Rarely has a book title been so accurate. In the surprisingly candid memoir by former Slits guitarist and member of the ‘70s British punk scene inner circle, Viv Albertine offers a compelling look at growing up in the vanguard of the music scene and her obsessions with the music, fashion and, well, boys.
While The Sex Pistols and The Clash – co-led by Albertine’s on again-off again boyfriend Mick Jones – found fame early on, bands like The Slits didn’t really get famous until decades after they’d split, when a slew of grunge and punk bands in the 1980s and 1990s started citing them as musical touchstones. Kurt Cobain, for one, called out The Slits as his favorite band.
While there have been bookstores’ worth of tomes about the punk scene, few can match the honesty of Albertine’s autobiography, discussing her troubled relationship with her father, the abortion she had in her early 20s, her struggles with cancer and trying to have a child, and her abusive relationships with men in her life. Though the bulk of the book is rightfully devoted to her time in the band, as well as her exploits with folks like Sid Vicious, Johnny Thunders and Viviane Westwood, the final chapters are equally absorbing. The second portion is devoted to juggling life as a mother, unhappy wife and a struggling musician, trying to relearn the guitar, hitting open mic nights at local pubs and eventually gaining the courage to put out a solo record.
Brave, honest and fantastically entertaining, Albertine has pulled together a must-read memoir for music fans everywhere.
Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys.: A Memoir by Viv Albertine (Book)