A memoir from James Kennedy – or rather, an almanac of tips for aspiring rock stars. The do’s, don’ts, and “if you can avoid it” of what sounds like a pretty tough industry.
I reviewed Noise Damage for Buzz Magazine:
“Noise Damage’s byline, My Life As A Rock’n’Roll Underdog, is perhaps the most fitting description of what the book is ‘about’ in a strictly plot-based sense. However, this book does much more than just tell the story of the (rather ropey) career of south Wales rock band Kyshera, and the life of an almost-rockstar.
It also tells a story of the time on multiple levels. Through the lens of Kennedy’s memoir, Noise Damage unearths a working-class dissatisfaction particularly prevalent in post-mining Wales, as well as the crippling effects that the ‘almost’ – almost famous, almost out of almost-poverty, almost able to fit in – has on mental health and addiction. It is an eye-opening insight into what keeps the music industry ticking, or rather what Kennedy thinks keeps it rotting at the core.
Funny throughout and thoroughly self-deprecating, Kennedy is both self-aware and confident, offering ‘lessons’ to aspiring rock musicians with brutal realism without necessarily saying “RUN NOW”. It’s written in a rockstar-ish manner, which is admittedly something a bookish not-rockstar would say, but meaning there’s a definite no-holding-back policy: swearing, drugs, alcohol, wild parties (which he’s not even going to try pretend aren’t fun) and the spiralling, insane world of rock‘n’roll.”
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