By Max Hastings

It is a candid, warts and all portrait of a family members within the media within the mid 20th century. Hastings' formative years used to be now not quite satisfied - one tuition file announces that "his contemporaries don't love him...and they aren't undesirable judges of character" - and his angle to his mom and dad remained deeply ambivalent, yet his affection, relatively for his father, shines out from the textual content, and he can pay them a relocating tribute on the end.

He additionally treats his adolescence nanny with nice fondness. Her light nature and love of the soccer swimming pools concealed own sadnesses and loneliness. but, normally, his mean-spirited mom wrote in a newspaper column that nannies "dominate the home to an absurd degree."

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Extra resources for Did You Really Shoot the Television?: A Family Fable

Sample text

After a week, I headed north to Chicago. On the South Side I toured the declining blues clubs, most of whose customers were old and poor. The area was poised between its golden age, when it vied with Harlem for the role of capital of Black America, and the dismal last decades of the twentieth century when it spiralled down into violence and destitution. I introduced myself to Muddy Waters at Pepper’s Lounge, his home base. His band included stars in their own right, such as James Cotton on harmonica and pianist Otis Spann.

I repeated the experiment with Big Joe Williams a few months later, but despite lessons learned, his visit was almost as stressful as Estes’. I was beginning to grasp some of the recurring themes in my life: the tension when artists from a poverty-stricken community confront the spoiled offspring of the educated middle class and the conflict between the latter’s desire to hear the ‘real thing’ and the former’s desire to be ‘up to date’. Hearing traditional musicians when they first emerge from their own communities is a wonderful experience but impossible to repeat: the music is inevitably altered by the process of ‘discovery’.

Before long, prefab rockers like Fabian and Frankie Avalon started edging out the doo-wop groups. In a year or two, the rock’n’roll era was over, replaced by chirpy corporate pop. Like most non-conforming kids, we began to look further afield for our musical adventures. Chapter 2 THERE IS A NAÏF SKETCH from the 1820s of apprentices at a New York market watching black kids ‘dancing for eels’ on overturned stall tables. The white boys lean forward, fascinated by the exuberance of the dancers. Warwick and I and a few of our friends were like the boys in that old drawing, leaning towards a culture we sensed held clues for us about escaping the confines of our middle-class upbringing and becoming male sexual beings.

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