From one of the most interesting and iconic musicians of our time, a piercingly tender, funny, and harrowing account of the path from suburban poverty and alienation to a life of beauty, squalor, and unlikely success out of the NYC club scene of the late '80s and '90s.
There were many reasons Moby was never going to make it as a DJ and musician in the New York club scene. This was the New York of Palladium; of Mars, Limelight, and Twilo; of unchecked, drug-fueled hedonism in pumping clubs where dance music was still largely underground, popular chiefly among working-class African Americans and Latinos. And then there was Moby—not just a poor, skinny white kid from Connecticut, but a devout Christian, a vegan, and a teetotaler. He would learn what it was to be spat on, to live on almost nothing. But it was perhaps the last good time for an artist to live on nothing in New York City: the age of AIDS and crack but also of a defiantly festive cultural underworld. Not without drama, he found his way. But success was not uncomplicated; it led to wretched, if in hindsight sometimes hilarious, excess and proved all too fleeting. And so by the end of the decade, Moby contemplated an end in his career and elsewhere in his life, and put that emotion into what he assumed would be his swan song, his good-bye to all that, the album that would in fact be the beginning of an astonishing new phase: the multimillion-selling Play.
At once bighearted and remorseless in its excavation of a lost world, Porcelain is both a chronicle of a city and a time and a deeply intimate exploration of finding one’s place during the most gloriously anxious period in life, when you’re on your own, betting on yourself, but have no idea how the story ends, and so you live with the honest dread that you’re one false step from being thrown out on your face. Moby’s voice resonates with honesty, wit, and, above all, an unshakable passion for his music that steered him through some very rough seas.
Porcelain is about making it, losing it, loving it, and hating it. It’s about finding your people, your place, thinking you've lost them both, and then, somehow, when you think it’s over, from a place of well-earned despair, 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.
The words of a successful man haunted by childhood poverty. A discerning observer of the human condition and ability to make the tragic humorous. Even if you’re not a Moby fan (I fall into this category), the experiences of any touring musician is interesting. Add great writing and you have this great autobiographical account.
The first memoir I’ve read
This is an extremely well written book. It describes the first 10 years of his career with so many touching details that you can’t help but be moved. You come to appreciate this great artist and what drives him. But what this Artist accomplishes is to share his challenges and im sure a few of them will resonate in your life.
Deep, Happy and Sad
Great book. I highly recommend it for readers and it is well written. Moby let’s you into his life and I give him a lot of credit for his success after what he’s been through. I read the entire book in a week and couldn’t put it down. Hands up in the air Moby Go!!!