*FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This is the story Gang of Four: Damaged Gods and millions of other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Gang For the first time, a band wedded punk's angry energy to funk's propulsive beats―and used that I'll start with this: no one in their right mind is going to get a book about Gang Of Four and expect a. Paul Lester: While writing my book on Gang of Four I didn't imagine Our journalism is free and open for all, but it's made possible thanks to.
I've just written a book about post-punk funk politicos Gang of Fourand I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the band for making the job so easy. Because what could have been a dry, laborious dissection of serious Leftist dogma from a bunch of stuffy fiftysomething ideologues eager to re-examine the radical principles of their youth, turned out to be a melodrama so torrid it would make the Eastenders scriptwriters recoil and say, in best faux cock-er-nee, "Do what?
No way! Have a word! You made that up! I was expecting the writing of my biography of one of the most fiercely intelligent and politically credible bands of the last 30 years — "The postgraduate Clash", I think somebody once called them — to be heavy and hard-going and involve some seriously hard graft, and it was all of those things.
I just wasn't expecting it to be so much, you know, fun. I assumed, from their reputation as rock's foremost intellectuals with impossibly high ideals — not to mention a close friendship with none-more-scholarly US rock writer Greil Marcus — that I would have to turn up at interviews for the book with a copy of Das Kapital under one arm and proof of my membership of the Communist Party under the other.
I was expecting them all to refer to each other as "comrade" or, at the very least, "brother". What I wasn't expecting was to arrive at the central London home of Andy Gill — described by one of his producers as "the post-punk Hendrix" — and watch him read out a recent email from another member of the band so full of rage towards the guitarist it was like a divorce petition penned by Charles Manson. I wasn't expecting to hear, during the course of my interviews with the four players, the word "cunt" to be deployed so freely when they referred to each other.
I wasn't expecting bassist Dave Allen to dramatically quit the band mere months after telling me how glad he was to be back in the fold a quarter-century after leaving the first time. I certainly wasn't expecting to find out that Gill was a member by proxy of the celebrity aristocracy, having once been splashed over 10 pages of OK magazine in a photo extravaganza celebrating his marriage to Angus Deayton's sister-in-lawnor to discover that he is the godfather of Heavenly Hiraani Tiger, the daughter of the late Paula Yates and Michael Hutchence.
And I really, really wasn't expecting to be told a story in which one band member tried to stick his tongue down another member's wife's throat during a meal that culminated in a massive brawl that started in a restaurant and ended on the pavement outside.
I quite liked the idea of Gang of Four being above the usual petty squabbles and internecine warfare you get in most bands. Part of me was disappointed that they weren't imperious academics deconstructing the rock process with cold logic.
Gang of Four (band)
I secretly wanted to feel awed by their detachment from mundane reality and the banality of everyday existence. Another part of me delighted in the fact that they were capable of such juvenile dementia, of having the sort of spats you'd have thought they'd have left behind at school, of being so, well, Liam and Noel.
My next book is on Wire, a band so austere, grave and cerebral they do indeed make Gang of Four look like Oasis. I wonder how long it will be before the tales of fucking and fighting start to emerge there. And have you ever been disappointed — or delighted - to discover that a band weren't exactly as you'd imagined?
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Damaged gods: Why Gang of Four were not the band I expected
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