Bobby Gillespie’s Tenement Kid gets a review: sex, drugs, and typos

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Bobby Gillespie’s Tenement Kid gets a review: sex, drugs, and typos

As he recounts his life from working-class Glasgow to Screamadelica triumph, Primal Scream’s frontman emerges as a hypnotic if erratic writer.

Screamadelica, Primal Scream’s third album, was released on September 23, 1991, and it was an era-defining album.

“For some people, that’s when the 90s really began,” says band leader Bobby Gillespie, and it’s also the day that this sometimes inspiring, sometimes ludicrous memoir comes to an end, presumably with an eye to a sequel.

Gillespie comes across as a jumble of contradictions, part sensitive, self-pitying, self-romanticising outsider (“I inwardly cursed my parents for giving birth to me, I was consumed by an indescribable pain, both spiritual and psychic”), part hedonistic drug maven (“Freebasing was great fun”), but some things remain constant.

One is his passion for elitist rock’n’roll, which includes 1960s psychedelia, first-generation punk, and esoteric post-punk.

Gillespie recognized early on that music was the only way to escape his affluent Glasgow upbringing.

His hereditary socialism is unwavering as well.

Bobby’s father, Bob, was the republican equivalent of socialist royalty in Scotland.

Gillespie Jr is enraged by Margaret Thatcher (“I hated Thatcher like I would have hated Hitler”) and all aspects of her rule, with the exception of one: as a customer of private education for his own children, any inequities in the British education system go unmentioned.

While Primal Scream was still in its infancy, Gillespie moonlighted as the drummer for The Jesus and Mary Chain.

He was in an odd position, struggling to gain traction with his own band while also being a member of Jim and William Reid’s confrontational, narcotic, but attention-getting Mary Chain.

The Reids embraced and fueled the often shocking violence that halted most of their band’s early British appearances.

Gillespie mutters, “I hated the audience.”

“They were an enraged, oblivious horde of post-punk scum who had come to see a freak show.”

Gillespie, who had only minor roles with the brothers, chose to take command of his own band.

It seemed like the wrong decision after one janglepop album and one by-the-numbers rock album.

Then came the Damascene conversion: fueled by commercial failure and copious amounts of ecstasy, the morose Johnny Thunders wannabe was seduced by smoky acid house and galvanised by a meeting with DJ Andrew Weatherall “in a field at six in the morning, off my f**king head on E,” who would reshape Primal Scream’s sound.

During.

News summary from Infosurhoy in the United Kingdom.

Bobby Gillespie’s Tenement Kid gets a review: sex, drugs, and typos

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Tenement Kid by Bobby Gillespie, review: Sex, drugs and spelling mistakes

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