Kindle Book 45. How Soon is Now?: The Madmen and Mavericks who made Independent Music 1975-2005 by Richard King.
Ah. This book. Brilliant. Brilliant and depressing because it was a history book full of history I lived through. That made me feel old. Lots of excellent stories behind lots of the music I love. And lots that I hated and now I know I was right.
There is also a thread of interesting thinking about the nature of independence, especially commercial independence - how useful it is, how hard it is, how rare and special. It made me want to start a record company.
"Each generation, to put it another way, rescues a new area from what its predecessors arrogantly and snobbishly dismissed as ‘the lunatic fringe.’"
"that’s what independence is, it’s about building structures outside of the mainstream, structures that can help you infiltrate the mainstream."
"From his first day at Blenheim Crescent, Dave Harper had noticed an atmosphere at Rough Trade, that of a company caught between its ideological motives and the reality of near bankruptcy."
"‘It’s a really hard thing to do. You have to choose: you can be on some kind of really small indie, or you can be on Polydor. One of them’s going to sell you tons of records and the other one’s going to be your mate, but it’s a really, really hard line to walk, one that’s almost impossible to get right."