FEATURES, REVIEWS AND BOOKS: PRIMARILY DRIVEN BY POPULAR MUSIC, BUT ALSO WITHOUT CHORDS AND BEATS – LGBT+, SPORT, COMEDY, FILM.
My new book BREAKING DOWN THE WALLS OF HEARTACHE: HOW MUSIC CAME OUT is published on OCTOBER 13th 2016, by Constable, an imprint of Little, Brown.
It’s a comprehensive history – spanning a hundred years, starting in 1920s Harlem – of the queer pioneers of Popular Music with over 90 new interviews.
There have been essay-based books on this subject, but never a chronological narrative – so as with my 4AD book, there’s only likely to be one such book, so best to be as definitive as possible: hence it’s another brick of a book, at 540 pages.
Popular music’s gay DNA is inarguable: from Elvis in eye shadow to k.d. lang’s female Elvis; from Little Richard’s ‘Tutti Frutti’ to David Bowie’s bisexual alien; from Frankie Say ‘Relax’ to House music godfatherFrankie Knuckles; from Kurt Cobain in a dress to punk icon/couture model Beth Ditto, but most of the pioneers are forgotten, their bravery and risk-taking going widely unreported at the time – such as Baltimore’s lesbian rockabilly trio The Roc-A-Jets, from the 1950s. Or Britain’s gay glam – and new wave – band Handbag. There are numerous incredible, fascinating stories, that have never, or rarely, been told, certainly not in a book, and it’s a privilege to be able to tell them, and to uncover fantastic music.. I’ll be creating a Spotify playlist for the occasion.
And on the subject of books:.
“4AD gets the lavish label history they deserve” MOJO
“The book is an exquisite reflection of 4AD itself – extravagant, atmospheric, and rich in texture and timbre’” PITCHFORK”
“One of the greatest stories to emerge from rock and roll’s modern history” DROWNED IN SOUND
Available in hardback and paperback. The limited edition of a thousand copies, that splits the boo into two separate volumes, adds two CDs (4AD 1980s and 1990s, chosen and sequenced by the author) is sold out, though I have one remaining copy in my archives to sell if anyone is interested.
© 2014 Martin Aston