New book from Bruce Thomas , March 2017

Pretty self-explanatory
johnfoyle
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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas ! July 2015

Postby johnfoyle » Mon Aug 10, 2015 4:25 am

A few of us have read the book & have been discussing it on a private f'/book page. It's a engrossing read , packed with details of his many endeavors over the years. He doesn't take any prisoners , himself included. He has defended, in a email exchange, some of the more jaw dropping details , insisting they are factual. I don't think it would do anyone any favours to summarise them here on a public forum. It's hard to know if even saying that is giving the book undue attention . This is , however, a EC fan site and a lot of the book is about EC so it would be denying a reality to say nothing at all.

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas ! July 2015

Postby erey » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:08 am

johnfoyle wrote:A few of us have read the book & have been discussing it on a private f'/book page. It's a engrossing read , packed with details of his many endeavors over the years. He doesn't take any prisoners , himself included. He has defended, in a email exchange, some of the more jaw dropping details , insisting they are factual. I don't think it would do anyone any favours to summarise them here on a public forum. It's hard to know if even saying that is giving the book undue attention . This is , however, a EC fan site and a lot of the book is about EC so it would be denying a reality to say nothing at all.


In the interested of not giving this book undue attention, I'm going -- perhaps somewhat paradoxically -- add this mild corrective to John's quite reasonable statement above.

I'll presume to speak for John a bit here and note that when he says some details disclosed in the book are jaw-dropping, he doesn't mean the details themselves, but rather that fact that BT choose to include them in his book. In one case, information about someone is included that, while completely anodyne in and of itself, is nevertheless very much private. The subject is a minor public figure (not EC, fwiw) and might have chosen to disclose this information himself if he wanted to, but he didn't. In other cases, things said to BT in private by one person in the story about another, while not all that remarkable in and of themselves, seemed to have been carefully curated and deployed here in the hope (in my opinion, anyway) of maximizing hurt feelings all around. That kind of thing.

Given that, BT defense that these statements are factual is (imo, again) no defense at all. It might be a defense if we were talking about something that might be considered actionable in a court of law, but nothing in this book has even the faintest wiff of being eligible for that kind of action.

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby johnfoyle » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:13 am

What she said ! :D :D :D

Thanks!
Last edited by johnfoyle on Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby spooky girlfriend » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:25 am

Not here as much as I once was, mostly because of finally getting around to writing books myself now that the kids are older, but I think John's most recent post is spot on. Bruce was a part of the group, and has his own story to tell, some of which I'm sure has already been told. And I don't admonish him for self-publishing...he's not in the limelight anymore and wouldn't look as lucrative for a publishing company to profit from. Still, he has a right to speak, and to do things his own way, as he is so well-known for. As for in-depth commentary on the book itself, I think it might be best if done privately among forum members, perhaps even if in another setting...i.e. private messaging, Facebook, email, etc. Despite the fact that some believe this forum isn't that widely viewed, we have internet statistics to prove otherwise, and we are noticed by far more than one might think.

Bottom line is, let's keep it classy here. :) Peace and love to you all, especially the ones who I don't talk to again as much as I'd like to... (Verbal...keep in touch again, huh?) :)

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby wardo68 » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:41 am

Jaw-dropping? More so than EC was afraid to fly in an airplane? Now I want to read this.

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby johnfoyle » Mon Aug 10, 2015 3:47 pm

I posted this review on Amazon , since Bruce asked me to do so -

After the shadow boxing that was The Big Wheel (1991) and the vague murmurings that was On The Road..Again (2003) Bruce Thomas comes out spitting and fighting with this engrossing memoir. As unforgiving of himself as he is of many he engaged with as he sauntered through the high & low roads of the music world from the 1960s onwards , he gives a wide range of characters a humanity by recounting their foibles and their flashes of brilliance. I deduct a star because I'm a big wuss and felt sorry for some of the people he is especially beastly too but accept that is part & parcel of the tone he adopts.

Edit -

First comment up on Amazon already - hmmmm..

'beetee says: Beastly? Really? says more about you than the book.'

I'm off now to cry myself asleep

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby sheeptotheslaughter » Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:50 am

Beetee i'm guessing is Bruce himself?'

I have just started it so I have no great opinion on it yet but it does seem quite humorous. He has just joined The Roadrunners.
Bruce is the only one of the band I have never met, but my cousin met him and said he was really nice.

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby johnfoyle » Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:59 am

It seems so.

I daresay his aggressive response is in line with , as I say, the combative tone he adopts in the book. Funnily enough he asked me , via email , to post a comment , even after taking me to task about some queries I had about the book. How he could have expected a , perhaps, blindingly adulatory comment , I don't really know. I've been upfront with him , not saying stuff behind his back etc. A complicated guy. I wish him luck with this & admire his spirit of independence.

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby erey » Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:35 am

johnfoyle wrote: I wish him luck with this & admire his spirit of independence.


I think you've missed you calling, John. Is it too late to pursue a career in diplomacy? :wink:

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby sulky lad » Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:55 am

I've re- read this a couple of times now and it's a pretty OK read with a defence of the Ohio incident which sets in into a context ( a la press conference in NY shortly afterwards) . There seemed to be quite a bit of name dropping and a
Bit of self promotion, even when quoting a review which seemed a bit sad. A couple of swipes at Dave Robinson , Cait (surprise) and Chrissie Hynde but much more regret with EC than animosity - maybe the writing of a man who's now realised he's burnt his boats !

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby MOJO » Sun Aug 23, 2015 3:50 pm

Laid up with a broken leg this summer, my friend passed off a few books including The Big Wheel. I just read it. BT seems like a jerk. No wonder he was on the wrong side of most of the pranks. Great bass player... I guess. But jerks like this seem to be overlooked for gigs/jobs. This happens across all jobs/industries. I'm not drawn to reading Rough Notes to hear more of his prententious tone. Moving on with "Not Enough Indians."

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby cwr » Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:42 pm

I'm a little over halfway through an advance copy of EC's book, and it's interesting to see how he tells a few of the same stories Bruce tells, with slight differences in the details (nothing contradictory, just a different perspective).

So far, there hasn't been anything especially insulting to Bruce, maybe a veiled "he used to be pretty funny" kind of thing here and there. But it's mostly complimentary, so far. (Which is also true, I think of a lot of what Bruce writes about EC, overall, with the key exceptions of those apparent betrayals of trust in the way he quotes private conversations with T Bone and Pete, years after having them, as if he could possibly remember them word for word in quotes the way they're presented...)

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby bambooneedle » Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:38 am

cwr wrote:I'm a little over halfway through an advance copy of EC's book, and it's interesting to see how he tells a few of the same stories Bruce tells, with slight differences in the details (nothing contradictory, just a different perspective).

So far, there hasn't been anything especially insulting to Bruce, maybe a veiled "he used to be pretty funny" kind of thing here and there. But it's mostly complimentary, so far. (Which is also true, I think of a lot of what Bruce writes about EC, overall, with the key exceptions of those apparent betrayals of trust in the way he quotes private conversations with T Bone and Pete, years after having them, as if he could possibly remember them word for word in quotes the way they're presented...)


Haven't read it, don't think I'd care to, but maybe he kept a diary..?

A bit sad that he's trading off of his past friends for a few book sales.

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby sheeptotheslaughter » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:25 am

I read Bruce's book and really enjoyed. Of course he is going to be a little bitter or sad about a relationship that's now failed and gone. I am sure Elvis is in some ways.

Elvis probably has less reason to talk about the fall out with Bruce as his career has gone on from those days and it probably isn't as high in importance to him as maybe it is to Bruce.

Still as I say I really liked the book and read it in a couple of days. Just whets the appetite for Elvis's book nicely.

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby sulky lad » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:07 pm

Nice on STTS, just about how I feel about Bruce's book :shock:

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby njbp » Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:53 pm

I really enjoyed the book Bruce (assuming you're a frequent "lurker" here!). In the early '90's you were good enough to play on a couple of my demos for a nominal fee (you asked for 1000 pounds; I gulped and said I can stretch to about 100! And you agreed, because we were acquaintances of Mr Tallmountain! Folks who haven't read the book will have to do so to figure this little play on words out!) so I've always thought you a good egg as well as the best bass player, period. I too feel a little sad that things with EC became so estranged. I do hope EC's book will acknowledge the debt he owes you (and Pete and Steve). The place he has in the "canon" squarely rests on the "2 1/2 Years" period (as does his ability to put food on the table chez McManus-Krall from warming up Dan fans). Though many of his greatest songs post-date that period (IMO) they would have never seen the light of day unless the A's had helped propel him into the spotlight. The A's contribution was absolutely crucial and was a large part of what separated EC from the others trying to fit the same musical niche. I'm sure he knows that, and to be fair has "sort of" said that on occasion (but IMO he could be more vocal about it). As you all look back (through memoirs etc) to hold onto the bad feeling seems unnecessary and silly. I've long given up hoping that EC & The As would ride again but I can't help thinking that what would be a terrific coda (and terrific PR opportunity) would be for the 4 of you to go back down to the cottage in Camelford, lock the door and spend 2,3,6 months, working together on a new set of songs; not trying to re-do PIU or PLU or Chelsea or anything, or capture that anger/energy/pace, but songs that reflect where you all are now and the journey you've all been on. I always thought that the melancholic middle aged sound of Other End of the Telescope and Too Soon to Know was abandoned too quicly If I may be so bold to talk on behalf of EC&As core fan base, I, as a 50-something don't particularly want to pogo to Radio Radio anymore, but I would love to hear music that speaks to where you, and we your fans, are now. I know this isn't your call Bruce, but I assume EC (and/or folks in London, NYC, and Vancouver) keeps some sort of beady eye on the goings on here, so I'm throwing it out in to the ether in the hope that someone might think "hmmm, not a bad idea". Nothing against Davey, who's done a terrific job, but I think anyone who still carries EC's torch would be thrilled if something like this were to happen. Anyway, as you said in the Waldorf Bruce "thanks for the memories" and very best wishes to you for whatever comes next.

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby erey » Sat Aug 29, 2015 1:53 pm

njbp wrote: [...] but I think anyone who still carries EC's torch would be thrilled if something like this were to happen.


Not to be too rude, but speak for yourself, njbp. Count me among the unthrilled. In fact, this sounds like a thoroughly horrible idea to me.

And not to be ruder still, but I believe EC's biggest selling album, by some margin, in terms of total sales to date, is still MAIT. Perhaps we should be expressing our concern over whether EC has properly acknowledged the debt he owes to Clover?

(In reality, I think EC has been consistently generous in acknowledging the contributions of almost everyone he has ever worked with, including Bruce Thomas.)

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby verbal gymnastics » Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:18 pm

njbp wrote:I really enjoyed the book Bruce (assuming you're a frequent "lurker" here!). In the early '90's you were good enough to play on a couple of my demos for a nominal fee (you asked for 1000 pounds; I gulped and said I can stretch to about 100! And you agreed, because we were acquaintances of Mr Tallmountain! Folks who haven't read the book will have to do so to figure this little play on words out!) so I've always thought you a good egg as well as the best bass player, period. I too feel a little sad that things with EC became so estranged. I do hope EC's book will acknowledge the debt he owes you (and Pete and Steve). The place he has in the "canon" squarely rests on the "2 1/2 Years" period (as does his ability to put food on the table chez McManus-Krall from warming up Dan fans). Though many of his greatest songs post-date that period (IMO) they would have never seen the light of day unless the A's had helped propel him into the spotlight. The A's contribution was absolutely crucial and was a large part of what separated EC from the others trying to fit the same musical niche. I'm sure he knows that, and to be fair has "sort of" said that on occasion (but IMO he could be more vocal about it). As you all look back (through memoirs etc) to hold onto the bad feeling seems unnecessary and silly. I've long given up hoping that EC & The As would ride again but I can't help thinking that what would be a terrific coda (and terrific PR opportunity) would be for the 4 of you to go back down to the cottage in Camelford, lock the door and spend 2,3,6 months, working together on a new set of songs; not trying to re-do PIU or PLU or Chelsea or anything, or capture that anger/energy/pace, but songs that reflect where you all are now and the journey you've all been on. I always thought that the melancholic middle aged sound of Other End of the Telescope and Too Soon to Know was abandoned too quicly If I may be so bold to talk on behalf of EC&As core fan base, I, as a 50-something don't particularly want to pogo to Radio Radio anymore, but I would love to hear music that speaks to where you, and we your fans, are now. I know this isn't your call Bruce, but I assume EC (and/or folks in London, NYC, and Vancouver) keeps some sort of beady eye on the goings on here, so I'm throwing it out in to the ether in the hope that someone might think "hmmm, not a bad idea". Nothing against Davey, who's done a terrific job, but I think anyone who still carries EC's torch would be thrilled if something like this were to happen. Anyway, as you said in the Waldorf Bruce "thanks for the memories" and very best wishes to you for whatever comes next.


Is this you Bruce? :lol:
international laughing stock...

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby sulky lad » Sat Aug 29, 2015 4:22 pm

I think NJ BP must stand for New Jersey' s British Pal , which must of course be me !! :shock:

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby The Gentleman » Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:38 pm

It's not very sensational, but one thing that stood out for me was his anecdote about "Chemistry Class." As far as I know, the consensus was that the repeated "accidents" in the lyric was an intentional gag. But Bruce presents a fairly convincing account that it was the result of two takes that were clumsily edited together, resulting in a rather remarkable error. Still seems a little too cute to totally believe, but I can't see him having any incentive to lie here (he also suggests this is the only time EC&A edited two takes together, but it seems he's mistaken here as "Battered Old Bird" has long been known to be a composite take).

I also enjoyed his exasperation at EC doubling the length of the concerts, seemingly in response to Springsteen. As much as I enjoy the longer shows as a fan, that seems like a very rational response from one of the musicians on stage.
Last edited by The Gentleman on Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby The Gentleman » Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:48 pm

His account of the recording of "Betrayal" would have been a huge scoop ten or so years ago. Still fairly enjoyable.

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby The Gentleman » Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:51 pm

I really enjoyed the passages the described the band teasing EC. Passages like the one devoted to when they goaded EC into playing the early version of "Man Out of Time" (a song Bruce goes out his way to praise in it's final incarnation) while shouting out the chords ("E-E-E-E-E") are fairly hilarious without coming across as mean spirited.

Also, "An Elephant For Dinner."

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby bambooneedle » Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:13 am

Any stories about working with Suzanne Vega?

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby Ymaginatif » Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:04 am

I've almost finished it, and I'll miss it.

A great insight in the music world in a delightfully semi-sarcastic, self-deprecating, humorous, human style.

Yes, he puts in little digs, but me being an E.C. for many many years, I'm sort of used to that sharpness and irreverence. If anything, I think at times B.T. shows more mercy than EC himself! :)
More about me (including some Elvis Costello covers): http://ymaginatifandmusic.blogspot.com/

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Re: New autobiography from Bruce Thomas , July 2015

Postby johnfoyle » Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:34 pm

I haven't a chance to listen now , but a Tweet says Bruce was on this radio show today

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03237n0#play



Edit - listening now - Bruce starts at about 2.07.

Another edit - nothing new in it. The 1996 break up is characterised in , as Bruce puts it, Princess Di terms - 'there were three in the relationship there , but there were five in this one and we'll leave it at that. '


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