Now in paperback: A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of The Smiths

The UK paperback edition of A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of The Smiths is published today, September 5th, by Windmill Books/Random House, precisely twelve months after the hardback first saw release. As often the case with these things, it’s the same book, with a more commercial cover, at a smaller size, and a cheaper price. Officially, the paperback retails for £9.99, half the RRP of the hardback. But Amazon is listing it for £7.19 and presumably, the major book stores will do their best to match. At almost 700 pages long, that’s a mere penny a page, and allowing for how bloody hard I worked on it, I’d call it a bargain. So if you found the initial edition a little too wieldy and pricey, now’s your chance.

A Light That Never Goes Out: the UK paperback

A Light That Never Goes Out: the UK paperback

While there are no differences in actual text between the two editions (minor errors having been corrected through various reprints of the hardback), this version of A Light That Never Goes Out represents my first ever mass-market paperback. To celebrate, I am going to give away a copy of any of my major biographies – The Smiths, R.E.M., Keith Moon, your choice – signed and personalized if desired, to the winner of the following competition, inspired by discussions around my various readings in the UK this summer.

Simply name your fave rock music biography, using the ‘reply’ box below – and state why, in fifty words or less. (Yeah, I know that’s a lot of words in these days of 140 characters, but you don’t have to use them all.) A week from now – September 12 – I’ll choose a winner based on the wit and wisdom of the various responses, and mail the book anywhere in the world. To avoid the influence of flattery, I am excluding any biographies by yours truly. Also, please note, biography (e.g. Dear Boy) is not the same as autobiography/memoir (Boy About Town) or social study (All Hopped Up and Ready To Go); you’ll have your chance to choose from the latter soon enough.

More on A Light That Never Goes Out at iJamming!, and at YouTube.

The UK paperback of A Light That Never Goes Out is available at all good bookshops and online

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14 Comment(s)

  1. 5 September, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    I’m gonna opt for “The Go-betweens” by David Nichols (Verse Chorus Press 2nd Ed). Context of emergent new wave in Australia in late 70’s early 80’s set out real nice in opening chapters. Subsequently, fascinating ‘who’s been sleeping with who’ revelations which come as something of a shock to their tender loving fans!

  2. Mark Eveleigh

    5 September, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Heavier than Heaven by Charles R Cross. Thoroughly researched and told in such an effecting way. Kurt Cobain’s eulogy.

  3. dave Butterfield

    5 September, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Shakey: Neil Young’s Biography – Jimmy McDonough
    McDonough’s epic, much-acclaimed account of Young’s life began as an authorised biography, but then Young got cold feet and stopped cooperating. The resulting book surveys the singer from a unique vantage point, McDonough enjoying unprecedented access, but ultimately free to broach difficult subjects.

  4. karen england

    5 September, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    June and Elvis were teenage sweethearts and spent an idyllic summer together in Biloxi, Mississippi – the last summer that Presley would enjoy as a (relatively) normal citizen. Juanico’s remembrance is easy reading, but thoughtful, evocative, and possessed of a genuine innocence. Thats “Elvis in the Twilight of Memory by June Juanico”

  5. Sally Williams

    5 September, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    I’d choose Peter Guralnick’s Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love – a heartbreaking story which reads like a novel – beautifully told.

  6. Gentleman_Dude

    6 September, 2013 at 8:17 am

    The One And Only Peter Perrett – Homme Fatale by Nina Antonia.
    One of the greatest songwriters ever laid bare in this honest account. His art is a work of lasting beauty, but man, what a cunt!

  7. Andy Barnett

    6 September, 2013 at 9:37 am

    David Barnett’s Suede biography is a ripsnorting insider’s view, full of sex, drugs,rock’n’roll and a ludicrous amount of Smiths puns. And I’m not at all biased because he’s my brother.

  8. Joey Spehar

    6 September, 2013 at 9:38 am

    I Was A Teenage Sex Pistol – Glen Matlock
    Though this technically an AUTObiography, it is a wonderful telling of punk rock’s earliest days from one of its earliest members. Glen was kicked out of his own band and replaced with a plastic rendition of what punk rock was “supposed to” be.

  9. Dave Jennings

    9 September, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Ray Davies; Not Like Everybody Else – Thomas M.Kitts
    Does a fantastic job of critically evaluating the career of one of the most unique characters in rock. As well as analysing the range of influences on his music,there are some classic, often hilarious, tales that illustrate the genius behind music that set trends but refused to follow any.

  10. 10 September, 2013 at 12:49 am

    Tony, in the battle of 70s punk rockers (Please Kill Me) vs. alt 80s indie underground stalwarts (Our Band Could be Your Life), I’ve got to tip the scales in favor of Legs McNeil’s great punk biog “Please Kill Me”, simply for sheer excitement and enthusiasm that comes across in these stories of how NYC punk rock emerged in the 1970s. Hat tip to Azerrad’s great book too. And totally enjoying your Smiths’ biog currently….

  11. paul

    11 September, 2013 at 6:09 am

    Chris Salewicz’s definitive biography ‘Redemption Song’. In these days of hype a timely reminder that although Strummer and The Clash educated many in both discovering music beyond their front door and politically. Though this synthesis was natural the book reminds us how human Strummer was with many nuances. This is where the book comes into it’s own: he was no saint but flawed like us all. Take hope!

  12. paul

    11 September, 2013 at 6:11 am

    Can I remove ‘although’ from the second sentence. Better syntax. Typing this on my mobile.

  13. paul

    11 September, 2013 at 10:21 am

    My word count is very poor too. So will just say it’s a fooking good read and goodbye to that signed book.

  14. 11 September, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Jon Ginoli’s _Deflowered: My Life in Pansy Division_ captures a pivotal moment in time, both in music as well as American culture in general. As arguably the first out gay rock & roll band, Pansy Division inspired and offended, and Ginoli tells the story of the band in enjoyable prose. Also, it was nice to learn that Green Day were nice guys.

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