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Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys.: A Memoirby Viv Albertine
Synopses & Reviews
Shortlisted for the UK National Book Award in the Popular Nonfiction Book category
Viv Albertine is a pioneer. As lead guitarist and songwriter for the seminal band The Slits, she influenced a future generation of artists including Kurt Cobain and Carrie Brownstein. She formed a band with Sid Vicious and was there the night he met Nancy Spungeon. She tempted Johnny Thunders…toured America with the Clash…dated Mick Jones…and inspired the classic Clash anthem “Train in Vain.” But Albertine was no mere muse. In Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys., Albertine delivers a unique and unfiltered look at a traditionally male-dominated scene.
Her story is so much more than a music memoir. Albertines narrative is nothing less than a fierce correspondence from a life on the fringes of culture. The author recalls rebelling from conformity and patriarchal society ever since her days as an adolescent girl in the same London suburb of Muswell Hill where the Kinks formed. With brash honesty—and an unforgiving memory—Albertine writes of immersing herself into punk culture among the likes of the Sex Pistols and the Buzzcocks. Of her devastation when the Slits broke up and her reinvention as a director and screenwriter. Or abortion, marriage, motherhood, and surviving cancer. Navigating infidelity and negotiating divorce. And launching her recent comeback as a solo artist with her debut album, The Vermilion Border.
Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. is a raw chronicle of music, fashion, love, sex, feminism, and more that connects the early days of punk to the Riot Grrl movement and beyond. But even more profoundly, Viv Albertines remarkable memoir is the story of an empowered woman staying true to herself and making it on her own in the modern world.
"An undercurrent of low self-esteem runs through this episodic, mannered memoir by former punk rocker Albertine, guitarist for the Slits. In spare, frank prose, she recounts her early infatuation with Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten, her success as a guitarist in an unheard-of all-girl band in the late 1970s, and her later troubles, when her marriage failed and her career stalled out. Growing up in the 1960s in Muswell Hill, North London, as the child of an unstable marriage, Albertine found a revolutionary, exciting 'new world' in music by John Lennon and the Kinks. Her Corsican-born father criticized her when she announced that she wanted to be a pop singer: 'You're not chic enough.' So she settled for being a groupie: cadging fab clothes from Kensington Market ('glam rock'), attending Hornsey Art School, and dating Mick Jones of the Clash, who helped her buy her first guitar. Dressed in tattered punk wear from the Sex shop at the end of King's Road, she played with Sid in her first band, Flowers of Romance. Once Sid drifted to the Sex Pistols, Albertine joined the Slits, fronted by the classically trained 15-year-old, Ari Up. Albertine tracks the halcyon days of the band, touring and recording, which lasted until Tessa Pollitt's overdose in 1982. In 'Side Two' of her memoir, Albertine writes about years of uneven romance, trying to get pregnant, and trying to find fulfillment as a Hastings 'housewife.' At the end of this bold, empowering work, Albertine returns to playing guitar to give her life direction again. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The guitarist for seminal female punk group The Slits recounts playing with Sid Vicious, touring with the Clash, dating Mick Jones, inspiring “Train in Vain,” and releasing her solo debut in 2012
Viv Albertine is one of a handful of original punks who changed music, and the discourse around it, forever. Her memoir tells the story of how, through sheer will, talent, and fearlessness, she forced herself into a male-dominated industry, became part of a movement that changed music, and inspired a generation of female rockers.
After forming The Flowers of Romance with Sid Vicious in 1976, Albertine joined The Slits and made musical history in one of the first generations of punk bands. The Slits would go on to serve as an inspiration to future rockers, including Kurt Cobain, Carrie Brownstein, and the Riot Grrrl movement in the 1990s. This is the story of what it was like to be a girl at the height of punk: the sex, the drugs, the guys, the tours, and being part of a brilliant pioneering group of women making musical history. Albertine recounts helping define punk fashion, struggling to find her place among the boys, and her romance with Mick Jones, including her pregnancy and subsequent abortion. She also gives a candid account of what happened post-punk, beyond the break-up of The Slits in 1982, including a career in film, surviving cancer, and making music again, twenty-five years later.
A truly remarkable memoir told in Vivs frank, irreverent, and distinctive voice, Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. is a raw, thrilling story of life on the frontier.
About the Author
Songwriter and musician Viv Albertine was the guitarist in the hugely influential female punk band The Slits. A confidante of the Sex Pistols and the Clash, Viv was a key player in British punk culture. Alongside The Slits, she collaborated with numerous musicians, including Adrian Sherwood, before marking out a career in television and film production. After a hiatus of twenty-five years, Viv's first solo album, The Vermillion Border, was released in 2012 to great critical acclaim.
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