INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Metro MAY 27, 2008 - by Jonathan Gibbs
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BRIAN ENO REVEALED
The time is certainly ripe for a proper full-length biography of Brian Eno, probably the greatest experimenter in British pop music since The Beatles.
You could write a book detailing just his gigs as producer - working with everyone from Bowie to Paul Simon via Talking Heads and U2 - without even mentioning his stint with Roxy Music, his solo albums, or his pioneering ambient music.
David Sheppard's On Some Faraway Beach is a thorough walk through this odd career, starting with Eno's upbringing in rural Suffolk and his immersion into the mid-1960s art-school scene.
The creative high jinks he got up to there would set the template for everything that would follow.
The book was written with Eno's co-operation and there are many useful and charming anecdotes, such as the musically illiterate members of Roxy Music trooping round to the house of Camberwell painter Tom Phillips for lessons with his teacher wife Gill.
Its big problems are the lack of a discography (surely a necessity) and Sheppard's frequent lapses into florid music journalist prose - 'However mortifying his tonsorial predicament...' and so on.
Thankfully, the more Sheppard gets stuck into the music, the simpler his writing gets.
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