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I Wanna Be Yours

John Cooper Clarke



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24 December 2020
This is a memoir as wry, funny, moving and vivid as only the inimitable John Cooper Clarke could deliver. His book will be a joy for both lifelong fans and for a whole new generation.

John Cooper Clarke is a phenomenon: Poet Laureate of Punk, rock star, fashion icon, TV and radio presenter, social and cultural commentator. At 5 feet 11 inches (32in chest, 27in waist), in trademark dark glasses, tailored suit, shock of black hair and mouth full of gold teeth, he is instantly recognizable. As a writer his voice is equally unmistakable and his own brand of sick humour is never far from the surface.

I Wanna Be Yours covers an extraordinary life, filled with remarkable personalities: from Nico to Chuck Berry; Bernard Manning to Linton Kwesi Johnson; Elvis Costello to Gregory Corso; Mark E. Smith to Gil Scott Heron and Joe Strummer and on to more recent fans and collaborators like Alex Turner, Plan B and Guy Garvey. Interspersed with stories of his rock and roll and performing career, John also reveals his mind-boggling encyclopaedic take on popular culture over the centuries: from Baudelaire and Edgar Allan Poe, to Pop Art, pop music, the movies, fashion, football and showbusiness - with more than a few laughs along the way.
By:   John Cooper Clarke
Imprint:   Picador
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 242mm,  Width: 163mm,  Spine: 49mm
Weight:   754g
ISBN:   9781509896103
ISBN 10:   1509896104
Pages:   480
Publication Date:   24 December 2020
Recommended Age:   From 18 years
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

John Cooper Clarke shot to prominence in the 1970s as the original 'people's poet'. Since then his career has spanned cultures, audiences, art forms and continents. Today, 'JCC' is as relevant and vibrant as ever, and his influence just as visible on today's pop culture. Aside from his trademark 'look' continuing to resonate with fashionistas young and old, and his poetry included on the national curriculum syllabus, his effect on modern music is huge.

Reviews for I Wanna Be Yours

[I Wanna Be Yours] might be the funniest book published this year. Few memoirists have had better material to work with: heroin addiction, years living in a squat with Nico, endless love affairs and a TV appearance with the Honey Monster. Talk about getting the most out of life. * The Times, Best Music Books of the Year 2020 * Manchester punk poet John Cooper Clarke takes a rather different approach to heroin addiction, treating it as a source of humour in his sharply observed, entertaining memoir . . . Relentless tragedy is always hilarious, he notes of his eventual recovery. At some point the laughter has to stop. * Daily Telegraph, Best Music Books of 2020 * Any autobiography that features both Bernard Manning and Nico is unlikely to disappoint; even less so when it's written with such brilliantly Dickensian vigour by the Bard of Salford, John Cooper Clarke . . .this fast, funny book catches his life in its lines * Sunday Times 'Music Books of the Year' * Sharply observed and entertaining * Telegraph 'Music Books of the Year' * I Wanna Be Yours could not be more entertaining, charming and optimistic . . . Its immense spirit-lifting qualities will do the despairing - and everyone else - the world of good * Strong Words Magazine * One of the most entertaining autobiographies of the year. Hilarious and inspirational in equal measure, it's the perfect panacea to the misery of 2020 * The Quietus * The bookshop shelves have been clogged up for years by musicians and artists who made their debuts in the sulphurous days of 1976-7, but I Wanna Be Yours, the autobiography of the punk poet John Cooper Clarke, aka the Bard of Salford , knocked most of the competition into a cocked hat. * TLS 'Books of the Year' * Elegantly sardonic . . . His writing remains spry and sparkly, sweary but sweet, with this book testament to how 'a half-arsed grafter with a rich vocabulary' became a kind of British institution * Uncut Magazine * One of the most magnificent and hysterically funny memoirs of modern times * Irish Times * Crafted, entertaining and educative * Mojo Magazine * Clarke's primordial gift for language is everywhere in this book. It is almost impossible not to read passages out loud - a meta reminder of his contribution to the joy of spoken-word performance. As Clarke puts it: 'Wherever people gather for amusement, that's where I'll be.' * Financial Times * The most entertaining and certainly the most culturally revealing book I have read this year -- D. J. Taylor * The Literary Review * John Cooper Clarke's life story has been stranger than most and it is told with great humour and penetrating honesty in his autobiography, I Wanna Be Yours * Choice Magazine * A naturally splendid tell-all * I newspaper * An exuberant account of a remarkable life * New Statesman * The most amusing autobiography of a literary aesthete you are ever likely to read * Telegraph * An immensely engaging memoir that fizzes with wit . . . Though he needs no such affirmation, it cements Clarke's status as one of the most distinctive voices in pop cultural history - it's impossible not to hear him read every word aloud in your head with that unforgettable Manc drawl - and reveals much about a remarkable life and career * NME * A compelling read with highs and lows aplenty, in every sense of the phrase . . . They say that every picture tells a story. Clarke takes that concept and turns it on its head as, from start to finish throughout the book, the words paint pictures so vivid you can see the Salford streets and smell the hair pomade. Take a dip into the weird and wonderful world of Dr John Cooper Clarke, he'll be there if you want him, ninety degrees in his shades * Breaking Glass Magazine * Riveting * The Observer 'Book of the Week' * I Wanna Be Yours is fantastically entertaining . . . As a writer of comic prose Clarke is the match of anyone alive, and his turns of phrase are as sharp as his suits (the view over 1950s Manchester from the fire escape behind his house was 'Coronation Street for a million miles'). His drawl is as much a part of his peculiar ars poetica as the words of the poems themselves. Every sentence he writes, you read in his voice. By the end of the nearly 500 pages of I Wanna be Yours I felt I'd not so much read a memoir as listened to an outrageous confession from a psychoanalyst's couch * The Times Saturday Review * It's impossible not to hear Clarke's voice, rhythmic & deadpan, while reading his memoir. Like his poetry,his prose style is wry and dry . . . Mad anecdotes & whimsical gags abound, but wisdom often lurks beneath the wordplay. * Guardian * ...nothing short of dazzling -- Alex Turner John Cooper Clarke uses words like Chuck Berry uses guitar riffs melody and anger, humour and disdain in equal measure. He's the real deal, really funny and really caustic, the velvet voice of discontent. -- Kate Moss I say to people, have you heard of John Cooper Clarke and if they say, yes, yeah he's an absolute genius and you just go, 'oh - ok, you've saved me a lot of time -- Steve Coogan A poet who writes about darkness and decay but makes people laugh, a human cartoon, a gentleman punk, a man who has stayed exactly the same for thirty years but never grown stale. John Cooper Clarke is an original -- Claire Smith * Scotsman * There are a legion of new young poets who rightly pay homage to Cooper Clarke -- Julian Hall * Independent * The godfather of British performance poetry * Daily Telegraph * John Cooper Clarke is one of Britain's outstanding poets. His anarchic punk poetry has thrilled people for decades and his no nonsense approach to his work and life in general has appealed to many people including myself for many years. Long may his slender frame and spiky top produce words and deeds that keep us on our toes and alive to the wonders of the world. -- Sir Paul McCartney

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