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Some Fantastic Place: My Life In and Out of Squeeze

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  136 ratings  ·  29 reviews
A captivating memoir of Chris Difford's upbringing in South London and his rise to fame in Squeeze, one of the biggest bands of the 1970s and 1980s

'King George Street in Charlton, South London, was my first home. Six prefabs, three pubs, a school, a church and a yard where the electricity board kept cables. Two long rows of terraced house faced each other at one end of the
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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  136 ratings  ·  29 reviews


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Nigeyb
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
I heard about Some Fantastic Place: My Life In and Out of Squeeze on a Word Podcast. Chris Difford was discussing the book and the interview made it sound wonderful. I love a music biography and have read hundreds. Sadly this is not up there with the best, far from it.

I like Squeeze but am not a big fan, that said I am passionate about the era in which they came to prominence and was expecting to be enthralled by this book. It's enjoyable enough but a little incoherent and scattershot. It's str
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Emma
Mar 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I went to hear Chris Difford promote this book in late 2017. He came across as tired and somewhat jaded and I felt he wasn’t comfortable talking about himself to and audience. Funny really, when he had done this via his lyrics for so many years.
The book is interesting and well written. I enjoyed the chapters on his early life and the relationships he had with his family and of course, Glenn Tillbrook. His battles with addiction are well known, and he still struggles with his demons to this day.
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John Plowright
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As Chris Difford writes, “My history with Squeeze carries weight, and people want to know all about this part of me.”

‘Some Fantastic Place’ charts the band’s critical and commercial ups and downs as well as its bewildering changes of personnel and managers but at the heart of both book and band, is Difford’s complicated relationship with his song-writing partner, Glenn Tilbrook.

Difford-Tilbrook have often been likened to Lennon-McCartney and this book sharpens the parallels in some respects, w
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Vicky-Leigh Sayer
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If I wasn’t enjoying my career quite as much as I do, the one thing I would love to be (other than a novelist) is a song-writer. One of the reasons that I love the music artists that I do, is purely down to their lyrics. I rarely like a band or artist that doesn't have what I consider to be good lyrics.

There is a line in Chris Difford’s autobiography where he's talking about early punk, that sums this up perfectly;

"I was always looking for the lyric and I felt there was no depth to it. The music
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Lola Et La Vie
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have a soft spot for memoirs in the music realm. I knew about Squeeze of course, but I cannot say I knew much about them, just a few songs really. They are one of those bands drifting at the edge of consciousness. Yet, I grabbed the opportunity to read this book with both hands, and boy, am I glad I did!

The first thing that made me warm to this book is the writing. The story is simply told in a personable voice and it felt immediately familiar and made me smile. Chris takes us on a journey fro
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Ross Cumming
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a big Squeeze fan I knew I just had to read Chris Difford's autobiography as soon as I could and it doesn't disappoint.
Chris charts his family life, the crests and falls of Squeeze, through the various albums and line ups and his complicated relationship with fellow songwriting partner Glenn Tilbrook. He also tells of his life outwith the band which includes his personal relationships and also his various employers who to my surprise include Bryan Ferry and Marti Pellow ! Most significantly h
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Steve
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full disclosure, I have probably spent more time playing, seeing, reading about Squeeze than any other band except for Paul McCartney and the Beatles. So when this book was published I pre-ordered it knowing that I would not enjoy waiting to read it. It does not disappoint. Very much a confessional book, which fills in a lot of the gaps I was curious about in Squeeze's history. I was at a show in Baltimore where Chris Difford was unexpectedly not present, now I know why. I wondered about all the ...more
Matthew Budman
Sep 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I've been a Squeeze fan since I began listening to pop music, and have always marveled at the close observation of Chris Difford's lyrics. A few years ago, we got to see him sing and tell stories at a London club, which was great despite his obvious discomfort at playing the raconteur. That said, I wouldn't have bothered finishing Some Fantastic Place if I hadn't ordered an inscribed copy from Difford's website. It turns out that for Squeeze's glory years—the band's three astonishing 1979–81 alb ...more
Alan M
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was just 50p that set Chris Difford up for the rest of his life. And it wasn’t even his 50p. It paid for an advert looking for a guitarist to join a band that didn’t actually exist. Glenn Tilbrook responded (well, more accurately, Tilbrook’s girlfriend Maxine did), and a bond is forged that connects Difford and Tilbrook for the next 44 years and still counting.

If Chris has had any help writing this, it’s been done with the lightest of touches. Chris’s voice is very much in evidence, his turn
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Emma
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this autobiography. Difford is engaging and honest, and writes as well as I'd expect from such an accomplished lyricist.
As a fan of Squeeze's early music and recent work (such as the soundtrack to Danny Baker's Cradle to the Grave series), I was interested in the background to the music and to learn about Difford's approach to songwriting. I also liked the details of place, with his love of south London and Sussex much in evidence. Although Difford covers life in and out of
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Kip
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Warm and candid, and you’ll want to read it with your phone nearby to play the songs he refers to. Early chapters about his child and teenhood are outstanding. He’s very open about the emotional ups and downs of life in a band. Much discussion of AA and his recovery, and he’s clearly besotted with his current wife and family situation. Most surprising fact, tossed off in a single paragraph and never mentioned again: during a lull in his music career he went to school for and became a therapist. ...more
BMR, LCSW
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Real writers paint with words so thoroughly that you can viscerally see, smell, and taste the scenes in writing. They leave you shaken or moved. This is what I loved about Chris Difford before reading the book.

This book is an extended version of the great storytelling he uses in his lyrics. Great art feels like falling in love to me. I could not have been more in love with Difford when I finished his book today. I just want to give him a big hug for his journey to and from recovery from addicti
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Peter P.
Sep 28, 2019 rated it liked it
One of the dangers of autobiography is...well...the auto part. All too often I long for someone else to have written the story of the subject so that I could have been party to more nuance, more depth and, for sure, a little more context. The inherent preservation filter on autobiography keeps everything just a little too clean and safe and this is no exception. I enjoyed the book as a fan of Squeeze, but there's nothing too groundbreaking within its pages. It's a fan book...and offers a nice re ...more
Allan Heron
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Difford's writing ability are not limited to the the wonderful lyrics he writes. This is a very readable and enjoyable book of his tempestuous journey through life.

It's a very involving book and not as self-obsessed with himself as some former addicts books have been (Hello, Eric!!).

I hadn't been aware of his relationships with Bryan Ferry and Elton John, or that Pete Townshend provided some mentoring during one of his periods of rehab.

At the core of the book is his relationship with Glenn Tilb
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Jim
Nov 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: autobiography
It'd be unfair to state that Difford is a better songwriter than he is an author, but, well, he is! You almost get more of an impression of his personality by listening to Up the Junction or Black Coffee in Bed than you do from this account. But I suppose you could say that is why good songwriting is an art, whereas an autobiography is more of a set of remembrances, observations and impressions. I liked the book, it's worth reading, but it's his songs I will recall long after I've forgotten most ...more
Laurie Andres
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fans of Squeeze or not (and why not?) will find it interesting and enjoyable, I believe.

It’s well written, painting a vivid picture of a sensitive man who started a band and then had to cope with the highs and lows of the music industry and his own demons.

Being a loyal fan of Squeeze, Chris Difford, and Glenn Tilbrook, this was a must read for me, and I devoured every page—I’m full, but without that heavy, uncomfortable feeling you get from some of those other bloated and fatty memoirs.

It’s a t
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Jared Duran
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music
The Squeeze fan in me absolutely loved this book. The editor in me wishes a little more time had been spent checking continuity and shaping a slightly smoother narrative (a couple of stories are repeated and contradicted). Overall, though, Difford's prose is lovely, and it's nice to gain some deeper insight into my favorite band.
Rita
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
For a guy who writes fun and interesting lyrics, this book was a disappointment. Mostly mundane, repetitious. Needed serious editing. His emotions were stated throughout, but as if he were looking from a distance.
Schopflin
Oct 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: finished-in-2019
Chris Difford isn't the greatest writer of prose, but he tells his story honestly and in a way that is appealing and ultimately very moving.
Michael Legge
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shame he dies in the end.
Victoria Lambert
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book by Difford who created my favourite group Squeeze. Loved the anecdotes from the early years and hearing about how he has found life sober.
Liz Cody
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent read, thoroughly enjoyable.
Mark Beech
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
What an interesting life. Always loved Squeeze but didn't realise many things, such as how big they were in America. A very enjoyable read.
Richard Cosgrove
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A candid, honest and very entertaining memoir from one of England's great unsung songwriters.
Ed Mckeon
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I quickly got through the chapters on the Squeeze masterpieces Argy Bargy and East Side Story, I felt cheated. Difford is a self-proclaimed alcoholic, clean for 25 years, but in those days, he was in his cups. He kept a diary, and it's clear that the diary entries allowed him to write about those years that might otherwise have been forgotten, but the prose is thin on the inspiration for his brilliant lyrics to songs like Labelled With Love, If I Didn't Love You, In Quintessence and Someone ...more
Singles Going Steady Podcast
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Squeeze are one of the essential bands in my life, and Chris Difford is the guitarist and brilliant lyricist half of the songwriting team, with Glenn Tilbrook being the singer and tunesmith. Chris' story is one of many addictions, and they are glossed over somewhat, as I think his memory may have been glossed over at the time. He recalls a childhood of writing and wordplay, and starting up the band that would become Squeeze. His interpersonal relationships appear strained at best, especially wit ...more
Kay Smillie
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I only ever did see Squeeze the once (on the mentioned tour with Eddie and the Hot Rods) at the Usher Hall. What isn't mentioned is that Radio Stars were also on that tour and that Squeeze were first on stage. I have to saw they were excellent and I always retained an interest in the band without being a diehard fans.

Anyway, back to Chris Difford. What an interesting life he has had to date. Far from a smooth ride but that closing chapter, added for this paperback edition, suggests he may have f
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Jeffrey Grimes
rated it it was amazing
Oct 14, 2017
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“I remember watching him perform these endless, boring violin solos, with his long hair flowing behind him like an Afghan hound in a gale, and thinking, 'what a tosser.” 0 likes
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