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Nicholas Waller What music biographies have you enjoyed? (65* d) RE: What music biographies have you enjoyed? 23 Nov 10

It's from a rather different angle than most music bios, but Ian Copeland's autobiography Wild Thing is a good read. Brother of manager and record co founder Miles III and Police drummer Stewart, Ian Copeland was mainly a booking agent in the 70s-90s. He discovered The Average White Band, toured Wishbone Ash (who rehearsed in his parents' basement) and dealt with several pre-punk bands in London. He then broke a lot of New Wave British bands in the US, such as Squeeze, The Cure and The Police, through relentless gigging in small clubs under the radar of the bigger venues and agencies.

All that stuff is interesting enough - plus squiring Marianne Faithfull and Courtney Cox, though he is mostly discreet about that - but he was also a soldier in Vietnam and spends time on that, and he was an academic fuckup and rebellious teen expat - when his siblings were more like straight arrows - in 1960s Beirut (hence "wild thing"). Actually, I discovered his book first through a segment that was then online when I was searching for stuff on Beirut a few years ago. He was ten years older than me and apparently lived about 300 yards away from me when I was a toddler in Beirut in the early 60s (his father Miles Copeland Jr was CIA station chief there, and a friend-cum-watcher of Kim Philby). Through friends, I got to meet his mother and daughter in France earlier this year; unfortunately, IanC died in 2006.

One folkish character we meet in London a few times is Al Stewart, as IanC was a flatmate of Stewart's manager. I like Al Stewart a lot, but sadly the bio of him by Neville Judd is a bit of an organisational mess and clunkily written. Conflicting opinions here, and I am at the less-flattering end of the range.

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