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Chrissie, Morrissey And Costello: A Barrage Of Biographies

Fans.. short for fanatics we all have bands or performers we love and follow. Admit it, you’ve oogled a celeb and marveled at the gossip at some time or another. The Rona Barrett days are long gone replaced with TMZ and live tweets. Hell we can now follow the Tweets of our heroes and see in near real time what they’re having for lunch..or wearing.. or who they’re with. And we eat it with a spoon and we gasp in disgust when they go against our perceived image of who they should be…who. they. should. be.
Who cares?
Well I do. As a fully functional fan girl I can tell you I do care about who an artist ‘should’ be. I recall as a teen reading fan mags. if Shaun Cassidy was drinking orange soda then you can be damn sure that’s week grocery trip included me sobbing I must have a Fanta (I hate orange soda). Was Bowie eating sushi in a grainy photo.. sign me up. Cuz by doing these things I was one step closer to them. I was in their world if only via taste-bud or shoe brand (hello Doc Marten)

This being said you’d think I would be blasting through the barrage of biographies that are oozing out of my faves. Chrissie Hynde, Morrissey and even my dear Elvis Costello have all pushed out books of their lives. I have obsessed to own them (so much so that in the case of Morrissey I sniveled until Iman contacted family in England to get it for us since the US version was months away) and I get them and I tuck in ready to devour their words and worlds.

I want the anecdotes of climbing trees and eating Wonder bread and walking bridges and getting ass kickings and …getting raped.. divorced.. drunk… beaten up…. wait…

This is not who they should be.

My idols are supposed to be exactly what my brain wants.
Chrissie needs to be a bad ass ‘fuck you’ confident queen maybe even raping bikers
Morrissey a irreverent throne seated king
Costello… darling please

Yet just these three alone typed words that didn’t sit quite well with me and every single book sits on a shelf with a turned corner of where I left off. Cept the Chrissie book which was digital but none the less .. unfinished as each book did not portray the artist I have conjured up. And like the disappointment of Santa’s illusion, I don’t want it. No thanks. I want my idols to be my idols .. just as I want them in a surreal petri dish.
‘Nuff said

But wait there is more.
I don’t care.
I don’t care about their mothers knitted sweaters, their long nights listening to AM transistor radios the description of their favorite jeans when they were 8.
See I think I care- but truly I don’t and after the initial ‘hey they’re human too!” feeling wanes.. I’m done- big deal woopie doo you met them, you ate that? … next.

So do I care or don’t I?
Well.. the answer to that is yes. Moments of fleeting interest quickly doused. Perhaps its my age. No longer 13 I don’t care if Morrissey likes Fanta. But WAIT I do care that he’s now vegan, and Chrissie is semi vegan and Elvis… well who knows. Again the indecisive confusion of fandom.

Biographies are crazy things. People out there want to read all about your life as if its a way to unlock the gift of talent the ‘how to’ of fame. Its not- its an ego jerking pecking of words. We submerge ourselves in someone else’s life, and they write them with full knowledge that there are people who want to voyeur into their life. They can pick and chose what they share, cleanse their soul, make amends, Plot twist, and we wouldn’t know the difference.

This ramble began in my head as a preface to review on the Carmine Appice biography (which also sits unfinished), “Sex, Drums and Rock and Roll”. In this case it wasn’t due to lack of interest but rather because Appice is such a shitty writer. Stick to the sticks and your dick pal. Ending every sentence with an exclamation point made the aged rocker appear just that, a pathetic shriveled old man doused in black hair dye with the IQ of a cymbal. He’s disgusting, which would have endeared me to his book if he wasn’t so horrible at writing and shame on his editors for letting him come across as so inarticulate. Or was it on purpose? And before you bash me for some grammatical bullshit acknowledge this isn’t a book, I’m not a writer and I don’t have paid handlers to fix my ‘errors’ and shut the fuck up and write your own piece.
End rant.

I have often thought of writing my own memoirs. “Ramblings of a Punk Rock Groupie”, but I’ve never been fucked by a mud shark, plus who cares?

I’m drinking a cup of Trader Joe’s Chocolate Mint Tea. Hurry its a seasonal item.



  1. Mary Hyland on February 27, 2017 at 5:26 am

    This article warmed my heart. I too have rock star bios strewn about the apartment, mostly unread. The latest is Brian Wilson’s book. …Brian keeps it just a tad too real, dragging me to his brothers’ funerals and learning just one more sick fact about the crazed Dr. Landy. Elvis’ book was a well written yawn fest which I did get through but it was like wading through War and Peace. As for Bruce’s book, I didn’t even make it to chapter 3. His childhood was worse than mine and mine was pretty bad. One book I have to say kept my interest all the way through was Ray Davies’ Americana (autographed for me when my husband stood on line at Barnes and Noble in Union Square, snapping a few photos which I’ve got stuck in the book). He is sweet to do this for me through the years with a number of r&r authors….in my Unfaithful Music book there are a few photos of Elvis, glaring in my husband’s direction as the photos were taken, surely a form of bad karma for one of us. At this point, I have so many of these bios I don’t think most of them will ever get read. Btw, you should read Tommy James’ book. it’s a mafioso hoot of who really ran the business in those days. Thanks for a fun article.

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