I'm Not with the Band by Sylvia Patterson
A Writer's Life Lost in Music by Sylvia Patterson (2016-06-16)

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Celebratory and elegiac, the book documents the last three and half decades in pop and gives an honest account of an exhilarating and gruelling life. Top read.
-Guardian

Synopsis


Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award 2016.

This is a three-decade survivor's tale ... a scenic search for elusive human happiness through music, magazines, silly jokes, stupid shoes, useless blokes, hopeless homes, booze, drugs, love, loss, A&E, death, disillusion and hope - while trying to make Prince laugh, startle Beyonc?, cheer Eminem up, annoy Madonna, drink with Shaun Ryder and finish off Westlife forever (with varying degrees of success).


In 1986, Sylvia Patterson boarded a train to London armed with a tea-chest full of vinyl records, a peroxide quiff and a dream: to write about music, for ever. She got her wish.

Escaping a troubled home, Sylvia embarks on a lifelong quest to discover The Meaning of It All. The problem is she's mostly hanging out with flaky pop stars, rock 'n' roll heroes and unreliable hip-hop legends. As she encounters music's biggest names, she is confronted by glamour and tragedy; wisdom and lunacy; drink, drugs and disaster. And Bros.

Here is Madonna in her Earth Mother phase, flinging her hands up in horror at one of Sylv's Very Stupid Questions. Prince compliments her shoes while Eminem threatens to kill her. She shares fruit with Johnny Cash, make-up with Amy Winehouse and several pints with the Manics' lost soul-man Richey Edwards. She finds the Beckhams fragrant in LA, a Gallagher madferrit in her living room and Shaun Ryder and Bez as you'd expect, in Jamaica.

From the 80s to the present day, I'm Not with the Band is a funny, barmy, utterly gripping chronicle of the last thirty years in music and beyond. It is also the story of one woman's wayward search for love, peace and a wonderful life. And whether, or not, she found them.
 

About Sylvia Patterson

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Sylvia Patterson is one of pop journalism's best-known voices. She joined Smash Hits as Staff Writer aged 20 during its mid-late 80s heyday when it sold a million copies a fortnight. Life thereafter as an acclaimed freelancer has seen her sprinkle irreverence throughout NME, The Face, Guardian Guide, The Observer, Sunday Times, Interview, The Word, Q and Glamour. She's also the only writer to have penned sleeve-notes to the greatest hits of both Take That and Oasis. Because that's how she rolls (with it).
 
Published January 1, 2016 by Little, Brown Book Group.
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography.
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Critic reviews for I'm Not with the Band
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Jane Housham on Aug 05 2017

Celebratory and elegiac, the book documents the last three and half decades in pop and gives an honest account of an exhilarating and gruelling life. Top read.

Read Full Review of I'm Not with the Band: A Writ... | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Jude Rogers on Jun 28 2016

I’m Not With the Band is a title that speaks volumes at this point more than ever – Patterson tells us where the music journalist should be, and what they should do, without filters. She should be held up as the prototype for the form’s future – a most swingorilliant one.

Read Full Review of I'm Not with the Band: A Writ... | See more reviews from Guardian

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