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Bodies: Life and Death in Music

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But life and death in music are much more than the febrile motions of drink and drugs, it is also the legal wranglings, the unspoken traditions and tribulations of bands trying to create and then survive.

On top of this the record companies do not come off well, depicted as using the musicians as commodities, making money out of tel gem and not looking out for their mental health - once in motion tours do not get cancelled if some of the band is struggling! This is unflinchingly honest throughout and gives an in depth and first hand view of the griminess behind the glamour of the music industry. In Bodies, Ian Winwood explores the industry's reluctance to confront its many failures in a far-reaching story which features first-hand access to artists such as Foo Fighters, Green Day, Trent Reznor, Biffy Clyro, Kings of Leon, Chris Cornell, Mark Lanegan, Pearl Jam. If I may brag a little, the author didn't mention a single band or artist I hadn't at least heard of, and I even recognised some musicians who weren't mentioned by name. Winwood contemplates why creative people are drawn to such a lifestyle, and the ways in which creativity often comes with vulnerability.

He makes a compelling argument and overturns some long-held notions about "rock and roll excess" by deftly tying together a vast amount of information.

The only thing i'm disappointed in with this edition is that it didn't include the chapter on Taylor Hawkins. Instead we have the author's descent into My Drug Hell, which is boring, because there is only ever one My Drug Hell story you get to read: It was fun, then it was bad, then it was worse, then I was desperate and thought I would die, more of this, moment of light, I'm OK now. With classics such as Ted Hughes's The Iron Man and award-winners including Emma Carroll's Letters from the Lighthouse, Faber Children's Books brings you the best in picture books, young reads and classics. Winwood is excoriatingly honest in his appraisal of both the artists and himself, in this visceral examination of art, drugs, mental health and music. This isn’t your normal collection of titilating and salacious tales of excess (As undeniably enjoyable as they can be); it’s something much more important than that.Visceral, empathetic, profound and affecting, Winwood’s book operates on a number of levels: as a j’accuse of the music industry not only in its failure to safeguard those who operate within in but for the ways it drives them to addiction and self-destruction; as a plea for greater awareness of mental health issues within said industry; as a cautionary tale of how said industry pulls into its destructive orbit associated practitioners, most notably music journalists; as a memoir of personal loss, grief and aftermath; as a threnody for those who didn’t survive; and as a hymn to those who did. I was aware of many of the bands and musicians mentioned - but reading their stories (many of them taken from interviews Ian had done) was difficult. Much more than a touchline re- porter, Winwood also tells the tale of his own mental-health collapse following the shocking death of his father. I'm certainly more aware now of the huge pressures they face, I just wish they had been able to get support for their struggles.

Gutting details, triumphant moments that anyone in the field will have latched to after their first byline, but without the impressive addition of actually meeting the bandmates as Winwood often does. It was certainly the least to acknowledge that some idols (Bowie, Prince, Steven Tyler, Iggy Pop, Jimmy Page just off the top of my head) did some extremely shady (illegal?

My Chemical Romance, the original Misfits (performing Walk Among Us in full) and Nine Inch Nails will top the bill at this year’s long-awaited Riot Fest. I would highly recommend this book to any fan of music in general, as it's such an important book that lifts the lid on the often glamourised life of being a rockstar. This is an excellent music book from an author who is very well placed to comment on the music world given his years of journalistic experience. At a time when bands are thankfully pulling back to focus on themselves rather than their careers, Bodies provides an articulate look at the other side. In a huge new interview with Rick Rubin, Trent Reznor explains how he thinks that there is a “less fertile environment to put music out into, in the world of Nine Inch Nails”.

In Bodies, Ian Winwood explores the industry’s reluctance to confront its many failures in a far-reaching story which features first-hand access to artists such as Foo Fighters, Green Day, Trent Reznor, Biffy Clyro, Kings of Leon, Chris Cornell, Mark Lanegan, Pearl Jam. If you were under any delusions about how glamorous the music is , then this book will certainly make you think again, and maybe the ones on stage who seem to have it all aren't quite as lucky as we all think they are. This book is also a deeply personal one, drawing on Winwood's relationship and loss of his father amidst the author's own struggles with drug addiction. It ends relatively happily, with its author sober, stable and married, and with some faint glimmers of hope on the horizon for the music world.God bless anyone involved or thinking about working in such a arduous profession and have the temerity to actually want to be paid for their hard work and talent. A good read but maybe for all the wrong reasons - It’s a warts and all account which might take the edge of how you view the music industry going forward. It’s impossible, given recent events, not to be moved by the mention of Taylor Hawkins’ near-fatal overdose in London in 2001 and the observation that, ‘Aside from this… the band’s exoskeleton has survived everything that has rained down upon it. Other bands to feature more are Biffy Clyro who are treated in a rather overly adulatory manner and the Lostprophets, aka one of the grimnest stories in music. Conversations about mental health and support for those with issues should be an essential part of looking after artists.

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