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I Know This Much: From Soho to Spandau
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I Know This Much: From Soho to Spandau

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  123 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Gary Kemp’s story begins in North London, where the Kemp family rented a home with no bathrooms and chickens in the yard. After a couple of failed attempts to kill his brother Martin, his parents gave him a guitar for Christmas.

From schoolyard battles between the Bowie Boys and the Prog Rockers to Mrs Kemp’s firm insistence on net curtains, and from acting for the Children
Hardcover, 314 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Fourth Estate (GB)
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Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
As a denizen of both Billys and Blitz (early New Romantic nightclubs), albeit one of the least fashionable of the regulars, and clearly visible in a number of scenes from Spandau Ballet's televised "20th Century Box" appearance at the Scala cinema in 1980, I was interested in reading Gary's book.

Whilst reading the book I also watched "Soul Boys of the Western World", the 2014 documentary about Spandau Ballet directed by George Hencken. And, just to put all my cards on the table, I really liked
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this

Couldn't put this book down, nearly cried at the death of his parents.only complaint was his description of his split from his first wife was little more than one sentence
Claire Birks
Feb 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting for us 80’s freaks but got a bit boring - a lot of reasons being cited for not doing as well as their Brummy counterparts. All about the songs,deals and albums nothing really juicy!!
David Russell
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Loved this book couldn't put it down I own a copy of soul boys of the western world and this leads you up to it
Charming Language
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
For those of you loosely in the Gen X cohort, this book will bring back memories and fully sate your desire for gossip about the likes of Culture Club, Wham and others born of the androgynous, post-punk era of coiffed and heavily made-up protest that was 1980s London. But even if you’re not into the ‘80s, any biography offers a certain insight into the human condition and Kemp’s reflections on births, deaths and relationships are as evocative as his passionate prose about music.
OK, I need to sp
Aug 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Gary writes in a way that allows me to feel his compassion, his regret and his love. Beyond the band and the 80's, he writes of the importance of strong family relationships.

For example, his "muse" gives him a book. (p.169) "She gave me a gift. I wanted to tell my two rivals but kept it a secret between us. It was a book. I read it as though she were reading it to me. It slipped beneath my skin and the words bubbled up inside, percolating through me.

I would send it back in a song."

Tony's voice
Jevron McCrory
Nov 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book!

Up front, I have to admit, I'm more of a Duran Duran fan than Spandau Ballet (sorry Gary!) but in this exceptionally put together biography, Gary Kemp displays his sensitive, educated, honest, aggressive and extremely talented sides equally.

With a beautiful use of metaphors and simile, Spandau Ballet's songwriter shows why their hit songs were no mere tricks. Mr Kemp has an exemplary way with words (poetic while always aware of the looming pretension) and as he spins h
Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before I read this book I'd heard people say how well-written it was. If I'm honest, I took that with a pinch of salt, assuming that the reviews were a little biased. I was completely wrong. This is a superbly well-written autobiography. The vivid desciptions and use of verb tenses really transport you into the moments Gary Kemp describes, so you feel as though you are there with him. This isn't just a book about a pop band; it's also an historical document, describing a time and place that just ...more
Derek Holmes
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An excellent, informative biography about a wonderfully creative period in British musical history, written by one of it's key players, Gary Kemp, the songwriting force behind Spandau Ballet, one of my favourite bands of this period, the soundtrack of my youth.
Much has been discussed recently about how five friends formed a band, found tremendous success, then had a spectacular and very public fall out amongst themselves. This is Gary's version of events and he pulls no punches on his own errors
Dec 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
A great read if you're into your 80's music or just a general nostalgia freak.

It's very well written and is a great insight into one of the bands who started the New Romantic era.

I never knew Gary was married to Sadie Frost either!

If there is one criticism about it, the chapter on the court case totally glosses over it all and basically starts and finishes with him in court then winning. It would have been nice if he'd gone into a little more detail about the reasons for the court case and every
Nov 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
I checked this book out on the supermarket shelves and also heard him talk on a Radio 4 programme, so I was interested in advance.

It's interesting and well written. Some of the personal stuff has been glossed over in certain cases, probably necessarily re. the band getting back together recently. He gives a great sense of his family as he clearly adored his parents, and of course he was in the band with his brother. Probably at its best in evocation of the early days of the Blitz club and New R
Apr 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books-read
This was quite a refreshing biography. I wasn't sure that I would like it but while I admired the honesty felt that it could have gone a little deeper in some aspects.

It charts the story of Gary Kemp from his humble beginnings in Islington to his rise to Popstardom with Spandau Ballet. It is a must for fans of either their music or the scene from that era.
Sarah Anderson
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing. It helps if your a spandau fan but not totally necessary. You can tell it has been wrote by a creative person. The descriptions make you feel your there, living every moment with him. A good read and highly recommended.
Sarah Blyther
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Not a fan of spandau but was given the book and decided to give it a go and I loved it.
Very well written and a great insight into Gary's interesting life and thoughts.
Jill Jacques
Mar 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Ahh Gary,taking us back,good stuff or should I say GOLD!
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
Surprisingly dreadfully boring...
Aug 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
Great writing, great anecdotes, great guy.
Jennifer Schmaltz
Mar 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read for any Spandau Ballet fan. So many questions answered! However, you don't have to be a fan to enjoy this inspiring and touching biography.
Rachel McNab
Gary delivers the goods in a prose that is easy to follow. Like many Spandau songs, this is a genuinely great piece of work.
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