Ginger Wildheart - Songs & Words book review

A colourful life.

Ginger Wildheart Songs & Words book cover

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On their first trip to New York, having befriended a local tramp, The Wildhearts coughed up cash so that their new pal could enjoy a cocaine and hookers session on his birthday. Their generosity proved fatal, for it transpired that the gent in question had both an apartment and a girlfriend, who upon discovering her lover mid-coitus, burned down his building, killing him in the blaze. As a metaphor for The Wildhearts’ knack of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, this seems horribly apt.

It’s just one of many jaw-dropping stories here, in an autobiographical text relating highs (Top 10 hits, drug-enhanced misadventures) and lows (suicide attempts, depression, crack cocaine addiction) in an equally forthright, unsentimental fashion via analysis of (almost) every song Ginger has written and recorded. Songs & Words reads like the ultimate rock’n’roll survivor’s manual and makes The Dirt seem like a Janet and John book.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.