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small paperback (yellowing)

Bill Wyman with Ray Coleman
Stone Alone

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It’s probably a bit cruel to destroy people’s faith in myths -- like telling a six-year old the truth about Santa Claus -- but the reason there are so few decent autobiographies and biographies in rock music is simple: the central characters aren’t that interesting.

Being a musician at that fascinating interface of low art and high commerce doesn’t necessarily bring with it special powers of observation or an intelligence beyond that needed to make music.

That’s unfortunate because when those worlds collide -- as they do so often in rock -- there are bizarre, sad and sleazy stories to be told.

But the larger-than-life characters who command television time, magazine covers and the ear of half of the western world don’t often have much to say for themselves.
Try as he might, Alan Clayson couldn’t find anything in the life of Roy Orbison to make him sound even moderately
interesting -- and this was a man who had sung alongside Elvis, Johnny Cash, George Harrison and Dylan along the way. And is there a decent Harrison biography?

It isn’t exactly reassuring either when Kerry Juby opens his biography of Kate Bush (subtitled promisingly as The Whole Story) with the less-than-startling news, “She is the nice girl of pop, the girl you want to take home to Mum. . . Wow, worra rager.

If biographers have been at a loss -- Albert Goldman’s grubby and hilarious literary autopsies of Elvis and John Lennon excepted -- then decent autobiographies have been even thinner on the ground.

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ag16
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  • nz parcel post and packaging $2.80
  • tracked nz parcel post and packaging$4.50
  • tracked rural parcel post$7.30
  • Seller allows pick-ups
  • Seller location: Nelson, Nelson Bays, NZ

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  • NZ bank deposit