I Wanna Be Yours (Paperback)John Cooper Clarke (author)
The poet laureate of Punk holds forth in inimitable fashion about his sprawling, idiosyncratic career and the stars and artists with whom he has worked and been championed by. Brimming with his distinctive dry humour and wordplay, I Wanna Be Yours is a beautifully rambling memoir for lifelong fans and new converts alike.
This is a memoir as wry, funny, moving and vivid as its inimitable subject himself. This book will be a joy for both lifelong fans and for a whole new generation.
John Cooper Clarke is a phenomenon: Poet Laureate of Punk, rock star, fashion icon, TV and radio presenter, social and cultural commentator. At 5 feet 11 inches (32in chest, 27in waist), in trademark dark suit, dark glasses, with dark messed-up hair and a mouth full of gold teeth, he is instantly recognizable. As a writer his voice is equally unmistakable and his own brand of slightly sick humour is never far from the surface.
I Wanna Be Yours covers an extraordinary life, filled with remarkable personalities: from Nico to Chuck Berry, from Bernard Manning to Linton Kwesi Johnson, Elvis Costello to Gregory Corso, Gil Scott Heron, Mark E. Smith and Joe Strummer, and on to more recent fans and collaborators Alex Turner, Plan B and Guy Garvey. Interspersed with stories of his rock and roll and performing career, John also reveals his boggling encyclopaedic take on popular culture over the centuries: from Baudelaire and Edgar Allan Poe to Pop Art, pop music, the movies, fashion, football and showbusiness - and much, much more, plus a few laughs along the way.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 480
Weight: 366 g
Dimensions: 196 x 130 x 33 mm
'The godfather of British performance poetry * Daily Telegraph *
'The bookshop shelves have been clogged up for years by musicians and artists who made their debuts in the sulphurous days of 1976-7, but I Wanna Be Yours, the autobiography of the "punk poet" John Cooper Clarke, aka "the Bard of Salford", knocked most of the competition into a cocked hat.' - TLS 'Books of the Year'
'Any autobiography that features both Bernard Manning and Nico is unlikely to disappoint; even less so when it's written with such brilliantly Dickensian vigour by the Bard of Salford, John Cooper Clarke . . .this fast, funny book catches his life in its lines.' - Sunday Times 'Music Books of the Year'
'Manchester punk poet John Cooper Clarke takes a rather different approach to heroin addiction, treating it as a source of humour in his sharply observed, entertaining memoir . . . "Relentless tragedy is always hilarious," he notes of his eventual recovery. "At some point the laughter has to stop.' - Daily Telegraph, Best Music Books of 2020
'[I Wanna Be Yours] might be the funniest book published this year. Few memoirists have had better material to work with: heroin addiction, years living in a squat with Nico, endless love affairs and a TV appearance with the Honey Monster. Talk about getting the most out of life.' - The Times, Best Music Books of the Year 2020
'John Cooper Clarke is one of Britain's outstanding poets. His anarchic punk poetry has thrilled people for decades and his no nonsense approach to his work and life in general has appealed to many people including myself for many years. Long may his slender frame and spiky top produce words and deeds that keep us on our toes and alive to the wonders of the world.' - Sir Paul McCartney
'I say to people, have you heard of John Cooper Clarke and if they say, yes, yeah he's an absolute genius and you just go, 'oh - ok, you've saved me a lot of time.' - Steve Coogan
'John Cooper Clarke uses words like Chuck Berry uses guitar riffs melody and anger, humour and disdain in equal measure. He's the real deal, really funny and really caustic, the velvet voice of discontent.' - Kate Moss
'...nothing short of dazzling.' - Alex Turner
'There are a legion of new young poets who rightly pay homage to Cooper Clarke.' - Julian Hall, The Independent
'It's impossible not to hear Clarke's voice, rhythmic & deadpan, while reading his memoir. Like his poetry,his prose style is wry and dry . . . Mad anecdotes & whimsical gags abound, but wisdom often lurks beneath the wordplay.' - The Guardian
'I Wanna Be Yours is fantastically entertaining . . . As a writer of comic prose Clarke is the match of anyone alive, and his turns of phrase are as sharp as his suits (the view over 1950s Manchester from the fire escape behind his house was 'Coronation Street for a million miles'). His drawl is as much a part of his peculiar ars poetica as the words of the poems themselves. Every sentence he writes, you read in his voice. By the end of the nearly 500 pages of I Wanna be Yours I felt I'd not so much read a memoir as listened to an outrageous confession from a psychoanalyst's couch.' - The Times
'Riveting.' - The Observer, Book of the Week
'An immensely engaging memoir that fizzes with wit . . . Though he needs no such affirmation, it cements Clarke's status as one of the most distinctive voices in pop cultural history - it's impossible not to hear him read every word aloud in your head with that unforgettable Manc drawl - and reveals much about a remarkable life and career.' - NME
'The most amusing autobiography of a literary aesthete you are ever likely to read.' - Daily Telegraph
'An exuberant account of a remarkable life.' - New Statesman
'A naturally splendid tell-all.' - I newspaper
'John Cooper Clarke's life story has been stranger than most and it is told with great humour and penetrating honesty in his autobiography, I Wanna Be Yours .' - Choice Magazine
'The most entertaining and certainly the most culturally revealing book I have read this year.' - D. J. Taylor, Literary Review
'Clarke's primordial gift for language is everywhere in this book. It is almost impossible not to read passages out loud - a meta reminder of his contribution to the joy of spoken-word performance. As Clarke puts it: 'Wherever people gather for amusement, that's where I'll be.' - Financial Times
'He became the first big-time performance punk poet - a warm-up act for the Sex Pistols, with famous fans ranging from Sir Paul McCartney to Kate Moss. And his life has been as chaotically unpredictable as his next line . . . Now clean and, to his own surprise, a happily married family man at 71, the bard of Salford has written his memoirs.' - Sunday Mirror
'One of the most magnificent and hysterically funny memoirs of modern times.' - Irish Times
'Crafted, entertaining and educative.' - Mojo Magazine
'A compelling read with highs and lows aplenty, in every sense of the phrase . . . They say that every picture tells a story. Clarke takes that concept and turns it on its head as, from start to finish throughout the book, the words paint pictures so vivid you can see the Salford streets and smell the hair pomade. Take a dip into the weird and wonderful world of Dr John Cooper Clarke, he'll be there if you want him, ninety degrees in his shades.' - Breaking Glass Magazine
'Elegantly sardonic . . . His writing remains spry and sparkly, sweary but sweet, with this book testament to how 'a half-arsed grafter with a rich vocabulary' became a kind of British institution.' - Uncut Magazine
'A poet who writes about darkness and decay but makes people laugh, a human cartoon, a gentleman punk, a man who has stayed exactly the same for thirty years but never grown stale. John Cooper Clarke is an original -- Claire Smith.' - Scotsman
'One of the most entertaining autobiographies of the year. Hilarious and inspirational in equal measure, it's the perfect panacea to the misery of 2020.' - The Quietus
'I Wanna Be Yours could not be more entertaining, charming and optimistic . . . Its immense spirit-lifting qualities will do the despairing - and everyone else - the world of good.' - Strong Words Magazine
'I telephoned hardworking entertainer and poet Dr. John Cooper Clarke to tell him how much I'm enjoying his memoir, I Wanna Be Yours . . . a buxom read and a highly entertaining one.' - Martin Newell, East Anglian Times
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