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I'll Never Write My Memoirs

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Legendary influential performer Grace Jones offers a revealing account of her spectacular career and turbulent life, charting the development of a persona that has made her one of the world’s most recognizable artists.

As a singer, model, and actress—a deluxe triple threat—Grace has consistently been an extreme, challenging presence in the entertainment world since her emergence as an international model in the 1970s. Celebrated for her audacious talent and trailblazing style, Grace became one of the most unforgettable, free-spirited characters to emerge from the historic Studio 54, recording glittering disco classics such as I Need a Man and La Vie en Rose. Her provocative shows in underground New York nightclubs saw her hailed as a disco queen, gay icon, and gender defying iconoclast.

In 1980, the always ambitious Grace escaped a crowded disco scene to pursue more experimental interests. Her music also broke free, blending house, reggae, and electronica into a timeless hybrid that led to classic hits such as Pull Up to the Bumper and Slave to the Rhythm. In the memoir she once promised never to write, Grace offers an intimate insight into her evolving style, personal philosophies, and varied career—including her roles in the 1984 fantasy-action film Conan the Destroyer alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and the James Bond movie A View to a Kill.

Featuring sixteen pages of stunning full-color photographs, many from her own personal archive, I’ll Never Write My Memoirs follows this ageless creative nomad as she rejects her strict religious upbringing in Jamaica; conquers New York, Paris, and the 1980s; answers to no-one; and lives to fight again and again.s.

400 pages, Hardcover

First published September 24, 2015

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Grace Jones

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 234 reviews
Profile Image for Rowena.
500 reviews2,464 followers
August 1, 2016
“I decided from an early age that the best form of defense was attack. and that taking on the world and living life to the fullest was how I would deal with setbacks and problems. This means you leave behind quite a trail. What you do gets noticed.”- Grace Jones, I’ll Never Write My Memoirs

Grace Jones is a model, singer, actress, and many other things. She threw eggs at cabs in Paris that didn’t stop for her, hung out with Andy Warhol, lived as a nudist for a while, and is the kind of woman who will try anything once. Ms. Jones lives by her own rules, so I knew this book was going to be a fascinating read.

To me the most fascinating memoirs are those in which people have so many seemingly impossible barriers to overcome, but somehow they do it. I’m drawn to the type of memoirs that show how the human spirit can overcome, whether the spirit is a quiet one, or a feisty one like Jones’. When I was much younger and watched documentaries on famous people’s lives with my family I never really understood why childhood was so impressed upon. I used to hear people say that you spend your adulthood trying to reconcile and get over your childhood, and I never really understood what that meant until I was older. When I read the recount of Jones’ early life, I’m not surprised she ended up taking the unconventional route. Jones was raised in Jamaica by her sadistic step-grandfather, Mas P, in an extremely conservative (Pentecostal) religious environment that basically sucked all the joy out of her. Reading about what she had to endure at the hands of Mas P was really disturbing and invites plenty of discussion on conservative religion and how stifling, controlling, and cruel it can be, especially to women and children. Constantly being monitored and not having the opportunity to have a real life, so it’s no wonder that when Jones left Jamaica for the US, she let loose and became a rebel of sorts:

“Jamaica is a land of growth–things grow so fast; it’s nature in spectacular, bewitching overdrive–so it is weird to be in a situation where spontaneous personal growth was frowned upon.”

The era she came up in was hard, especially as a black woman who, in her words, didn’t have a “wholesome” look. Jones worked hard! It’s amusing but also important for me to see how she demanded respect. This was such a powerful manifesto by a powerful woman who knows her worth:

“I had to be a bitch to maintain any kind of authority. Well, if I were a man, I wouldn’t have been considered a bitch. If I were a man, I would simply have been in charge, however aggressive and demanding I was. I wouldn’t have had other people running about filming things behind my back. A man putting his foot down is in control. It’s strong. A woman putting her foot down is out of control. She’s weak.”

I loved reading all the gossip and exploits. Maybe it’s just nostalgia speaking but celebrities back in the day just seemed to be more interesting than most of present day ones. And Jones met a lot of them. I laughed more than once. Jones is a funny lady and so candid at times. It’s really refreshing. She has her standards when it comes to entertainment and she strives to authenticity. She talks about the disco era and how, even then, she was picky about the songs she sang:

“Can you imagine me singing Boogie Wonderland? Preposterous. That song needs a twinkling Tinker Bell to sing it, and I’m much more of a witch with a smear of blood on my cheek.”

Reading this I got a similar feeling to when I was reading Questlove’s memoir a few years ago: Jones and Questlove are both people who have so much expertise and knowledge of their worlds, and have seen historical and technological developments taking place, so they are the perfect cultural critics. Jones’ insights on the gradual commercialization of the arts was really interesting:

“I am disco but I’m also dada. I’m a sensualist but also a surrealist. That underground spirit–from the Beats, hippies, civil rights pioneers, punks; from the experimental artists, technicians and designers–dissolved into what became known as independent, as alternative, and that’s become less and less subversive, and less resistant to a co-opting commercial pull.”

Jones names names (she called Kim K a “basic commercial product”), and at times she is quiet about which celebrities she’s talking about. Clearly so many female entertainers look up to her and try to emulate her, but unsurprisingly Jones isn’t too taken by the attention, because:

“It all backfired on me, because I set out to inspire other people, but those I inspire tend not to be inspired in that they do their own thing, but in that they do my thing, a little their way, but not too much.”

This will go down as one of my favourite memoirs ever! I for one am glad Jones did decide to write her memoirs.
Profile Image for Raul.
282 reviews202 followers
January 23, 2020

Grace Jones is a style icon, known for her work as a model, singer, and actor. This memoir is a record of her life, growing up under an abusive house as a child and later her rise to fame. Grace Jones’ music is what would be termed underground, not mainstream and cherished mostly by a cult –mostly gay– fanbase, something Grace Jones prides in. All this together with her roles in films like the Bond movie A View To Kill as well as her publicized and much rumoured private life, and relationships and friendships with the famous from Andy Warhol to Jessica Lange etc., and iconic imagery work with Jean Paul Goude made Grace Jones an internationally renowned star through the 70s and 80s.

Although Grace Jones is highly photographed, her private life probed, just like any celebrity or famous person we cannot claim to know her. This book according to Grace Jones was meant to do that, as well as debunk certain rumours about her,provide an honest recounting of her life. It mostly does this. It describes the strange relationship between Grace Jones and Jean-Paul Goude whose work with her is often termed exploitative, and which if anything this book proves it is. Describes the wild age of the studio 54 days. In other words, Grace Jones the captivating entertainer and muse to fashion designers has lived an exciting life. This book did demystify Grace Jones in certain ways, all at the same time maintaining some mystery to Grace Jones. By the end of the book she does not lose all of the mystery that solidified her status and kept her interesting for years, but it gave a humane look into her life which tabloids and photographs could never do, as well as explain her creative process as an artist. This book was written in collaboration with Paul Morley (known for his work on David Bowie and the Joy Division), there is some incoherence chronologically as one tale jumps to the next one, a lot of times with the tales having nothing in common which was frustrating. Better work could have been done in terms of keeping chronological detail tighter, but a terrific read nonetheless.
Profile Image for Mariℓina.
622 reviews196 followers
November 14, 2015
3,5 Stars!
Grace Jones is the definitive controversy. Some hate her with passion and believe she's trashy and pontificates everything wrong in the music industry and others love her to death as the ultimate idol. Progressive, strong, interesting and an absolute delight, no matter in which category you belong, there is no way you won't enjoy this book.

Funny, lighthearted, and even hilarious one moment and the next, it transforms into a deep and raw psycho-gram. A story that is a bit repetitive in its manners and themes but not tedious at all, with strong ties to the Entertainment Industry and anything it entails.

This book is a brilliantly crafted work filled with anecdotes, music, fame in every page and of course character. Exactly like Grace Jones herself, but it could have been better in some aspects. For example the photographic material isn't as extensive as it should have been, or the fact that sometimes she contradicts her own self in a matter of a page.

All in all, it's flamboyant and fascinating, provocative and unique. For those who like to peak at the backstage scene, its an interesting read. It contains, drugs, Studio 54 stories, expected namedropping -which doesn't seem forced or artificial-, glam and even religion.

The following pictures are not included.

Profile Image for Kerri.
980 reviews351 followers
November 25, 2022

Incredible, refreshing, honest. Fascinating book that feels like it provides a lot of insight, yet really, she remains mysterious.
Profile Image for Suzanne the Bookaholic and Proud.
92 reviews21 followers
November 7, 2016
I don't read many autobiographys, I can count on one hand how many I have read, but with Grace Jones everything is fantasy and wild and no hjolds barred.

I just love Grace Jones, from the first time seeing her in film as Zula in Conan, alongside Arnie, then to seeing her in James bond as Mayday, I have always been intrigued with her flamboyant actions, to her excitement over things, well now you get to read where it all started and take a trip through the years with grace by your side.

I have to feel sorrow for her early years in Jamaica and the suffering she went through being left with Mas P, before meeting her parents in America, but in a way that made her a stronger person, would she have still been able to recreate those expressions that set her different to everyone else and her passion for things if those things never happened, but it did and that setbher on a journey to becoming a top model and actress and Singer/songwriter, everything she does is never dull or the same, from dancing on tables to sitting naked because her outfit irritated her.
Accepting Grace Jones with the fast paced stardom, to the finish of a jigsaw puzzle.
It can get very frustrating for her to have relationships where the other person thinks that even at home she dances on tables, and gets drunk every night, to realise that she is very quiet and otherwise boring at home, (I mean no one has that much energy, if they do I want a pint of it), but of all her energetic antics they are not a publicity stunt, but who she is.
I really liked reading the parts of when she met the royals, and what prince Charles had said to her at the premiere of 'A View to a Kill', when he remarked about the small blonde bond girl, 'I wonder how she got the job' remark, and how she didn't want to be dressed like others at the Queens jubilee and wore a small outfit with lots of leg showing and also twirling a hula hoop while performing, to the Queen wondering why she got changed before meeting her. (see even the royals are normalish).
this is a brilliant book about the rise and fame of young Jamaican girl, coming to America at the age of 12, and setting a path for herself and achieving it, even the racist comments on the way, she still managed to make it to the top and that's where she belongs and will stay!!
Profile Image for Carmen.
2,056 reviews1,855 followers
Want to read
September 10, 2016
I had to be a bitch to maintain any kind of authority. Well, if I were a man, I wouldn't have been considered a bitch. If I were a man, I would simply have been in charge, however aggressive and demanding I was. I wouldn't have had other people running about filming things behind my back. A man putting his foot down is in control. It's strong. A woman putting her foot down is out of control. She's weak.
Profile Image for Victoria Sadler.
Author 2 books73 followers
October 23, 2015
I adore Grace Jones but perhaps she should have stuck to her original promise to not write her memoir because this book is all over the place and, worse, at times seems to destroy the mystery.

Of course all the partying is here - Andy Warhol, Jerry Hall, Dolph Lundgren. And this part of the book is interesting. But too often she seems an unreliable narrator - One moment she's saying she was the only person to get Michael Jackson on the dance floor at Studio 54, the next she's saying she barely knew him.

It's an interesting read but ultimately, how much do you want to know about her private gigs and why it's like to smoke dope in Jamaica. That editors let the writing meander is good in that, well that's Grace. But it is tough to read.
Profile Image for Alex Sarll.
5,764 reviews231 followers
September 21, 2015
Grace Jones has written a memoir. Yes, like a lot of famous non-writers, there's an 'as told to' - but that's not some hack who's flattened her out, it's her once and future collaborator Paul Morley. And this emphatically does not read like a Paul Morley book, it reads like Grace Jones telling her life story.

You need more than that?

"What follows is the me I have made up, rather than the one made up by other people." She doesn't claim to be authoritative, she doesn't want to shut down the other versions of her that live in people's heads. But for the most part, she does outclass them. Stories about her hosting orgies? Being an old hippy, she prefers the term 'love-in', and objects to the implication of non-participation in the word 'host'. She thinks her reputation for lateness is unfair, then goes on to detail the times she kept multinational companies waiting, and turning up late to the ceremony on the day Arnie married into the Kennedy clan (her date for the day? Oh, just Andy Warhol). Her dad thinks all famous people know each other or something, how crazy...but she still manages to get him an introduction to Mandela. She kisses Lauren Bacall, takes her first E with Timothy Leary, counsels Michael Jackson. And yet this never becomes a book about knowing famous people, because who could overshadow Grace? She's fascinating on her divided identity - the ambivalent relationship with faith which she traces to her strict Jamaican upbringing; the non-binary sense of her own gender; the way she was initially oblivious to racism, instead thinking for some time that the hurdles she faced as a model were down to the same outsider nature that had caused her trouble even in Jamaica. And describing her as a force of nature is a cliche, but she describes herself powerfully here as an almost supernatural entity, "rampageous", possessor of a "five thousand year stare". And it doesn't feel like hype, because this is Grace bloody Jones.

Of course, she does also write about how much she enjoys doing jigsaws, and which ones she prefers. Because nobody can channel primal forces all the time.

What else? There's the times she lived through - the evolution of the gay scene and its sudden darkening in the eighties with the horrified realisation that "Naughtiness had become toxic". There's disco developing from funk, and on into house, with Grace at all the key clubs (when Chic got turned away from Studio 54 that notorious night, it was Grace who'd invited them along). And there's a wonderful, bizarre way with words; sometimes it's profound, elsewhere hilarious. I especially enjoyed her noting that Roger Moore had "incredibly hard legs".
Profile Image for Jesse.
435 reviews419 followers
July 12, 2016
"I can be a pain, but most of all, I can be a pleasure."

Stated in the prologue, I flagged this comment in the margins of my book, and now I see it's actually a nice summation of her entire memoir. Because while it could have used some substantial and judicious editing and condensing, overall what's here is mostly a pleasure to read, a raucous romp through the second half of the twentieth century through the perspective of one of pop culture's most iconic—and iconoclastic—personalities.

Of all things, this this memoir constantly brought to mind Candide , Voltaire's epochal satire. Whipping across time zones and continents, creating and shedding personas, colliding with important historic figures and events, blundering into potentially dangerous situations and skipping away unscathed, Jones herself is something of a Candide figure—albeit without the slightest trace of that character's infamous naiveté, for as Jones constantly reiterates, she's game to try anything at least once (and if everything recorded here is true, she's true to her word!).

Early on Jones insists she "love[s] secrets" and promises that sharing her memories will not "spoil the mystery" of her life. And for all the information packed into these 380 pages, I do believe she managed to stay true to her word. Each paragraph is so packed with dazzling names—Warhol! Harring! Studio 54! Roommates and BFFs with Jessica Lange and Jerry Hall in Paris! Iman! The British Royal Family! Karl Lagerfeld! Helmut Newton! Etc, etc, etc—that the reader slides along in a kind of happy buzz without necessarily realizing that how all of this happens remains, in the end, an enigma. How exactly does one keep a schedule of regularly staying out until dance clubs until 7am? Manage experimental drug use (she says one acid trip lasted two weeks)? Seem to be everywhere in Europe and America simultaneously? Time bends and blends, she seems to pack into months more than most people are able to experience in a lifetime. I kept thinking "it must take SO MUCH effort and hard work to maintain the Grace Jones persona," but Jones rarely shows her cards. Reading this memoir, I got a sense of one layer of who Jones is, the facade that operates in the realm of contemporary pop culture myth, larger than life, something beyond mere celebrity or notoriety. But like the expert showsperson that she is, she cleverly camouflages the nuts and bolts that keep everything in place. But the private Grace Jones? That Jones has been secreted her away from public display.

The primary and vitally important exception to this, I will say, is when it comes to her art and image creation. For most of her career Jones has been characterized as the muse and ultimately the creation of others, and primarily of men. Here Jones demonstrates over and over again the personal agency behind everything she has accomplished: ceaselessly sniffing out the latest trends in music, fashion, and art, collaborating with the most talented and creative individuals in their respective fields, carefully shepherding each project to fruition and public release, this memoir obliterates any lingering perception that Jones is herself is anything less than one of the astounding artists of the second half of the twentieth century. We're just barely starting to come to grips with the artistic legacy and sheer fabulosity that she hath wrought.

[Read for my book club.]
Profile Image for Barry Pierce.
558 reviews7,422 followers
July 9, 2017
Let me tell you all about one of the most ridiculous, hilarious, and egocentric memoirs I’ve read in a long while. I’ll Never Write My Memoirs is Grace Jones’ attempt to write about her colourful life. As with a lot of celebrity memoirs this wasn’t actually penned by Jones herself, it was told to a journalist who then (somehow) turned it into a narrative. In almost 400-pages, Jones goes from her birth and childhood in Jamaica to her early career in New York and Paris ending in her present life between Britain and Jamaica. Every page tells a new story; Jones’ first time doing LSD, her modelling stint in Japan, her anger at French taxi drivers, her penchant for taking cocaine anally, her views of modern music and how “[Lady] Gaga, Madonna, Annie Lennox, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Miley [Cyrus], Kanye West, [and] FKA twigs” all copied her. I really enjoyed this maniacal romp through the life of one of music’s greatest performers. I personally adore Grace Jones and her music so it was a given that I’d like this. If you’re unfamiliar with Jones then it might be hard to get past the thick layers of narcissism but as a fan that comes as part of the mysticism of Grace Jones.
Profile Image for Andre.
520 reviews141 followers
January 10, 2017
Grace is quite the character and much of her persona was crafted to fill a void. All the world is a stage and the men and women merely players. This truism is exhibited in Grace Jones' memoirs. She was very detailed about her early upbringing in a strict Pentecostal home on the island of Jamaica. Once she was able to join her mother in New York, she was able to breakout literally and figuratively.

She found a space for the shocking, outrageous, outspoken and outlandish female and stepped into that role with remarkable aplomb. The candidness she showed about her early life doesn't continue throughout the entire book and I feel she becomes a little more guarded when talking about industry relationships. Her career crossed three of the glamour industries; modeling, acting and singing to various degrees of success. Her journey has been an interesting and no doubt a lively one, but the dictated feel of the memoir doesn't allow the fun of it all to shine brilliantly. There are areas that are covered more than once, which obviously was missed by the editor, and that is undoubtedly due to Grace sitting with the author on various occasions and repeating herself. So, the 3.5 stars are for the book itself. The story of Grace and her theatrics deserve a more detailed handling with some moments that truly can be defined as candid.
Profile Image for Carisa.
39 reviews2 followers
December 14, 2015
Listen, some days all you need is 300+ pages of Grace Jones telling you that yes, she knows she's awesome.
Profile Image for Matt.
34 reviews7 followers
November 4, 2015
Two words: yawn fest. I love Grace. I think she is an amazing performer and her music is fantastic. Upon reading the preface, you think you are going to get so much dirt that even Kitty Kelly would flip out. However, what we are left with is nothing but memedrugsdrugsmemedrugsmemusicme. Some names are changed so you never really know who she's talking about so what's the point. Anyway, Grace has had an interesting life, but there are better bios out there. I struggled to get through this one, though. File under boring.
Profile Image for Martin.
135 reviews2 followers
October 25, 2015
I've always loved Grace Jones, been fascinated with her since the very first time I heard "La Vie En Rose" as the club was closing and the lights were coming up some late night in 1980 something. I have all of her albums, was the first one in line to see "Vamp" when it came out, have danced to "Pull Up To The Bumper" innumerable times and chilled out to "Libertango" on my WalkMan. I ordered and advance cd copy of "Hurricane" as soon as it was available. I'm a fan.

She is ageless, timeless, fascinating and a one-of-a-kind artist. I was always drawn to her sense of theater and mystery, wondering if it was all real. Well, thanks to this memoir I finally know that it is all real - real music, real acting, real life stories, real actions acted out by a real woman. She doesn't mess around with this honest recount of her life thus far. She lives her life on her terms and tells all without being gossipy or tell-all. She told enough to keep me reading late into the night and almost missing my bus stop but she left enough to the imagination to leave me wanting more.

She did it all. She does it all. She will do whatever is left - her way - with style - and Grace.
Profile Image for Carrie.
237 reviews5 followers
January 31, 2016
This is a five-star story told in a three-star narrative. It needed either a stronger ghostwriter or a stronger editor, or, possibly, both.
722 reviews27 followers
May 25, 2018
My brother took me to see Grace Jones perform when I was still living at home, which is so long ago, I don't remember the year. I'd never heard of her, but I bought her albums afterwards. She was clearly a link to queer culture, which I was a bit starved for, living in suburban Bethesda. So when I saw her memoir at the library book sale here in Ohio, I couldn't resist. The book turned out to be both better and not as good as I'd hoped (I know, that makes no sense, but that's what reading this book will do to you). On the one hand, Grace jones turned out to be much more interesting than I thought, which made this a fascinating read. On the other, it's one of those "as told to" books, and it reads like one. I'm tempted to say it wasn't well edited, but in fact, it may have been edited a lot, just to get it into readable shape.

I quite enjoyed the book, but it got more rambling and hard to follow as it went on, so I wasn't sorry when it finally ended. However, I came away with great admiration for Grace Jones, as she seems to be one of the self-invented artists: She was determined to make something of herself, so she did. She's wonderfully frank about the limitations of her singing voice, but also about her determination to find its strengths and work them for all they were worth. I've enjoyed the results over the years. She's kind of like Marlene Dietrich in that way: Who cares if she can sing or not, she's mesmerizing. The flip side is that she seems like she might be a bit crazy, but, hey, it seems to have worked for her, at least according to her memoir. Thanks for being you, Grace Jones!
Profile Image for Pamster.
418 reviews25 followers
November 3, 2015
Cool to read about other famous people, like her sharing an apartment in Paris with other young models Jerry Hall and Jessica Lange, but really the best was following the development of her ideas around art and how she conceived of her own image.

On One Man Show:

"I was behaving in a way that was certainly not perceived to be African, or Jamaican, not least because the show was clearly interested in things African and Caribbean people apparently had no interest in because it wasn't part of their history--things like minimalism, cubism, musical theater, absurdism, Happenings. (This attitude completely underestimates and misunderstands the African and Caribbean openness to experimentation and renewal that is essential to how they deal with radically challenging circumstances.) And I was dressed as a man, or an animal, or an alien. I didn't invite the audience into a familiar set of spaces, so there was no safety there."
Profile Image for Jeff.
299 reviews20 followers
December 9, 2017
Things I learned reading this book:
Grace Jones is way fucking cooler than you, so cool she turned down a role in Blade Runner because she didn't want to sell out. Andy Warhol and Debbie Harry threw her baby shower at the legendary Paradise Garage. She prefers to take her cocaine rectally. And perhaps most shockingly, before becoming an actor, Dolph Lundgren was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study Chemical Engineering at MIT.
Profile Image for Alvin.
Author 7 books103 followers
November 25, 2017
GJ serves up her origin story, personal philosophies, celebrity anecdotes, strong opinions, rambling reminiscences, and a heapin' helpin' of self-romanticization. It's a fun read, and my only qualm (which almost knocked my rating down to 3 stars) is the poor editing. Someone did NOT go through and delete all the repetition, and there is a LOT of it. Even so, if you love Grace Jones (and how could you not?), you'll certainly enjoy the book.
Profile Image for N.
192 reviews1 follower
November 18, 2015
I really wanted to like this, I'm not really fan of her music but she always struck me as someone interesting and in control of her life. Unfortunately even with a ghost she can't write. A really hard book to get through. Disappointing.
Profile Image for C.T. Madrigal.
Author 4 books19 followers
March 27, 2020
I STOOD MID-AISLE, slowly spinning amid the possibilities. I was in an unknown record shop with twelve dollars in my pocket and Bob Seger on my shopping list (tomorrow was Mothers Day and Mom was hot for Bob.)

Da, Borghesia, Cindytalk (I continued my spin), Kitchen and the Plastic Spoons; maybe this wasn't a Bob Seger kinda store. Then I stopped—dumbstruck. My pirouette paused as I locked eyes with a baronial blue-black androgyn on the cover of a record that I would later know to be Nightclubbing by Grace Jones. I bought the record and played it a dozen times.

The next day I gave my mother a ceramic bell for her collection, then I asked her to come to my bedroom where, after some coaxing, she agreed to lay beside me for a listen.

“Chris,” she warned, “I only have a minute, I have to start dinner.”
“Just listen,” I assured her, “just listen.”

For the next three minutes we lay supine, as if sunbathing atop my waterbed. Side-by-side, eyes closed, we silently studied “Art Groupie,” Grace Jones’ melancholic ode to art. The music was minimal, the bass was guttural, the vocals were sharp then soft then sharp again, and the lyrics were perplexingly matter-of-fact. When it was over I gave my mother a squeeze, “See! I told you it was amazing.”

“It’s nice Chris,” she answered, “do you want Thousand Island with your salad, or Ranch?”

The title of Grace Jones' memoir is a lyric taken from the above-mentioned memory; I apologize for the following cliché but it's a song (and a record, and a career, and a woman) that refashioned—in the manner of Rudi Gernreich refashioning a bikini—my young life.

I have often pretended that I would become an adult who had a job that would cause Grace and me to associate, and then to become best friends, but I haven't yet found that career. Until I do, her autobiography will sustain me...and I choose to believe that its title is a wink to the 12 year old me.

My review: the book is great.
126 reviews
October 25, 2016
Surpisingly dull and tedious. There's not much of a coherent narrative as ghostwriter Paul Morley seems led by whatever Jones fancies talking about that day (usually herself in the abstract of how great she is). None of the Factory/ 70s New York stuff provides anything new. You get the feeling that Jones provided a blank canvas for people to use, but she herself was a very passive part of the era. (To be charitable she may also have been part of that - to re-appropriate - if you remember New York in the 70s you weren't there thing.)

The end in particular descends into a rambling diatribe about how great she is and bows to no one, a point of view that has probably been reinforced in her mind by her 'people' but I struggled to engage with.

Morley really should have done more to keep this on track, although I can understand the bind he was in.
Profile Image for Mrs. Palmer.
648 reviews3 followers
October 17, 2015
A solid memoir relating to the entertainment industry. I could hear her voice coming through the pages, as though she were talking to me. Grace Jones is a character, but she's also a person. I was really fascinated by her ruminations about her life and the fact that she enjoys jigsaw puzzles! So much of her personality came through...or what you want to see of her personality. I'll probably want to read it again. Most entertainment memoirs have their fare share of namedropping, but it never felt unnatural in this particular book. It just was a part of her life. And Grace Jones herself is, I think, a big enough of a superstar that she doesn't need to name drop to 'prove' herself. This is a book that I am glad that I purchased in print!
Profile Image for Jan Sulmont.
2 reviews4 followers
July 26, 2016
quite repetitive "i am more underground than most" "i knew andy warhol and issey miyake" BUT what a story in extraordinary settings. read with YouTube close at hand to check out music videos & talkshow misdemeanor
Profile Image for Maya B.
495 reviews54 followers
July 29, 2017
This was an ok read. We all know celebrities do not wrote their own stories and I could definitely tell in this one. This book felt more like she was talking to the writer and not the reader. What I did like was that she was very candid about the crazy life she has lived.
Profile Image for Emma Reed.
19 reviews
October 19, 2020
Grace Jones, big fan of cocaine, orgies and Ravensburg jigsaw puzzles comes over as a surprisingly down to Earth in this very well written biography. Until the last chapter. And the rider at the back. Well worth a read.
Profile Image for Ann.
85 reviews35 followers
December 9, 2021
Three stars because I enjoyed it, but did a lot of skimming (as I do for most celebrity memoirs, unless they are absolutely amazingly written).

Some takeaways:
1) If you hire Grace Jones for a gig, you better pay her up front! If you don't have her money, she is not going on that stage! This was iterated multiple times -- she really means it.
2) I enjoyed the section about her first orgasm, and then her subsequent musing about what a bad lover her previous, longterm boyfriend was. It's not with ill will, exactly, it's just funny -- like, why was he so bad at it? Cracked me up a little.
3) Grace loves to be nude!
4) Grace loves jigsaw puzzles! Relatable.

Thank you Grace Jones, for being you.
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Author 20 books29 followers
September 7, 2016
Being a big fan of raw undiluted art and always believing Grace was on the wild side is what made reading this scribe thrice the speechless treat.

The picture provided of Jamaica and parts of its culture, particularly compared and related to black American culture, and the differences noted between the slave systems was priceless. Many of the phrases splayed throughout her memoir captivated me as well. Often absurd but lyrical writing. Very beautiful. Loved what seemed to be at the core of her essence too; as in her “personal power”, though I was fairly sure meeting her in person, love wouldn’t be one of the top words ambling around at the hilt of my head. The acid trip was another eye-opener…very well captured. One of Dr. Leary’s ‘Harvard’ quotes really snagged and resonated with me; and just gotta give Aunt Sybil some love. Most of all I was simply inundated by Grace's perspectives on the arts and her raw originality. It was tough keeping up with the gargantuan of top artists she’s worked with. Many I never heard of, though lost in that rich sauce I still was like, ‘I’m wit’ cha’ ma’mi!’...crying laughing about her poking that talk show host. Awwwwww……….. Super-duper hilarious.

Overall, it can be challenging working with the complexities of some artists, and reading this memoir did give my eyes a somersaulting-whiplash workout, but all that told, the rewards of working with raw talent and artists provide unspoken benefits to the world’s tapestry, both aesthetically and technically. I highly recommend reading I’ll Never Write My Memoirs. You'll never read nothing like it twice...and have twin-fold that much respect for the woman. Beautiful.
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