As a bit of a change I thought I would bring you reviews of  a couple of autobiographies that I recently read.

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Margrave Of The Marshes: John Peel

 To be honest i had never listened to John Peels radioshow, but I had always liked the guy when I had seen him on TV, his dry sense of humour was very refreshing. I also really respected his attitude to music, how he would give anyone a chance to get their music heard, it went against the bland opinions of most radio people, who only want to hear the same bland pap. When I heard of his death I like many, thought this is a sad day for the future of music in this country.  When I recieved the book for christmas I was really looking forward to learning about the man, and boy was I surprised.

  The first third of the book was written by John himself and is a very honest story of his life from his childhood through to his time in the army and the start of his radio career. It contains some very shocking events that you cannot believe he is so open about. It also has some very funny stories from his time in the USofA, including his meeting JFK and Nixon and his appearance at the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald, apparently he can been seen in the background! Unfortunately he died before he could finish the book, so the rest of the book was written by his wife, talking about his friendship with Marc Bolan and how they both had tea with John And Yoko.  This is a really fascinating read and is so enjoyable that you realise what a loss his passing was and is to the world. I can highly recommend it, and I think it has just been released on Paperback.

 Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: Alan Alda

 The title itself should be enough to draw you in. These are the memoirs of Alan Alda, known to most of the world as Hawkeve Pierce in the long running show, M*A*S*H. A show that I have been a fan off for a long time and have almost all the series on DVD. He has also recently been seen in the fabulous ‘The West Wing’ as Senator Vinnick a runner for President. Of course he is not just known for his TV work, he has written many films and appeared on stage in a variety of plays, he has won numerous Emmy awards and was Oscar nominated last year for his role in the Martin Scorsese film ‘The Aviator’.

 As a fan of his work I really looked forward to this book and an interesting life he’s led!! His father was an actor working in the burlesque houses where Alan spent his childhood watching from the wings learning the craft whilst being looked after by the ladies of the burlesque. He talks of his brief fame at an earlier age as the boy who smoked a pipe (it makes sense when you read the book!!). Also about his mothers shizophrenia, and how she grew to not even trust her son.  Obviously he talks about his life on M*A*S*H and stage and screen as well as his own family life and near death experiences in Chile!!  As you would expect from the man who gave us Hawkeye, the book is a witty read but also very touching and honest. If you are fan it is definitely worth a read.