What We've Been Reading: Wareham's Bummer

Black Postcards: A Memoir
[Penguin Press-2008]

When we finally got round to sifting thru our pile of promotional copies of books from last year, we got to reading the purported memoir by the Galaxie 500/Luna front man, and remembered something a dear friend and fan of the latter once told us:

"You know, one of my favorite bands, Luna had a bunch of albums, very loyal fans, got to travel outside the U.S. quite often, had their music on NPR, movies, the Late Night show and yet kept complaining about how difficult it was for them. I had a problem making sense of that but then I got it. They wanted to hit it REAL big and big is so subjective.

I think Luna was wrong. They were successful in my eyes. It seems that where so preoccupied with making it real big that they forgot to enjoy the ride. That's too bad."

Yeah, there's plenty of that in Black Postcards, which reads more as a tour diary+ than as a memoir. Throughout, Wareham moans and gripes about a lack of success; rags on artists he dislikes, while delving into his fair share of hypocrisy (calling Guns 'n' Roses "pigs," but later has Luna cover their "Sweet Child O' Mine" in the hopes of landing greater exposure for the band); and sprinkles in relatives--particularly his drug-addicted brother Anthony--as phantom characters in a futile attempt to make things a bit more engaging.

In the end, Black Postcards reads like the written word version of much of Wareham's music: not too loud, not too intense, rather whiny and only of interest to anyone who has a predisposition to liking it. Not a bad read, but not a terribly stimulating one, either.


Todd Totale said...

I loved this book, probably because I share of lot of Wareham's type of humor. I took a part straight out of it once, and replaced the insert of my boss' nametag on his cubicle with "The Lady."
If you haven't seen it, check out the dvd Tell Me Do You Miss Me.

Kiko Jones said...

I wasn't a fan of either Galaxie 500 or Luna--I enjoyed the former's "Blue Thunder", but not much more--although I didn't dislike them either. Reading this book didn't do much in the way of encouragement, I must say.