**spoiler alert** I really enjoyed this book. Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones writes his auto-biography, looking back over 40 years of rock history.
He**spoiler alert** I really enjoyed this book. Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones writes his auto-biography, looking back over 40 years of rock history.
He talks about his early life, his childhood family and his introduction to art and music. He moves on the the early days of Rock & Roll in the UK. He talks about his connections to other rockers outside of the framework of the Stones. He joined them in 1975-1976 and its interesting for me, because I have read about many of these people from the Stones POV, but this is an outsider's look at them. Wood wasn't a Stone when he met them or jammed with them.
Wood also talks about the family he makes with the two women he married (one after the other) and the children he has with them. He doesn't mention the recent suicide of an ex GF/Wife, nor does he mention his current problems regarding taking up with a teeny, while still married.
He talks about his drug and alcohol problem and the long history of abuse. Strange, because his childhood family seemed so healthy and normal, yet he used drugs and alcohol to escape. He also talks about how his children have grown, and become successful as people, and yet they were apparently exposed to all the drugging and drinking, He appears to be very lucky, to have been good at parenting, or he is putting a positive spin on his children. You can't really tell, which it is, or if its all three.
Having heard that Wood is not one of Jagger's favorite people, its strange to read how Wood paints their relationship as close. He also seems to show Keith as a bit of a nutcase, and not really the better person in the Jagger-Richard relationship. Wood says he is very close to Richard, but after he enters rehab, and stops drinking there seems to be a distance between them. As though Wood can't be in the atmosphere that promotes substance abuse. Wood also doesn't talk about his recent relapse, and the new stint in rehab.
The talk about music is interesting, in that he feels creative, and musical, but doesn't seem to mind that he is playing the music of others. There is very little space for him in the Jagger-Richard relationship to be a creator. He has done, he said 7 solo albums, I have one, Give Me Some Neck which I enjoy very much. Somehow he seems able to do both the Stones gigs and his own material, and stay fresh and happy. Of course he also talks about his bad financial decisions, and his need for money, so perhaps he is just doing the Stones stuff for cash. He only recently became an actual Stone, and not an employee, that too is only obliquely mentioned.
He is one of the old generation of UK rockers who are also artists. Many of the founders ended up in art school in the UK. They weren't academic, and had no interest in a trade, so they were sorted into art school. The book is filled with his drawings and paintings, which are well done. He also sells art, and has exhibitions in galleries. There are also a good number of photos.
While the blurbs talk about all kinds of inside stuff on the early years of rock, very little of it is new, and all of it is general and sanitized. It could be said to be name dropping from end to end, of course he has had such a famous life it would probably be hard not to. Some do seem to be mentioned just get the famous name in, rather than because they have some deep connection to him and his life.
The book is written well, and flows. There are a few odd patches with words, he seems to make them up occasionally. The story is interesting and sucks you in.
An interesting addition for anyone interested in the Stones, and inside world of Rock & Roll....more
**spoiler alert** I found this book to be very gripping. It was a page turner. It was an oral biography. Various people talked about Capote, from his**spoiler alert** I found this book to be very gripping. It was a page turner. It was an oral biography. Various people talked about Capote, from his childhood in Alabama to his death in California. Some people were obviously self-serving, or trying to bury a hatchet, or out to lunch, but it was still interesting, because they said as much about themselves as they did about Capote. It also let you see what type of people he was surrounded by.
It provided information and context about Capote, without being too heavy or detail oriented. It gave you emotional as well as factual information, and opinion. Sometimes you could see the same event described by multiple people.
I have been interested in Capote since seeing the fabulous movie, Infamous, which this book was the basis for. I wanted enough information about him to read his his stories and books about him, and understand the nuances, but I didn't want to get bogged down in the detail. This book was perfect for that.
The anecdotes were arranged in chronological order so they seemed to tell the story of his life. They talked about his early writing successes, his involvement with the Kansas situation, the black and white ball, his flitting with the jet-set, his fall from grace with them when he published their gossip, his dabbling with Broadway and Hollywood, his lack of writing, his boozing and drugging, and his death.
The only lack seemed to me was the lack of explanation about his relationship with Jack Dunphy. Truman seemed to be alone, but he was also with his lover Jack Dunphy. Jack would be there but not around, and the book never explained why ? Also why Jack never seemed to try to save him.