Can't Stand Up for Falling Down

  • by Allan Jones
  • Narrated by Matt Bates
  • 12 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Allan Jones launched Uncut magazine in 1997 and for 15 years wrote a popular monthly column called Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before, based on his experiences as a music journalist in the 70s and 80s, a gilded time for the music press.
By turns hilarious, cautionary, poignant and powerful, the Stop Me...stories collected here include encounters with some of rock's most iconic stars, including David Bowie, Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Elvis Costello, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Smiths, R.E.M. and Pearl Jam. From backstage brawls and drug blow-outs, to riots, superstar punch-ups, hotel room confessionals and tour bus lunacy, these are stories from the madness of a music scene now long gone.
Allan Jones is an award-winning British music journalist and editor. In 1974, he applied for a job on the UK's best-selling music paper as a junior reporter, signing off his application with 'Melody Maker needs a bullet up the arse. I'm the gun, pull the trigger'. He was editor of Melody Maker from 1984 to 1997 and until 2014 editor of music and film monthly Uncut.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Funny, touching and informative

Allan Jones operated at the top of music journalism business from soon after he was hired by the New Musical Express in the mid-1970's. By pure coincidence he was also friendly with the Clash's Joe Strummer from the early part of the decade when Strummer was a grave digger in South Wales and Jones was at art school there. This was the period when jouralists could be friendly with rock stars and travel as part of a band's tour party and not only witness but also participate in the sex'n'drugs'n'rock'n'roll lifestyle.

Written as a sequence of shortish stories the book starts at the time when Lemmy Kilminster was famous as the bassist in Hawkwind up to the point when new wave artists like Squeeze and Elvis Costelloe were cracking America and Def Leppard began to popularise big hair, tight jeans and white trainers. Jones really had a front row seat for all of this so we get to hear for instance what it's like to meet Lemmy and get on with him well enough to go on a speed fuelled bender. Not everyone was as clubbable as Lemmy however so we suffer with the author as he's beaten to a pulp by Black Sabbath's Toni Iommi and deal with the extraordinarily charmless Elvis Costelloe. And while it's no suprise to hear another anecdote confirming that Van Morrison is a rude git Jones' capacity for getting along with people means we get to hear what it's like to get along with Lou Reed well enough to be invited to hang out with him.

As the book progresses some artists crop up repeatedly as Jones' work intersects with their rising or falling careers. His writing about the Clash is really interesting on that front as he was friendly with Strummer from the days when he was scratching around to find venues that would allow his early bands to play through the period when he reinvented himself as a punk and the singer of the Clash and on to the point where the band were huge and a view was growing that Strummer was a slightly ridiculous political poser. Glasgow's finest, Alex Harvey, also makes a welcome appearance as he takes Jones on a guided tour of Glasgow before it reinvented itself as a city of culture.

The stories alone would be worth four stars and honourable mention should be given to the narrator who manages a range of pretty convncing impersonations of everyone from Lemmy and Lou Reed to Jonny Rotten and Mike Oldfield. What elevated it to five stars for me was the range of tones; real sadness at the fate of Gene Clark for instance; whose huge talent was largely ignored after he left the Byrds end eventually succumbed to a lifetime of substance abuse. Also the slightly Zelig like quality that sees Jones on the spot for incidents like Ozzy Osbourne's infamous visit to the Alamo and the Sex Pistols' legendary silver jubliee boat cruise. And finally a surprisingly affecting final chapter which I won't spoil.
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- Jim

Here is why you don't meet your heroes

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes I would, but I was in and around the scene anyway so I got all the anecdotes. I was a roadie for the Pretenders and was on the fairground ride and got hammered.!!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Lou Reed was a knob, Alex Harvey was scary, Tony Iommi would be Jeremy Kyle fodder today. Jerry Dammers a saint - David Bowie is just him..Van Morrison al..I loved them all in this book.

What does Matt Bates bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Well narrated and never lost me for a second

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Pubs open yet

Any additional comments?

Just a great book (listen)...go get it

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- Chris

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-08-2017
  • Publisher: Audible Studios