Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew Up And Tried To Be A Pop Star

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Tracey Thorn
It's about: 
This is the story of “Pop Star Trace”, as she was nicknamed at Hull Uni in the 80s. Then a member of indie group The Marine Girls, she was soon to become one half of Everything But The Girl, and to sell nine million records. It’s also the tale of how she tried, along the way, “not to be become an arsehole”. The witty vignettes are piled high. Playground mums, too polite to mention Tracey’s pop star past, can finally ignore it no longer when a waving George Michael yells “Hello Tracey!” as he drives past. Paul Weller turns up to play with The Marine Girls just days after splitting with The Jam and advises Tracey: “It’s a gig. Maybe you should dress up a bit.” Italian fans mistakenly pursue the duo through Florence, the punchline being: “We are NOT fucking Matt Bianco!” But the writing is just as illuminating about the times she is out of the limelight than when she’s in it. The section which deals with Ben Watt’s sudden life-threatening illness is honest, unsentimental, and touching.
Length of read: 
Might appeal to people who enjoyed: 
Falling & Laughing: The Restoration Of Edwyn Collins, by Grace Maxwell; How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran; Anyone with half a brain who knows that not all women like Mother’s Day compilation CDs from Asda and can live and breathe music just like some men do.
One thing you've learned: 
I knew Tracey Thorn's singing voice was beautiful. But the voice that comes out of the pages of this book is just as impressive: candid, cutting, self-deprecating, charming, and fiercely independent.


I liked how she can laugh at the pretensions of the early days when real life takes over.

Maybe the post-bumhole period began in the aftermath of 1988... They certainly don't come out of this sounding too good:

Tracey Thorn writes in the book about her early relationship with the press. She doesn't gloss over the times she failed "not to be an arsehole":

"We took very badly the criticisms....and began to give dreadful interviews in which we came across as defensive, dogmatic, hunourless and aggressive. Those who came to meet us found two people who were ready for a scrap before the tape machine was even turned on...I exploded with indignation and stormed out of one interview when the journalist uttered the words 'easy listening', and I remember that much of the time I seemed to delight in being almost pathologically opposed to the most trivial things."

A really excellent read-I have admired her for many years, but her insights into the music industry are quite brilliant ,and it made me laugh quite a great deal too.

Up with Ian Hunter's Diary Of A Rock And Roll Star and Julian Cope's Head On in the best book by a musician stakes

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