Stairway To Nowhere is the true story of late 1970’s, Birmingham, UK band Fàshiön.
In the brief spotlight of their fifteen minutes of fame, Fàshiön toured both the USA and UK as opening band for The Police, did a UK club tour with a then unknown band from Ireland called U2, opened for The B52’S on their first ever UK tour, and had a new band called Duran Duran open shows for them.The book tells the story of how four young, unemployed working class gits from the gutters of Brum donned make-up, attitude, weird clothes and swaggered forth to escape the dreaded clutches Birmingham’s car factory mentality by conquering the music business.
On their voyage of escape and discovery, Fàshiön encounter a plethora of the music industry’s sickest practitioners. Join them on their headlong flight up the stairway to nowhere, as they cobble together some of the most innovative and original pop music of the time.
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People Reviewed This Product
Aug 1, 2010
This is a great book about being in a band. It's not self-serving, nor is it overly modest(which I think I dislike more; if you're good, say so, dammit.) It's an unblinking and honest account of a band's rise to - and fall from - near-stardom. The trajectory of this journey is so well documented that you celebrate every piece of good fortune and curse every setback that befalls these plucky Brummies. I saw Fashion a few times and they were unique; there won't be another band like them. This should be a good thing, but this book goes part way to showing us why it isn't; The Birthday Party, for example, were never going to be as successful as Nick Cave is and maybe the world wasn't ready for Fashion... ...Or maybe it was; Luke walks us through the miriad factors that cause a band to unravel - including his own culpability as front man and main songwriter. As someone who knew and loved Fashion, I devoured this book in a couple of days but I urge anyone stumbling across it to jump right... More > in, whether or not you've heard a note of their music. Sure, you could read a biography of The Foo Fighters or Lily Allen or Jedward if you like but you learn a lot more from someone who had the talent, tried and failed than you do from someone who simply succeeded. This is a very funny, fast-moving and poignant account of a band's entire career from a to z. Recommended in spades.< Less
I love this book. Such a great inside look at a band struggling for stardom. Luke Sky, Fashion's front man, candidly writes about all the ups and the downs, the drugs, the sex and everything else that makes for a great Rock biography. Luke has a vivid style of writing that makes you feel like you are there. This is one of the best Rock and Roll biographies I've ever read.
If like me you are a fan of music bios then 'Stairway to Nowhere' is a must. All the usual suspects are in this two year history of three wannabee popsters' rise from rags to rags. There's sex drugs and rock and roll aplenty. Name dropping abounds and the gigs that range from armpit venues to large halls on both sides of the atlantic is familiar territory. Where this little gem of a book really shines is in the use of dialogue and story telling. The much used device of the list (first we did this, then we went there. afterwards we had....) employed by so many publications of this genre is enlivened with hilarious banter. Make no mistake, songwriter / guitarist Luke James is a muso who can actually write. From the first gig where the equipment is a pocket full of guitar leads; no back line, no groupies just a fist fight and back home on public transport to air conditioned limos and dressing room high jinks with the stars. It's rammed with energy, humour and even pathos in the closing... More > chapter when the band starts to fall apart. This is no ghost written, paper over the cracks, fan club special but a nuts and bolts confessional of the life and death of a working band. Don't miss it.< Less
A roller coaster ride of a book,deserving attention and praise. Unlike some other distilled and sugar coated autobiographies, this is a no hold barred, warts and all, telling of a working band, at the height of the punk era. Luke James writes with a raw energy, much like Fashions' music and stage performances. It was a time of much change...a Thatcher run country, was suddenly engulfed by the punk movement,which hoped to change the world. Within all of that though, the music business was much as it ever was, and forever will be, a money making enterprise, that sucks in and spits out artists, musicians and bands with equal glee and very little consideration. Lukes', and therefore Fashions' journey was exciting, exhausting, uncomfortable, but above all else, fuelled by an energy and desire to play live music. His descriptions of how it feels to play a perfect set on stage are almost poetic...the knowledge that, when Fashion played well, having the audience in a state of frenzy and... More > excitement, all the shit that occurred beforehand to get them to that point, is worth it and quickly forgotten. Unfortunately, those moments are fleeting and one gets a real feeling for all of the baggage that comes with trying to be in, and run, a successful band. We are treated to insights, via Fashions' tours in both the UK and USA, to the early years of The Police, Duran Duran and U2 to name but a few, who clinged to Fashions coat tails, before eventually overtaking them, but not necessarily through sheer talent. Wasn't it John Lennon, who said that The Beatles got to where they did, because they were the biggest bastards around at the time?. Decades later, nothing has changed. A refreshing honest and totally enthralling read. ENJOY.< Less
I'd recommend Stairway To Nowhere to anyone who enjoys reading about the excesses of the rock'n'roll lifestyle back when they knew how to excess. Motley Crue, Slash, and others have told of the high life of the headline act; this time round, the view is from the bottom of the bill. Fashion were a great band - inventive, an original sound and look, with good songs and great records - who were swept up in the commercial machine surrounding The Police, and used as make-weights in that organization. They dragged around Britain and then America on a grinding schedule of badly organized gigs, unfulfilled company promises, and decidedly sleazy after-show arrangements, propelled by Luke James' belief that he was paying his dues prior to getting his turn at the success trough. Their reward was to return to a Britain that had passed them by in favour of a new trend - 2-Tone and ska - and to discover that their record company had conveniently forgotten and ignored their existence. Their journey... More > is the story of the book, and it's a fast, funny, and infuriating journey. James' writing is light and hilarious, and Fashion's Birmingham-bred cynicism and sarcasm shines through and sustains them through endless setbacks. Of particular note is the non-stop comedy double act between Luke and his best friend, sound man Miki Cottrell. I knew them back then, and I can tell you it was like that! They never stopped. The Fashion story isn't all a downer, by any means. The exhilaration and joy of playing cranked-up rock to crazy crowds is well-described, and the passion that Luke James has always had for his music is well served. And his "US Tour" did introduce him to his beloved San Francisco and give him his eventual and well-deserved escape from the grey life of a Brummie Git. Give "Stairway To Nowhere" a try - it's a great read!< Less
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