To Ease My Troubled Mind: The Authorised Unauthorised History of Billy Childish | Ted Kessler (SIGNED)

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In his forward, Stewart Lee remembers the first time he saw Billy Childish live.

"he was supporting some grunge band at the Astoria in the mid-nineties, with Thee Headcoats. I forget who it was. It might have been the Afghan Whigs or Mudhoney, all them lot used to like him, didn't they, those Seattle types."

This rings true with me too - i distinctly remember a man in a flat cap and caretaker's coat shuffle on stage with Mudhoney, get introduced as Billy Childish and belt out a version of You Make me Die (by his band, Thee Mighty Ceasars) and shuffle off again. This will have been the very early '90s, and The Mighty Caesars album Acropolis Now was, at the time, on constant rotation on my mate Paul's car stereo - things stick in your head.


Anyway, here's the blurb...


In 1977, seventeen-year-old Steven Hamper was a stonemason in the dockyards of Chatham, Kent. His heart, however, beat in sync with the punk rock tremors of the era, seduced by its celebration of amateurism.
So, in a gesture of revolutionary defiance, he took a 3lb club hammer and smashed his hand, vowing to never work again. In doing so, Steven Hamper metamorphised into Billy Childish, a true renaissance man.


Childish has since remained steadfastly true to punk's DIY cred, becoming one of the most recognisable and authentic voices in whichever artistic endeavour he undertakes. He has released over one hundred and fifty albums of raw rock 'n' roll, punk, blues and folk, written many volumes of searing poetry as well as several autobiographical novels. But what he is perhaps best known for in recent years is his painting, for which he is now critically, commercially and internationally feted. He hasn't changed course in any of his disciplines, though.


The world just caught up with the sheer volume of his brutally honest work.
To Ease My Troubled Mind is a mosaic portrait collated over a year of interviews with Childish, as well as with close family, ex-girlfriends, band members past and present, friends, foes, collaborators, even his therapist. It is an unflinching, yet frequently spiritual and funny portrait of an artist who is now one of the most prolific and uncompromising of his generation.


Size: 164 x 242mm (hardback with dust jacket, signed)

Pages: 314

Publisher: White Rabbit

To Ease My Troubled Mind: The Authorised Unauthorised History of Billy Childish | Ted Kessler (SIGNED)