When I Grow up: A Memoir

When I Grow up: A Memoir

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by Juliana Hatfield
     
 

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Ask a young girl what she wants to be when she grows up, and there's a good chance she'll say "a rock star." Ask a rock star what she wants to be when she grows up, and it gets a bit more complicated . . .

By the early nineties, singer-songwriter and former Blake Babies member Juliana Hatfield was in a position most aspiring alternative rockers only dream

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Overview

Ask a young girl what she wants to be when she grows up, and there's a good chance she'll say "a rock star." Ask a rock star what she wants to be when she grows up, and it gets a bit more complicated . . .

By the early nineties, singer-songwriter and former Blake Babies member Juliana Hatfield was in a position most aspiring alternative rockers only dream of: Her solo career was taking off. She was on the cover of Spin and Sassy. Ben Stiller directed the video for her song "Spin the Bottle" from the Reality Bites film soundtrack. She was a featured guest on My So-Called Life. Then, after canceling a European tour to treat severe depression and failing to produce another "hit," she spent a decade releasing well reviewed albums on indie labels and performing in ever-smaller clubs. A few years ago, then in her thirties, she found herself quietly reading the New Yorker on a filthy couch in the tiny dressing room of a punk club, and asked herself, "Why am I still doing this?"

By turns wryly funny and woundingly sincere, When I Grow Up takes readers behind the scenes of rock life as Hatfield recounts her best and worst days, the origins of her songs, the source of her woes, and her quest to find a new purpose in life.

No longer willing to play a kid's game by kid's rules, Hatfield resolved to take a year off and experiment with being a civilian. No performing or songwriting, and lots of everything else. When the year had gone by, rather than making her decide to pack it in and retire to a life of anonymous respectability, it reawakened her creative passion. She resolved to take charge of her career like a grown-up and write the great, untapped songs that she knew were still in her. This newfound determination led directly to her eagerly awaited new album, aptly named How to Walk Away, the most energetic, polished, and creative work of her music career.

When I Grow Up is more than a musician's memoir; it is a rich and revealing tour through an extraordinary mind. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes somber, and always insightful, it is rewarding reading not only for her fans, but for anyone who enjoys a truthful, beautifully written, real-life story of success, struggle, and rebirth.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
From her humble beginnings as a Berklee College of Music piano student to her brief critical success in the 1990s alternative rock explosion to her latest side project, Some Girls, first-time author Hatfield chronicles more than three storied decades in professional music. Alternating between a present-day cross-country tour and recollections from earlier years, the result is a mixed, overstuffed bag. Hatfield, raised, trained and tested (first as pop trio Blake Babies) in Boston, charmingly recollects her experience as a serious female musician with no desire to appear sexualized before her audience; readers will cringe alongside her as she awkwardly rejects a hotel room photo-shoot suggestion: "Why did they always want me to jump up and down on the bed? Were photographers constantly nudging Kurt Cobain to jump up and down on beds?" Hatfield makes a compelling witness to the alternative rock boom ushered in by Nirvana's success, and is both lucid and thorough explaining the bureaucratic minutiae of the music industry's new world order, dominated by the massive influence of star-maker Clear Channel. As a writer, Hatfield is humble and personable, if at times tedious; a clunky, symbolic prologue-about being unable to buy a pre-show shot of Patron with her club-issued drink tickets-is an early indicator of the book's need for further edit. Still, fans of Hatfield's bratty, bedeviled pop stylings should enjoy these glimpses into her life.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher

* From her humble beginnings as a Berklee College of Music piano student to her brief critical success in the 1990s alternative rock explosion to her latest side project, Some Girls, first-time author Hatfield chronicles more than three storied decades in professional music. Alternating between a present-day cross-country tour and recollections from earlier years, the result is a mixed, overstuffed bag. Hatfield, raised, trained and tested (first as pop trio Blake Babies) in Boston, charmingly recollects her experience as a serious female musician with no desire to appear sexualized before her audience; readers will cringe alongside her as she awkwardly rejects a hotel room photo-shoot suggestion: “Why did they always want me to jump up and down on the bed? Were photographers constantly nudging Kurt Cobain to jump up and down on beds?” Hatfield makes a compelling witness to the alternative rock boom ushered in by Nirvana’s success, and is both lucid and thorough explaining the bureaucratic minutiae of the music industry’s new world order, dominated by the massive influence of star-maker Clear Channel. As a writer, Hatfield is humble and personable, if at times tedious; a clunky, symbolic prologue—about being unable to buy a pre-show shot of Patron with her club-issued drink tickets—is an early indicator of the book’s need for further edit. Still, fans of Hatfield’s bratty, bedeviled pop stylings should enjoy these glimpses into her life. (Sept.) (Publishers Weekly, October 13th, 2008)

""...a tour dairy-cum-memoir"" (The Guardian, October 30th 2008)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780470443347
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
11/03/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
1,137,798
File size:
1 MB

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