Her story is so much more than a music memoir. Albertine's narrative is nothing less than a fierce correspondence from a life on the fringes of culture. The author recalls rebelling from conformity and patriarchal society ever since her days as an adolescent girl in the same London suburb of Muswell Hill where the Kinks formed. With brash honesty—and an unforgiving memory—Albertine writes of immersing herself into punk culture among the likes of the Sex Pistols and the Buzzcocks. Of her devastation when the Slits broke up and her reinvention as a director and screenwriter. Or abortion, marriage, motherhood, and surviving cancer. Navigating infidelity and negotiating divorce. And launching her recent comeback as a solo artist with her debut album, The Vermilion Border.
Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. is a raw chronicle of music, fashion, love, sex, feminism, and more that connects the early days of punk to the Riot Grrl movement and beyond. But even more profoundly, Viv Albertine's remarkable memoir is the story of an empowered woman staying true to herself and making it on her own in the modern world.
John Lydon is an icon—one of the most recognizable and influential cultural figures of the last forty years. As Johnny Rotten, he was the lead singer of the Sex Pistols-the world’s most notorious band. The Pistols shot to fame in the mid-1970s with songs such as “Anarchy in the UK” and “God Save the Queen.” So incendiary was their impact at the time that in their native England, the Houses of Parliament questioned whether they violated the Traitors and Treasons Act, a crime that carries the death penalty to this day. The Pistols would inspire the formation of numerous other groundbreaking groups and Lydon would become the unlikely champion of a generation clamoring for change.
Following on the heels of the Pistols, Lydon formed Public Image Ltd (PiL), expressing an equally urgent impulse in his character: the constant need to reinvent himself, to keep moving. From their beginnings in 1978 PiL set the groundbreaking template for a band that continues to challenge and thrive to this day, while also recording one of the eighties most powerful anthems, “Rise.” Lydon also found time for making innovative dance records with the likes of Afrika Bambaataa and Leftfield. By the nineties he’d broadened his reach into other media while always maintaining his trademark invective and wit, most memorably hosting Rotten TV on VH1.
John Lydon remains a captivating and dynamic figure to this day—both as a musician, and, thanks to his outspoken, controversial, and from-the-hip opinions, as a cultural commentator. In Anger is an Energy, he looks back on a life full of incident, from his beginnings as a sickly child of immigrant Irish parents growing up in post-war London to his present status as a vibrant, alternative hero.
The book includes 70 black-and-white and color photos, many which are rare or never-before-seen.
Every memoir is a battle between reality and invention - but in her follow up to Clothes, Music, Boys, Viv Albertine has reinvented the genre with her unflinching honesty.
To Throw Away Unopened is a fearless dissection of one woman's obsession with the truth - the truth about family, power, and her identity as a rebel and outsider. It is a gaping wound of a book, both an exercise in blood-letting and psychological archaeology, excavating what lies beneath: the fear, the loneliness, the anger. It is a brutal expose of human dysfunctionality, the impossibility of true intimacy, and the damage wrought upon us by secrets and revelations, siblings and parents.
Yet it is also a testament to how we can rebuild ourselves and come to face the world again. It is a portrait of the love stories that constitute a life, often bringing as much pain as joy. With the inimitable blend of humour, vulnerability, and intelligence that makes Viv Albertine one of our finest authors working today, To Throw Away Unopened smashes through layers of propriety and leads us into a new place of savage self-discovery.