Alex James. Blur Bass Player. Fringe Swisher. Cheesemaker. Writer? Yes, Alex James, winner of both the cheekiest bass player award for six years in a row and best fringe from 1993-1999, penned his autobiography! Bit of a Blur (Little,Brown, 2007) touches upon all the stories you could possibly want to know from someone who lived it: the formation of Seymour and its transition into Blur; their rise to superstardom; behind-the-scenes hijinks the boys (mostly Alex) got themselves into; and the breakdown of the group. The book was published a few years before a reunion seemed like a possibility.
The business of rock and roll is filled with the sort of excesses that the average person can only dream. Schmoozing with celebrities, jet setting it to all corners of the globe, and trashing hotel rooms are just the tame end of the spectrum. If you’ve ever wondered what Alex James and the other members of Blur got up to in between creating five of the greatest albums of the 1990s, this book is for you. The highlight really is those dishy, behind-the-scenes stories since they are less widely circulated. James’ memoir is an unapologetic look at their faster times, yet there really is no shred of affectation as he recounts his escapades. Alex James has always come across as the most charming and clever member of Blur, so it’s fitting that his writing would complement his personality. Alex, ever an individualist, has a very unique take on his varied subjects, including fame, astronomy, and middle age. His wit is as sharp as a good cheddar, and there are laughs
to be had on nearly every page. Cliches aside, this book is difficult to put down.
If you are looking to experience 90s Britpop from an insider’s perspective and read a bit about its aftermath, Bit of a Blur is just the ticket. And if you want to find out what Alex James did with a group of Russian prostitutes, this is the only book you need! It’s anything but a bit of a bore.