An autobiography from the Spacemen 3/Spiritualized bass player? Well sign me up!
Surely not everyone’s idea of a good Rock N Roll read, Carruthers’ autobiography mainly focuses on the role of a bass player in a League 1 indie band, just as they are taking off. His tale is one of developing music in a psychadelic band where two notes are good, but one note is better, but also of the poverty and lengths he had to go to just to survive.
Joining Spacemen 3 as a 21 year old he was perhaps too trusting to get someone reasonable to read through his contract and whilst he waited for the royalty cheque that was never going to come, became poorer and poorer. History seems to repeat itself when the Spacemen dissolve and Spiritualized rise from the ashes. Initially agreed upon as a democratic band, this soon seems become another broken promise as he helps to tour and record the (fabulous) debut album Lazer Guided Melodies, but sees very little in the way of money. But this book isn’t just an exhibition in how to slide into poverty, Spacemen 3 were known as the band that would “take drugs so other people didn’t have to.” With that in mind there are some tales of high jinx (and stoned jinx) as you’d expect.
Carruthers has written a great book about growing up in a band (or two), in a small town in the midlands and what happens when one’s hopes of creating great music don’t quite work out. It is exceptionally well written, not as a bitter as I’ve probably made it sound and gave me a great insight into what really being in a band would be like.
Length of Read:Medium
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Late 80’s and early 90’s indie music (for want of a better phrase).
One thing you’ve learned
Always read the small print. Also, “I can confirm that should you ever find yourself on stage playing the bass guitar with three left hands, it is usually the one in the middle that is the real one. The other two are probably phantoms.”