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Lowside of the Road: A Life of Tom Waits [Anglais] [Broché]

Barney Hoskyns

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Description de l'ouvrage

1 mai 2010

With his trademark growl, carnival-madman persona, haunting music, and unforgettable lyrics, Tom Waits is one of the most revered and critically acclaimed singer-songwriters alive today. After beginning his career on the margins of the 1970s Los Angeles rock scene, Waits has spent the last thirty years carving out a place for himself among such greats as Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Like them, he is a chameleonic survivor who has achieved long-term success while retaining cult credibility and outsider mystique. But although his songs can seem deeply personal and somewhat autobiographical, fans still know very little about the man himself. Notoriously private, Waits has consistently and deliberately blurred the line between fact and fiction, public and private personas, until it has become impossible to delineate between truth and self-fabricated legend.

Lowside of the Road is the first serious biography to cut through the myths and make sense of the life and career of this beloved icon. Barney Hoskyns has gained unprecedented access to Waits’s inner circle and also draws on interviews he has done with Waits over the years. Spanning his extraordinary forty-year career from Closing Time to Orphans, from his perilous “jazzbo” years in 1970s LA to such shape-shifting albums as Swordfishtrombones and Rain Dogs to the Grammy Award winners of recent years, this definitive biography charts Waits’s life and art step by step, album by album.

Barney Hoskyns has written a rock biography—much like the subject himself—unlike any other. It is a unique take on one of rock’s great enigmas.

--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

Absolutely outstanding" --Danny Baker, BBC

"[This] book lights up and whirls like one of the greasy carnival rides in Mr. Wait's own sprawling oeuvre" --The New York Times

Hoskyn's superlative overview of one of America's major (though idiosyncratic) popular artists will likely stand as the best book on his life"--Library Journal (starred review)

"Hoskyns persevered in writing the first Waits biography, netting fascination firsthand stories, terrific photographs, and fanatically detailed information about studio sessions and concerts...the result is a respectful, entertaining, and revelatory portrait set within a vivid cultural context."--Booklist

"It's about time [Waits] received biographical homage from a rock writer of the stature of Hoskyns."--Stephen Poole, The Guardian

"Comprehensive and judicious. [Waits] could not have found a more respectful, sympathetic and knowledgeable biographer if he'd chosen him himself."--Mick Brown, The Word

"Thanks to his diligence.  His Californian connections and some magazine interviews he conducted long ago with Waits, Hoskyn's life comes across as convincingly lifelike."--Robert Sandall, The Sunday Times




From the Trade Paperback edition. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Biographie de l'auteur

Barney Hoskyns is cofounder and editorial director of the online rock-journalism library Rock’s Backpages (www.rocksbackpages.com), and author of several books including Across the Great Divide: The Band and America (1993), Hotel California: Singer-Songwriters and Cocaine Cowboys in the LA Canyons (2005), and the newly reissued Waiting for the Sun: A Rock and Roll History of Los Angeles. A former U.S. correspondent for Mojo, Hoskyns writes for Uncut, the Observer Music Monthly, and other U.K. publications, and has contributed to Vogue, Rolling Stone, and GQ. He lives in southwest London.

--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

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Amazon.com: 2.9 étoiles sur 5  20 commentaires
59 internautes sur 66 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 half okay, half a waste of time 11 juin 2009
Par Cubert Ambrose - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
A lot of music fans would really love a good biography on Tom Waits, and the author Barney Hoskyns lets this desire overrun the question of whether or not he has the information for a decent biography.

Now, let's get to the problem with this book; Waits has no desire to play along with an unauthorized biographhy, and has requested that his friends honor his wishes to not play along. Hoskyns never forgives Waits for this.

Now, personally, I can see Waits's issue here. Hoskyns however makes a pretty big fuss over Waits excluding friends from his inner circle who don't honor his wishes to keep his private life private. Now this may sound cold, but two things; one, however cold it may sound, Waits is a grownup, his friends are grownups; there's never any evidence or even suggestion that Waits has treated people in any sort of dishonest, criminal or abusive way. Two, personall, I'm a private person if somebody was writing an unauthorized biography (I am in no way claiming to have done anything worth making me famous, or that anyone would be interested in my private life this is conjecture) yes, I would ask that my friends not blabber about my private life, and if they did anyway, I would be quite hurt.

I would love to know some of the stuff Hoskyns wants to know about. I would love to read interviews from the sidemen to get an inside story about the recordings of some of my favorite music, but again, Waits and his friends are grownups; if Waits would prefer that much for stories of his behind the scenes times get spread around, that's his time.

On that note, Hoskyns also conjectures quite a bit about Wait's marriage to Kathleen Brennan, suggesting that she's holding a Yoko-Ono type influence on his life, alienating his friends and affecting his work. We're not talking bout The Beatles here though, where there's a band to disrupt. The albums are issued under one person's name. A Tom Waits album is whatever Tom Waits says it is. If he says that a Waits album is with Kathleen Brennan over the old guys, than that's a Tom Waits album.

The great fault with this book, and as the book goes on Hoskyns seems to be apologizing for it and trying to excuse himself for it is that he signed on to do a book without accepting that he was never going to have access to the information that he wanted. As the book goes on, Hoskyns resorts to stacking up snarky asides against Tom, writing reviews of the later records and recycling stories from David Letterman interviews. Hoskyns's personal offence at Tom's love of privacy even manifests itself in an appendix where the author includes e-mails from Waits acquaintances refusing interviews.

Even if you utterly disagree with my view that Waits is justified in asking his friends not to play along with this project, and you feel that the author is absolutely justified in his disenchantment with Waits, it's hard to deny that the author's lack of necessary information substantially wrecks the latter half of the book.

Hoskyns isn't a terrible writer though, and while I can't recommend buying this book, Tom Waits fanatics will find this worth checking out for some entertaining chapters on the earlier portion of Waits's career and the construction of the drunken jazzbo mythos still follows him around.
17 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 A Life of Tom Waits? 23 novembre 2009
Par D. French - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
More like a fraction of his life. It's a good account of Waits's younger days, but soon turns from a biography into the author's interminable opinions of the music--song by song by song--since he couldn't find out much of anything about his subject's adult life. Which apparently made him resentful, because we get a lot of foolish innuendo about the sinister control the Waits's have over their friends, and the even more sinister control Kathleen has over Tom. SUCH a wanker.
14 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 I had high hopes 17 juillet 2009
Par default_test_string - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Some good anecdotes contained within but it was rather annoying to have to read Barney's opinion on nearly every Waits song ever released. No offence intended to Mr. Hoskyns but I am not interested.

He doesn't seems to enjoy Tom's most recent work, says things like "was Tom Waits finally chasing his own musical tail?" in regards to Real Gone [long answer: No], and when he went out of the way to slam songs like "Make It Rain" & "Lucinda" I tossed it into the trash.
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Certainly not what I'd call a "biography". 22 décembre 2009
Par William A Morris IV - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
If you are looking for a 500 page review of Tom Waits' albums, this is the book for you. If you are looking for a good biography of Tom Waits, I'd look elsewhere. While this book does indeed include some biographical material, it is more a list of the songs on his albums, and some conjecture about what they mean. Really this is more a reviewer's take on Tom Waits then a biographers. I'm not really interested in being told which songs are the best on his albums and that his later work doesn't stand up to his early work. I'm also not interested in hearing the author's opinion on whether or not Kathleen Brennan ruined him, which he goes on at length to talk about. If you enjoy having your own opinions on the subject of Tom Waits, this is not the book for you.
10 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Must read for hard core fans! 29 juin 2009
Par S. Ihadi - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
We all know that Tom Waits didn't want to have anything to do with this book and went out of his to tell his friends to boycott this biographer. Still, Barney Hoskyns went ahead and wrote the best book that he could have written about a living legend who happens to be uncooperative. There are many things in this book that would only appeal to hard core fans such as song by song analysis of albums. Hoskyns is an excellent writer and I am left to wonder what this book could have been if Tom Waits had not asked his friends to not talk to Hoskyns. It is still the best book out there on the subject and who knows someday Tom Waits may soften his stance and talk to a biographer or at the very least let his friends talk. Waits reasons for not talking is obvious. There's a mystery attached to his persona and he wants to keep it that way. He walks a thin line of being real and putting on an act and he wants us to always guess what's real and what's a put on. I do think that's a minor detail. True Tom Waits fans don't care. They love the man and his music. Whether his wife is the second coming of Yoko Ono is irrelevant. That's their business. The album cover says Tom Waits and that's what I go by. Read this book.
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