Luke Haines's Memoir: Bad Vibes: Britpop and My Part In Its Downfall

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"Heinemann has secured the rights to a "blackly comic" memoir by Luke Haines, lead singer of cult nineties indie band The Auteurs.

Bad Vibes: Britpop and My Part in Its Downfall was acquired by Jason Arthur and will be published in January 2009. It has been described by the publisher as a "scathing, blackly comic memoir of a legendary figure in the music world of the 90's who is variously heralded as the pioneer, the godfather, or the forgotten man of Britpop".

The Auteurs formed in the early nineties and their first album, New Wave, was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize."

Pretty exciting. I've got it on preorder already.

teflon monkey, Saturday, 31 May 2008 02:35 (ten years ago) Permalink

Yes. I'd love to read that.

kornrulez6969, Saturday, 31 May 2008 04:14 (ten years ago) Permalink

oh man, that sounds awesome

scottpl, Saturday, 31 May 2008 05:13 (ten years ago) Permalink


Andy K, Saturday, 31 May 2008 05:20 (ten years ago) Permalink

On the other hand, I wish he'd work on some more music. That Christmas Number One track he did with Eddie Argos was fun and all, I guess. He was supposed to be working on 'The English Traveling Wilburys,' too... or maybe that was just a joke.

teflon monkey, Saturday, 31 May 2008 21:42 (ten years ago) Permalink

"i started this gangsta shit, and this is the motherfuckin' thanks i get?"

jeremy waters, Sunday, 1 June 2008 01:09 (ten years ago) Permalink

I hope this book concludes w/me stabbing him in the face. Coz I'm doing that next week.

Raw Patrick, Sunday, 1 June 2008 01:12 (ten years ago) Permalink

Now, why would you do that? Sure, his last album was a fair step backwards, but he still brings the LOLs.

teflon monkey, Sunday, 1 June 2008 01:16 (ten years ago) Permalink

WOW! Nominated for the Mercury Music Prize! Kudos, dude!

I dislike this bitter bore Even the things he hates are cliched. I've never heard of anyone claiming he's a pioneer or godfather of anything and don't you have to be "known" in order to become "forgotten"?

everything, Sunday, 1 June 2008 04:53 (ten years ago) Permalink

First of all, it's PR...

Second, he's an incredible songwriter

teflon monkey, Sunday, 1 June 2008 05:45 (ten years ago) Permalink

Given that Britpop was fundamentally rubbish while everything Luke Haines does is genius, he is probably not its godfather.

I agree with TM... Haines' big strength is his songwriting. Also his guitar-playing and nasty vocal style.

The Real Dirty Vicar, Sunday, 1 June 2008 11:27 (ten years ago) Permalink

I can never be arsed to read memoirs or autobiographies and this probly won't be an exception but Haines is Jesus and the bloke upthread who disagrees can fuck off and drown in a shallow puddle kthx.

Noodle Vague, Sunday, 1 June 2008 11:30 (ten years ago) Permalink

They're having SEX!
To the "Kids in America"

teflon monkey, Sunday, 8 June 2008 15:53 (ten years ago) Permalink

It's better than drugs
It's good to be in your home again
To be in your home again
To be in your hooooooome agaaaain

teflon monkey, Sunday, 8 June 2008 15:56 (ten years ago) Permalink

it's not not going to be awesome.

banriquit, Sunday, 8 June 2008 15:57 (ten years ago) Permalink

this better spark some lawsuits

MPx4A, Sunday, 8 June 2008 22:29 (ten years ago) Permalink

I've just started really appreciating Now I'm a Cowboy. "New French Girlfriend" and "Brainchild" are the best.

teflon monkey, Monday, 9 June 2008 15:59 (ten years ago) Permalink

Hopefully this will be the anti-John Harris.

Neil S, Monday, 9 June 2008 16:04 (ten years ago) Permalink

Hopefully this somebody will be the anti- stab John Harris.

Noodle Vague, Monday, 9 June 2008 16:05 (ten years ago) Permalink

how can you release a book claiming to be the godfather of something you dismissed and tried to distance yourself from at the time? sounds like having your cake and eating it to me

braveclub, Monday, 9 June 2008 16:20 (ten years ago) Permalink

it says he is 'variously hailed as' that, not that it's something he'd self-apply, i.e. WELCOME TO MARKETING.

banriquit, Monday, 9 June 2008 16:27 (ten years ago) Permalink


Noodle Vague, Monday, 9 June 2008 16:34 (ten years ago) Permalink

Well, yeah.

Mark G, Monday, 9 June 2008 16:36 (ten years ago) Permalink

Goes alongside Martin Hannett's "best friend" Colin Sharp's book blurb.

Mark G, Monday, 9 June 2008 16:38 (ten years ago) Permalink

uh the TITLE of the book is not the blurb on the back!

braveclub, Monday, 9 June 2008 17:44 (ten years ago) Permalink

Author of "HI DERE I AM HITLER'S GODFATHER" pictured below.

energy flash gordon, Monday, 9 June 2008 23:22 (ten years ago) Permalink

Found this elsewhere:

OFF MY ROCKER is the blackly comic memoir of Luke Haines, founder member and acclaimed singer songwriter of the Auteurs, Baader Meinhof and Black Box Recorder and a legendary figure in the music world where he is variously heralded as the pioneer, the godfather or the forgotten man of Britpop.

In OFF MY ROCKER he remembers the early years of non-recognition: living on the dole and taking his kit on a tractor-tailor to the empty concert halls to the sold-out tours, rivalries with contemporaries such as Suede and Blur, losing the 1993 Mercury Prize award by one vote (and the resultant spell in A&E in the dark hours of the following morning) the fights, the sackings, the press and of course the drugs. Haines has lived it all. Some of the most famous names in the music industry of the 80s and 90sā€“ Alan McGee, Bobby Gillespie, The Go-Betweens, Suede, Sting, St Etienne, New Order, Elastica, Blur, Boo Radleys, The Verve, Oasis, Jarvis Cocker and Pulp, Kurt Cobain, Payul, McCartney, Iggy Pop, Steve Albini and Metallica ā€“ appear anecdotally. In the book and Haines is never anything less than acute, observant and witty about his contemporaries.

OFF MY ROCKER takes an even darker turn when Haines throws himself from a wall in Spain, an incident, which leaves him in a wheelchair for six months. Although it inspires him to do some of his finest work, the commercial failure of After Murder Park and Baader Meinhoff prompt his to embark on a surreal period of self-administered medical procedures. The final chapter of the book takes place when Haines, now fully restored, returns from self-imposed exile with a new band Black Box Recorder. They begin recording their new album England Made Me on the same day that New Labour comes into power. The book ends in August of that year with two deaths: those of Diana, Princess of Wales and Britpop.

teflon monkey, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 10:54 (ten years ago) Permalink

lol it's gonna be impossible to tell how much of this is "true" right? Except the bits where he says how all those shit bands are shit.

Noodle Vague, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 10:56 (ten years ago) Permalink

I wonder if the wife will help him write it...

suzy, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 11:06 (ten years ago) Permalink

Who's the wife?

teflon monkey, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 21:49 (ten years ago) Permalink

Mrs Haines.

I wonder how their career would have panned out had they won the Mercury prize that year instead of Suede. As much as I love them they weren't a band the great British public were going to love, a little too sour,a touch too nasty.

Billy Dods, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 22:02 (ten years ago) Permalink

What doesn't make sense is why "New French Girlfriend" wasn't huge.

teflon monkey, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 22:05 (ten years ago) Permalink

he had a go at bernard butler for giving the MERCURY cash to a cancer charity after they were beaten to the prize by suede. benard's dad had died from cancer earlier that year. laughs galore then.

piscesx, Thursday, 12 June 2008 04:06 (ten years ago) Permalink

Who's the wife?

MPx4A, Thursday, 12 June 2008 09:01 (ten years ago) Permalink

aka "Sian Solanas"

MPx4A, Thursday, 12 June 2008 09:01 (ten years ago) Permalink

Ha ha ha, now that's funny.

teflon monkey, Thursday, 12 June 2008 23:26 (ten years ago) Permalink

"The goal posts have moved. With Blur and Oasis, it was the first time any of those bands were starting to have real chart success. Suede really upped the anti and the whole bullshit of the Blur/Oasis thing was the idea that this was something new and different, that these were guitar bands who were exciting, when really they were just light entertainment. They had to go light entertainment to get to that point of selling shitloads of records. To me it didn't look like any kind of real battle, it just looked like Freddie and the Dreamers vs Herman's Hermits. You know, they should be on at teatime at the London Palladium. More derivative stuff. Write your own record!"

Oasis destroyed so much.

"We had a man here who proudly claimed he never read a book. Shut up, moron. I don't mind his bluff northern demeanor at times, but you know, what's that line... 'Slowly walking down the hall / faster than a cannonball'? How did he get away with that? Hahaha. If we still had the stocks, that man would be in them."

teflon monkey, Thursday, 12 June 2008 23:39 (ten years ago) Permalink


I'll bet anyone here Luke Haines never wrote a bad song with The Auteurs.

teflon monkey, Monday, 23 June 2008 20:06 (ten years ago) Permalink

Or used a metaphor where a simile would do!

Mark G, Monday, 23 June 2008 20:46 (ten years ago) Permalink

Talk to the hand

"Seminal music genre...featured Menswear and Thurman...Ooh, don't get me started...Changed your life, didn't it? Cast at the Dublin Castle, tracksuit tops, Paul Weller back on top. Best days of my f**king life...All of which fails to explain why you mongs forgot to vote for me in the readers' poll. Can't-f**king-read-ers poll, more like. Wankers."

teflon monkey, Tuesday, 24 June 2008 00:23 (ten years ago) Permalink

he's married to sian pattenden? sian pattenden from select magazine?

thats like a bizarro world Posh'n'Becks.

Hamildan, Tuesday, 24 June 2008 10:47 (ten years ago) Permalink

the same. or, to put in in sian style, the "same."

banriquit, Tuesday, 24 June 2008 10:48 (ten years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

He's gonna play all the hits that we knew,
All of the new album too,
It's good to have something in these times to look forward to!

teflon monkey, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 23:49 (ten years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

I'm reading the book at the moment... it is a barrel of laughs. I like how honest Haines is about what a total cockfarmer he is. There is a bit in particular where the band are flying back from a tour to Japan, on which Haines has been playing creepy mind games with them all, and his girlfriend and bass player breaks down into floods of tears... the others have loved ones to go back to and a life outside the band, but she is stuck with old Haines.

The Real Dirty Vicar, Thursday, 13 November 2008 13:19 (ten years ago) Permalink

I find the idea of Haines marrying a music journalist amusing, given that he hates them.

The Real Dirty Vicar, Thursday, 13 November 2008 13:20 (ten years ago) Permalink

I read this at the weekend. It was good. Martin Carr isn't going to enjoy it. I also hope that when the proof copy becomes an actual copy, no-one notices that he spells Mu-Ziq as Muzique several times

The Slash My Father Wrote (DJ Mencap), Thursday, 13 November 2008 14:02 (ten years ago) Permalink

gah, this is isn't out til next year?

Glans Christian Christian christian Christian Andersen (MPx4A), Thursday, 13 November 2008 15:37 (ten years ago) Permalink

I was a doe-eyed siren

so is this

he also says in the book that he liked Modern Life is Rubbish, and explains in punishing detail what many of his songs are "about"

Glans Kafka (MPx4A), Wednesday, 21 January 2009 11:44 (ten years ago) Permalink

Wener should be careful about using terms like "perennial underachiever." If she'd concentrated in the nineties on making decent music rather than giving "good" interviews to the music press perhaps her records wouldn't be cluttering up the racks of every charity shop in 2009.

Ben E Gesserit (Marcello Carlin), Wednesday, 21 January 2009 12:26 (ten years ago) Permalink

Yeah, but she did have the chart run, right? Admittedly with the downward curve at the end, but still...

Mark G, Wednesday, 21 January 2009 12:27 (ten years ago) Permalink

So did Robson & Jerome.

Ben E Gesserit (Marcello Carlin), Wednesday, 21 January 2009 12:29 (ten years ago) Permalink

true, but you wouldn't call them undeerachievers either.

Mark G, Wednesday, 21 January 2009 12:30 (ten years ago) Permalink

I'm anxious to find out who the 70's Cult Legend mentioned in the book is, anyone know?

I could only think of Kevin Ayers but I know that must be wrong.

MaresNest, Wednesday, 21 January 2009 12:55 (ten years ago) Permalink

I like how he just refers to Banbury as "The Cellist" throughout

The whole Cellist thing is weird... Haines just hates him for no obvious reason, and then at the end (spoiler) he seems to reconsider and start liking him. That was nice.

The Real Dirty Vicar, Wednesday, 21 January 2009 13:22 (ten years ago) Permalink

has anyone ever read any of Louise Wener's books?

I wonder has she learned a new facial expression.

The Real Dirty Vicar, Wednesday, 21 January 2009 13:24 (ten years ago) Permalink

My gf read her first. She said it was shit.

I remember a particularly bad article she wrote for the Guardian which pretty much said that she was the first woman ever to give birth.

Glansel & Gretel (Raw Patrick), Wednesday, 21 January 2009 13:27 (ten years ago) Permalink

The very definition of tl;dr

Glansel & Gretel (Raw Patrick), Wednesday, 21 January 2009 13:30 (ten years ago) Permalink

I wonder has she learned a new facial expression.

Gormless hamster has got her this far...

Beloved lightbulb (Neil S), Wednesday, 21 January 2009 13:31 (ten years ago) Permalink

when i saw Sleeper she performed without wearing shoes, which led to me hating her forever until the end of time

akm, Wednesday, 21 January 2009 14:30 (ten years ago) Permalink

Hating someone for not wearing shoes is rather bootless.

moley, Wednesday, 21 January 2009 14:36 (ten years ago) Permalink

It shows a distinct lack of sole.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 21 January 2009 14:46 (ten years ago) Permalink

Hell regret claiming that.

Beloved lightbulb (Neil S), Wednesday, 21 January 2009 14:47 (ten years ago) Permalink

doh HEEL!!! oh forget it...

Beloved lightbulb (Neil S), Wednesday, 21 January 2009 14:48 (ten years ago) Permalink

the cellist bites back :

mark e, Wednesday, 21 January 2009 23:22 (ten years ago) Permalink

sorry meant to point to the comments section.

mark e, Wednesday, 21 January 2009 23:46 (ten years ago) Permalink

Good article. About time someone other than me stood up and said it.

Ben E Gesserit (Marcello Carlin), Thursday, 22 January 2009 11:09 (ten years ago) Permalink

Also reminds me that I need to sift through my two years of shitty unsellable promo singles to see if any of those pre-Hype Bands bands are in there on the offchance that some mong fancies paying me to let them own them

Pescetarian Reich (DJ Mencap), Thursday, 22 January 2009 11:22 (ten years ago) Permalink

Well, the TingTings used to a portisheady type band called Eskimo buttox, or something. Their one and only single is going on ebay thesedays for, ooh, a fiver?

Mark G, Thursday, 22 January 2009 11:51 (ten years ago) Permalink

Dear Eskimo. I got a tenner for my copy.
Happy days.

mark e, Thursday, 22 January 2009 12:30 (ten years ago) Permalink

Does he mention what band he's talking about in American Guitars?

kornrulez6969, Thursday, 22 January 2009 16:29 (ten years ago) Permalink

Does he mention how fat he's got?

ledge, Thursday, 22 January 2009 16:30 (ten years ago) Permalink

Does he mention what band he's talking about in American Guitars?

It's not about a band in particular, and I think he thinks everyone misinterpreted it. I'll elaborate later if no-one else has. Disappointing lack of explanation of Idiot Brother, which is about Clive Solomon I think?

Which is the band from this line-up that travelled with the Auteurs, Oasis and (the) Verve?

An interesting thing I've noticed is bitter unsuccessful musicians (Haines, Paul Draper) using Bittersweet Symphony as some sort of pivotal 'what we were up against' thing, but either the Verve spent about 4 years working on it or people have poor memories.

chord simple (j.o.n.a), Thursday, 22 January 2009 16:42 (ten years ago) Permalink

Early 90s London is full of derivative charmless bands clogging up the live circuit. Everybody seems to be in thrall to the American bands on the ultra hip Sub Pop label, Tad and Mudhoney. Dinosaur Junior (sic)are lauded on a weekly basis. Nirvana's instant classic Nevermind is everywhere. I am working on a new song called 'American Guitars': part sarcastic riposte to British bands who cannot find their own voice, forever worshipping at the altar of US rock, part self-mythologising history of my fledgling band. Soon the British press will pick up on 'American Guitars', proclaiming it some sort of battle cry against the marauding Yanks. It won't be long before Britpop rears its ugly head, bobbing about on the perimeters, then brazenly cavorting around on centre stage like an attention-seeking moron.

chord simple (j.o.n.a), Thursday, 22 January 2009 21:19 (ten years ago) Permalink

Haines should have been in Singles.

Andy K, Thursday, 22 January 2009 21:40 (ten years ago) Permalink

ledge, capital lol

Wax Cat, Thursday, 22 January 2009 21:43 (ten years ago) Permalink

Which is the band from this line-up that travelled with the Auteurs, Oasis and (the) Verve?


mark e, Thursday, 22 January 2009 21:56 (ten years ago) Permalink

Yeah, when I saw the line-up they jumped out immediately.

Another bit on American Guitars:
The other group was called the Auteurs. They were not as popular as the Suede group, although they had better songs. One of these songs was called 'American Guitars'. Some of the lance corporals of the kingdom of Britannia thought they heard a story in the song about an ancient mythical war between Britannia and the old kingdom of America. In their excitement the lance corporals hadn't listened to the words of the song properly. Nevertheless, it gave them an idea about a new kind of music for the children of Britannia. They announced their idea in Select magazine in April 193.

chord simple (j.o.n.a), Thursday, 22 January 2009 22:10 (ten years ago) Permalink

They announced their idea in Select magazine in April 193.

Aw what a waste of a good typo, 1913 would have been funny.

anatol_merklich, Friday, 23 January 2009 06:40 (ten years ago) Permalink

Aw, that was mine and all, rather than the sloppy editing in the book.

chord simple (j.o.n.a), Friday, 23 January 2009 08:21 (ten years ago) Permalink

essentially a Mod Revival Revival

essentially a reynolds stan stan, quoting leading morrissey apologist k-punk on how not making jungle music is racist, a meme almost as boring as "omfg the bbc reported on two singles being released on the same day!11!1!!" -- which needless to say also gets a look-in.

top marks for using 'provincial' as pejorative and bigging up that fascist fuck wyndham lewis.

special guest stars mark bronson, Thursday, 29 January 2009 18:42 (ten years ago) Permalink

o/t but is it a tendency that the people who most front with the "techno is FUTURE MUSIC, how could you possibly listen to SONGS by people holding GUITARS" babble actually tend to be people who got into the dance music late and still keep a flame for the indie rock of their youth?

this guy's last blog entry is something about those fearless revolutionaries pulp; and the cases of reynolds and k-punk are too obvious to labour.

i suppose one problem with life, and people, is that they are complicated and sometimes like different sorts of music at the same time, or like different aspects of different musics for different reasons.

but no, maybe not, maybe liking denim and saint etienne is just racist.

special guest stars mark bronson, Thursday, 29 January 2009 18:59 (ten years ago) Permalink

1995/96 was also a pretty lame time to be cheerleading for techno as musical revolution, as much as plenty of good stuff came from that period

Peter Andre Test Tube Babies (DJ Mencap), Thursday, 29 January 2009 20:51 (ten years ago) Permalink

lol at john harris "ennobling" anything.

joe, Thursday, 29 January 2009 21:07 (ten years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Confirms a follow up book, "Yep".

Born too beguiled (DavidM), Tuesday, 10 August 2010 21:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

Read Bad Vibes in about 4 or 5 hours. Amazing book. I guess it might not make a whole lot of sense to people who aren't intimately familiar with Haines' oeuvre up to the beginning of Black Box Recorder. Regardless, I think the writing is funny and vivid enough to draw anyone in. Have his follow-up coming in in a few days. Can't wait. Seems like that book didn't attract much attention considering his career post-BBR/Auteurs isn't as interesting to the public.

Loved the bit about Liam sucking on an ice lolly as he waves at Luke from across the street.

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 14 January 2013 16:27 (six years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Man, I loved Bad Vibes, but Post Everything is pathetic. Just felt like a rambling mess with no real sense of purpose.

afriendlypioneer, Wednesday, 8 May 2013 14:41 (five years ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...

I got the audiobook, read by the man himself. Loads of fun, and it's only $7.99

kornrulez6969, Saturday, 3 May 2014 16:47 (four years ago) Permalink

His last two albums are pretty great. I'm not too sure about the new one. "Lou Reed Lou Reed" is terrible and "Alan Vega Says" didn't seem too great either.

I like the sound of this, though:

BV: What do you do when you're not making music?

LH: I've actually got a thing in the Berlin Festival in July with a guy called Scott King. It's a "micro-opera" thing with visuals. It's about Mark E. Smith of The Fall going on a caravan holiday. Do you have caravans in the States, what old people go off in when they retire?

BV: We call them RVs here. Winnebagos.

LH: Right. RVs. So anyway the opera is about that. It's a short thing, with actors and everything. It's very "art." The opera's called Adventures in Dementia.

I like him when he just sounds like a guy who's into his own thing. The acerbic antichrist of Britpop persona he's got isn't a winner.

afriendlypioneer, Saturday, 3 May 2014 20:56 (four years ago) Permalink

It isnt a winner but he's spent half of career basing himself on what he isnt, he isnt necessarily tiresome but all that shit is

Master of Treacle, Saturday, 3 May 2014 21:30 (four years ago) Permalink

I like Alan Vega says. He's got a shtick just like Lou Reed did. He is still making interesting music which is more than can be said of the rest of his 90s contemporaries.

My favorite song he ever wrote could be Fighting In The City Tonight, which is an unheralded masterpiece from a sol record. I even like his voice.

kornrulez6969, Sunday, 4 May 2014 01:59 (four years ago) Permalink

The new one is surprisingly getting great reviews.

afriendlypioneer, Wednesday, 14 May 2014 14:43 (four years ago) Permalink

Luke Haines is such a country singer name.

how's life, Wednesday, 14 May 2014 14:59 (four years ago) Permalink

now i'm a cowboy

afriendlypioneer, Wednesday, 14 May 2014 15:03 (four years ago) Permalink

always wers

Mark G, Wednesday, 14 May 2014 16:10 (four years ago) Permalink

can't get excited about it

afriendlypioneer, Wednesday, 14 May 2014 17:45 (four years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

god now i'm a cowboy is phenomenal. it has this sinister undercurrent--i think it's just the cello--that makes me feel all kinds of things. it's also a very nostalgic album for me. on the other hand, this new song...

why do all his new songs sound the same? i can't put my finger on it.

afriendlypioneer, Friday, 13 April 2018 19:40 (eleven months ago) Permalink

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