(note – I’ve not finished writing about number 10 yet)
‘Do It For Your Mum’ is a book which tells the story of the Wilkinson family – a family some people may be aware of if you know your music. Eldest brother Roy is a music journalist, started a record label (Costermonger – Gene were one of their bands), and managed his younger brothers, Scott and Neil in their band British Sea Power for a good few years. This book covers them growing up together in the Lake District, their love of nature and all things around them, and the key thing which holds it all together; their 87-year-old dad, Ronald.
Their dad retires and reads up on his indie. He becomes an expert on the Butthole Surfers and all music around him, and as the band grows heads to the library to read NME to find out what others think, constantly left bewildered by their lack of understanding at how British Sea Power truly are the best band out there but nobody else seems to realise this. He sends letters to U2 (“I found an address for them at the library”) and is less than complimentary about other bands.
Holding it all together (just!) is Roy, fine writing and tons of tangents (it appealed to the way I think and talk), stories, history, anecdotes. There’s an incident in Russia where Roy has the takings from a gig stolen, and eventually steps down as their manager to spend more time with his teenage daughter.
Sum it up in a sentence? A warm story of music and family; a good read; a great writer and I’d be out-indie’d by his dad easily, such is his knowledge. Buy this book – or borrow it if you know someone who owns it!
A great review at Louder Than War
And on to the next one, I’m finally reading the Peter Hook book…