The rise, the fall, and the rise

Brix Smith

Book - 2016

"In a book told in her own words, the author, best known for her work in The Fall at the time when they were perhaps the most powerful and influential anti-authoritarian postpunk band in the world, shares the extraordinary story of a teenage American girl on a collision course with English radicalism on her way to mid-life success on TV and in fashion, "--NoveList.

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Subjects
Genres
Autobiographies
Published
London : Faber & Faber 2016.
Language
English
Physical Description
xii, 461 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
ISBN
9780571325054
057132505X
Main Author
Brix Smith (author)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

California native and songwriter/singer/guitarist Start shares her eventful life story, tracing her early and privileged yet complex, family life through her move to Manchester, England, in 1983 to marry the enigmatic Mark E. Smith and join his postpunk band, The Fall. Already a talented writer/performer, Brix's positive impact on the group was substantial, and they enjoyed increasing success. However, turbulence led to a break with both band and husband. Start is unflinchingly honest about the behind-the-scenes drama—tours, drugs, disputes, bizarre politics—just as she is about her projects after The Fall, a relationship with violinist Nigel Kennedy, bouts with depression, and her long hiatus from music. Eventually, a successful retail fashion enterprise, launched with her husband, Philip Start, as well as a career in television began a new chapter in the performer's life. Coming full circle after many highs and lows, she recently returned to music, focusing on the joy of it. Though it's a no-holds-barred celebrity memoir, this absorbing book tells a universal story of a woman redefining herself and healing emotionally. VERDICT For devotees of Smith Start, The Fall, and postpunk-related musical genres. Also of more general interest to those who draw inspiration from stories of overcoming challenging circumstances to achieve fulfillment.—Carol J. Binkowski, Bloomfield, NJ [Page 74]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

In a book told in her own words, the author, best known for her work in The Fall at the time when they were perhaps the most powerful and influential anti-authoritarian postpunk band in the world, shares the extraordinary story of a teenage American girl on a collision course with English radicalism on her way to mid-life success on TV and in fashion. Original.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The Rise, The Fall, and The Rise is the extraordinary story, in her own words, of Brix Smith Start. Best known for her work in The Fall at the time when they were perhaps the most powerful and influential anti-authoritarian postpunk band in the world — This Nation's Saving Grace, The Weird and Frightening World Of... — Brix spent ten years in the band before a violent disintegration led to her exit and the end of her marriage with Mark E. Smith.

But Brix's story is much more than rock 'n' roll highs and lows in one of the most radically dysfunctional bands around. Growing up in the Hollywood Hills in the '60s in a dilapidated pink mansion her life has taken her from luxury to destitution, from the cover of the NME to waitressing in California, via the industrial wasteland of Manchester in the 1980s.

What emerges is a story of constant reinvention, jubilant highs and depressive ebbs; a singular journey of a teenage American girl on a collision course with English radicalism on her way to mid-life success on TV and in fashion. Too bizarre, extreme and unlikely to exist in the pages of fiction, The Rise, The Fall and The Rise could only exist in the pages of a memoir.