16 Feb 2009
H top ten 
UK readers of freesheet Shortlist ("for men with more than one thing on their minds") were this week treated to Hooky's 10 essential biographies.

Alongside the obvious Touching From A Distance and 1 Top Class Manager are the less obvious Lemmy, Gary Barlow, Belushi and Tracy Emin biogs.

On Keith Allen's Grow Up: "In New Order's most hedonistic years, Keith terrorised London's Groucho Club with us....and Keith's book neatly sums up the whole scene."

On Alex James's Bit Of A Blur: "Alex, Keith Allen and I plagued The Groucho for years, but he seems to have left all of that out."

Perhaps that's what living in a house, a very big house in the country does for you.

No mention of Factory Boy favourites No One Here Gets Out Alive nor Monty, and no mention of, arguably, the best rock biog of them all: Julian Cope's Head On (in which, incidentally, the actual owner of the very big house in the country features heavily).

This posting appears to have been sponsored by Amazon (but wasn't).



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Biting Tongues

In the grey days of late 1970s post-punk Manchester, youth culture was a serious affair: every musical performance was measured mostly by the conviction of its delivery. The term 'New Wave' opened up free vistas where acquired skills could once again be exercised after punk's monochrome blur. It could be applied to anything from a James 'Blood' Ulmer record to the latest Throbbing Gristle release, Magazine to Swell Maps. Move outside that terrain into Sun Ra, Parliament, Frank Sinatra and Martin Denny, and your options were suddenly without limit...

Then came Tony Wilson's Factory Club (at the Russell Club in Hulme) offering an open invitation to experiment that was taken up when Ken Hollings, Howard Walmsley, Eddie Sherwood and a few others decided to make some noise to accompany their 16mm silent epic Biting Tongues. A further performance followed a few weeks later, when Colin Seddon and Graham Massey disbanded their Post Natals project and joined up. The film itself, a flashing series of negative images, became a memory; the name remained.

- extract from the LTM Biting Tongues biography

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