Rating: 4 stars
I didn’t know much about Viv Albertine before I read Clothes Music Boys, other than that she had been in The Slits. I think I expected a typical celebrity memoir, but set in the punk era. The book is much more than that. Viv Albertine has had quite a life, and comes across as normal, real and incredibly strong. I really enjoyed meeting her.
Her memoir is a beautifully written and honest account of how hard it is for women to be accepted as creative, to be allowed into the boys’ club of rock music, to be true to themselves. Some awful, horrible things happened to her, but what shines through is her complete lack of bitterness and her unwillingness to play the part of victim. She has found her own way through encounters with drugs, violence and abuse. There are passages in the book that are harrowing, but powerful in what they tell you about the spirit of this woman. I liked her very much.