From his time at the NME and Smash Hits to Radio One, Old Grey Whistle Test, Live Aid, Q, Select, Mojo, and The Word magazines, he's been at the molten core of its evolution, and watched its key figures from a unique perspective. This funny and touching personal memoir maps out his eventful journey. It tells stories and settles scores. It charts the peaks and disappointments. It flags up surprising heroes and barbecues the dull and self-deluded. It puts a chaotic world to rights and pours petrol on the embers of a glorious industry now in spiralling decline.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Jim on 24-05-14
I switched on the the radio and there was Mark Ellen promoting his autobiography; talking to Danny Baker about the N.M.E., LiveAid, the Old Grey Whistle Test and the misery of meeting Van Morrison. Ellen was as charming and funny as ever; I had a surge of nostalgia and immediately bought this download. For anyone who knows Ellen's work it's enough to say that he reads this with his customary charm, It's funny, wistful and informed on his specialist subjects of music and the music press.
For anyone less familiar with him Ellen started his career in music journalism just as punk was getting underway and he stayed with it, unlike many contemporaries up to the present day; interviewing Lady Gaga and enduring Rhiana's comically awful sounding 777 press junket. During that time he rose through the ranks from writer to editor; progressing from being roughed up by Elvis Costello's manager for looking like a hippy and writing for the Record Mirror, to sharing an office with Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant when they both worked for archetypal 80's publication Smash Hits, to being on friendly terms with the likes of Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin when he and David Hepworth set up Word. Throughout; he stayed in love with music and never lost a sense of fandom. Oh yes; and he was in a band with Tony Blair when they were both at University.
We get conversations with musicians like Noel Gallagher, Jimmy Page and Lady Gaga. We get first hand accounts of presenting LiveAid and we get genuinely interesting insights into the way in which the internet has fundamentally changed the music business and the magazine business. His writing is funny, affectionate, insightful and inventive and he has a lovely reading style. It's like being in a pub with your funniest mate. It's possible that all of the above has left you completely cold. I'm conscious that Ellen's writing about something I'm passionate about and he's covering a period from my early teens to the present day so this resonates with me. But if any of that resonates with you too this is a treat..
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
By M Broders on 02-06-14
Highly entertaining autobiography in music
What did you like most about Rock Stars Stole My Life!?
Mark Ellen reads, a huge plus, a very entertaining and enjoyable ramble through his life and how music has played its part in it. If you have any interest in rock/ pop music I would highly recommend.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
At times very funny, lovely anecdotes throughout the book.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful