I recently finished Who I Am, the Pete Townshend autobiography, and it wasn't as much of a clusterfuck as I feared it might be. The book is best describing pre-Who years, and at its worst in the pages and pages where he prattles on about life post-Who. On the latter, Christgau's review in the NYT hit it on the head:
Worth reading, I suppose, if you are a fan. Nothing special otherwise....And in the not quite four years covered by the pertinent 23-page chapter, that job was only the beginning. In addition to overseeing many reprints and originals and having his life “enriched by time spent getting to know some of the more pre-eminent authors on Faber’s list,” he wrote a story collection for Faber. But in those same four years he also did extensive charity work, with prolonged attention to rehab programs and a shelter for battered wives; mastered a daunting new digital composing console; completed songs for an autobiographical film and a televised dance suite you never heard of and then began developing a children’s musical based on a story by his Faber pal Ted Hughes; organized a new band you never heard of; switched labels; produced an album for his brother; watched his father die; and did a lot of therapy. He also somehow maintained a marriage that had begun in 1968.
You have to be impressed, right? I am. But reflect briefly and you’ll see that cramming all this into 23 pages is unlikely to produce much of the detail and incident that make narrative taste good, and might stanch flow and coherence too. Entitled “Still Loony,” the chapter is an extreme instance that typifies a major problem, one that worsens as the book proceeds: because he wants to get everything in, including hundreds of dropped names, Townshend can’t take the time to make much come alive.
Fui quod es, eris quod sum. I once was what you are, you will be what I am - epitaph carved on Roman gravestones.
We're here to play some Mississippi Delta Blues. We're in a horrible depression, and I gotta admit - we're starting to like it.
I enjoyed Our Noise, the story of Merge Records quite a bit. It's written by Mac and Laura and another guy? Also, Everybody Loves our Town by Mark Yarm was pretty good. Heavier than Heaven, as mentioned, was an enjoyable read. I'm a sucker for pretty much all the Klosterman stuff. Semi-related: The Chunklet "Books" (The Indie Cred Test, The Rock Bible, The Overrated Book, etc.) tend to be pretty damn hilarious and most of the rock nerds would really dig them, even if sometimes they hit a little too close to home.