Monday, 2 February 2009

Bad Vibes: Most Quotable Book Evar

J lent me Luke Haines' memoir Bad Vibes: Britpop and My Part in its Downfall yesterday.

Absolutely top class, an outstanding Hainesian pearl of venom dropped into almost every sentence. I include below a few choice ones.

On being thrown out of art college:
I am thrown out - asked to leave as I have 'a bad attitude to further education'. Not true. I have a great attitude.

On being dubbed the Saviour of Rock:
Why would I want to save rock? The damn thing has been stumbling around like a wounded donkey since 1981. The only thing I want to do with rock is kick the fucker to death and put it out of its misery.

On James Banbury*:
I have trouble getting down to a few of the low notes. The Cellist demonstrates that he can reach them and kindly offers his services. 'Hey, tough guy, bit keen aren't you? says Phil to the swot, visibly irritated.
I'm watching you, I think to myself. I'm watching.

On James Banbury again:
The Cellist reveals himself to be something of a bon viveur in search of an onion pastry called pissal-adiere. As a non viveur, I find his quest rather disappointing on any number of levels.

On Alan McGee:
'You. You're Tom Verlaine.' He is of course referring to the buzz-saw blitzkrieg maverick lead guitarist of seminal symbolist New York City art rockers Television. Maybe some people would be happy with this introduction. Not I. I am a stickler for manners and would have preferred a 'How do you do?' or even a simple 'Hello.' The 80s were plagued by these small-time indie Svengalis, wannabe Brian Epsteins or mini-Malcolms. Forever proclaiming some poor bugger to be a genius. Of course hype is fundamental to pop music. But it often says more about the hyper than the hyped. The start of the cursed holy bestowals.
'You. You're Tom Verlaine,' it says, utterly unbecoming. I fix the fool with a dead-eyed stare. Say nothing, say nothing. You, Alan McGee, will pay for this transgression. You will pay.
On the music press:
The first music press front covers of the year are traditionally a bold prediction of who is going to dazzle like no one else has dazzled before, reaping unimaginable rewards for themselves, and for the rest of us change the way we perceive the dimensions of time and space. For their first issue of the year NME stick Elastica on the front cover. During the first week of the new year Blobby is still number one. Time and space remain unaltered.

The full verdict on Chris Evans is probably a bit long to include here, but it does include the phrases 'the only thing I want right now is for the lifeblood to drain out of you' and 'jumped-up kissogram-turned-light-entertainment-colossus'.

On fans' criticism:
The 'spare' guitarist is crestfallen.
'It's the fans,' I console, 'who can be the harshest of critics. John Lennon found that out.'
Anyway, there's plenty more, but you'll have to buy it to get it.

To finish up, in a kind of lazy tribute, here's some relevant material. It's a bit Jillian Becker for my liking, but still worth seeing.

*Thanks to J for showing me this also.

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