Essential Reading: ‘Bedsit Disco Queen’, Tracey Thorn (2013)
This is a post I was supposed to write in November last year when I read Tracey Thorn’s deliciously written memoir ‘Bedsit Disco Queen’. Oh, well… better late and all.
‘Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew Up And Tried To Be a Pop Star’ is definitely one of the best artist autobiographies I’ve ever gotten my hands on and that’s not suprising having in mind that its author and subject is a writer as brilliant and engaging as Thorn.
Here’s a confession – I’m not a huge Everything But The Girl Fan and I have never really been familiar with the band’s history and its two masterminds’ lives. In a way, this added to the pleasure of the book because I was neither looking for fandom-y gossip, nor being overly protective of the story – the way that big
geeks fans tend to be in such situations (I know because I’m one of them on other musical topics).
So I was actually more familiar with Tracey Thorn as a writer rather than as the singer of Everything But The Girl or the Marine Girls or as a solo artist. My subscription to The New Statesman is a testament to that.
And what a captivating writer Thorn is! She’s honest and introspective, she’s factual but funny, she guides you through the ups and downs, the highs and lows without ever getting neither vain, nor melodramatic about any of it – always with the kind of wit and subtle humour I grew up associating with inherently cool Britishness (That was before I actually moved to the island. I dare say you’ve tricked me, old chaps, you’ve tricked me well).
The main point I’m trying to make is that you don’t have to be a lifelong fan of Tracey Thorn or the Marine Girls or Everything But The Girl to immensely enjoy the stories behind them and the captivating way in which Thorn has put them down on paper. You don’t even have to be a music fan for that matter in order to take pleasure in ‘Bedsit Disco Queen’, for it is an off-the-wall page-turner in and of itself, even taken out of the music industry context.
Treat yourself with a copy. Aunty Raya recommends.
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