Author(s): Zoe Howe
Musically, culturally and in terms of sheer attitude, the Jesus and Mary Chain stand alone. Their seminal debut album Psychocandy remains one of the true classic pop albums with its white noise, Shangri-Las sweetness and drawling lyrics. This is the group Sonic Youth would have loved to be; the group who, according to manager Alan McGee of Creation, sparked a legendary Sex Pistols-style reign of terror throughout the 1980s; the group who are firmly back in the world's consciousness after years of feedback, fighting and drinking. The story begins in the bleak new town of East Kilbride, near Glasgow, at the dawn of the 1980s with two chronically shy brothers, James and William Reid, listening to music in their shared bedroom. What follows charts their stormy live performances, signing to Creation, fraternal tensions that rival those of the Gallaghers, and, ultimately, their total self-belief and passion.
Zoe Howe is a freelance journalist and author whose writing has featured in NME, the Guardian, Classic Rock, BBC Music, Channel4 Music, The Quietus website, Company and Marie Claire, amongst many others. She has interviewed artists as diverse as PolyStyrene, Biffy Clyro, Mariah Carey, Pete Townshend, Suggs and Human League. Her book, Looking Back at Me (Cadiz Music 2012), was written with Wilko Johnson, ex Dr Feelgood. Zoe lives in London, with her husband, jazz drummer Dylan Howe (son of Yes guitarist Steve Howe). Previous publications include Typical Girls (Omnibus 2009), the definitive biography of The Slits and How's Your Dad? Living in the Shadow of a Rock Star Parent (Omnibus 2010).