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review 2015-11-29 03:28
I'll Never Write My Memoirs by Grace Jones
I'll Never Write My Memoirs - Grace Jones,Paul Morley

In my memory, Grace Jones never played on the mainstream radio stations in Jacksonville, Florida in the 70s-80s - not when I listened. I get the impression after reading I'll Never Write My Memoirs that this wouldn't have bothered Grace. Her albums and songs have charted in the US, and with greater success in other countries, but like with many acts it took the launch of MTV to introduce me to this slender cat woman in gray, creeping up a staircase in impossible heels and barking out "Demolition Man" like she ordered you to listen. Grace Jones was and remains badass.

When I saw this book you bet I put on the brakes and got a copy. Anybody who survived Studio 54, industry discrimination, and Dolph *drool* Lundgren has a hell of a story to tell, and while going in with my own perception of Grace the entertainer I came away with a higher respect for Grace the person. This book, presented in the "as told to" format through rock journalist Paul Morley, ebbs and flows through her life in a colorful narrative, and unlike previous memoirs I've read where one senses a reluctance to confess, Grace lays it all out. One will hear legends of Studio 54 where Grace walked around naked - this book has that feel. There's no shame in revealing moments of shyness, anger (justifiable at that, particularly when people try to screw you come payday), and frustration (we can't hire you because XYZ). Grace makes no bones about her influence in music, either - I'm still trying to figure out the mysterious "Doris" she speaks of, an entertainer wanting to emulate and collaborate. I have it narrowed to two possible suspects.

If you are stickler for timelines, know that Grace warns early on how she doesn't keep track of time. Not good if you're The Doctor, but one expects a person like Grace Jones to remain timeless. Her story may hop around but not enough to distract. It's a fun ride with bittersweet memories of people from an era long gone and a strong message: you deserve compensation for your talents.

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review 2015-06-07 13:02
The North (and almost everything in it)
The North: (And Almost Everything In It) - Paul Morley

By: Paul Morley
ISBN-10: 0747578168
ISBN-13: 9781408834015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Language: English
Format: Paperback, Hardcover, Kindle, Audio


Throughout the years I have travelled from outside England to London and Cornwall, always loving the vibe of the city, and then the quiet of the very far south. But I wanted to see more of this facinating Country. From London you can take the train north, reaching Manchester Piccadilly within about 2 to 2 1/2 hours with Virgin Trains, CrossCountry, East Midlands, First TransPennine Express, Northern Rail, etc. As you are cradled by the Train you may wonder about the sights you see along the way (similar to the Book The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins), curious about the history, the history of the North. To me, North England means Manchester, which is wrong and only based on personal opinion (certainly not along any geographical or political lines).

"By the time you arrive on the edge of this major northern city and see the buildings, new and old, that tell its story, that announce its entrenched character, you may have been in the north for a fair few miles, and nothing will have seemed so dramatically different since you were in the obvious south (P. 36)"

My first impression of the North was Stoke-On-Trent, then up to Manchester, finally settling on Stockport. I adore Stockport. I love the Greater Manchester area. I am enthralled by the Peak District. Paul Morley, the Author of The North (and almost everything in it), grew up in said area, specifically in Reddish, which is an area of the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, in Greater Manchester, England. "It is 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Stockport and 4.6 miles (7.4 km) southeast of Manchester. Historically a part of Lancashire, Reddish grew and developed rapidly during the Industrial Revolution and still retains landmarks from that period, such as Houldsworth Mill, a former textile mill" (Wikipedia). That is why I picked up the book in the first place; I wanted to learn about this North since I myself have been exploring Stockport and to a lesser extend, Manchester.

The Book itself was great although it took me weeks to read due to the convoluted way it was written. I had no issue with the historical timeline of the North of England being written backwards as his own timeline went from youth to adult in the expected manner. There were lots of sentences that ran together, for an eternity it seems, and sometimes I wondered if the Author was not on something as he was writing - still - I give the man credit: it calls for a second read so I can highlight passages and explore this North and the locations he mentions. The book also lead to me and Google again forming a intimate relationship so I could look up any names or happenings I was not familiar with. I am, after all, not from England.

While I do like the book, there was too much mention of Sports and Music - but considering Paul Morley is an English music journalist with a serious Football (Soccer) fetish, I will forgive him for such folly.

Paul Morley's non-fictional book The North (and almost everything in it) will capture you if you give it the time it deserves.


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review 2013-06-02 00:00
The North: (And Almost Everything In It) - Paul Morley BOTWR4pub 2013spring 2013non ficbr england> BBC BLURB: 'Here is the north, this is where it lies, where it belongs, full of itself, high up above everything else, surrounded by everything that isn't the north, that's off the page, somewhere else.'Paul Morley grew up in Reddish, less than five miles from Manchester and even closer to Stockport. Ever since the age of seven, old enough to form an identity but too young to be aware that 'southern' was a category, Morley has always thought of himself as a northerner. What that meant, he wasn't entirely sure. It was for him, as it is for millions of others in England, an absolute, indisputable truth.Forty years after walking down grey pavements on his way to school, Morley explores what it means to be northern and why those who consider themselves to be believe it so strongly. While exploring his own 'northernness', Morley brings in other voices from the North, from Larkin to Wordsworth, Les Dawson to George Formby, Morrissey to Mark E. Smith, as he attempts to classify the unclassifiable.Paul Morley is an acclaimed music journalist, writer, presenter and music producer. He made his name writing for the NME between 1977 and 1983, and has gone on to publish several books about music.Reader: Paul Morley, with additional readings from Paul Hilton Abridger: Viv Beeby Producer: Justine Willett.3: Sixties glamour hits Reddish, while football binds father and son together.4: The teenage Morley's head is turned, when glam rock hits Manchester.5: It's 1976, and the Sex Pistols play Manchester. Morley was there.3*Reddish is an area of the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, in Greater Manchester, England. It is 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Stockport and 4.6 miles (7.4 km) southeast of Manchester.Nawf-ern music and beautiful landscape: You're a Lady - Peter Skellern
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