Books · Music

Richard Lloyd – Everything is Combustible

Ricard Lloyd Evertything is Combustible

I recently enjoyed Richard Lloyd’s memoir, which came out toward the end of 2017.

The sex and drugs parts of the book are pretty much as you’d expect, but the rock and roll bits are fascinating.  Born in 1951, Lloyd was just the right age at the end of the 60s and the start of the 70s to be roughed up by Jimi Hendrix; given a guitar lesson by John Lee Hooker; supplying dope to Led Zeppelin; and able to be excommunicated from the court of Keith Richards and live.

He displays a comprehensive memory of his infancy and describes in detail how he lay in his cot working out how to move with the body he had been given.  Every experience was a source of fascination for the young Richard, who claims to have lived the rest of his life with perfect recall of everything that happened to him.

It’s almost worth the price for the chapter called “Recording Marquee Moon” alone, but I’m a bit biased there.  There are clearly still aspects of Tom Verlaine’s behaviour which rankle with Lloyd and he articulates his frustration without bitchiness, while being well aware of the quality of their work in Television.  He’s rightly and unabashedly proud of the work if not always the messy process of its creation.

Lloyd starts off with a pacey, natural tone (which has a bit of Holden Caulfield at times) but as he gets to the end of the memoir the tempo of the book wobbles a bit – I got the impression his editor may have been more enthusiastic about the first half.  Certainly toward the end, it gets a bit preachy about his belief in a system he calls The Wish.

He has a chapter about touring and recording with Matthew Sweet, which was the first occasion on which I saw him play, at King Tut’s in Glasgow.  Boy, they were loud and good…Lloyd plays the stunt guitar on this track.

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