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Bodies: Life and Death in Music

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Some of the data that are collected include the number of visitors, their source, and the pages they visit anonymously. There’s a look at the damage Ian Watkins wreaked not just upon children but, in a wider sense, on his bandmates. The music industry has a gigantic, dangerous problem that is ruining musicians’ lives — and I, the punter, am fuelling that problem. Perhaps this was intentional; the author spends time boasting about the amount of coke he was shoveling up his beak, but this means that stories about individuals are only hinted at or loosely defined. Winwood’s point with much of these brushes with history is to show the depths of depravity that goes beyond the drink and drugs that have allegedly stemmed creatives bursts with a unique intimacy only gained through the trust and interest of rockstars that still tour and take their chances with substances today.

Instead, it's a memoir with heart and purpose, delivered by a correspondent seemingly at war with himself, from the frontlines of the music industry. A band with a singer who was a predator hiding in plain sight (very plain sight as there were forum posts warning fans about him years before his arrest) and the remaining members who have had their life's work flushed away in a manner only members of the Glitter Band have experienced. Hotjar sets this cookie to know whether a user is included in the data sampling defined by the site's daily session limit.The writing style sometimes got to me — at times too formal/archaic in tone and every now and then unnecessarily paraphrasing a lyric at the end of a paragraph.

Despite those horrors, Winwood appears hopeful, and it is the credit of great writing that a reader does not feel that same despair and fear so brutally explained by Winwood's personalised account. It's a moving, poignant and sometimes harrowing account of musicians struggles with depression, addiction and other mental health concerns.Working as a music journalist his life is adjacent and exposed to the same culture as these musicians, some of which he counts among his friends. Instead we have the author's descent into My Drug Hell, which is boring, because there is only ever one My Drug Hell story you get to read: It was fun, then it was bad, then it was worse, then I was desperate and thought I would die, more of this, moment of light, I'm OK now. There is a significant amount of personal history in here, which is interesting on its own - but it’s not really what it has been billed as. Actually makes me think that not achieving my teenage dreams of becoming a rock star was probably a good thing.

Those encounters and much of the text within come with a blinkered, flashing red light that acts as a real warning about the dangers of the industry and anyone near to it. Rather than providing a comprehensive overview and making arguments based on critical analysis, this is more of a memoir - with first hand accounts and anecdotes from the author’s time as a music journalist. It covers examples of band members struggling with alcoholism and drug addictions (a cast of characters you will have heard of before and some newer ones) and paints a picture of why the music industry has a disproportionate number of such cases - boredom, alienation and a lack of connection with family and normality whilst touring at the most basic level. Bodies relates a number of incidents where an artist is pushed or feels impelled to work despite being clearly unwell, sometimes with terrible consequences.This interview is generally considered to be fiction of the journalist and to have never actually occurred. Much more than a touchline reporter, Winwood also tells the story of his own mental health collapse, following the shocking death of his father, in which extinction-level behaviour was given perfect cover by a reckless industry. But for Winwood, it’s also a telling story: Watkins’s bandmates and management were aware that he had problems, and had attempted to help, but had no idea how bad things actually were, because the problems they thought Watkins had were so commonplace within the music industry, where drug addiction and “gruelling and maddeningly dysfunctional behaviour” are normalised. The _ga cookie, installed by Google Analytics, calculates visitor, session and campaign data and also keeps track of site usage for the site's analytics report. Envy for the experiences of brushing shoulders with the best of the best, the influential scattershot of Lemmy, Primal Scream and Ginger Wildheart.

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