Title: Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys
Author: Viv Albertine
Page Count/Review Word Count: 422
I was pleasantly surprised by this one, because I was given this book by a friend and I’m notoriously difficult to give books to. The problem is that I always feel obliged to read them, and yet half the time people get it totally wrong and I end up resentfully reading some crappy book that I would never have otherwise picked up. I still remember the time I slogged through a super dry reference book detailing every recording session for every song that The Beatles did, purely because my mum got it for me as a Christmas present.
This one was a gift from Juliet Hamilton, a local creator who runs a company called The Tired Dressmaker, where she makes clothes and does other textiles work. She’s the one who made the badass masks that I’ve been wearing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. She also has excellent taste, so perhaps I shouldn’t have worried.
And the good news is that this was a great little read, and just the kind of thing that I nerd out on. Albertine has lived a fascinating life, and there’s plenty of life in her yet. As well as being the guitarist in The Slits, a band that I’ve never really listened to, she also dated a member of The Clash and was friends with The Sex Pistols, amongst others.
This makes it a pretty compelling rock ‘n’ roll read, especially if you know a lot of the famous people that Albertine mixed with. Even if not, though, it’s a pretty insightful little window into a moment in time, as well as a little bit of feminist history.
More important than that is the fact that it’s so simply and accessibly written. It’s super approachable and washes over you a little like Viv herself was just talking to you about her life in a bar, which I imagine is what she was going for. She clearly has no time for BS and just wants to tell it how it is, which is probably why she starts with an opening chapter about masturbation.
All in all then, this is a fun little rock ‘n’ roll memoir that I think is worth reading if you have any interest in music history. If you love music, you’re going to love this one. Go out and get it.