Sunday, 11 July 2010

#49 Thank You for the Days, by Mark Radcliffe (Simon and Schuster)

Autobiographies and biographies have been few and far between during this challenge, and although Thank You for the Days, by DJ Mark Radcliffe isn’t quite one of those, it’s definitely in that ballpark. Rather than follow the formulaic route of discussing his upbringing - and revisiting all those sentimental childhood episodes which bore most readers of autobiographies – Radcliffe has wisely opted to reminisce about a series of notable moments during his first 50 years.

So we have The Day I Took Bros into a Goods Yard, The Day I Introduced David Bowie on Stage and The Day I Heard That John Peel Had Died, and it works pretty well, all told. In the introduction, Radcliffe himself points out that a good deal of his life story isn’t even interesting to him, so ‘there’s no reason why anyone else should want to hear about it all’.

The collected snapshots do provide a fairly rounded picture, however, and Thank You for the Days is much like the self-deprecating Radcliffe himself, hugely knowledgeable about music, pretty funny at times, occasionally insightful and regularly entertaining.

I have a few criticisms. Some of it is overly sentimental and some of the comic asides are a bit obvious when written down but, equally, there are also some real hits, such as the time when Mark and colleague Lard upset Kylie Minogue by asking an unscripted question at a screening An Audience with… and the inside story of his sacking from the Radio 1 Breakfast Show.

So, rating time:

#49 Thank You for the Days, by Mark Radcliffe (Simon and Schuster) - 6/10

Next up: Acts of Violence, by Ryan David Jahn (Macmillan)

  • Click here for the full list of books so far, and their rating
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