Review: How To Be A Rock Star by Shaun Ryder
By Classic Pop | September 29, 2021
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Few have lived the (literally) high life of rock stardom with more fervour than Shaun Ryder – tales of debauchery are as synonymous with the Happy Mondays frontman as his music. Presented as a series of monologues on how to, or how not to navigate your way through the music business, Ryder’s self-deprecating humour takes the edge off revelations that have provoked more severe reactions when disclosed by other artists.
Who else, for example, could tell a story about talking their way out of a police raid where they were busted buying heroin on the grounds that they were late for picking up a ‘Godlike Services To Music’ gong at the NME Awards and make it hilarious?
On a more serious note are the stories of being the archetypal struggling artist, scheduling gigs around signing-on days so as not to lose their dole money or travelling back to Manchester from Top Of The Pops so that a band member could do his shift as a postman the next morning.
Ryder also tells tales of being so hungry that the Mondays had to ask bands for food from their riders and the time he had to sleep on a tourbus the night before a major homecoming gig in Manchester on account of his homelessness.
Chopped up into sections dealing with all aspects of the industry, from recording, image, touring, drugs, reunions, managers, awards and interviews, How To Be A Rock Star is a turbulent ride from Glastonbury to Gogglebox and beyond.