Reviews of The Big Wheel by Bruce Thomas

Pretty self-explanatory
johnfoyle
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Reviews of The Big Wheel by Bruce Thomas

Postby johnfoyle » Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:57 pm

Uncut , September 2003.


Infamous expose of Attractions`on tour ugliness

First published in 1990 and now revamped as a
trailer for his forthcoming further memoirs , this
candid on-the-road piece from one-time bassist with
Elvis Costello And The Attractions remains unique.
It`s satire and behind-closed-doors revalations have
led to him being fired from the band not once but
twice. On the plus side , he`s generally applauded as
one of the most entertaining prose writers ever to
have picked up a guitar , and The Big Wheel is the
stuff of comic legend.
Roughly documenting the endless global touring
schedule of The Attractions as they rule the airwaves,
it veers into lengthy detours denouncing the American
way , musing over the irony which leads travel and
music to become as dully repetitive as `normal`life ,
and reflections on Thomas` early struggles to make it
as a musician. His humour is very Tony Hancock :
deflating grandeur , cataloguing jokes and quips , but
riddled with unshakeable melancholy. He`ll spend three
pages describing the pathos he`ll find in an old junk
shop while waiting for a soundcheck for every one
he`ll spend giving us the juice.
The juice , though , is good. The band , surrounded
by oafish crew and creepy fans , are only referred to
as " The Singer", "The Drummer" and "The Keyboard
Player". Yet Costello for one was infuriated by his
portrayal as a pretentious , toilet-hogging
hypochondriac. "He`d...begun taking acting roles as
amove towards becoming an all-round entertainer. If he
kept scoffing sushi at the rate he was , he wouldn`t
have to wait long."
For long passages , this is savagely funny and
daringly dry , A healthily cynical antidote to the
usual platitudes.

Chris Roberts.
------------------------------------------------------

Q, September 2003. ( Stars 4/5)


Band memoirs can be extremely bland affairs , so
it`s a testament to The Big Wheel`s honesty that it`s
author - former bass player in Elvis Costello`s
Attractions - was sacked from the group as a result.
Twice. Which is perhaps an over-reaction on Costello`s
part as The Big Wheel is more concerned with the
emptiness of grinding American road tours than the
number of groupies knobbed. The Attractions were
legendary party monsters , though , so laugh-out-loud
tales such as what happens when you find a mountain of
100 per cent Peruvian in the corner of a Scotsman`s
living room pepper the pages. It also conveys a wit
that readers of Mötley Crüe`s The Dirt will find hard
to fathom.
Andy Fyfe.



Amazon link for this book

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASI ... 82-6355023

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Veronica
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Postby Veronica » Thu Aug 07, 2003 3:32 pm

Creepy fans, huh??
Ahhhh... why are exposés such tempting reading...even if they're going to be one-sided?

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Poppet
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Postby Poppet » Thu Aug 07, 2003 3:43 pm

voyuerism is fun?
... name the stars and constellations,
count the cars and watch the seasons....

the poisoner
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Postby the poisoner » Thu Aug 07, 2003 4:48 pm

i read it.
for all the hype aforehand i was a little disappointed.
thomas should stick to music. i found some parts entertaining and most of it poorly written
oh, i useta be disgusted
now i try to be amused

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Watching_Detectives
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Postby Watching_Detectives » Thu Aug 07, 2003 5:48 pm

I read it as well. I totaly agree with Poisoner. Very poorly written.
It nearly took a mircacle to get you to stay
It only took my little finger to blow you away.

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noiseradio
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Postby noiseradio » Thu Aug 07, 2003 5:57 pm

I read the first half before I just couldn't take it anymore. I thought it was crap. Not really funny at all. He tries so hard to cleverly turn a phrase. There are so many attempts at puns (Elvis Costello & the Subtractions, etc...) that are weak at best. He's no Elvis. But he thinks of their partnership as Lennon/McCartney or Davies/Davies. What at ass.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
--William Shakespeare

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bobster
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Postby bobster » Thu Aug 07, 2003 10:29 pm

Haven't read it....

Really want to read it.

Really want to dislike it!

:?
http://www.forwardtoyesterday.com -- Where "hopelessly dated" is a compliment!

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noiseradio
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Postby noiseradio » Thu Aug 07, 2003 11:11 pm

Oh, you will. You're a writer. You'll loathe it.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

--William Shakespeare

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whtesde
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Postby whtesde » Fri Aug 08, 2003 1:02 am

I found myself wishing The Drummer would take over the narrating duties, instead of the miserable author self-insertion. That would have made the book about forty times more fun.

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mood swung
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Postby mood swung » Fri Aug 08, 2003 7:53 am

whtesde wrote:
I found myself wishing The Drummer would take over the narrating duties



exactly.
Like me, the "g" is silent.

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pip_52
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Re: Reviews of The Big Wheel by Bruce Thomas

Postby pip_52 » Fri Aug 08, 2003 10:08 am

johnfoyle wrote:Uncut , September 2003.


He`ll spend three
pages describing the pathos he`ll find in an old junk
shop while waiting for a soundcheck for every one
he`ll spend giving us the juice.



This is what I felt too. I read it with great interest, but found it for the most part pretty boring. There were interesting tidbits, like the strange sinus habits of their tour manager, the singer's propensity to have to visit the bathroom exactly 3 times before each show, and the time they got kicked out of a hotel because the keyboard player hancuffed a lady to the bar whilst a dying goldfish flapped around in his front pocket.

But these stories got lost in all that tedium and there were far too few of them anyway. He even made the point of saying, after the keyboard player had thrown his television out of the window, that nobody does that for no reason, and then never actually got around to telling the reason, though he implied he knew by saying he hadnt found out what had made him so mad . . . yet.

I felt deprived . . .

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PlaythingOrPet
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Postby PlaythingOrPet » Fri Aug 15, 2003 4:14 am

I very nearly bought this yesterday. Couldn't bring myself to so I ended up quickly reading the the new bit about the RRHOF induction. In fact, the whole book could've been finished in the time it took me to drink my cup of coffee.
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Copenhagen Fan
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Postby Copenhagen Fan » Fri Aug 15, 2003 8:34 am

did anyone say "creep"???? :lol:

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mood swung
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Postby mood swung » Fri Aug 15, 2003 11:39 am

don't waste money on this book! unless you've got insomnia or you read to others and have a real sadistic streak. but if you want to read it, PM me.
Like me, the "g" is silent.

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Boy With A Problem
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Postby Boy With A Problem » Fri Nov 28, 2003 1:19 pm

I finally got around to reading The Big Wheel last week and here are my thoughts -

- Slow go, forced prose. An attempt at being artsy which pays off, on an average, about one out in every five attempts.

- A few fairly amusing bits on tour with the Attractions.

- Bruce is a fairly tortured soul; full of bitterness. He basically has an inferiority complex being "just" the bass player.

- Elvis had really no reason to be upset about the book. I couldn't find anything that he could reasonably take offense with. So, he goes to bathroom 3 times before going onstage, doesn't like to fly in helicopters and tunes people with his walkman. Shocking stuff.

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Misha
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Postby Misha » Fri Nov 28, 2003 2:36 pm

Hmmm, good food for thought. I, too, have thought of reading this, but haven't done so yet. I don't own it, and figured I would buy it second hand so that no money finds its way to Bruce, just in case it's pure crap.

Hmmm, I guess I'll put it at the bottom of my list now....
Where are the strong?

Who are the trusted?

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Watching_Detectives
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Postby Watching_Detectives » Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:00 pm

This book was total crap. I read the first half...bored me to death.
It nearly took a mircacle to get you to stay

It only took my little finger to blow you away.

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Misha
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Postby Misha » Sat Nov 29, 2003 3:42 pm

Ok, I'll put it below the bottom of my list.... :wink: ??
Where are the strong?



Who are the trusted?


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