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Bobby Gillespie’s memoir Tenement Kid to be published by White Rabbit in autumn 2021

White Rabbit is delighted to announce we will be publishing TENEMENT KID, the first memoir by Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie, in October 2021.


TENEMENT KID is Bobby Gillespie’s story up to the recording and release of the album that has been credited with ‘starting the 90’s’, Screamadelica.



Born into a working-class Glaswegian family in the summer of 1961, Bobby’s memoirs begin in the district of Springburn, soon to be evacuated in Edward Heath’s brutal slum clearances. Leaving school at 16 and going to work as a printers’ apprentice, Bobby’s rock n roll epiphany arrives like a bolt of lightning shining from Phil Lynott’s mirrored pickguard at his first gig at the Apollo in Glasgow. Filled with ‘the holy spirit of rock n roll’ his destiny is sealed with the arrival of the Sex Pistols and punk rock which to Bobby, represents an iconoclastic vision of class rebellion and would ultimately lead to him becoming an artist initially in the Jesus and Mary Chain then in Primal Scream.


Structured in four parts, TENEMENT KID builds like a breakbeat crescendo to the final quarter of the book, the Summer of Love, Boys Own parties, and the fateful meeting with Andrew Weatherall in an East Sussex field. As the ‘80s bleed into the ‘90s and a new kind of electronic soul music starts to pulse through the nation’s consciousness, Primal Scream become the most innovative British band of the new decade, representing a new psychedelic vanguard taking shape at Creation Records.


Ending with the release of Screamadelica and the tour that followed in the autumn, TENEMENT KID is a book filled with the joy and wonder of a rock n roll apostle who would radically reshape the future sounds of fin de siècle British pop. Published thirty years after the release of their masterpiece, Bobby Gillespie’s memoir cuts a righteous path through a decade lost to Thatcherism and saved by acid house.


Bobby Gillespie said: ‘The publisher Lee Brackstone has been hassling me for years to write a book. I always rebuffed him with some excuse or the other. At the beginning of 2020 I wanted to challenge myself creatively and do something I had never done before. I didn’t want to write another rock record, I’d done plenty of those, so, I decided to write a memoir of my early life and worked on it all through the summer, Autumn and Winter of 2020 and here it is. It is titled Tenement Kid as I spent the first ten years of my life living in one. I am very proud of it. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.’


Lee Brackstone, Publisher at White Rabbit, said: ‘I have been trying to persuade Bobby to write a book for a decade because I knew he would write something that is so much more than your usual rockstar memoir. TENEMENT KID is many things: the story of Primal Scream and the early years of Jesus and Mary Chain, a paean to Glasgow in the ‘60s and ‘70s, long since disappeared, a work of social history and memoir that burns with political fervour and driven intensity. It is also of course a compelling account of punk, the acid house years and the Second Summer of Love. After the year we have all experienced it is the tonic we all need: a joyful, celebratory and beautifully written book which will remind us of better times, just – as we hope – those better times might be returning.’


As well as publishing in hardback, ebook and audio – all of which are available to pre-order now – TENEMENT KID will be available in two special collector’s editions:


Rough Trade Exclusive Red Edition – click here for more info


Independent Record Store Slipcase Special Edition – click here for more info


You can also order a signed copy of the standard hardback edition now from Waterstones.com