If there’s one thing you’ll learn about Kevin Godley from his delightfully sweary memoir Spacecake (the iBook features 97 instances of the word “fuck”), it’s that he’s all about the idea.
Whether it’s constructing a roller coaster around Keane for a video, building a cavalry regiment from cardboard or devising the Gizmotron — a contraption designed to allow a guitar to mimic an orchestra — it’s clear he’s a man with a live-wire brain, alert to every possible opportunity to do something new and different. One early anecdote reveals a lot: at school, Godley kept bullies at bay by drawing pictures of naked girls and selling them for sixpence, even though he had no idea what naked girls actually looked like. It shows a resourcefulness and imagination that has served him well throughout a lengthy career, and Spacecake tells the full story in excitable, rapid-fire prose. He’s clearly a gifted writer, describing his French teacher as “an ancient dribbler with a screw-on wooden hand”, and admitting to a reputation for “collateral weed left in fader ducts”. It’s brilliantly candid, often hilarious, heavy on the anecdote, and features a good amount of rich media to keep even the least attentive readers occupied. Many of these clips — including a delightful film of Godley’s amputee Jack Russell racing along with the aid of some kind of wheeled pooch appendage — are hosted externally, so a fair amount of app switching is required, but this is a minor gripe. Elsewhere, it’d be nice to read more about his WholeWorldBand collaborative music app, but the small amount of space devoted to it suggests that it’s perhaps not yet done as well as investors might have hoped. Meanwhile, the final page of the book features a lovely dedication to Storm Thorgerson, but manages to spell his name wrong. Twice.