New adventures in Rock and Roll.
Award-winning writer and broadcaster Mark Ellen was born at the wrong time. Five years older and he would have seen The Beatles and The Byrds; five years younger and he'd have been plunged into punk rock. He spent his teenage years sitting at the feet of bands like Hookfoot, Wishbone Ash and Brewers Droop -- the half-baked rear guard of underground rock -- and he knew no better than to admire them.
Mark went on to write for Record Mirror and New Musical Express, and edited Smash Hits, Q and Select, and helped to launch MOJO. He stood in for John Peel on Radio One and then joined the Old Grey Whistle Test, becoming one of the TV presenters of Live Aid in 1985.
For ten years from 2002, he edited the much-missed music publication, The Word.
There's a misty-eyed reverence for the past in Ellen's entertaining memoir of five decades surrounded by music. — The Observer
Full of engaging asides and deft, sometimes unsparing pen-portraits, this autobiographical souffle ends with three passages of unexpectedly disturbing power, in which Ellen glimpses the fate of a form of entertainment that has lost the sense of purpose and proportion it possessed during the years when his own tastes were being formed...It is a tribute to Ellen's resilience that not even this sensory assault can erode the powers of humour and observation that make his book so enjoyable. — The Guardian
For men of several generations, the most eagerly anticipated memoir of the year is Mark Ellen's Rock Stars Stole My Life! and it doesn't disappoint. Subtitled 'A Big Bad Love Affair With Music', Ellen's book describes in beautifully crafted gambols his time working for the music press, from the NME in the Seventies right through to The Word in the noughties, via Smash Hits, Q, Mojo, Select and all places in between.
Ellen has been at the coalface of rock hackdom for 40 years, yet unlike many of his contemporaries, he has always viewed his relationship with the music industry - and the preposterous entertainers it throws up - as a ridiculous pleasure rather than a burden. Ellen is not only one of the nicest men in the industry, he's also one of its funniest writers, and this books picks away at the hand that has fed him for all these years with such humour, and such delicacy, that it becomes impossible to put down. Here is a man who presented Live Aid, who presided over the most popular music magazine in the world, and who unwittingly became one of the last people to interview Michael Jackson in print. And it is never less than hilarious. This book will make you laugh, make you cry with joy, and send you scuttling over to what is left of your record collection to look for an Elvis Costello album you probably have not played since it was released.
— Dylan Jones, GQ
So Ellen's book is a riotous, wildly enthusiastic look back over a constantly changing industry and the larger-than-life characters who have dominated it. As the image of today's stars becomes ever more tightly controlled, Ellen's experiences make him one of the few who can pull back the curtain to expose the smoke and mirrors of this most glamorous, exciting and tawdry of industries. — Express
Hilariously indiscreet — The Times
The must read book — Red
Hang on to the shirt-tails of this book and it leads you right the way through --breathlessly. It's terrific! — Danny Baker
Riotous, entrancing and wildly enthusiastic. Exposes the smoke and mirrors of this most glamorous and tawdry of industries. — Sunday Express
Hectic, quietly perceptive and in a writing style best described as Acid Wodehouse. — New Statesman
The unteachable in pursuit of the unquotable. Knowingly ridiculous and very funny. — Independent on Sunday
Immensely readable. A series of golden ages witnessed first-hand. — The Observer
A cultural history of music fandom in a period of fascinating flux. — MOJO
Mark Ellen: the man with the best job ever! — Elle
A fantastic read — Simon Mayo, BBC Radio 2
Ellen not only has a tremendous eye for the glorious absurdity of the music industry, but a treasure chest of funny and occasionally touching anecdotes . . . he balances a fan's enthusiasm with sparkling reverence . . . Rock Stars Stole My Life! Is an upbeat and immensely readable account of a joyous addiction. — Mail on Sunday
The collection of people who cross Ellen's path - Blair, old housemate Anton Corbijn, Ellen's girlfriend Anji Hunter, Neil Tennant (who worked on Smash Hits), John Peel, Geldof - is enough to keep you turning the page. Having such a funny, charming guide doesn't hurt either. — The Independent
(a) wry, funny book — The Sun
Mark Ellen had us laughing all the way through. — Stylist
Your book is a joy. — Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 2 Arts Show
The book is f***ing BRILLIANT! Just arrived NYC and wanked myself laughing. Literally tears. Irritated looks all around. What a great writer you are. It's a classic. You absolutely got the whole shite early 70s thing down precisely as it was. Names, smells, sounds, looks, the food, drink, girls, boys! Mega! Well done. — Bob Geldof
Made me laugh out loud. — Adam Boulton, New Statesman
Rock Stars Stole My Life reminds us that [pop music] can also be joyously ridiculous...Ellen relates a blessed life...with playful wit and indefatigable good humour. — Guardian
This year's most breezily entertaining pop memoir.... Ellen sails through pop history with an infectious joie de vivre that sends laughter tumbling from every page. — Daily Mail
entertaining... describes his past encounters with comic candour. — The Times