Mean As Custard (calico_pye) wrote,
Mean As Custard
calico_pye

Moby: Porcelain (Auto Biography) - Approaching the Big Time



Dear Moby, dear, dear, dearest Moby.  This biography is not holding my attention.  I am half way through and am considering giving up.  I am trying, though other, more interesting books are enticing me to read beneath their covers.

He bemoans his lot in the UK, where as he is about to hit the big time, he is forced to shack up at a manky Brit B&B where the shower is 50p per 10 minutes of water. He is interviewd by Kiss FM and is seemingly stony and monosyllabic; 'I wanted to tell him, "I'm jet-lagged and staying in a charnel house that should have been levelled in World War II"' (p.155).

Amusing n' est ce pas?  Ah...I remember the days of badly-maintained guest houses in the arse end of nowhere too - but with a certain amount of nostalgia, it must be said.  Bearing in mind he slept in an abandoned factory and barely washed for so long - what was his problem?  However, he does set up the vibe of rave/acid house in its infancy, 'The show was in an old, venerable theatre, but it felt like a rave.  The air smelled like Vicks and the crowd were waving glow sticks and blowing airhorns and whistles' (p.156).

I didn't ever personally take drugs or attend raves (too busy as a single parent, with a son to bring up), but I do remember the music and the offbeat parties that friends used to have.  Strangely chasted events as I recall.  Cheap wine, baggy clothes, tie dye and loud music.  Didn't understand the Vicks reference or (on reflection) the fashion accessory of having a dummy (or 'pacifier'), but have been informed that Vicks smells really nice if you are under the influence of MDMA ('E') and the dummy was used to stop a raver grinding his/her teeth, whilst under the influence.  Well, you learn something new every day.

Moby's Retrospective - 'Seventy five ravers were lying in beanbag chairs [...] the walls were lit pink and blue, making the beanbages and the ravers look like jellybeans.  There were beautiful short-haired raver girls in oversized raver pants, but they were cuddling with beautiful short-haired raver boys in their oversized raver pants.  It was almost androgynous, except that the girls were so beautiful in their baby-doll t-shirts that I wanted to become a polygamist and marry all of them' (p.201).

His musings on Britain - ' I had grown up seeing two different Englands on TV.  There was the bucolic England with witty university students floating on slow boats alongside waterborne flower petals on gentle rivers and sunny ponds.  Then there was this England, the rainy, cold England that was the background for any movie about defeated people waiting to die in public housing estates'. A Joy Division fan, he contemplates how different it would have been if Ian Curtis had ben 'born in Palo Alto (he'd) probably be managing a chain of oraganic coffee shops and married to a yoga teacher' (p.158-9).

See, Moby? That IS what I like about you - the chaining together of random ideas, of interesting (if a bit stereotypical) contrasts.  I don't mind well-placed humour or insightful thoughts - it's too much of the inane, real-time yaking that's boring me rigid.  If you want my opinion, you could have shortened it a lot bit and the whole book would have been immensely more readable and far more enjoyable.

Maybe, I have a chequered opinion on this, as a music fan and as a person who ordinarily liked his essays (anyone who has picked up his CDs has been treated to Moby's penned outlook on life).  I am not a former raver girl.  So, I have come to the conclusion that, unless you were an acid-house/raver warehouse participator, infused with various nineties narcotics, holding glo sticks aloft, then this biography is going to sink lower than an underbaked veggie souffle.

I'll stick with it for now, but Mobes....mate - you need to edit this :-/
Tags: autobiography, biographies, moby, reading list 2016
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