Clothes, Clothes, Clothes

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes

Music, Music, Music : Boys, Boys, Boys

Book - 2014 | First U.S. edition.
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"Ms. Albertine's book is wiry and cogent and fearless.... Her book has an honest, lo-fi grace. If it were better written, it would be worse."--Dwight Garner, The New York Times

"Forget Katniss And Tris - Viv Albertine Is Your New Hero."--

The Rough Trade #1 Book of the Year!

Viv Albertine is a pioneer. As lead guitarist and songwriter for the seminal band The Slits, she influenced a future generation of artists including Kurt Cobain and Carrie Brownstein. She formed a band with Sid Vicious and was there the night he met Nancy Spungeon. She tempted Johnny Thunders...toured America with the Clash...dated Mick Jones...and inspired the classic Clash anthem "Train in Vain." But Albertine was no mere muse. In Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. , Albertine delivers a unique and unfiltered look at a traditionally male-dominated scene.

Her story is so much more than a music memoir. Albertine's narrative is nothing less than a fierce correspondence from a life on the fringes of culture. The author recalls rebelling from conformity and patriarchal society ever since her days as an adolescent girl in the same London suburb of Muswell Hill where the Kinks formed. With brash honesty--and an unforgiving memory--Albertine writes of immersing herself into punk culture among the likes of the Sex Pistols and the Buzzcocks. Of her devastation when the Slits broke up and her reinvention as a director and screenwriter. Or abortion, marriage, motherhood, and surviving cancer. Navigating infidelity and negotiating divorce. And launching her recent comeback as a solo artist with her debut album, The Vermilion Border .

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. is a raw chronicle of music, fashion, love, sex, feminism, and more that connects the early days of punk to the Riot Grrl movement and beyond. But even more profoundly, Viv Albertine's remarkable memoir is the story of an empowered woman staying true to herself and making it on her own in the modern world.

Publisher: New York, N.Y. :, Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin's Press,, 2014.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
ISBN: 9781250065995
Characteristics: ix, 421 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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Aug 03, 2015

This is a great book, honest and true to the punk sensibility.

May 21, 2015

". . .John Lennon, Yoko Ono, the Kinks, the possible female in Third Ear Band, the untrained female drummer in Kokomo, Sandie Shaw, Suzi Quatro, Emma Peel, the two girls in the Incredible String Band, Patti Smith, Mick Jones, Johnny Rotten, my love of music. . .
. . .This is it. At least, I see not only the other universe I've always wanted to be part of, but the bridge to it."
Even if the name Viv Albertine isn't immediately familiar, anyone with a moderate interest in British punk and post-punk will be familiar with her various projects and associations. She was in Flowers of Romance with Sid Vicious before he joined the Sex Pistols, she dated the Clash's Mick Jones, who wrote "Train in Vain" about her, she was the guitarist in the short-lived, but enormously influential all female post-punk band The Slits (see: "Cut"), she shopped at Sex, the punk boutique run by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, and she shot heroin with Johnny Thunders. Oh, she also had a fling with Vincent Gallo, but that seems way less cool. Punk, maybe more so in England than America, opened doors for female musicians and Albertine's forthright memoir, written in short, impressionistic chapters, details her upbringing, her obsessions with the three title objects, and her post-Slits life and career. At the center of the London punk and post-punk explosion, she interacted with nearly every interesting figure of the time, from Johnny Rotten to Poly Styrene (X-Ray Spex). If there's a fault, it's that it's far less engaging once she's left the Slits and the second half drags a bit. Of recent rock memoirs, it's not quite as good as ones by Richard Hell or Kim Gordon, but any fan of the punk era will greatly enjoy the snapshot of an amazing period in music. "The typical girl gets the typical boy."

Mar 01, 2015

Great book, quite an easy read. Either she kept a journal or has an amazing memory, not sure which. I was never a fan of the Slits so I am not too familiar with their music. I loved the first hand account of the punk rock scene from an insider. The second half of the book is a look at her life post Slits which is equally interesting. Quite a brave story.

Jan 26, 2015

This book is interesting for three reasons. First of all, if you're into punk music like The Clash, Siouxsie and the Banshees or the Sex Pistols then you will want to hear Albertine reminisce about that scene.

Secondly, for feminism this book is a force of nature that describes what exactly a woman born in 1954 would come up against when she set out to play woman centered music.

The third interesting aspect to this book is the deliciously free-spirited artistic sensibility that the narrator brings to the page. Albertine succinctly states her own truth as well as providing a context that acknowledges the mores of the time and the 20/20 vision of hindsight. Told in very short chapters, this book has an unpolished and vulnerable feeling as if your cool older cousin is telling you all her secrets.

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