Book Review by Dawoud KringleContinue reading
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A Book Review by Dawoud Kringle
The pantheon of music related literature is littered with books on how to succeed in the music business. They range from the invaluable to the useless. To complicate matters, the volatile and mercurial nature of the music business itself almost inevitably renders them obsolete within five years of their publication. For a book to survive in such an environment, it’s author would not only need to clearly and concisely convey the most important and indispensable information, but also to extrapolate the possible directions the music business will go in the future.
How does one go about writing an autobiography? Such a task is much easier said than done, and there are almost limitless pitfalls one must avoid in undertaking such a project. Of course the first question one must ask is this: why should I write an autobiography? What justifies committing the history of my life to the literary form?
Clive Stevens has answered that question.
A book review by Dawoud Kringle
Virgin Records asked Lydon to go to Jamaica and assist with the reggae bands they were working with. This, like the American tour, proved an eye opening experience for Lydon. It exposed him to cultures that he’d never experienced or imagined, and expanded his perception of music, and humanity. From this, and his closing the chapter of the Sex Pistols in his life, Public Image Limited was born.
Public Image Limited (PiL) was an important step for Lydon. It afforded him the opportunity for an expanded rage of artistic and conceptions / lyrical expression. It also paved the way for Lydon’s adamant and inflexible refusal to be pigeonholed, labeled, and classified as an artist and a man. His songwriting expanded into the use of a variety of interesting concepts (a few examples: on “Poptones,” Lydon placed himself in the mind of a then highly publicized rape victim. On “Careering” he attacked both sides of the conflicts in North Ireland for allowing violence to escalate out of control over religious differences). Musically, Lydon and company were daring to experiment artistically and push the envelope well beyond the limits of the punk genre he was credited with founding.
A book review by Dawoud Kringle
If ever there was a man who looked the whole world in the eye and said FUCK YOU!!!, it’s John Lydon. From the first few pages of the introduction, it was obvious that Lydon’s story, told in his own words, was going to be an intensely interesting read.
Lydon’s humble beginnings in North London (which he described as a “dustbin,” and “piss poor”) hard wired an attitude of rebellion into his psyche. He pointed out that he came from a rare point in British history where unquestioned subservience to national authority was not a given. This is not to say that the British had no civil disorder, but after WW2 much of this was swept under the carpet. People of Lydon’s intelligence, conviction, and imagination inevitably dragged this out of its hiding places.