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FABER & FABER

Warren Ellis

Nina Simone's Gum

    From award-winning musician and composer Warren Ellis comes the unexpected and inspiring story of a piece of chewing gum. Featuring an introduction from Nick Cave.

    'Warren has turned this memento, snatched from his idol's piano in a moment of rapture, into a genuine religious artefact.' NICK CAVE

    On Thursday 1 July, 1999, Dr Nina Simone gave a rare performance as part of Nick Cave's Meltdown Festival. After the show, in a state of awe, Warren Ellis crept onto the stage, took Dr Simone's piece of chewed gum from the piano, wrapped it in her stage towel and put it in a Tower Records bag. The gum remained with him for twenty years; a sacred totem, his creative muse, growing in significance with every passing year.

    In 2019, Cave - his collaborator and great friend - asked Warren if there was anything he could contribute to display in his Stranger Than Kindness exhibition. Warren realised the time had come to release the gum. Together they agreed it should be housed in a glass case like a holy relic. Worrying the gum would be damaged or lost, Warren decided to first have it cast in silver and gold, sparking a chain of events that no one could have predicted, one that would take him back to his childhood and his relationship to found objects.

    Nina Simone's Gum is about how something so small can form beautiful connections between people. It is a story about the meaning we place on things, on experiences, and how they become imbued with spirituality. It is a celebration of artistic process, friendship, understanding and love.

    Jennifer Otter Bickerdike

    You Are Beautiful And You Are Alone : The Biography Of Nico

      A redemptive, myth-shattering biography of one of the twentieth century's most underestimated creative and artistic forces.

      'What I have in common with Nico is the understanding of her furious frustration at not being recognised.' - MARIANNE FAITHFULL

      The real story of Nico is one of determination, self-destruction and belief in one's artistic vision, at any cost. Nico was an ever-evolving myth, an enigma that escaped definition. Born Christa Paffgen, Nico grew up in war-torn Berlin before being scouted by a fashion photographer in her early teens. At age twenty-seven, she became Andy Warhol's newest Superstar, securing the position of chanteuse for the Velvet Underground. Though she is primarily remembered for contributions to their seminal debut album - and her relationships with Brian Jones, Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison - her own artistry and influence have often been overlooked.

      Nico spent most of her career as a solo artist on the road, enduring empty concert halls, abusive fans and the perilous reality of being a drug addict. Yet beneath the superficial denigrations and one-dimensional myths was a complicated visionary determined to make art that was truly her own. In You Are Beautiful and You Are Alone, defying the sexist casting of her life as the tragedy of a beautiful woman losing her looks, youth and fame, Jennifer Otter Bickerdike cements Nico's legacy as one of the most vital artists of her time, inspiring a generation of luminaries including Bjoerk, Morrissey and Iggy Pop.

      Containing over a hundred new interviews and rare archival material, this is an empowering reappraisal of an underappreciated icon.

      Stephanie Phillips

      Why Solange Matters

        The dramatic story of Solange: a musician and artist whose unconventional journey to international success was far more important than her family name.

        Growing up in the shadow of her superstar sister, Beyonce, and defying an industry that attempted to bend her to its rigid image of a Black woman, Solange Knowles has become a pivotal musician and artist in her own right. In Why Solange Matters, Stephanie Phillips chronicles the creative journey of Solange, a beloved voice of the Black Lives Matter generation.

        A Black feminist punk musician herself, Phillips addresses not only the unpredictable trajectory of Solange's career but also how she and other Black women see themselves through the musician's repertoire. First, she traces Solange's progress through an inflexible industry, charting the artist's development up to 2016, when the release of her third album, A Seat at the Table, redefined her career. With this record and, then, When I Get Home (2019), Phillips describes how Solange has embraced activism, anger, Black womanhood and intergenerational trauma to inform her remarkable art.

        'Why Solange Matters is a significant and sober treatist on popular music . . . This book is more than necessary.' - THURSTON MOORE

        Bob Stanley

        Excavate! : The Wonderful And Frightening World Of The Fall

          A definitive insight into the ever-influential world of Mark E. Smith and the Fall, featuring never-before published essays and ephemera from fans, collectors and the artist and band themselves.

          This is not a book about a rock band. This is not even a book about Mark E Smith. This is a book about The Fall group - or more precisely, their world. Over a prolific forty-year career, the Fall created a world that was influential, idiosyncratic and fiercely original; it was an education. Who wouldn't want to be armed with a working knowledge of M.R. James, contemporary dance and Manchester City? Bringing together previously unseen artwork, rare ephemera and handwritten material, alongside essays by a slate of fans, EXCAVATE! is a vivid, definitive record - an illumination of the dark corners of the Fall's wonderful and frightening world.

          'To 50,000 Fall Fans: please buy this inspired & inspiring, profound & provocative, beautiful & bonkers Book of Revelations, choc-stock-full of loving Acts by true Apostles, simultaneously both the scrapbook you wished you'd kept and a portal to futures & pasts, known & unknown, & a Fantastic Celebration of this Nation's Saving Grace. - 'DAVID PEACE

          'A container sized treasure trove bursting at the hinges with strangeness and wonder . . . I strongly advise you to buy it.' - MAXINE PEAKE

          Rob Chapman

          Syd Barrett : A Very Irregular Head

            A new edition as part of the Faber Greatest Hits - books that have taken writing about music in new and exciting directions for the twenty-first century.

            Syd Barrett was the lead guitarist, vocalist, and principle songwriter in the original line up of Pink Floyd. During his brief time with the band (1966-68) he was the driving force behind the unit. After he left the band he made just two further solo albums which were both released in 1970, before withdrawing from public view to lead a quiet, and occasionally troubled life in Cambridge, the town of his birth.

            Rob Chapman's book is the first authoritative and exhaustively researched biography of Syd Barrett that fully celebrates his life and legacy as a musician, lyricist and artist, and which highlights the influence that he continues to have over contemporary bands and music fans alike.

            Dylan Jones

            The Wichita Lineman : Searching In The Sun For The World's Greatest Unfinished Song

              The sound of 'Wichita Lineman' was the sound of ecstatic solitude, but then its hero was the quintessential loner. What a great metaphor he was: a man who needed a woman more than he actually wanted her. Written in 1968 by Jimmy Webb, 'Wichita Lineman' is the first philosophical country song: a heartbreaking torch ballad still celebrated for its mercurial songwriting genius fifty years later.

              It was recorded by Glen Campbell in LA with a legendary group of musicians known as 'the Wrecking Crew', and something about the song's enigmatic mood seemed to capture the tensions in America at a moment of crisis. Fusing a dribble of bass, searing strings, tremolo guitar and Campbell's plaintive vocals, Webb's paean to the American West describes a telephone lineman's longing for an absent lover, who he hears 'singing in the wire' - and like all good love songs, it's an SOS from the heart. Mixing close-listening, interviews and travelogue, Dylan Jones explores the legacy of a record that has entertained and haunted millions for over half a century.

              What is it about this song that continues to seduce listeners, and how did the parallel stories of Campbell and Webb - songwriters and recording artists from different ends of the spectrum - unfold in the decades following? Part biography, part work of musicological archaeology, The Wichita Lineman opens a window on to America in the late-twentieth century through the prism of a song that has been covered by myriad artists in the intervening decades.

              Viv Albertine

              To Throw Away Unopened

                What was I fighting for? Even now I’m not sure. Something so old and so deep, it has no words, no shape, no logic.

                Every memoir is a battle between reality and invention - but in her follow up to Clothes, Music, Boys, Viv Albertine has reinvented the genre with her unflinching honesty.

                To Throw Away Unopened is a fearless dissection of one woman's obsession with the truth - the truth about family, power, and her identity as a rebel and outsider. It is a gaping wound of a book, both an exercise in blood-letting and psychological archaeology, excavating what lies beneath: the fear, the loneliness, the anger. It is a brutal expose of human dysfunctionality, the impossibility of true intimacy, and the damage wrought upon us by secrets and revelations, siblings and parents.

                Yet it is also a testament to how we can rebuild ourselves and come to face the world again. It is a portrait of the love stories that constitute a life, often bringing as much pain as joy. With the inimitable blend of humour, vulnerability, and intelligence that makes Viv Albertine one of our finest authors working today, To Throw Away Unopened smashes through layers of propriety and leads us into a new place of savage self-discovery.

                Jon Savage

                This Searing Light, The Sun And Everything Else - Joy Division: The Oral History

                  Jon Savage's magisterial oral history is the last word on Joy Division and a must-read for any fan.

                  Joy Division emerged in the mid-70s at the start of a two-decades long Manchester scene that was to become much mythologised. It was then a city still labouring in the wake of the war and entering a phase of huge social and physical change, and something of this spirit made its way into the DNA of the band. Over the course of two albums, a handful of other seminal releases, and some legendary gigs, Joy Division became the most successful and exciting underground band of their generation. Then, on the brink of a tour to America, Ian Curtis took his own life.

                  In This searing light, the sun and everything else, Jon Savage has assembled three decades worth of interviews with the principle players in the Joy Division story: Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, Deborah Curtis, Peter Saville, Tony Wilson, Paul Morley, Alan Hempsall, Lesley Gilbert, Terry Mason, Anik Honore, and many more. It is the story of how a band resurrected a city, how they came together in circumstances that are both accidental and extraordinary, and how their music galvanised a generation of fans, artists and musicians. It is a classic story of how young men armed with electric guitars and good taste in literature can change the world with four chords and three-and-a-half minutes of music. And it is the story of how illness and demons can rob the world of a shamanic lead singer and visionary lyricist.

                  This searing light, the sun and everything else presents the history of Joy Division in an intimate and candid way, as orchestrated by the lodestar of British music writing, Jon Savage.

                  Viv Albertine

                  Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys

                    A new edition as part of the Faber Social Greatest Hits - books that have taken writing about music in new and exciting directions for the twenty-first century.

                    SUNDAY TIMES MUSIC BOOK OF THE YEAR
                    ROUGH TRADE BOOK OF THE YEAR
                    MOJO BOOK OF THE YEAR

                    In 1975, Viv Albertine was obsessed with music but it never occurred to her she could be in a band as she couldn't play an instrument and she'd never seen a girl play electric guitar.

                    A year later, she was the guitarist in the hugely influential all-girl band the Slits, who fearlessly took on the male-dominated music scene and became part of a movement that changed music.

                    A raw, thrilling story of life on the frontiers and a candid account of Viv's life post-punk - taking in a career in film, the pain of IVF, illness and divorce and the triumph of making music again - Clothes Music Boys is a remarkable memoir.

                    Simon Reynolds

                    Rip It Up And Start Again

                      A new edition as part of the Faber Social Greatest Hits - books that have taken writing about music in new and exciting directions for the twenty-first century.

                      In this, the first book to take a big-picture view of the entire post punk period, acclaimed author and music journalist Simon Reynolds recreates a time of tremendous urgency and idealism in pop music.

                      Full of anecdote and insight, and featuring the likes of Joy Division, The Fall, Pere Ubu, PiL and Talking Heads, Rip It Up And Start Again stands as one of the most inspired and inspiring books on popular music ever written.

                      Kim Gordon

                      Girl In A Band

                        A new edition, part of the Faber Social's Greatest Hits series -- books that have taken writing about music in new and exciting directions for the twenty-first century.

                        In Girl in a Band Kim Gordon, founding member of Sonic Youth and role model for a generation of women, tells her story. She writes frankly about her route from girl to woman and pioneering icon within the music and art scene of New York City in the 1980s and 90s as well as marriage, motherhood, and independence.

                        Filled with the sights and sounds of a changing world and a remarkable life, Girl in a Band is a moving, evocative chronicle of an extraordinary artist.

                        Shaun Ryder

                        Wrote For Luck

                          30 of Shaun Ryder's lyrics with commentary by the 'Salford Dylan' collected for the first time

                          In the mid-1980s the Happy Mondays emerged as the prime mischief makers on the Madchester scene. Chief protagonist was Shaun Ryder, a man whose lyrical street swagger in songs like Kinky Afro, 24 Hour Party People and Performance, would come to define a generation. Here, collected and edited for the first time, in trade and special editions, are his unforgettable lyrics with commentary by the man himself and an introduction by his literary collaborator, Luke Bainbridge.

                          With characteristic understatement, Tony Wilson once compared Shaun William Ryder's lyrics to the poetry of W. B. Yeats. That is, if W. B. Yeats had been an inveterate drug-taker and occasional dealer, a compatriot of criminals and crazies, an aficionado of low life and high times; if he had painted artful sketches of endless parties and urban blight, of chancers, dead beats, fanatics and, always, an endless stream of pharmaceuticals; if W. B. Yeats had composed fractured, hilarious, grubby and shrewdly observed anthems for the Madchester generation. That W. B. Yeats: Shaun William Ryder.

                          Michael Diamond & Adam Horovitz

                          Beastie Boys Book

                            Formed as a New York City hardcore band in 1981, Beastie Boys struck an unlikely path to global hip hop superstardom. Here is their story, told for the first time in the words of the band. Adam “AD-ROCK” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond offer revealing and very funny accounts of their transition from teenage punks to budding rappers; their early collaboration with Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin; the almost impossible-to-fathom overnight success of their debut studio album Licensed to Ill; that album’s messy fallout; their break with Def Jam, move to Los Angeles, and rebirth as musicians and social activists, with the genre-defying masterpiece Paul’s Boutique. For more than twenty years, this band has had a wide-ranging and lasting influence on popular culture.

                            With a style as distinctive and eclectic as a Beastie Boys album, Beastie Boys Book upends the typical music memoir. Alongside the band narrative you will find rare photos, original illustrations, a cookbook by chef Roy Choi, a graphic novel, a map of Beastie Boys’ New York, mixtape playlists, pieces by guest contributors, and many more surprises.

                            Lizzy Goodman

                            Meet Me In The Bathroom

                              New York, 2001. 9/11 plunges the US into a state of war and political volatility—and heralds the rebirth of the city’s rock scene. As the old-guard music industry crumbles, a group of iconoclastic bands suddenly become the voice of a generation desperately in need of an anthem.

                              In this fascinating and vibrant oral history, acclaimed journalist Lizzy Goodman charts New York’s explosive musical transformation in the early 2000s. Drawing on over 200 original interviews, Goodman follows the meteoric rise of the artists that revolutionised the cultural landscape and made Brooklyn the hipster capital of cool—including The Strokes, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, LCD Soundsystem, Interpol, and Vampire Weekend.

                              Joining the ranks of classics like Please Kill Me, Our Band Could Be Your Life, and Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, Meet Me in the Bathroom is the definitive account of an iconic era in rock-and-roll.

                              Brix Smith Start

                              The Rise, The Fall, And The Rise

                                The Rise, The Fall, and The Rise is the extraordinary story, in her own words, of Brix Smith Start.

                                Best known for her work in The Fall at the time when they were perhaps the most powerful and influential anti-authoritarian postpunk band in the world – This Nation's Saving Grace, The Wonderful and Frightening World Of ... – Brix spent ten years in the band before a violent disintegration led to her exit and the end of her marriage with Mark E. Smith.

                                But Brix's story is much more than rock 'n' roll highs and lows in one of the most radically dysfunctional bands around. Growing up in the Hollywood Hills in the '60s in a dilapidated pink mansion her life has taken her from luxury to destitution, from the cover of the NME to waitressing in California, via the industrial wasteland of Manchester in the 1980s.

                                What emerges is a story of constant reinvention, jubilant highs and depressive ebbs; a singular journey of a teenage American girl on a collision course with English radicalism on her way to mid-life success on TV and in fashion.

                                Too bizarre, extreme and unlikely to exist in the pages of fiction, The Rise, The Fall, and The Rise could only exist in the pages of a memoir.

                                Jon Savage

                                England's Dreaming: Sex Pistols & Punk Rock

                                  Jon Savage's Ralph Gleason Award-winning England's Dreaming is the ultimate book on punk, its progenitors, the Sex Pistols, and their time: the late 1970s. Full of anedcote, insight, and exclusive interviews, it tells the sensational story of the meteoric rise and rapid decline of the last great rock'n'roll band and the cultural moment they came to define. The critical reputation of England's Dreaming has grown over the past decade and a half, and now it joins the Faber Modern Classics list. This updated edition includes a brand new foreword by Johnny Marr, an account of the Sex Pistols 1996 reunion, and a comprehensively updated discography.

                                  Ian Curtis

                                  So This Is Permanence: Joy Division Lyrics And Notebooks

                                    So this is permanence, edited by Jon Savage with a foreword by Deborah Curtis, presents the intensely personal writings of one of the most enigmatic and influential songwriters and performers of the late twentieth century, Joy Division's Ian Curtis.

                                    The songs of Joy Division, infused with the energy of punk but steeped in a resigned longing, were born of Manchester in the late seventies - a once flourishing industrial city in decline. They were the songs too of Ian Curtis's inner tragedies, as he battled depression, epilepsy and debilitating stage fright. Ian Curtis committed suicide in 1980, on the eve of the band's first American tour.

                                    Interspersed with the lyrics are previously unpublished facsimile pages of Ian's notebooks, which throw his highly emotive lyrics into fascinating relief and cast light on the creative process of this singularly poetic songwriter.

                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    says: Beautiful words which are all the more haunting written in Curtis' own hand

                                    David Cavanagh

                                    Good Night And Good Riddance: How Thirty-Five Years Of John Peel Helped To Shape Modern Life

                                      Goodnight and Good Riddance: How Thirty-Five Years of John Peel Helped to Shape Modern Britain is a social history, a diary of a nation's changing culture, and an in-depth appraisal of one of our greatest broadcasters, a man who can legitimately be called the most influential figure in post-war British popular music.

                                      Without the support of John Peel, it's unlikely that innumerable artists - from David Bowie to Dizzee Rascal, Jethro Tull to Joy Division - would have received national radio exposure. But Peel's influence goes much deeper than this. Whether he was championing punk, reggae, jungle or grime, he had a unique relationship with his audience that was part taste-maker, part trusted friend.

                                      The book focuses on some 300 shows between 1967 and 2004, giving a thorough overview of Peel's broadcasting career and placing it in its cultural and social contexts. Peel comes alive for the reader, as do the key developments that kept him at the cutting edge - the changes in his tastes; the changes in his thinking. Just like a Peel show, Goodnight and Good Riddance is warm, informative and insightful, and wears its enthusiasm proudly.

                                      Jon Savage

                                      1966: The Year The Decade Exploded

                                        The pop world accelerated and broke through the sound barrier in 1966. In America, in London, in Amsterdam, in Paris, revolutionary ideas slow-cooking since the late '50s reached boiling point. In the worlds of pop, pop art, fashion and radical politics -- often fueled by perception-enhancing substances and literature -- the 'Sixties', as we have come to know them, hit their Modernist peak. A unique chemistry of ideas, substances, freedom of expression and dialogue across pop cultural continents created a landscape of immense and eventually shattering creativity. After 1966 nothing in the pop world would ever be the same. The 7 inch single outsold the long-player for the final time. It was the year in which the ever lasting and transient pop moment would burst forth in its most articulate, instinctive and radical way.

                                        Jon Savage's 1966 is a monument to the year that shaped the pop future of the balance of the century. Exploring canonical artists like The Beatles, The Byrds, Velvet Underground, The Who and The Kinks, 1966 also goes much deeper into the social and cultural heart of the decade through unique archival primary sources.

                                        Tim Burgess

                                        Tim Book Two

                                          In 2012, Tim Burgess of the Charlatans published his hugely successful and critically acclaimed memoir, Telling Stories. Tim really enjoyed his new role as an author, and so here it is: Tim Book Two - a tale of Tim's lifelong passion for records, the shops that sell them, and the people who make them.

                                          In some ways, the biggest events in Tim's life happened in the couple of years after he had finished writing his first book rather than in the forty years before. So he had more to say, but instead of another autobiography he chose a different way of telling the story. Tim set himself a quest. He would get in touch with people he admired, and ask them to suggest an album for him to track down on his travels, giving an insight into what makes them tick. It would also offer a chance to see how record shops were faring in the digital age - one in which vinyl was still a much-treasured format.

                                          Tim assembled his cast of characters, from Iggy Pop to Johnny Marr, David Lynch to Cosey Fanni Tutti. Texts, phone calls, emails and handwritten notes went out. Here is the tender, funny and surprising story of what came back.

                                          Tim Burgess is a singer-songwriter and record label owner, best known as the lead singer of one of the defining bands of the 1990s, The Charlatans.

                                          Tim was born in Salford but grew up in a village near Northwich, Cheshire. Leaving school at 16 to work at ICI, his real love was music and soon afterwards he was invited to join new band, The Charlatans. They went on to have 3 number 1 albums and 17 top 30 singles. For 12 years, Burgess lived in Los Angeles but now lives back in the UK. 


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