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In Los Angeles in the late 1960s, brothers Billy and Graham Dunne form a rock band called The Six. At the same time, teenager Daisy Jones is discovering her identity, crashing clubs on the Sunset Strip, discovering drink and drugs, and sleeping with rock stars. She eventually becomes a singer and ends up joining The Six. The band went on to huge success and sell-out tours, until mid 1979, when they split up abruptly and without warning. Finally in this book the reasons behind their shock split are revealed.

This was the first book I read in 2022, and I think the third book I had read by this author (although the other two were audiobooks). I breezed through this one very quickly and if it wasn’t for things like eating and sleeping, I probably could have read it in one sitting!

Daisy Jones & The Six are a fictional band, but there were certainly bands like them around in the late 60s and 1970s. This book is written as a sort of interview with different band members and people around them, so the events described are sometimes told very differently by some characters, because of course memory is not always reliable and people always bring their own biases to the table. It’s a style of writing that not everybody will love, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I really liked seeing the development of the band, spotting things that were happening before the characters themselves were always aware, and watching tensions arise and relationships – good and bad – forming.

Daisy was definitely what you would call a hot mess. WAY too into the alcohol and drugs, and I feared for her. The rest of the band were very relatable and believable with their own distinct personalities. My favourite character was Camila, who was not actually in the band at all but is a very important character throughout. I didn’t always agree with her choices, but she is very much a friend that someone would want to have by their side.

Anyway, a fascinating story that moves apace to keep you interested together with characters that you can really invest in even if you don’t always like them make this a great read. Perfect for kicking off this year of reading.

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In the late 80s, the Thunder Girls were the biggest girl band on the planet. Chrissie, Carly, Roxanne and Anita had the world at their feet, until it came to an abrupt end. Three of their careers were destroyed and the friendship was in tatters.

Thirty years later, they are invited to get back together for a reunion gig, but after all the backstabbing, betrayals and recriminations, can they even bear to be in the same room?

This book follows the girls throughout their separate lives, which include divorce, children, addiction, and bankruptcy. Not to mention that while they are planning the huge comeback which will see them back on the pedestals, someone else is plotting to bring them down…

I wanted a book that was undemanding and light hearted, and this book fitted the bill. It wasn’t always light hearted, but it also wasn’t ever to be taken too seriously. There’s a fairly healthy dollop of Jackie Collins-esque storylines here (although without the X-rating), mixed in with The Bold and the Beautiful type scenes and some of the events require a suspension of disbelief, while others were were predictable.

This is not the kind of book that wins literary prizes and nor is it meant to be. But if you want some pure escapism, this might do the trick.

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Anyone who is old enough to remember the mid-late 70s knows who John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten is. Famous – or infamous – for being the lead singer of the Sex Pistols, and then forming Public Image Ltd, Lydon is now almost as well known for his TV appearances on shows like I’m A Celebrity….Get Me Out of Here, Shark Attack, Goes Ape, and even Question Time. Not to mention those Country Life butter advertisements!

As the title suggests, this is indeed his life uncensored and in his own words. (The Anger is an Energy line comes from the PiL song Rise, which is one of my favourite songs.) So much in his own words in fact, that this book feels more like it has been dictated – I think this works, because when I am reading someone’s autobiography I like to feel that I can hear their own voice reciting it, and in this instance I certainly could.

Lydon tells the story of his life pretty much chronologically, although there are intermittent chapters where he gives his thoughts on other aspects of life. It all rattles along entertainingly though, and he is certainly not averse to naming names and giving opinions about people he has met, good or bad. He’s almost shockingly frank regarding his feelings about certain persons (Malcolm McLaren does not come out of it well, and neither does ex-PiL bandmate Keith Levene.) However, his pacifist leanings and his generosity towards others may surprise those who only know him as the angry young punk who fronted the Sex Pistols, swore on live TV and sang songs about anarchy.

I can’t say I agree with everything he says, but I do have a certain respect for him after reading this book, because at least HE agrees with everything he says – he is not in the business of false diplomacy or modesty. I enjoyed reading about his relationship with his long-term partner Nora, to who he is clearly devoted.

Overall, I would say this is an enjoyable and entertaining ride through one man’s life – it did feel like a bit of editing in the middle  of the book might have helped, but essentially, while you might say a lot of things about John Lydon, one thing you can’t say is that he is ever boring. If you have any interest in the Sex Pistols, PiL, or the music industry in general, I would recommend this book.

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