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Lonely Boy

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  994 ratings  ·  140 reviews
Without the Sex Pistols there would be no Punk. And without Steve Jones there would be no Sex Pistols. It was Steve who formed Kutie Jones and his Sex Pistols, the band that eventually went on to become the Sex Pistols, with his schoolmate Paul Cook and who was its original leader. As the world celebrates the 40th anniversary of Punk – the influence and cultural significan ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 17th 2016 by William Heinemann
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In short, if you can answer yes to at least two of the following statements...

"I like punk rock"
"I like the Sex Pistols"
"I like music biographies"

...then you will almost certainly find a lot to enjoy in Steve Jones' 'Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol'.

Despite happily admitting to a very unreliable memory, with some glaring blanks, this feels to me a far more honest and reliable memoir than either of John Lydon's autobiographies. What makes it so refreshingly readable is that Steve Jones con
Michelle Lynn
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Steve Jones has the distinction of being the only author I've reviewed on Goodreads who called me "candy ass" in a message via MySpace when I was 16 or 17. It's a notable distinction.

I haven't been a mega fan of the Sex Pistols for a long time. I was 15 when I bought a (physical!) copy of "Never Mind the Bullocks...", and descended into what is now hilariously referred to as "bandom." I was in college by the time I realized I moved on from my intense punk focus and really, it was only downhill
Nestor Rychtyckyj
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have been a big fan of the Sex Pistols since I got my hands on the “Anarchy in the UK” single back in 1976. Their story has been told numerous times but finally we get the autobiography of Steve Jones, who helped found the band. We’ve heard from John Lydon in his two books and Glen Matlock covered his stay in the band with the enjoyable “I was a Teenage Sex Pistol”.
First of all, this book is hilarious in many spots; as a non-British reader I had to frequently google names and slang to understa
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've waited decades for Jones to give his side of the story regarding the Pistols, in fact I never thought he would, so this book was always going to be something special for me. He was always my favourite Pistol, always seemed the most grounded, the most affable and along with Cook was there through it all from the Wally Nightingale "Strand" beginnings in 1972 right up to their demise as a band in January 1978 and the whole "Swindle" period of '79/'80.

Firstly I have to give him credit for his
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"It was almost like those builders didn't want me to get in there and develop my driving skills by hot-wiring bulldozers to smash up their tea huts, the inconsiderate ****s."

That's on page one, get around this book.
Colm Mccrory
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a fucking rotter!
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Insightful, funny and at times jaw-droppingly rockstar, but most of all it read and felt honest. It's not nor is it in any way set out to be a great literary work of biography more just a straight-forward, no nonsense account of Steve's life.

I have loved the Pistols since I first heard them as a young lad. Old enough to buy the records with my pocket money but certainly not old enough or allowed (even if I could have got a very rare ticket) to see them.

No need for me to outline how the Pistols h
Stephen McQuiggan
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Could have been called 'Confessions Of A Pussy Hound' - when Steve said he was only in it for the piss up and the birds after the show, he wasn't joking. The early part deals with burgeoning kleptomania, illiteracy, and sexual abuse - although there is a distinct lack of the 'poor me' shtick you might expect; Jones willingly points the finger at himself for his own shortcomings. One of the problems here is that he can't really remember a great deal, so you get more of a feel of what it was like ...more
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
First and foremost this is a good read and I'm glad I picked this up from the local library. At first I was going to ignore it as I've read quite a bit about the Sex Pistols, but then a friend of mine told me it was worthwhile. It was refreshing to read about the Pistols from the point of view of someone different than John Lydon. As much as I respect the guy I think he has become a bitter and rather uninteresting person, which I find a shame. Jones does confirm that in the book and I can see wh ...more
Harriet Hudson-Clise
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is so lol
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it

I’m sure that I am not alone in not knowing a whole lot about Steve Jones’ post Pistols period, aside from his playing in a band with two G N’R members and John Taylor from Duran Duran and the fact that he lives in LA and plays football with fellow ex-pats, I couldn’t have told you anything else and so I was intrigued to see what this biography would throw up. I had no idea of his chronic heroin, sex, alcohol and thieving addictions, nor of his 80s musical output which was interesting to read ab
Kevin Scott
Nov 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
It's good to get a view and an account of the Sex pistols by someone who was in it first, right at the beginning and to all so a get deep insight into the person himself, Steve Jones. I have first hand knowledge of a lot of places mentioned in this book, both in London and in Los Angeles which obviously makes the book more closer to home for me personally, but all so I have been a pistols fan from way back when they began, when I was just a mere 12 years old, what an introduction to get ready fo ...more
Barry Rutter
Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it
This follows the pattern of other musical biographies (Elvis Costello, Chrissie Hynde etc) in that the first third about Steve's childhood and teenage years in London is interesting and illuminating, as is the second third where he gives his view on the formation and early highlights of the Sex Pistols. But the final third is nothing more than a list of drug-taking and bad behaviour that's as boring to read as he must have been irritating to be around.
Definitely worth reading for the background
Chris M
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Sex Pistols were HIS band. He was the driving force at the beginning, but this book is so much more than a rock n roll biography .
Honest , shocking yet heart warming . Steve Jones finally gives his side of the story regarding the Sex Pistols but along the way , he honestly , sometimes shockingly so, tells you all the ups and down of his journey from Shepherds Bush to LA. From thief to DJ.
From guitar hero to drug addiction, from addiction to recovery. It was one hell of a journey for the man
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music
This is a great autobiography. It's everything you want a story like this to be: honest, hits the important points, doesn't spend too much time on stuff that isn't important, and Jones names names.

Jones, admittedly, was a bit (understatement) of a jerk for much of his young life. He had some hardships as a child but he admits that it wasn't any tougher than most people had it. Because of some of these hardships, or genetics (Jonesey is oddly introspective about some things and totally glosses ov
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good rock n roll bio. That aside, many life lessons to be learned here and after having survived mayhem, being able to grow and want to be a better human being on the back end of your life is at least, admirable. Well done. Peace.
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From what I understand, Jones did engage a "ghost writer"; whomever this was did an excellent job of evoking his voice. Reading this felt like having a really gripping conversation with someone I've never met. I wished he had spoken more to his years and experiences as an actor. ...more
Steven Davis
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What can I say. Jonesy covered a lotta territory I related too, cause I lived it, and am on the recovery train as well. Had the pleasure of playing on some of the same bills he did with some of his groups who came to town. The last being with the Sex Pistols. Loved his honesty and openness. Gave me a bit of a spark. It was a breath of fresh air getting his take on things from The Pistols days. Owe him a complimentary fruit basket or something for playing my band The Glass Heroes on Jonesy's Juke ...more
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very much a representation of the author, but with a's a developmental story as well and therefore a good read for all those who feel they are the essence of rock'n'roll. ...more
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
After reading several rock n' roll auto-biographies about guys coming from very humble and often troubled childhoods, this one blows them all out of the water. Molested by his step-father and with a mother that apparently didn't give much of a fuck about him, Steve Jones was bound for trouble from day one.

One thing I have to say is that Jonesy has a VERY distinctive narrative voice, for sure. Reading the book you can picture the guy telling you the stories in his West London accent. I also liked
Alan Hamilton
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cor Blimey guvnor, would you Adam and Eve it. What a no holds barred tale!
A fascinating tale of pilfering, addictions, music and lots and lots and lots of birds!
The Sex Pistols is only a minor episode in an amazing life story - well worth a read.
Rebecca Ann
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
An insight from the guitarist in a well-written book. It is nice to get Jones’ point of view on the rise and fall of The Sex Pistols. The band was never meant to stand the test of time, but they did leave an important mark. They inspired so many influential artists and also displayed how music can be a powerful catalyst for political action. This is a must-read for any Pistols fan, I enjoyed it immensely.
Jay Gabler
Jan 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Is this book for you? Yes, if you already knew who Steve Jones was before you picked it up. If not, best to begin your exploration of U.K. punk history elsewhere. I reviewed Lonely Boy for The Current. ...more
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great read! Entertaining, informative, and tons of fun. Jonesy's character really comes through in the writing, and the book is a good mix of tongue in cheek anecdotes, combined with some soul searching. Made me want to check out his radio show, and dig out old Pistols albums! As he says, not a bad achievement for a guy that was semi-literate until his 30's. ...more
Mark Rubenstein
Dec 21, 2016 rated it liked it
A rollicking enough read, but shot-through with a Dispatches-From-My-Therapist’s-Sofa tedium which, by the third part, left me feeling a lot like I was trapped in a small room with an overly-chatty motivational speaker.
Rob Trewhella
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Just a really good memoir, honest,scary, brutal, showing the good and bad of a surreal world that is the price of fame. Well done Jonesy
When I first discovered the Sex Pistols back in high school, I was going through a pretty rough time. I was starting to fall into a pretty nasty spate of depression, and I was angry and anxious a good amount of the time, which I never could quite understand until some serious introspection later in life. All I knew at the time was that the angry and frustrated thrashes of the punk sound brought forth by Johnny "Rotten" Lydon, Sid Vicious (but mostly Glen Matlock), Paul Cook, and Steve Jones work ...more
Andrew Garvey
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
On February 8th 1997, I ran into Johnny Rotten (he was wearing a preposterous, ill-fitting purple suit) in the toilets at London's Docklands Arena at the Naseem Hamed vs. Tom Johnson fight. I told him how much I'd enjoyed his book, 'No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs' and shook his hand. He seemed bemused by it all.

It really is a great book. But his former bandmate and Sex Pistols co-founder Jones' autobiography is much, much better.

Similarly, Jones talks at length about just how fashion-based the pun
William Strasse
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
There was a lot in Jonesy's book that I won't claim to relate to (not many people probably can), but there are a couple of things I relate to more than I would like to admit. I will say it shed some light on certain dysfunctions that start early in life. One wouldn't expect this book to turn into a sunny Pollyanna-fest and it pretty successfully avoids that although, obviously, Jonesy is in "a better place" these days. He's always been one to wear his dysfunction on his sleeve or, more accuratel ...more
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
This was far more candid than I was expecting!

The real "meat and potatoes" stuff is in the first third of the book. This the area of his life that the least was known about previously - his childhood up to the Sex Pistols days. Steve makes no attempt to hide his trials and tribulations, nor gloss them over. He is just plain up front about what he went through and put others through in those days.

There is not a lot of in-depth stuff during the Sex Pistols and Professionals eras that hasn't alrea
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Steve Jones is an English rock guitarist, singer and actor. He is best known as a guitarist with the English punk rock band the Sex Pistols formed in London in 1975. He was ranked in Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". In 2006, the Sex Pistols—the four original, surviving members and Sid Vicious—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but they refused to a ...more

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The Sex Pistols' guitarist is a recovering addict, thief, and rock legend. With Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol, he explores punk rock, his...
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“Sometimes destiny is a motherfucker and that’s all there is to it.” 0 likes
“Once you’re saying, ‘Let’s stay like this for ever,’ you’re not bringing anything new to it or responding to life as it’s happening. At that point, you might as well be a Teddy boy.” 0 likes
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