Zoë Howe

BOOKS

Dayglo! The Poly Styrene Story

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"One of my favourite music books..."

Lauren Laverne

Poly Styrene was a singer-songwriter, an artist, a free-thinker, a post-modern style pioneer and a lifelong spiritual seeker: a true punk icon. But this rebel queen with the cheeky grin was also a latter-day pop artist with a wickedly perceptive gift for satirising the world around her. Based on interviews with those who knew and loved Poly (whether personally or through music) this honestly and openly explores her exceptional life, up until her untimely passing in 1991. It is about her growing up mixed-race in Brixton in the 1960s, to being at the forefront of the emerging punk scene with X-Ray Spex in the 1970s, to finding faith with the Hare Krishna movement, to balancing single motherhood with a solo music career and often debilitating mental health issues.

Florence + the Machine - an almighty sound

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Florence + the Machine is the recording name of English musician Florence Welch and a collaboration of other artists who provide music for her voice. The Sunday Times described Welch as "the most peculiar and most highly acclaimed female singer of the moment" This book tells the story of her upbringing in South London to her thrilling rise to international fame as a singer and highly individual fashion icon. The stories behind the glittering award ceremonies, TV appearances and international tours.

Shine on Marquee Moon

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Shine On, Marquee Moon is a rock 'n' roll love story that celebrates the extremes of life in the music business and challenges the myth of sex, drugs and rock n' roll with plenty of wry humour, strong characters and sharp dialogue along the way. Shine On, Marquee Moon exposes the hilarious, heart-wrenching and often bizarre reality of life on and off the road, where the most unlikely people become family, and 'friends' aren't always who they appear to be. Shortlisted for the Virginia Prize For Fiction 2016.

Looking Back At Me

Looking Back At Me

"A stunning reinvention of the memoir format. Five stars."

Dave Collins, Vive Le Rock

Within the pages of this vibrant rock 'n' roll scrapbook, the former Dr Feelgood guitarist and beloved British R&B legend tells his story in his own words for the first time, giving his unique perspective on everything from his Essex childhood and his Indian odyssey as a young hippy to the wild days of Dr Feelgood and Ian Dury and The Blockheads to his current band. Johnson also expands on his love of astronomy, art, literature, clouds, poetry, science fiction, Shakespeare. Amid the twists, turns and tangents, Looking Back At Me features many previously unseen images of Wilko from throughout his life, as well as an array of Wilko ephemera and anecdotes from notable Wilko fans, including Robert Plant, Mick Farren, JJ Burnel, Keith Levene, Alison Moyet, Gavin Martin and Whispering Bob Harris.

Stevie Nicks – Visions, Dreams And Rumours

Stevie Nicks – Visions, Dreams And Rumours

Stevie Nicks is one of the most recognisable figures in rock 'n' roll history. While she once made headlines with her hedonistic lifestyle, part of Nicks' irresistible appeal is her youthful vulnerability and mystical aura, making her an artist with whom fans have an unbreakable emotional connection. This book, a celebration of the Stevie Nicks phenomenon, takes us on her journey from peripatetic mid-West childhood to her explosion onto the music scene as chiffon-swathed rock goddess, right up to present day. Including exclusive interviews with some of Stevie's associates and collaborators from over the years, Zoe Howe explores the mystique while retaining the magic of this modern-day musical sorceress and wise woman of rock.

Typical Girls - the story of The Slits

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"Britrock book of the year..."

GAVIN MARTIN, Daily Mirror

Wild, defiant and startlingly inventive, The Slits were ahead of their time. Their influential first album challenged perceptions of punk and of girl bands - but they were misunderstood. And that infamous debut album cover, with the band appearing topless and mud-daubed, prompted further misreadings of the first ladies of punk. Zoe Howe speaks to The Slits themselves, to former manager Don Letts, mentor and PIL guitarist Keith Levene and many other friends and colleagues to discover exactly how The Slits phenomenon came about and to celebrate the legacy of a seminal band long overdue its rightful acclaim. Too long seen as a note in the margin of the history of rock, The Slits at last get a fair hearing in this revealing biography.

How's your Dad - Living in the shadow of a rock star parent

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"Interviewees trust her, as they should...A beacon of modern music writing"

Glenn Airey - Louder Than War

In this frank and funny book, Zoe Street Howe breaks the glitzy surface of a media obsession and seeks the reality from the horses' mouths. Whether you rejoice or seethe at the mention of Peaches, Jade or Jack or if you are born of rock heritage yourself and are considering changing your name and moving to Mongolia, this book may make you see things a little differently. Zoe Street Howe speaks to Ian Dury's son Baxter, Dylan Howe (Steve Howe), Julian Lennon, Calico Cooper (Alice Cooper), Jazz Domino Holly (Joe Strummer), Natascha Elinore (Jack Bruce), Aaron Horn (Trevor Horn) and many other children of iconic figures in the music industry in this revealing slice of rock 'n' roll literature.

Lee Brilleaux: Rock'n'roll Gentleman

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'The best rock bio I've ever read.'

Ed Mitchell, The Blues Magazine

Lee Brilleaux, the uniquely charismatic star of proto-punk R&B reprobates Dr Feelgood, was one of rock'n'roll's greatest frontmen. But he was also one of its greatest gentlemen - a class act with heart, fire, wanderlust and a wild streak. Exploding out of Canvey Island in the early 1970s - an age of glam rock, post-hippy folk and pop androgyny - the Feelgoods, with Lee Brilleaux and Wilko Johnson at the helm, charged into London, grabbed the pub rock scene by the throat and sparked a revolutionary new era, proving that you didn't have to be middle class, wearing the 'right clothes' or living in the 'right place' to succeed. Lee Brilleaux: Rock'n'Roll Gentleman, while a totally different work, is a companion of sorts to the hugely popular Wilko Johnson book: Looking Back At Me. It is the first comprehensive appreciation of Lee Brilleaux and, with its numerous exclusive interviews and previously unseen images, is a book no Dr Feelgood fan would wish to be without.

BARBED WIRE KISSES - The Jesus and Mary Chain Story

BARBED WIRE KISSES - The Jesus and Mary Chain Story

'Highly recommend Zoë Howe's excellent Jesus and Mary Chain biography - a touching story of kids in the music business, recalled by their adult selves. A cut above...'

EUAN McCOLM, The Scotsman

This fierce, frank and often funny tale begins in the faceless new town of East Kilbride, near Glasgow, at the dawn of the 1980s with two chronically shy brothers, Jim and William Reid, listening to music in their shared bedroom. What follows charts the formation of The Jesus and Mary Chain, their incendiary live performances, their relationship with Alan McGee's Creation Records and those famous fraternal tensions that prepared McGee for the onslaught of the Gallaghers, with plenty of feedback, fighting and, most importantly, perfectly crafted pop along the way. It is time this vastly influential group and sometime 'public enemy' had their say.

The British Beat Explosion

The British Beat Explosion

Anyone with an interest in the history of UK rock 'n' roll is familiar with The Cavern Club and the role that Merseyside played in the story of the British Beat scene. But over a small bridge onto an island in the middle of the Thames, another great 60s club night, Eel Pie Hotel, played host to acts that would later make a global name for themselves. The Rolling Stones, Long John Baldry, Rod Stewart, Pink Floyd, The Small Faces, David Bowie and The Yardbirds are amongst the many acts who performed there during its 50s and 60s heyday. But how did The Eel Pie Club become such a popular venue? And why has this thriving West London scene been omitted from rock history when its influence has spread far and wide? Recently, bands like The Mystery Jets have paid homage to Arthur Chisnall's fabulous club, playing gigs on the island that launched careers and cemented rock's infamous relationships. The latest incarnation of the Eel Pie Club is alive and well. This book traces the origins of a scene that is long overdue for recognition.