Bodies by Ian Winwood
The music industry has always been awash with the blood and vomit from drugs, drink and risky behaviour and yet other than references to televisions and swimming pools and that unhelpful (still) walking cliche, Keith Richards, the hangover (and damage done) is more or less ignored. Musicians die because they can’t handle ‘it’. Or they had a ‘bad reaction’ to that 30th shot of vodka. Or the vile cocktail of booze and barbiturates was ‘one over’ the recommended rock-star limit. Bodies (Life and Death in Music) investigates all this with countless examples of how the consequences of ‘life on the road’ are ignored because, among other things, it’s a money loser that affects the ever-important bottom line. For the music industry, and record companies who prop it up, the show must go on no matter what (at this point in the review please refer to Asif Kapadia’s Amy doc). It’s also a very honest, and occasionally raw, shadow history of Ian Winwood’s life as a rock journalist and how he, somehow inevitably, gets drawn into the risky behaviour he sees on a daily basis. Eventually concluding that the music industry’s nudge nudge wink wink calling card of fringe benefits (insert intoxicants of choice) is negligent because it’s not there to offer support or help after the sex, drugs and rock n roll have done their damage. And, sure, as befits an ex Kerrang writer it’s no surprise that the stories found within are for the most part focussed on white male rockers but, despite this, Ian Winwood deserves plaudits for going where most rock writers have feared (and continue to fear) to tread. Maybe hotel televisions and swimming pools can finally coexist in peace. If so, thanks will be due, in part, to Ian Winwood’s brilliant and brave Bodies.
Bodies – Ian Winwood – publ. Faber - £14.99