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Publisher's Summary

Tenement Kid is Bobby Gillespie's story up to the recording and release of the album that has been credited with 'starting the 90's', Screamadelica.

Born into a working-class Glaswegian family in the summer of 1961, Bobby's memoirs begin in the district of Springburn, soon to be evacuated in Edward Heath's brutal slum clearances. Leaving school at 16 and going to work as a printers' apprentice, Bobby's rock 'n' roll epiphany arrives like a bolt of lightning shining from Phil Lynott's mirrored pickguard at his first gig at the Apollo in Glasgow. Filled with 'the holy spirit of rock n roll' his destiny is sealed with the arrival of the Sex Pistols and punk rock, which to Bobby represents an iconoclastic vision of class rebellion and would ultimately lead to him becoming an artist initially in the Jesus and Mary Chain then in Primal Scream.

Structured in four parts, Tenement Kid builds like a breakbeat crescendo to the final quarter of the book, the Summer of Love, Boy's Own parties and the fateful meeting with Andrew Weatherall in an East Sussex field. As the '80s bleed into the '90s and a new kind of electronic soul music starts to pulse through the nation's consciousness, Primal Scream become the most innovative British band of the new decade, representing a new psychedelic vanguard taking shape at Creation Records.

Ending with the release of Screamadelica and the tour that followed in the autumn, Tenement Kid is an audiobook filled with the joy and wonder of a rock 'n' roll apostle who would radically reshape the future sounds of fin de siècle British pop. Published 30 years after the release of their masterpiece, Bobby Gillespie's memoir cuts a righteous path through a decade lost to Thatcherism and saved by acid house.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2021 Bobby Gillespie (P)2021 Orion Publishing Group

What listeners say about Tenement Kid

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B-R-I-L-L-I-A-N-T

A passionate, articulate, politically & culturally insightful memoir that perfectly captured punk - post-punk coming of age in the mid-late 80s. Thank you Bobby for this gift. I came to the book as an old Jesus & Mary Chain fan, appreciative of Primal Scream but not a die-hard fan,
and while I found his insider stories of these great bands amazing, it was actually the incredibly heartfelt and intelligent writing on everything B in and around these stories that cemented my love of this book. His outlining of the self-directed cultural education that some working class kids undertook in the 80s-90s through underground music - following the tentacles of film, literature, history, graphic arts that spread out from the fetishised album cover - could not be bettered by any writer.

I am SO glad that he narrated the book - how could you not? Hearing his voice seals the personal, authentic, and individual experience of the book. I did however listen to it at x1.1 to x1.2 speed for conversational speed!!

While the book stopped at the success of Primal Scream’s Screamadelica release I felt like there was more left to be said about Gillespie’s personal journey in life - as I would love to hear more of his full circle experience. A different book, for sure, but it would be good to hear his thoughts on coming to sobriety after years of hedonism as well as how culture & politics has evolved “post-rock” in neo-liberal world. He kind of presents a sunset view of drug use as wild and punk and liberating but we’ve all had to grow out of this or basically die or be ruined and while he hints at rehab or a bad trip I think if there’s one blind spot to the book it’s the lack of acknowledgment that at the end of the day extended use and abuse of drugs catches up with you - especially for fans who are not pop stars with royalties or connections or money for rehab. I get that that might not “fit” with the trajectory of the book nor necessarily be fun to write about but I can’t help thinking Gillespie would have something potent and interesting to say on the subject even if its conflicted.

Anyway overall a brilliant book!

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  • David L. Hamilton
  • 21-02-2022

Glad he doesn't sing like he narrates

Didn't get past chapter one without feeling suicidal at the narration and the story line.

Not for me thanks, rather than chuck myself in the Clyde, I'm away tae get ma rocks aff!

Stick to singing and performing, the Rev IM Jolly has got nothing on you.

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  • Graeme Hunter
  • 20-02-2022

Awful narration

The narration is just awful. What a long drawn out boring, boring, boring voice.
I can understand that he has to slow down his Glasgow accent so folk from elsewhere can understand him (I have the same accent) but OH MY GOD! This guy could put drying paint to sleep!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-02-2022

Narration challenging

Bobby's narration is hard work. Not sure I'll make it to the end. It's a decent biog but I would recommend reading it rather than listening.

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  • Truthful reviewer
  • 05-07-2022

Billiant life events & wonderfully told!

I really loved this. I was toying with getting it for a few months but so pleased I eventually got it. A very interesting story for anyone who loves music generally and an accurate depiction of life growing up early 70s, 80s and onwards. Really interesting, no nonsense, honest, factful and wonderfully told. 5star

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  • stephen
  • 03-06-2022

Loved Bobby’s narration

Brilliant, rather than a tale of “we were massive, we played to 100k people, did this/that, then released another platinum album, did more massive shows” the book is about his childhood growing up in working class Glasgow, his socialist parents and the journey to releasing his big breakthrough with Screamadelica. Amazing story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-05-2022

l

enjoyed it entertaining and informative enjoyed his voice and will listen to again thanks

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  • Jeremy Bayley
  • 23-05-2022

Fantastic

A thrilling read and listen, go for it!!
Why are you reading this, you could be reading Tenement Kid?

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  • paul mullen
  • 02-05-2022

Class

Tales of acid house and E - read by Bobby!
He’s has this poetic drone that draws you in and keeps you interested, one of the best bands to come out of Scotland

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  • Natalie Muir
  • 28-03-2022

Just brilliant

Love Bobby Gillespi even more after reading this...what a guy and what a story 👏 ❤ x

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  • Jamie Thompson
  • 28-03-2022

Great story, poor narration

I loved listening to this. A really evocative story, which covered a lot more than his formative career. I initially tried to return it as the narration was dreadful (Gillespie is a great singer, but his reading at the start wasn’t), with child-like discomfort, but he does grow into it over the course of the book. Perhaps if he re-recorded the first few chapters it would work better, but maybe he’s a one take guy.

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