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Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. Paperback – 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber (2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571297757
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571297757
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,032,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Here's what I tweeted when I finished the book:

"Finished superb memoir #clothesmusicboys by @viv_albertine last night. Wonderful book - entertaining, moving, sad, amusing, profound"

And I don't need to say a lot more - it was really was that good. Viv Albertine was the guitarist of iconic 1970s English punk band The Slits. When that band broke up, she disappeared into a marriage in which her creativity wasted away. This is the story of how she got to that point and how she resumed her creative life after 25 years' obscurity. It's also the story of some very bad (and some very good) choices, taken with a fierce commitment to independence, and the emotional price she has had to pay for that independence.

Along the way, there are fascinating portraits of Sid Vicious, John Lydon, Mick Jones, Ari Up and many other famous figures of the punk era; unexpected connections with musicians and actors as diverse as Steve Howe of Yes and Tom Hiddleston; and the voice of a fine storyteller. This is, so far, my favourite book of 2014.
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Format: Hardcover
A wonderful book on so many levels--an inside look at the creation of punk; wildly interesting portraits of friends such as Johnny Thunders, Sid Vicious, and Mick Jones (who comes off as a sweetheart--wish he'd write a book too); ordinary stuff about what it's like to be a woman, but told in such an appealing, signature way; and a message that there are second acts in life (and third and fourth acts too--Albertine's intriguing performance in the Joanna Hogg film Exhibition led me to this book). I loved this so much I even put it down for a day, to postpone the painful inevitability of having no more Viv Albertine words to read. And her hilariously described Vincent Gallo encounter is just priceless icing on the cake.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Can't say what possessed me to purchase this book??? I had never heard of Viv Albertine or The Slits. I didn't listen to punk rock. However, I found this book captivating. The honesty of it all. Congratulations Viv!! I'm a fairly avid reader and would recommend this book to most anyone who can keep an open mind. The book created some type of cathartic experience for me.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In the non-stop stream of celebrity autobiographies available, Viv Albertine’s Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys is in a class by itself. Eschewing the standard form of chronicling events in long, wistful chapters of excess, Albertine goes for short entries of brilliance. The woman knows how to write, crafting observant and blunt bits of streetwise prose to describe the many mini-moments that make up this great book.

The gangs all here; sex, drugs, rock and roll, but that’s only a part of it. After the days of punk ,The Slits, and notoriety had faded, Albertine tackled the next stage of her life, one in which she tried to have something approaching normalcy, only to find herself beset by a host of physical maladies which left her an empty and depressed shell of the renegade she once was. It’s in this second half of the book that the reader is jettisoned from appreciative fan to empathetic confidant, a powerful transformation to be certain.

Throughout her tale, the author is relentlessly, brutally, and heartbreakingly honest. It’s easily the most intimate autobiography I’ve read, one in which the reader isn’t just consuming the sterile recounting of actions, but rather becoming enmeshed in a spellbinding, painful, and wry confessional. It’s essentially linear, but has some disjointed chapters that seem to have no purpose save to give you one more anecdote or life observation. I can best compare it to a long conversation with someone wherein the drinks or drugs flow, the talk rambles, and nobody is bored. Hers is a story as unique as she, but it’s her ability to unflinchingly express the raw innermost thoughts she was experiencing during those moments that make this book so special, so personal, and so endearing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys: A Memoir--a great title for a wonderful memoir! The title is based a comment by Viv Albertine's mother when Viv was a teenager, saying all Viv was interested in was clothes, music, and boys. Although I suspect that is true for many teenage girls, Viv stands out by how she throws herself into punk fashion, music, and the boys in the bands.

I know only a little about the 1970s musical era in this memoir, but that didn't impact my enjoyment of the book. Viv's drive to learn, to play, to experience music and life is timeless. For the first part of the book, Viv is young, reckless, and free, surrounded by music and boys. In the second half of the story, a more mature Viv has sought out stability, created a family, and struggled with her health. But underneath her carefully constructed life, there is still a flicker of desire to be more, do more, and learn more.

Clothes, Music, Boys is a well-written and engaging memoir. One doesn't need to be a fan of 1970s music, early punk fashion, or girl bands to appreciate the coming of age story of a creative, sometimes lost, woman.
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