Bobby Gillespie: “in Primal Scream we bragged about being able to take more drugs than any other band”

Bobby Gillespie: “in Primal Scream we bragged about being able to take more drugs than any other band”

These were the songs that, along with Velocity Girl, (I’m Gonna) Cry Myself Blind, Kowalski, Darklands and Accelerator, endowed Primal Scream from a power background almost unmatched in its field. They went from baggy al punk-grunge and then, with flying colors, onto the dance floor, before melting it all into an unmistakably rich mix of sonic petulance.

Born into a Glasgow working class family in the summer of 1962, the memoirs of bobby gillespie They start in the Springburn district, which will soon be evacuated in a brutal slum eviction. After leaving school at the age of 16 and going to work as a printer’s apprentice, Gillespie was soon impressed by Thin Lizzy and then by the Sex Pistols, which leads him to leave everything and dedicate himself to the music industry.

Soon he became the quintessential rock star, a curious mix of John Lydon and Mick Jagger, a frontman who became addicted to drugs with the same enthusiasm as to rock’n’roll. He quit drugs in 2008, although his passion for music has not diminished. It’s one of the many reasons why GQ has decided to celebrate this year.

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Did you write the book because you had the opportunity to do so or did you just feel the time was right?

Early last year, before all the Covid hysteria, I went into the studio and thought about what I wanted to do in 2020. I didn’t want to write another rock’n’roll record, because I knew we had Jehnny’s record. Beth ready to go. I wanted to challenge myself creatively and decided that I would try writing a book. Lee Brackstone had asked me to write a memoir when I was at Faber & Faber and I had always rejected his proposals. But I felt that the seed was planted and decided to give it a try. Lee started White Rabbit and it seemed like a natural fit.

How was the process of writing Tenement Kid?

I wrote a few pages of topics that I wanted to be covered, like family, class, education, work, violence and depression. Depression is actually too strong a word, but the effects of early childhood on my personality and how it has affected my relationships and my way of being with the world. I wanted to write about a working class person’s journey and the journey to become an artist. I wanted to write about Glasgow, about the areas I grew up in and some of the characters that I met when I was in school and even in preschool, because my memory is quite good. I wanted to write about politics, since I come from a quite political background. I wanted to write about how the class, the place and the environment affected me, so that other people could read the book and feel identified. Music and art were a portal to another world for me and they became the true way to educate myself, since the education I received in school was poor. Through my interest in pop culture I got an education that I never received in school.


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Bobby Gillespie: “in Primal Scream we bragged about being able to take more drugs than any other band”