There were many reasons Moby was never going to make it as a DJ and musician in the New York club scene of the late 1980s and early 90s. This was the New York of Palladium, of Mars, Limelight, and Twilo, an era when dance music was still a largely underground phenomenon, popular chiefly among working-class African Americans and Latinos. And then there was Moby-not just a poor, skinny white kid from deepest Connecticut, but a devout Christian, a vegan, and a teetotaler, in a scene that was known for its unchecked drug-fueled hedonism. He would learn what it was to be spat on, literally and figuratively. And to live on almost nothing. But it was perhaps the last good time for an artist to live on nothing in New York City ... And so by the end of the decade, Moby contemplated the end of things, in his career and elsewhere in his life, and he put that emotion into what he assumed would be his swan song, his good-bye to all that, the album that would be in fact the beginning of an astonishing new phase in his life, the multimillion-selling Play.
Porcelain is about making it, losing it, loving it, and hating it. It's about finding your people, and your place, thinking you've lost them both, and then, finally, somehow, creating a masterpiece. As a portrait of the young artist, Porcelain is a masterpiece in its own right, fit for the short shelf of musicians' memoirs that capture not just a scene but an age and something timeless about the human condition. Push play.
The gazillion record selling techno rocker recalls 10 alternately absurd and rapturous years breaking into the music biz in this exuberant memoir. Beginning in 1989, when he was squatting in an abandoned factory sending demo tapes into the void, and ending with his 1999 breakout hit, Play, Moby recounts his ascent through deejay gigs at New York dance clubs, where he achieved middling success with his electronic anthems for the rave scene. It's a story of crummy apartments, psychotic roommates, and no money the book is a love letter to chaotic 1990s New York and then of uninhabitable hotel rooms, muddy outdoor festivals, and stages hung with bloody goats' heads. Moby, a Christian, vegan, and teetotaller, is a monkish anomaly at the party, and though there are episodes of excess spinning at a swingers' party; his own stab at public sex his outsider status makes him a keen, clear-headed, and very funny observer of fleshpots. When he starts drinking heavily and consorting with strippers, he treats the turn neither as liberation nor descent, but as a new chapter that generates both regrets and insights. Moby's prose is honest, self-deprecating, and full of mordant wit, and when music is playing "My ears rang with the sound of ten thousand ravers in a field at dawn" it shines with exhilarating emotion.
Finished just when he is recording Play. Where is the rest?!?
An honest reflection of someone with a brilliant and troubled mind. Poking fun at personal despair... which is refreshing. Some humorous excerpts and also revealing the insidious side of alcohol.