Music memoirs by artists such as Chrissie Hynde and Viv Albertine are taking the publishing world by storm.
In 2010 at a Welsh literary festival an editor got chatting to a 55-year-old woman.
I mention the age as it conjures up expectations: of someone gently approaching retirement – ordering her next cup of tea.
The woman had just released an album and was thinking about writing her memoirs.
Four years later they were published by Faber.
‘Anyone who writes an autobiography is either a twat or broke’ it began. ‘I’m a bit of both’.
The first chapter was titled Masturbation – she’s not a fan ‘can’t be bothered’ – and ended ‘Here we go then – (genital) warts an’ all…’
Written by former Slits guitarist Viv Albertine Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys went on to become the Sunday Times and Rough Trade’s music book of the year and sell tens of thousands of copies.
It was a staggering success for an artist little known outside punk circles – but a similar one had already been achieved by Tracey Thorn – her 2013 memoir Bedsit Disco Queen was a Sunday Times bestseller.
This autumn the female music memoir is everywhere.