Sick on You: The Disastrous Story of the Hollywood Brats, the Greatest Band You’ve Never Heard Of

Andrew Matheson. Blue Rider, , $16 ISBN 978-0-39918-533-5
Matheson’s memoir of the Hollywood Brats, a 1970s British glam band, is an impeccably grubby recollection of trying to change the course of musical history while living in squalor, nourished only by rock-solid self-belief, reused tea bags, and stolen groceries. Brats lead singer and songwriter Matheson accesses his teenage rock-star braggadocio to chart the implosion of the prepunk pioneers he led through hysterical highs and not infrequent lows. The highs include a weekend at Cliff Richard’s country retreat; gigs in the presence of Keith Moon, Jeff Beck, Bryan Ferry, and Rod Stewart; and venues full of sweaty patrons dancing and chanting the band’s moniker. The highest point may be getting a record deal with Immediate Records while living in a rat-infested squat. The lows include getting arrested and then being ridiculed by a cop for having just a few pennies and a lipstick in their collective pockets, and setting the famous Regent Sounds Studio on fire. Matheson is unrepentant, which elevates the memoir from a dusty, forgotten history. Like a two-minute punk song, the Brats were over all too soon—an arresting memory to a handful of true believers but less than a footnote in any music history written by its victors. The raw, well-paced tale is delivered with great humor. Spending a few hours in Matheson’s company is akin to catching up with a shambolic friend from ones university days—readers will be enthralled, in stitches, and horrified. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/27/2016
Release date: 08/02/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 978-0-399-18534-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-68168-232-7
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