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Review Telling Stories

Tim Burgess grew up in rural Cheshire but from his mid teens he spent as much time as he could at the legendary Hacienda in Manchester He was invited to be the vocalist in newly formed The Charlatans who went from supporting The Stone Roses to having three UK number one albums and seventeen Top Thirty singles They rode the waves of first Madchester then Britpop T. Tim Burgess is clearly bonkers These loose limbed ramblings about his shambolic rocking and rolling are as close to full on stream of consciousness hokum as anything Joyce or Ms Woolf published Plus neither Ulysses nor To The Lighthouse include a page long digression on the logistics of rectal ingestion of class A drugs So that s nice It may be hard to follow at times with scant regard for chronology but it feels authentic Despite the addiction the deaths the break ups and the broken friendships it s all fairly light and jolly Fun

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Telling Stories

He band survived the imprisonment of influential keyboardist Rob Collins on a charge of armed robbery then the death of Collins in a car accident their accountant running off with all their money and leaving them with a tax bill of almost £ million and in recent years the rock 'n' roll life style of Burgess himself as he took himself off to LA for the music and. Tim Burgess lead singer and frontman with The Charlatans has lead a life immersed in music I was particularly interested to read Telling Stories because The Charlatans were a band I listened to a lot during my teens I grew up in Monmouth in a midterraced house on Rockfield Road just a couple of miles from where The Charlatans recorded I actually met Tim Burgess twice in the mid 90s and was completely in awe of this beautiful man He had an ethereal uality seeming much introvert than his outer persona would suggest I still have his autograph on the back of a National Lottery slip Burgess talks about his teenage years clubbing in Manchester particularly at the legendary Hacienda and his early experiences of substance abuse As a vinyl collector he is knowledgeable about an eclectic mix of artists and bands name checking and recommending them throughout the book You ll be reaching for your music collection or youtube for some of the obscure recommendations as you read Then of course there are his experiences as a musician The Charlatans are often referred to as part of the Madchester scene and also the later IndieBritpop genre However part of the beauty of The Charlatans is their constantly evolving sound and when you read Telling Stories and see the diverse list of influences it becomes apparent just why their sound transcends so many genresMost music memoirs are chock full of sex drugs and rock and roll Burgess himself acknowledges that drugs and rock and roll were his focus openly admitting to the methods he used to smuggle drugs across borders and his drug reliance which he refers to as self medication The tragic death of bandmate Rob Collins fraud scandal and armed robbery add depth and emotion to this compelling autobiography An honest insightful look into the mind of a notable musician Telling Stories is an interesting memoir which will particularly appeal to music fans of a certain age

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The drugsPacked with incredible stories this frank and vivid memoir describes the mad life of a rock star the dynamics of the band the creativity and the self destruction the sex and the drugs but also the rock 'n roll his obsession with music shines off the page as he writes about his influences and his encounters from Dylan to New Order from Paul Weller to Oasi. A totally frank and often unnerving dissection of the life and times of one Timothy Burgess frontman to the unluckiest band in the world The Charlatans who by Burgess own admission have experienced in their remarkable career as many highs as they have lows The book which is a reasonably slim volume given the timeframe it covers is as much an insightful and frank account of what it s like to front a band and have iconically coiffured hair as it is about the records loves cities and people that inspire such an endeavourBurgess voice is warm cheeky and full of spirit even when dealing with the controversial aspects of the bands existence such as the incarceration and subseuent death in a tragic car accident of one of the key band members earlier in their career However it is never anything less than engaging and often amusingly self deprecating the cringe worthy and often humorous recollection of an interview transcribed in full in the book whilst intoxicated at the hands of a bemused laconic journalist being an incredible low high point His later reformation as a proponent of transcendental meditation is all the surprising as a result All in all then a knowing and enjoyable rock and roll autobiography that is suitably redemptive and that doesn t outstay it s welcome


10 thoughts on “Telling Stories

  1. says:

    I read very few biographies In fact I read very little non fiction full stop But this book I felt compelled to read having been a c

  2. says:

    Tim Burgess is clearly bonkers These loose limbed ramblings about his shambolic rocking and rolling are as close to full on stream of consciousness hokum as anything Joyce or Ms Woolf published Plus neither Ulysses nor To The Lighthou

  3. says:

    Absolutely adored this book Tim's uick sense of humor and love for music shines through in his writing It was especially interesting to hear him talk so much about where his musical influences came from one of the biggest being one of my favorite artists New Order His enthusiasm over his musical influences as well as for the records he collects is contagious and left me wanting to immediately go and put on some records and dance Also his

  4. says:

    A step above the average rock star autobiography Telling Stories manages to sidestep the usual linear chronology of gigs played girls shagged and drugs taken Of course that sort of stuff is in there but it is mixed in with interesting tangents which give insight into the mind and personality of Tim Burgess Most pleasingly

  5. says:

    Tim Burgess lead singer and frontman with The Charlatans has lead a life immersed in music I was particularly interested to read Telling Stories because The Charlatans were a band I listened to a lot during my teens I grew up in Mon

  6. says:

    With the help of four nicely spaced coffee and cigarette breaks finished the whole book in 7 hours Feel like I’ve been on a amazing trip

  7. says:

    First of all; Tim Burgess is no writer Don't open this book expecting to be blown away by the uality of the prose Don't get me wrong; it's a fantastic read but only because of the subject matter Telling Stories starts off a bit disjointed There's something willy nilly in the narrator's style and approach that sets you of

  8. says:

    Tim Burgess the lead singer and songwriter of the great MadchesterBaggy survivors The Charlatans has written a dis

  9. says:

    A totally frank and often unnerving dissection of the life and times of one Timothy Burgess frontman to the unluckiest band in the world The Charlatans who by Burgess' own admission have experienced in their remarkable career as many highs as they have lows The book which is a reasonably slim volume given the timeframe it covers is as much an insightful and frank account of what it's like to front a band and have icon

  10. says:

    This is far from a conventional autobiography and there seems a lot of criticism from some other reviewers around thisTo them I would gently suggest that the clue is in the titleThere is no strict chronology to this instead Tim regales you w