‘Gillespie is rock and roll’s Oliver Twist. A punk rock fairytale, razor sharp on class struggle, music, style, and a singular view of the world resulting in one of the world’s great bands. Couldn’t put down’ Courtney LoveBorn into a working-class Glaswegian family in the summer of 1961, TENEMENT KID begins in the district of Springburn, soon to be evacuated in Edward Heath’s brutal slum clearances.
Leaving school at 16 and going to work as a printers’ apprentice, Bobby’s rock n roll epiphany arrives like a bolt of lightning shining from Phil Lynott’s mirrored pickguard at his first gig at the Apollo in Glasgow. Filled with ‘the holy spirit of rock n roll’ his destiny is sealed with the arrival of the Sex Pistols and punk rock which to Bobby, represents an iconoclastic vision of class rebellion and would ultimately lead to him becoming an artist initially in the Jesus and Mary Chain then Primal Scream. Building like a breakbeat crescendo to the Summer of Love, Boys Own parties, and the fateful meeting with Andrew Weatherall in an East Sussex field, as the ’80s bleed into the ’90s and a new kind of electronic soul music starts to pulse through the nation’s consciousness, TENEMENT KID closes with the release of Screamadelica, the album often credited with ‘starting the ’90s’.
A book filled with the joy and wonder of a rock n roll apostle who would radically reshape the future sounds of fin de siecle British pop, Bobby Gillespie’s memoir cuts a righteous path through a decade lost to Thatcherism and saved by acid house.