at 80 as he had been at 20.
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