Michael Odell is a rock journalist, now writing for The Times, who cut his teeth with the NME and Melody Maker, before becoming a contributing editor at Q magazine during its heyday, the period which is covered by this book.
Despite the rather ominous sub-title ‘A Music Writer’s Journey Into Madness’, this is no heavyweight dry memoir on the very serious issue of mental illness. It is a humorous book by and large, which takes a quirky and sardonic look at the author’s seemingly glamorous life style at the time, jetting off around the world to interview rock stars, while trying to maintain a ‘normal’ home life with his partner and young son, and how this ultimately led to pretty much a full on nervous breakdown. With the help of his therapist, the redoubtable Mrs Henckel, he looks back into his past, his family life as an immigrant in the UK, and his teenage friendships and hopes and aspirations, in an attempt to get to the bottom of his issues. Along the way, he meets Bowie, Bono, Macca, the Gallaghers and Pete Doherty. Ultimately though, he must face the big question – is it, as his partner suggests, time to finally grow up and forget the world of rock music.
This book certainly has a dark side, but it’s very well written, as you’d expect, and it’s dry wit makes you laugh out loud a times – just don’t expect a heavyweight treatise on the causes and effects of mental illness. Instead, you get a great book dealing with childhood friendships, failed idealism and those who got left behind in the author’s life. I would really recommend this book – it ticks all the boxes for Afterworders.
Length of Read:Medium
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Books on rock journalism and music.
One thing you’ve learned
As Noel Gallagher once said, ‘please don’t put your life in the hands of a rock n roll band, who’ll throw it all away’.