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Shaun Ryder

How To Be A Rock Star

    As lead singer of Happy Mondays and Black Grape, Shaun Ryder was the Keith Richards and Mick Jagger of his generation. A true rebel, who formed and led not one but two seminal bands, he's had number-one albums, headlined Glastonbury, toured the world numerous times, taken every drug under the sun, been through rehab - and come out the other side as a national treasure.

    Now, for the first time, Shaun lifts the lid on the real inside story of how to be a rock star. With insights from three decades touring the world, which took him from Salford to San Francisco, from playing working men's clubs to headlining Glastonbury and playing in front of the biggest festival crowd the world has ever seen, in Brazil, in the middle of thunderstorm. From recording your first demo tape to having a number-one album, Shaun gives a fly-on-thewall look at the rock 'n' roll lifestyle - warts and all: how to be a rock star - and also how not to be a rock star.

    From numerous Top of the Pops appearances to being banned from live TV, from being a figurehead of the acid-house scene to hanging out backstage with the Rolling Stones, Shaun has seen it all. In this book he pulls the curtain back on the debauchery of the tour bus, ridiculous riders, run-ins with record companies, drug dealers and the mafia, and how he forged the most remarkable comeback of all time.

    SWR (Shaun Ryder)

    Close The Dam

      We definitely heard that voice. That warning. But if we don’t look, then we’ll never know, will we? And, turns out, we’d have missed out on something special.

      Confession/confusion: Shaun Ryder taught me to dance, pretty much. It’s all a bit hazy now, of course, but there’s about ten records I just can’t resist and he’s made two of them. It’s been a lonnng journey, with many great records and a great many good times.

      All of which makes Close The Dam more remarkable. It had us hooked inside 20 seconds: that strut, that slinky come-hither groove. Just a hint of Billie Jean perhaps? Producer Sunny Levine is Quincy Jones’ grandson, so maybe that is not too far-fetched.

      What a tune, though. Shaun sounds more focussed than…than ever, really. Close The Dam is something new from him, a little bit future, a spare but insistent club track with the sort of lyrics that burn into your mind. Instant classic. Big.

      “Bigger than you is”

      Electric Scales rewinds the clock a little. If you half close your eyes, its dirty squalls would almost nestle into Squirrel & G-Man’s grooves. Almost. Until you realise just what is going on in the loping capsized production. It comes over harder than Close The Dam but wears its heart on its sleeve and if you roll with the punches, you’ll feel that clearly. There’s a lot of water under this one’s bridge.

      “Baggy trousers, use them like a sail ”

      Coming in low, out of the sun; no-one will see this coming - 2015 is full of surprises.


      A. Close The Dam
      B. Electric Scales

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