Rock Stars Stole My Life

Mark Ellen
It's about: 
How he (and lots of people like us) became so obsessive about music, how it has changed over the years, how different the world of rock music is for artists and fans these days....
Length of read: 
Might appeal to people who enjoyed: 
The Word
One thing you've learned: 
A number of the tales and anecdotes had been touched on in the Word and on the podcast, and yet there's a surprising amount of detail and more fun still to be had. I've also learned I can't read his book without his voice reading it to me in my head, which slowed me down a bit. It was like an imaginary podcast.


I have the audiobook version all lined up and ready to go.

And is unabridged?

- they were my questions and I checked. It's 9 hrs long. Will be buying it later tonight.

It's free from Audibke if you go with their 30 day trial. No idea whether there's a catch. I'm tempted myself except Mrs.T just bought it for me in hardback.

and all seemed to go swimmingly.

Just need to cancel the sub.

I'll buy the book in due course.

for 31 A dollars.

*crosses print version of book off "to buy" list*

It was only 18 on kindle. Is 31 for a hardback?

What I stuffed up
Think audio is more

It reads rather like a podcast sounded.

There's also a podcast on the Hodder website (search for Hodderpod) where Mark talks about the book, but it's interesting because he's talking *not* for a Word Magazine audience.

A couple of chapters a night to make it last. It was a pleasure to meet him at the Beatnik shop the other week as he was amongst fiends and taking requests, rather than reading the same snippets from the book that were clearly bookmarked with post-it notes. Much of what he said on the Danny Baker show was well rehearsed after doing the book reading/signing circuit. I wonder if he realises he will be doing this for some time to come yet.

A very good read and great insight into the world of publishing.

Just as cheery, chirpy and ebullient as I thought it would be, a couple of 'Wow, really??' moments (especially the job offer received while editing the ailing Word!) yet still smarting over his exit from EMAP and the reluctance of the world to embrace The Word. Lovely to see the shout-out to some of the regulars from here and the other place towards the end too. Leaves you hoping that this autobiog doesn't signal imminent retirement...

Very reductive I 'spose. It has an arc probably many are familiar with but loads more detail - NME, Sounds, Q, Whistle Test, Live Aid, Mojo, becoming Lord Emap, Word, Gaga etc, then almost becoming Derek Taylor, and Rhianna for a context to bookend it. I really enjoyed it.

It sort of reinforces my view that you can't go to far wrong hiring people who are fun to work with. Or they were very lucky to land so many fun groups of people. Well, except the NME. That didn't sound like a lot of fun at all.

great fun and was sold on it from the first pages with his very funny dissection of the pampered Rihanna fan. It's a very well balanced read and the personal stuff with his incomprehending yet loving dad is very well done. It's good natured and am pleased he doesn't dish more dirt as I'm sure he could have done. There's more than enough of that elsewhere.

and he explained that m'learned friends had put paid to some of the more juicy anecdotes. He had to jump through some hoops just to leave a suggestion in that Mr Iggy Pop may have had an interest in recreational chemistry so you can imagine what had to be left out.

and really enjoyed it, excellent. Highly recommended for Word/Afterword types.

The "book" comes with an option to have the boy Ellen read it for you,so you get the book and audiobook in one...which is nice.There are no Ellen guffaws on the audiobook, which really would have been ace!

not sure if I too can get the audio version but will have a search. I'm upto the NME years so about 30% of the way through, tis rather good.

That made me properly laugh out loud.

But a favourite is "He'd taken, what is technically known as, a fuckload of drugs'"

Thoroughly recommended (although you've all read it/going to read it, right?).

And with the audiobook version you get Mark's Holly Johnson impression

I had just re- listened to all of the Word podcasts over the last few months (coincidentally) and there is a huge overlap between the two. Barely an anecdote, expression or opinion is in the book that wasn't in the podcast, so I found myself saying the punchlines to most of his anecdotes and bon mots aloud before I'd read them. This is no fault of the book, of course, but is something to consider if you were an avid podcast listener and are expecting fresh content.

The biggest surprise to me was that the Word was in such financial peril for most of its life. I thought that there had been a rapid decline at the end after years of cruising. It's amazing that the magazine and podcasts remained joyous to the end and a testament to Mark's rose coloured eyeballs.

Eamonn Forde interviews Mark Ellen for the Big Issue.

But I'm confused - says he turned down a job as press officer for the Beatles just as the Word was going down the toilet. How do these dates align?

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