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Apathy for the Devil: A Seventies Memoir
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Apathy for the Devil: A Seventies Memoir

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  576 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
Chronicling Nick Kent's up-close , personal, often harrowing adventures with the Rolling Stones, Lester Bangs, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, the Sex Pistols, and Chrissie Hynde, among scores of others, Apathy for the Devil is a picaresque memoir that bears witness to the beautiful and the damned of this turbulent decade.As a college dropout barely out of his teens, Kent's fir ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published August 31st 2010 by Da Capo Press (first published March 1st 2010)
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Mar 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nick Kent's collection of essays/interviews "The Dark Stuff" is a must for rock n' roll reading. The one theme that runs through that collection is the fucked-up rock n' roll figure. And he's good at capturing the low moments of very talented artists.

His memoir of the 70's "Apathy for the Devil" is an interesting book that focuses on himself of course, who was basically a mirror image of his subject matters that he wrote about. The 70's decade was not kind to Kent, but it is also what made him
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography, music
The overall message from this book that I took was Nick pleading "I wasn't just a hanger-on, I wasn't just a hanger-on!", causing me to think, "Wait a minute, mate, Jagger, Richards, Stewart, Bowie, Bolan, Plant and Page, they had the talent and mystique. You were just a hanger-on, weren't you?" He was also a good looking boy, as the front cover attests, which no doubt helped him to hang on in there, defying Sting's cogent observation that all music journalists liked Elvis Costello because they ...more
Oct 29, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first thing that struck me was a "KLAANG!" from repeated use of language more common in tabloid confessionals - "just a few short weeks later" (in what way were these particular weeks shorter than other weeks, Nick?) and on the next page "just a few short days later" (similar question, Nick). I did also struggle with the way he pushes himself into the centre of everything, and defines the event he was at (a Stooges gig to 200 people, a party in Rod Stewart's Hollywood home,  a scuffle in Din ...more
Tim Niland
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
Nick Kent was one of the leading British rock writers of his generation but it came at a terrible cost. This is a warts and all memoir that juggles comments about the music of the era with commentary about his own personal troubles with narcotics. He originally started writing for the NME in the early seventies because he became sick of school and had enough early self-confidence to think he could make it. Soon enough he was traveling with the Rolling Stones and communing with Iggy Pop, making a ...more
M.L. Rio
Nick Kent's 1970s autobiography is exactly what you might expect: a drug-addled odyssey through the musical underworlds of London and Los Angeles. Kent's life reads almost like an episode of 20 Feet from Stardom, fraught with encounters both sinister and sympathetic with the likes of Peter Grant, Iggy Pop, and Glenn Frey. In a few instances he seems inclined to set the proverbial record straight (no, Keith Richards did not puke on him; yes, he did puke on Keith Richards' doorstep), but for the m ...more
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Believe the hype. Whatever damage Kent did to himself through long-term hard drug addiction hasn't impaired his critical faculties; his "memoir of the '70s" functions as both a clear-eyed overview of the decade in music and pop culture and a lucid, sharp-tongued, and occasionally scandalous recap of his own experiences with everyone from Led Zeppelin to the Sex Pistols, with a sideline as a fairly standard-issue though engagingly written drug narrative. (Act I: I did heroin and it was great! Act ...more
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the top rock and roll memoirs I've come across. It's simultaneously funny and tragic. Music journalist Kent is great writer with a dry sense of humor and during the 70s, he was a witness and participant in the escapes of David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Iggy Pop, Rolling Stones, Sex Pistols, and a cast of thousands.
He's also brutally honest about how his addiction to heroin and other substance undercut his creativity and personal life to a harrowing degree.
A terrific follow-up to his collection
Jan 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some interesting stuff in here. Overall, though, I really dislike Kent's style. He does have great stories, but is just full of himself. I give him points for being friends with Iggy Pop and having a serious relationship with Chrissie Hynde. And putting the music of the time in context is good. I didn't know much about what England was like in the 70s drugwise. Lots of heroin. That was interesting.
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: musica
sarà tutto vero? chissà, intanto nick kent da un perfetto saggio di come si scrive quando si scrive un'autobiografia: pochi veri rimpianti, nessuna autocommiserazione, il giusto dosaggio di fatti propri e vicende che ruotavano attorno alla sua vita e soprattutto una notevole capacità di scrittura. e quando si arriva all'ultima pagina importa poco se è tutto vero: suona decisamente verosimile, e va bene così.
Alex Bleach
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alex by:
A really good account of 70s rock music. Nick Kent's prose is poetic and informed, but engaging throughout.
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