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I was the Fool-king of Soho and the number-one slag in the Groucho Club, the second drunkest member of the world's drunkest band. This was no disaster, though. It was a dream coming true.' For Alex James, music had always been a door to a more eventful life. But as bass player of Blur - one of the most successful British bands of all time - his journey was more exciting and extreme than he could ever have predicted. In Bit of a Blur he chronicles his journey from a slug-infested flat in Camberwell to a world of screaming fans and private jets - and his eventual search to find meaning and happiness (and, perhaps most importantly, the perfect cheese), in an increasingly surreal world.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780349119939
ISBN-10: 0349119937
Format: Paperback
(196mm x 131mm x 21mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Abacus
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 3-Jul-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » A breezy, boozy account of an explosive moment in pop music. London in the mid-1990s was an epicenter of the music and art worlds, verging on a major political shift. James, formerly the bassist in Britpop band Blur and contributor to several British magazines, recounts his ascent to rock stardom and the subsequent rapid explosion of his ego with plenty of wit in hindsight. He affectionately recalls his boyhood in Bournemouth dreaming of appearing on Top of the Pops. "In all the time I have been making music, nothing quite so fantastic as what happened in the next five minutes has ever happened again," he writes of a teenage bedroom rehearsal with two friends. In 1988, enrolled at London's Goldsmiths College, James met best friend and Blur band mate Graham Coxon ("brilliantly artistic, but vulnerable"), artist Damien Hirst and first-love Justine, with whom he fell in and out for several years. Blur, originally called Seymour, signed with EMI Records at the height of pop music's obsession with grunge. When the shambling Britpop sound caught on globally, James found himself rich and famous in his early 20s. "I'd tell myself it was the duty of rock stars to indulge themselves beyond reasonable limits," he writes. "If I couldn't be reckless and extreme, I wasn't doing my job properly." James felt free to indulge his passions, which in addition to the usual drink and drugs included astronomy and fancy cheeses, extolled in refreshing, if long-winded vignettes. Readers may feel slightly overstuffed by the time the rock star sobers up and settles down in the country, but James's self-awareness on the page saves him from innumerable tabloid cliches. He'd rather name fine hotels and bars than the glitterati frequenting them, and he never forgets how he arrived at such a rarefied perch, looking back with a teenager's sense of awe.A rock bio with snap. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Alex James

Alex James is the bass player with Blur. He is also a Visiting Scientist at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Europe's largest space research facility. He lives with his wife and children in the Cotswolds.

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