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A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, From Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man (Anglais) Relié – 20 mars 2014


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Revue de presse

"It's a credit to Warren's unflinching tone that the Chilton of Destruction is a charismatic, oft-frustrating man unwilling to kowtow to anything or anyone ... You'll never hear his music the same way again."
~LA Times
  
A Man Called Destruction is also the only thing about this criminally under-appreciated band you’ll ever need to read. It does more than all the articles, books, documentary films, and cover albums with liner notes written by famous fanboys about how important and life-changing Big Star’s recordings were combined…Nobody has done such a great job telling his story before. This is what makes Holly George-Warren’s achievement such an important one, and A Man Called Destruction one of the most important books on the life and work of a musician to come out this year.”
~Jason Diamond, Flavorwire
  

“This book is all Chilton, all the way.”
~The New York Times
 
“A revelatory account of [Chilton’s] career."
~NPR
 
 "A thoroughly reported biography illuminating the life and work of one of the more mystifying and influential cult figures in rock.... Chilton receives the biography he deserves."
~Kirkus Reviews (starred)
 
“The immensely gifted  and highly influential musician Alex Chilton has long deserved a big biography. Holly George-Warren's meticulously researched and beautifully written book shows us Chilton in all his mysterious glory. A Man Called Destruction gets to the heart of the man by focusing on the music he made (and the music that made him) with great precision and authority. I loved reading this sensitive, sympathetic, and intelligent portrait of a complicated and important figure.”
~Dana Spiotta, author of Stone Arabia

“This book is the very definition of a labor of love. Every page of it is infused with Holly George-Warren's affection for and deep understanding of Alex Chilton and his groundbreaking work. Even its most candid moments are presented with empathy and a profound respect. Chilton could be thorny and difficult character -- he is fortunate to have found a biographer eager to untangle the knots of his character and to find the sweet heart beating within.”
~Anthony DeCurtis, Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone
 

Présentation de l'éditeur

The first biography of the influential musician and forebear of the indie-rock scene

Alex Chilton’s story is rags to riches in reverse, beginning with teenage rock stardom and heading downward. Following stints leading 60s sensation the Box Tops (“The Letter”) and pioneering 70s popsters Big Star (“the ultimate American pop band”—Time), Chilton became a dishwasher. Yet he rose again in the 80s as a solo artist, producer, and trendsetter, coinventing the indie-rock genre. By the 90s, acolytes from R.E.M. to Jeff Buckley embodied Chilton’s legacy, ushering him back to the spotlight before his untimely death in 2010.

In the career-spanning and revelatory A Man Called Destruction, longtime Chilton acquaintance Holly George-Warren has interviewed more than 100 bandmates, friends, and family members to flesh out a man who presided over—and influenced—four decades of American musical history, rendered here with new perspective through the adventures of a true iconoclast.


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Amazon.com: 31 commentaires
65 internautes sur 66 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Absolutely superb biography. 24 mars 2014
Par B.E. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
Short form: if you are interested in Alex Chilton or Big Star to any degree, this book is a must read. An incredibly well-researched and superbly written biography of a really complex, interesting man and his music.

Longer form: I know at least a bit about the subject matter. I'm the author of the 33 1/3 book Big Star's Radio City. I started out in the mid 70s as a Big Star / Chilton fan. Eventually met Alex in '1979, played some shows with him and stayed in touch over the decades. I spent two years doing research and interviews for the 33 1/3 book and even before doing that, had read pretty much every article written about him. I also provided material for the Nothing Can Hurt Me film. (I didn't know Holly when she started the book but gladly provided her with all of my research materials, notably Alex's last extended interview.) So before I got to read the book, I was thinking that I'd probably be pretty familiar most of the details. Well, as Lou Reed once observed, "Just goes to show how wrong you can be."

Even if you're the biggest Alex Chilton fan on the planet, you'll be amazed at how much new material (much of it from previously unexplored sources) Holly has uncovered and how many new details and insights she adds to the parts of Alex's story that you think you know all about. Start reading and you'll immediately know that you're in the hands of serious major league biographer. One paragraph in I realized that I wasn't going to be skipping past a single sentence.

Most rock /music biographies read like an extended magazine feature and don't bring anything really new to the table. Way too many are just cobbled together from already existing material that's repeated over and over as gospel truth without any reexamination (it takes a lot more work to do real research). A Man Called Destruction reads like Peter Guralnick's bios of Elvis and Sam Cooke or the Gary Giddins bio of Bing Crosby. It's on that level and that's about the highest praise I could give a book in this genre. If you're not totally familiar with Alex's work, the book will make you want to explore it all. If you've heard it all, you'll hear it in a new way. I'd write more but it's time for you to stop reading this and start reading A Man Called Destruction.
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
I'd rate this a ten if I could! 23 mars 2014
Par James H. Lynch - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Despite the Dawn Eden quote, this is an exemplary bio of a difficult man... Spent the last two nights with forty years of his music playing in the background as I filled in all the holes left in the other books covering the same subject matter
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A beach read for music nuts 9 avril 2014
Par G. Wallace - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I basically devoured this in one sitting. Chilton was the ultimate enigma, or at least that's how I explain my interest. The author has done a fine job piecing the story together around infrequent but engaging interviews Chilton gave over the years. The Cub Koda Goldmine interview must have been a great read because Chilton didn't pull many punches. Bruce Eaton got more in his concentration on Big Star's Radio City (my favorite), although Chilton seemed dismissive about his masterpiece. Chilton was enormously talented as a songwriter, singer, and guitar player and his best work was decades paying him any recompense while he sank into a dissolute life, presumably embittered by the evaporation of his best work due to the malfeasance of Stax Records management and a corporate shakeup at CBS. There was also an appalling family tragedy and the imponderable effects of the leap from psych ward to chart-topper at sixteen years old. In the end Chilton escaped the dissolute life by going all the way down to dishwasher while consulting the saner writings of Wilhelm Reich (even though he quit high school to be a pop singer). The later music seems to have been beyond ironic, meaningful to the singer and incomprehensible to the audience. Once belated recognition was available he seemed to disdain it. I expect any listener deeply affected by Chilton's songs and performances will find this hard to put down.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Job Well Done 7 avril 2014
Par Outlier - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Holly George-Warren has done it. She has written the perfect biography of Alex Chilton. Any person who has been touched by his artistry yet sometimes confused by Chilton's mercurial persona will leave this book with the most thorough understanding of this talented and troubled icon / iconoclast. George-Warren approaches her subject with an enormous amount of affection and respect but never shies away from Chilton's troubled and troubling personal behaviors. Read Bruce Eaton's Radio City book to understand Big Star's magical studio work. Watch the Nothing Can Hurt Me documentary to see the visual representations of Big Star and Alex Chilton. Read A Man Called Destruction to understand the real Alex Chilton.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Great biography 16 avril 2014
Par Johnny Kazek - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I'm not the best reviewer in the world, but here it goes!

Been an Alex Chilton fan for over 20 years, never thought there'd be a comprehensive biography written about the man. Holly George-Warren does a great job with this, she resists the temptation to over editorialize the material, or get overly sentimental or dramatic, like a lesser writer would.

After reading the book I don't feel like I 'know' the man any better, which is fine. It seems Chilton wanted it that way, it's all there in his music. I took my time reading the book, and listened to a lot of Big Star and his solo stuff with new ears and appreciation while doing so. This book is worth it just for that.

What seems to be made clear is that Chilton wasn't some kind of total screw up, he wasn't his worst enemy. He put great effort into his music, and when it was rejected, he didn't pander, he just kind of gently put up his middle finger and moved on.

As another reviewer mentioned, I wish there was more information on his last years, but if the information's not there, it's not there. There's plenty of detail on other phases of his life and career.

I hope Alex had fun and some fulfillment or satisfaction throughout some of the crazy and unfair things that happened in his life, because he certainly inspired and gave joy to many with his music.

I highly recommend this book for any fan of any aspect of his career, Holly George-Warren has done a beautiful job.
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