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Black Postcards: A Rock & Roll Romance Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 13, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Drawing his reminiscences from a diary that his father, a successful management consultant suggested he keep, Wareham chronicles his middle class childhood in New Zealand and later in New York City. It was in New York where Dean came of age in the late 1970's during the halcyon days of punk and new wave. Like a sponge, Wareham absorbed the music, the style and the ethos of punk and new wave rock. Ever opinionated, Wareham quickly draws sharp lines of demarcation between "good" and "bad" music. The Clash, Joy Division, Talking Heads, and The Feelies fell into Dean's category of "good" music. U2, Metallica, The Cure and other big name bands who received extensive radio airplay, were not especially 'cool'.Read more ›
What he does talk about is food: paella in Spain, barbecue in Texas, brisket on Houston Street. He also has the sniffy attitude of a fanboy music nerd of a particularly 80s ilk, catty about bands he doesn't like. Favorite road game: "Who wouldn't you open for?"
But Wareham's a smart guy who doesn't wear his Harvard education on his sleeve. There are a fair number of wry asides and one liners. Though some of these stories fall flat, I guess you had to be there.
There are also some genuinely poignant moments, like when he catches sight of his toddler son across the avenue the day he walked out on his first marriage.
All in all this is a respectable book for fans and those interested in the nuts and bolts of being in a minor league rock band. Still, better worth waiting for the paperback.
The Luna chapters - a much longer period of time - blend together a little bit, but I think it portrays the tedium of low-level rock "stardom" very well. His music career is the framework, and as that goes along we get surface level details about his personal life, band and record label conflicts, dealings with other musicians, etc. Wareham gives you a pretty good insight into what kind of person he is, but you only get the barest of inkling regarding bandmates, family members, love interests, etc. Which is fine - he's revealing things about himself and respecting (mostly) the privacy of those around him. I think it's important to point out that Wareham doesn't try to paint himself in any particular light. He's not trying to play the musical genius, the misunderstood artist, the ladies man, the wild rock musician, etc. He presents himself, warts and all, without concern for showing himself , which happens from time to time. He seems like a pretty normal guy from a fairly privileged upbringing who got involved in the music scene, formed an iconic indie band (Galaxie 500) and a much-less-lauded follow up (Luna - who I actually like much better). You learn how much the music industry sucks, and apparently how little money is made - if any is to be had at all - by bands at this level. I enjoyed this book quite a bit. Definitely worth reading if you're a fan.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
HA! And you thought you knew what the Indie Music scene was all about just because you lived through it. Read morePublished 11 months ago by R. Kesler
I started seriously getting into music in the late eighties, early nineties when the indie/alternative scene in America began to grow. Read morePublished on November 27, 2011 by Diarmuid Cooke
I really enjoyed this book. It is not too often that a book like this gets realized. Many rock singers might not have the wherewithal after all of those years to produce such a... Read morePublished on May 29, 2010 by Middleman
I couldn't put this book down. Dean is a great writer, and told his story prolifically of an indie band(s) trying to make it despite difficult circumstances. Read morePublished on November 5, 2009 by Wendy E
Every bit as soporific -- and mediocre -- as the music. Virtually nobody bought the cds so why anyone would want to read the stories behind them is beyond me. Read morePublished on October 26, 2009 by Rupert Pupkin
After waiting forever for the paperback edition, I devoured this book in two evenings without chewing. Read morePublished on May 28, 2009 by Ishmael
Dean Wareham details his life in the elastic time of late 80's indie rock when opportunities to hear the music you might love came via live shows in rooms hardly anybody ever heard... Read morePublished on January 19, 2009 by Wayne A. Cresser
I love a good Rock & Roll autobiography and this one is everything you hope for: Wareham is smart enough to quote Trotsky but funny enough to crack dirty jokes about tour life,... Read morePublished on July 30, 2008 by B. Collins
After being a huge fan of both Galaxie 500 and Luna, I was giddy with delight when I learned that Dean Wareham wrote an autobiography. Read morePublished on July 13, 2008 by Crazy Feline