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Sonic Youth Slept on My Floor is writer/DJ Dave Haslam's gloriously well-crafted memoir, documenting his encounters with inspiring characters including Tony Wilson, Nile Rodgers, Terry Hall, Neneh Cherry, Tracey Thorn, John Lydon, John Peel, Ian Brown, Laurent Garnier and David Byrne. He interviews Johnny Marr and John Lydon; Sonic Youth sleep on his floor; he meets writer Sonic Youth Slept on My Floor is writer/DJ Dave Haslam's gloriously well-crafted memoir, documenting his encounters with inspiring characters including Tony Wilson, Nile Rodgers, Terry Hall, Neneh Cherry, Tracey Thorn, John Lydon, John Peel, Ian Brown, Laurent Garnier and David Byrne. He interviews Johnny Marr and John Lydon; Sonic Youth sleep on his floor; he meets writers including Raymond Carver and Jonathan Franzen; he discusses masturbation with Viv Albertine, and ecstasy with Roisin Murphy; he has a gun pulled on him at the Hacienda, a drug dealer threatens to slit his throat; and Morrissey comes to tea. In the late 1970s, a teenage John Peel listener and Joy Division fan, Haslam's face was pressed against a window, looking out at a world of music, books, ideas. In 2017, four decades later, he finds himself in the middle of that world, collaborating with New Order on a series of five shows in Manchester. Haslam builds a rich context to the story of those decades; a definitive portrait of Manchester as a music city; the impact of life-shaking events (from the nightmare of the Yorkshire Ripper to the shock of the Manchester Arena terror attack); and how music has soundtracked his life, his times, his generation. Sonic Youth Slept On My Floor is a masterful insider account of the Hacienda, the rise of Madchester and the birth of the rave era, and so much more . . .


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Sonic Youth Slept on My Floor is writer/DJ Dave Haslam's gloriously well-crafted memoir, documenting his encounters with inspiring characters including Tony Wilson, Nile Rodgers, Terry Hall, Neneh Cherry, Tracey Thorn, John Lydon, John Peel, Ian Brown, Laurent Garnier and David Byrne. He interviews Johnny Marr and John Lydon; Sonic Youth sleep on his floor; he meets writer Sonic Youth Slept on My Floor is writer/DJ Dave Haslam's gloriously well-crafted memoir, documenting his encounters with inspiring characters including Tony Wilson, Nile Rodgers, Terry Hall, Neneh Cherry, Tracey Thorn, John Lydon, John Peel, Ian Brown, Laurent Garnier and David Byrne. He interviews Johnny Marr and John Lydon; Sonic Youth sleep on his floor; he meets writers including Raymond Carver and Jonathan Franzen; he discusses masturbation with Viv Albertine, and ecstasy with Roisin Murphy; he has a gun pulled on him at the Hacienda, a drug dealer threatens to slit his throat; and Morrissey comes to tea. In the late 1970s, a teenage John Peel listener and Joy Division fan, Haslam's face was pressed against a window, looking out at a world of music, books, ideas. In 2017, four decades later, he finds himself in the middle of that world, collaborating with New Order on a series of five shows in Manchester. Haslam builds a rich context to the story of those decades; a definitive portrait of Manchester as a music city; the impact of life-shaking events (from the nightmare of the Yorkshire Ripper to the shock of the Manchester Arena terror attack); and how music has soundtracked his life, his times, his generation. Sonic Youth Slept On My Floor is a masterful insider account of the Hacienda, the rise of Madchester and the birth of the rave era, and so much more . . .

30 review for Sonic Youth Slept On My Floor: Music, Manchester, and More: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Greg Thorpe

    I’ve done the train journey from Blackpool to Manchester so many times it’s just a part of me, and even though Manchester these days is very nearly unrecognisable compared to my first visits back in 1993 (aged 15), sometimes I still feel the same thrill as I did back then, even after living here for 21 years. It happened again last week, the sun was blazing, the cooling towers began to replace the trees outside, ‘Shoot You Down’ by the Roses came on my headphones as I devoured a chapter entitled I’ve done the train journey from Blackpool to Manchester so many times it’s just a part of me, and even though Manchester these days is very nearly unrecognisable compared to my first visits back in 1993 (aged 15), sometimes I still feel the same thrill as I did back then, even after living here for 21 years. It happened again last week, the sun was blazing, the cooling towers began to replace the trees outside, ‘Shoot You Down’ by the Roses came on my headphones as I devoured a chapter entitled ‘What the World is Waiting For’ from Dave’s memoirs, ‘Sonic Youth Slept On My Floor’. At that moment I was so excited to be pulling into Manchester, I wouldn’t have swapped it for Tokyo, Sydney or the Lower East Side. But Manchester isn’t always shiny and bright, not then and not now, but there is some weird intoxicating mix that can’t be denied as I walk down the Oxford Road slope with my guitar. Everything has changed and nothing has changed. The first posters I see are for Noel Gallagher, Maxine Peake and Liam Gallagher. So Manchester. The posters cover the exterior of the old beloved wrack and ruin of Cornerhouse Cinema One where, on the pavement, a very young man is high and alone, nodding out in the morning sun. So so Manchester. Dave’s memoirs are Manchester warts and all, and I do mean warts – squats, dismembered gangsters, Ecstasy deaths, AIDS, racism, unemployment, suicide. But the dark is consistently outshone by the joy of being young, in love with music and each other, making a way out of no way. It’s hard to say if the main character is Dave or the city, but as the author points out, write the story of a city and you write the story of its people, and vice versa. Music is the third main character, of course, rarely off the page, providing rhythm, emotional vocabulary, and some familiar context for what is often the thrill of just rolling with the punches and Dave’s attempts to bring some meaning and order to the cultural and political chaos of 70s, 80s, 90s England, to find his place in it. The book is roughly chronological but individual chapters are pulled together thematically so that they can jump around in time, so what begins as a funny chapter on Dave’s signature no-nonsense haircut places you suddenly in the hospice on a Saturday morning in December 1985 when Dave’s Mum dies. It’s masterfully honest and terribly painful, and only the beginning of the rollercoaster of emotions that run throughout. This book to me is Dave’s ‘Best Of’ rather than a ‘Greatest Hits’. A ‘Greatest Hits’ is for playing in your car on a Saturday morning, all of the ace big hitters that please with their familiarity. A ’Best Of’ shows the work that is closest to the artist’s heart, so while we get our glorious insights into the Hac and Tony W and Gunchester, from a man who remembers absolutely everything, it’s Dave’s love of writing, of cinema, of his wife and children, Raymond Carver, the devilish detail of how much to pay Primal Scream, with or without percussion, John Peel, Paris, Brum, friendships, and the dirty lovely old streets of Manchester – this is where the real texture of this very special book lies.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Piers Haslam

    I've been a little unsure how to approach this review, for obvious reasons, but I told myself I would write one. Most of the points of reference in this book were a bit obscure to me... I don't have any great knowledge of the Haçienda or Madchester, so my reading was more focused on my interest in Dave, and the book is really moving in that regard. He talks very intimately and revealingly throughout the book. As any good memoir should, it does fantastically well at dwelling on how we understand I've been a little unsure how to approach this review, for obvious reasons, but I told myself I would write one. Most of the points of reference in this book were a bit obscure to me... I don't have any great knowledge of the Haçienda or Madchester, so my reading was more focused on my interest in Dave, and the book is really moving in that regard. He talks very intimately and revealingly throughout the book. As any good memoir should, it does fantastically well at dwelling on how we understand our pasts and create ourselves. I've been mulling over this a lot recently, so it was just lovely to hear somebody I know and like talk about it in detail. One point of reference I could grab onto, however, came in the twelfth chapter. I love reggae and dancehall, so my eyes lit up when Dave said that he occasionally played some at the Haçienda in around 1986. He says that if he ever played a Smiths record, he liked to put on some reggae directly afterwards. This was intended as a sort of spiritual counteraction against Morrissey's notorious statement that "all reggae is vile". An image immediately flashed into my mind: Morrissey languishing in smug disappointment as the hard, crude beat of "Under Me Sleng Teng" pulsates through the Haçienda. Though this never happened, I adored the image and Dave's subtle subversion which created it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    A really wonderful personal journey though art and music, Manchester and curiosity. Full of optimism, curiosity and warmth for music and culture.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kris Ball

    After frequenting the Hac on many nights I really enjoyed this book and knew of some of the stories Dave talked about. If you were into the early club and Manchester music scene ( late 80’s onwards) you’ll especially enjoy this

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mancman

    Picked up at an author reading at my local library. Mr Haslam arrived late due to train issues, but he was on sparkling form. The book is a joy to read, and transported me back to those heady days of the Hacienda. He forthright in his writing and doesn’t pull any punches. But it’s not written with vitriol, just his heart on his sleeve and passion for life and music.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Simon Hardman

    A DJ Made My Life A very enjoyable read and took me back to the Manchester of the Boardwalk, Hacienda and the Venue. However the rest of the book is equally as interesting and thought provoking with Mr Haslam’s view on the world being very similar to mine - though I’m not sure I could sell my vinyl collection!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mike Clarke

    Ten storey love song: as a paean to Madchester this isn’t half bad; as a memoir it’s got its moments but is about a hundred pages too long and feels like reading seventy issues of Debris stapled together. I feel rotten saying that, as Dave’s a lovely bloke (and spot on about Morrissey) who I used to see hanging about at gigs during my indie kid phase - typically 1987 at the Boardwalk watching a group called Emily or Talulah Gosh (wistful young men in stretched sweaters). He was one of those like Ten storey love song: as a paean to Madchester this isn’t half bad; as a memoir it’s got its moments but is about a hundred pages too long and feels like reading seventy issues of Debris stapled together. I feel rotten saying that, as Dave’s a lovely bloke (and spot on about Morrissey) who I used to see hanging about at gigs during my indie kid phase - typically 1987 at the Boardwalk watching a group called Emily or Talulah Gosh (wistful young men in stretched sweaters). He was one of those likeable, on-side straight blokes who liked all the right music so you knew they weren’t going to beat you up in an alley off Whitworth Street. I think Renny inherited his tenancy at 20 Amberidge Walk (she allowed me to be her friend for one summer but was way too cool for it to go on beyond that) and it was worth reading Sonic Youth Slept On My Floor to know that it’s the same Amberidge Walk referenced in Everything But The Girl’s Easy As Sin. The clubs in those days were, as he says, “a brilliant mix of black and white, locals and visitors...dental nurses and library assistants, lads in bands, Chorlton girls, Moss Side boys.” Flesh, too, gets a look-in: “the management reserves the right to refuse entry to known heterosexuals” and also the only time the Hacienda traded without gangs controlling the drugs - or the drags. And, bizarrely, even the Archway features, including the much-missed Harry and Wayne. Difficult though it is to escape the sensation that this is what Haslam himself calls “a proper midlife wobble”, it should appeal to those who lived through the God Created Manchester phase, even if I’m sure Hazell Dean should have merited a mention.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Luc Sponger

    Manchester, de kracht van de dansvloer, het voor her eerst zien van een fantastische band samen met 14 anderen maar ook de vragen en twijfels die horen bij ouder worden ... Dave Haslam’s memoires zijn met veel gevoel geschreven en een must voor iedere oude Indie fan of acid house head.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ipswichblade

    Superb book, an excellent memoir of Dave's time in music in Manchester, so much from my younger years and later years. Name checked a Smiths concert in Sheffield in 1983 that I was at and a New Order concert in Manchester in 2017

  10. 5 out of 5

    John Porter

    I thought this was OK for what it was. Decent picture of the time period and all, just found it was written by someone who I could only imagine being in love with the sound of his own voice. Some good stories and moments, but a little like listening to the pub bore.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Pekka

    This book filled the little dance floor in my head. Loved it!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gareth Kay

    Great and honest memoir of a man who has been around and part of some of the most important parts of British culture of the last 50 years

  13. 5 out of 5

    Derek Bell

    You'll wish you were Dave Haslam once you've finished reading this. He's lived the life I would love to have lived (even the low points) and continues to do so.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alan Fricker

    Fun but patchy. You need to know a certain amount of the music / bands. Great Happy Mondays fax machine anecdote

  15. 5 out of 5

    Udi Ehrlich

    A must-read for any music lover out there !

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chris Ball

    P

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Moran

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carl

  19. 4 out of 5

    Arne Volden

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Jackson

  21. 4 out of 5

    Susan

  22. 5 out of 5

    matthew j jones

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sandee

  24. 5 out of 5

    Stuart

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tony Darwall

  26. 4 out of 5

    John

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ian Bushell

  28. 5 out of 5

    Andy Weir

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kerri

  30. 4 out of 5

    Becki

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