Release Date: 15/09/11
Shaun Ryder has lived a life of glorious highs and desolate lows. As lead singer of the Happy Mondays, he turned Manchester into Madchester, combining all the excesses of a true rock'n'roll star with music and lyrics that led impresario Tony Wilson to describe him as 'the greatest poet since Yeats'. The young scally who left school at fifteen without ever learning his alphabet had come a very long way indeed. Huge chart success and a Glastonbury headline slot followed, plus numerous arrests and world tours – then Shaun's drug addiction reached its height, Factory Records was brought to its knees and the Mondays split.
But was this the end for Shaun Ryder? Not by a long shot. Two years later he was back with new band Black Grape, and their groundbreaking debut album topped the charts in possibly the greatest comeback of all time. Even his continuing struggle with drugs did not stem the tide of critically acclaimed tracks and collaborations as he went on to prove his musical genius time and again. And then there was the jungle...
Rock'n'roll legend, reality TV star, drug-dealer, poet, film star, heroin addict, son, brother, father, husband, foul-mouthed anthropologist and straight-talking survivor, Shaun Ryder has been a cultural icon and a 24-hour party person for a quarter of a century. Told in his own words, this is his story.
Whenever you see an autobiography you know that its going to be heavily edited, its going to stick mainly to the sunny days and rarely will it follow the subjects bad habits or even give a fully rounded opinion of the person concerned. So whilst I ordered this as Shaun was a local lad (although don’t call him a Manc, he’s a Salford Lad) I expected a title just to deal with his golden years.
What this autobiography did was delve into everything from his early years in the family home and how things were for him, how he grew up, the friends he made and lost which gave a rounded picture of the Happy Monday’s Lead Singer before going into his music career. The book was emotive, it was sensitive and open about all the choices he made be they good or bad. Add to this a frank and honest look at his drug taking which whilst you shouldn’t really laugh some were hilarious in places.
All in I really enjoyed this book as we went through the years of his music career and my only disappointment was that it didn’t come with maracas, although I did wonder if something else had been added to the mix as this picture of Cas demonstrates who thinks that its twisted his Penquino. LOL