Saturday, November 15, 2014

Book Review: I Know This Much: From Soho to Spandau by Gary Kemp

Goodreads says:

I Know This Much' tells the story of Spandau Ballet, but it's far more than a book about being in a band. Whether it's meeting Ronnie Kray before filming 'The Krays', sketching out the fashions and subcultures of the day, or hanging out with Princess Diana, this book offers a story on every page.

Sometimes I need a break from young adult fiction.  

I believe that my reading tastes are maturing.  I like to read biographies and other interesting stories. I want to read stories that inform and inspire me.  I want to read about adults my age, closer to it, or older.

So how do I know about Spandau Ballet at 31 years of age.  Well, I am into 80's music.  I have always liked their song "True" which was their big hit here in the United States.  The 80's British band may be a one hit wonder here in the States, but through my research, they were big in the UK.

A few years ago, I decided to find out if they had any other songs. And thanks to iTunes, I found their other music.  I started liking their music and found myself downloading it.  I stumbled across this book on the Internet and wanted to read it.  I didn't think that I could get the book here in the US until I found it on Amazon.  

You don't have to be a fan of Spandau Ballet or know who they are to be interested in reading the book.

The opening chapter takes place in a court room.  Why are they in court in the first place?  I have heard that they went to court, but I didn't know the story behind it.  Gary Kemp takes readers through his childhood, how the band came together, and their journey.  I found myself bulldozing through each chapter to find out what happens next.  I have to say that this memoir is well written.  

I learned bits of interesting facts throughout the book.

  1. Singer Sade didn't think that she could sing.
  2. Lead singer Tony Hadley was put under a Turkish rug to soften his voice.
  3. Spandau Ballet appeared on Soul Train.  I even found a clip on You Tube.
  4. R&B/Hip Hop/Pop artists have sampled the their music over the years. (Well, I actually knew some of the songs that used "True" as a sample.
  5. Gary Kemp was a child actor, and had a role in The Bodyguard.
As the story progressed, the pieces of the puzzle came together. I didn't think that this band could fall apart, but they came together again.  I don't want to give too much away.  

4 out of 5 stars
Personal digital copy purchased from Amazon