While some music memoirs try to glamourize the stories, Sing Backwards & Weep by Mark Lanegan does the exact opposite.

I first became aware of Mark when his band The Screaming Trees released the single Nearly Lost You in 1992. By then, the band were already on their sixth album. I picked up the single in music mecca that was Mix Music in Skipton.

The book details his life up to around 2002 and generally revolves trying to get drugs, taking drugs, and even selling drugs to get more drugs. Oh yes, and making music with his band and touring the world and trying to get drugs!

He shares stories of the people around during this time, including Kurt Coburn from Nirvana, Layne Staley from Alice in Chains, how he obsessed over making solo albums, and having constant battles with some of his bandmates in the Screaming Tress so much more.

It’s graphic & brutal in places, but without doubt, it’s honest. It’s brilliantly written.

Having read it, the most amazing thing is that he is alive to tell the tales.

It’s one of the best music memoirs I’ve read and I look forward to volume two!

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