Forget Blur/Oasis and Cool Britannia. None of that actually happened. Bad Vibes is the true story of English Rock in the nineties. Written with wit, brio and no small amount of bile, Luke Haines recounts how it felt to ride a wave of self-congratulatory success in a world with no taste.
As frontman of The Auteurs, Haines tells of supporting Suede, conquering France, and failing to break America. Of knuckle-headed musos , baffling tours and a swiftly unravelling personal life. And of what it's like to be on the cusp of massive success.
Funny, honest and ridiculously entertaining, Luke Haines attacks anyone within rifle range, and is more than happy to turn the gun on himself. Bad Vibes is a brilliant memoir from a man who tells it how it was - and how he wishes it hadn't been.
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These recollections could be mistaken for a great comic novel... Haines is as funny as he is grumpy - Independent on Sunday
Haines' prolific spleen, pasty English wit and peerless way with a smartly tailored insult was always going to make this memoir essential reading - Time Out
Beautifully acerbic and elegant. . . a viciously funny writer - Q Magazine
A lavishly bitchy memoir packed with gripes, grievances and tall stories told at the expense of other more famous musicians ... Haines has constructed a vivid literary persona for himself as the great, grumpy Nearly Man of 1990s rock ... He pours endless scorn on his amiable peers, who bizarrely seem not to mind or even notice ... Rock's misanthrope in excelsis - The Sunday Times
As entertaining as Spinal Tap - Guardian
A compulsive read, part Oswald Spengler, part Spike Millligan, and very, very funny -
Luke Haines was a delusional, cruel, pompous and arguably cloth-eared despot throughout the 90s. If he wasn't such a viciously funny writer, he'd have made an excellent music journalist...A beautifully acerbic and elegant portrayal of a committed misanthrope unleashing the titular bad vibes upon music business doofuses, from telling Chris Evans to fuck off to jumping off a 15-foot wall and breaking his ankles to get out of a European tour. 'I have become a fully fledged cunt,' declares Haines proudly. What's not to love? - Q Magazine
These recollections of a bitter former pop star could be mistaken for a great comic novel ... Compelling ... An entertaining read ... Haines is as funny as he is grumpy ... The formless unpredictable life of the minor rock musician, forever jetting about on unspecified 'promotional' duties or being loaded on to a tour bus like cargo rather than talent, has rarely been captured so acutely ... Bad Vibes, good book - The Independent on Sunday
Hilariously unchummy, pugnacious and elegantly embittered - Arena
Alex James' A Bit of a Blur this is not...That's all the better, though, as this relentless nihilism stretches hilariously, snidely, and more often than not bitterly, across 256 pages. There's Auteurs insights aplenty should you want it and a bloody good read besides if you don't. Light reading it ain't. Thrilling reading it most certainly is - Record Collector
In this acidic counterweight to the story of the flag-waving pop elite documented in John Harris's Britpop romp The Last Party, Haines casts himself as the Britpop pariah, glaring through the window at the self-congratulatory oiks laughing inside ... There are enough punch-ups, bad drugs, mind games, self-sabotage, lunatic fans and bizarre self-surgery to make Bad Vibes occasionally read like No One Here Gets Out Alive were it written about Philip Larkin rather than Jim Morrison ... This is an imperious and wincingly amusing memoir that's often so sharp it could take your eye out - Metro
Hilariously bilious ... Haines is wonderfully frank about his sometimes ridiculous behaviour ... and hilariously evokes The Auteurs' slow unravelling - Uncut
Witty, anecdotal and relentlessly vitriolic, this is a no-holds-barred demon exorcism by a man who clearly wants everyone to hate him. And, er, you will - Maxim
Undeniably entertaining - The Observer
As far as I'm concerned, Luke Haines is Jesus Christ ... (His memoir) succeeds admirably...You can read it for the tales of mental breakdown and excess ... You can read it for the acid portraits of most major Britpop players ... But what catches the imagination and separates it and distinguishes Bad Vibes from most rock biogs, is Haines' relationship with the music itself and a culture that surrounds it ... The piercing and honest appraisals of actual songs surprises. Not many musicians do this, and Haines does so fearlessly, extolling and lacerating his output as much as everyone else -
As frontman for The Auteurs in the nineties, Haines inadvertently kicked off Britpop and, boy, does he blame himself. This memoir lays bare the reality of a life spent lumped in with the champagne Charlies of 'Cool Britannia' - Shortlist
An entertaining insight into the career of The Auteurs' Luke Haines ... An amusing read ... Pithily narrated - Rock Sound
The gospel according to Luke Haines is bitter and bitchy, but rock's great misanthrope makes no apologies - Scotland on Sunday
This book is the yin to Kill Your Friends' yang. Fact rather than fiction, yet far more literary than that nefarious romp, it's an arch but exquisitely written collection of vignettes of band life, '90's culture and pinprick-accurate character assassinations. Haines is not a sympathetic character: a depressive drunk, terminally snobbish, veering politically to the right and addicted to mindgames, he is in his own words 'a bitter face pressed against the French window, sneering' at the music industry's 'bourgeois dinner party'. But even if you don't agree with a word he says, it's impossible to deny his self-awareness, consistency and clarity if expression as he despairs at the cheeky, chirp idiocy of Britpop and sabotages his own successes. Not only an essential music book, but a gripping, weighty and perversely inspirational piece - The Word
A wonderfully disaffected memoir, bleak, venomous and hilarious by turns - The Independent
Proving that pen and the sword are mightiest when used in conjunction ... Haines's prolific spleen, pasty English wit and peerless way with a smartly tailored insult was always going to make his memoir essential reading - Time Out
If you ... take each anecdote in the catty, cautionary spirit in which it is intended, Haines' story of minor stardom is as entertaining as Spinal Tap ... it's a well-told version of a well worn story: that of a man finding comfort from staying on the outside, looking in - The Guardian
A very readable, and fairly cautionary tale - New Statesman
What sets the book apart is the author's couldn't-give-a-toss attitude that spares no one, least of all himself. Haines charts his part in the 1990's British music scene that culminated in 'annoying' Blur versus 'crap new comedy band' Oasis. Haines is perfectly placed to sneer: his band, The Auteurs, along with Suede, had been clever forerunners of the scene he can't (aside from the subtitle) bring himself to name and he can only look down on an era in which 'art is replaced by popular culture' - Independent Review
Emotional and psychological complications are the engine that drives Bad Vibes, the outrageously indiscreet memoirs of the singer and songwriter Luke Haines. Aggressive, vainglorious, insecure and forever teetering on the brink of another meltdown, Haines strides (or hobbles) through a highly personalised account of the great Britpop wars of the 1990s, insulting virtually everyone involved. While Oasis, Blur and Suede rule the charts, Hanes hangs around on the fringes in his own groups the Auteurs and, later, the Baader Meinhof Gang, too cool or too wasted to embrace success even when offered to him on a plate. Bad Vibes turns casual misanthropy into an art form, and makes a brilliant read in the process - The Guardian
Witheringly funny ... A rock memoir in the misanthropic vein of Lucky Jim - The Sunday Times
it's pretty much the best-written book I've ever read by a musician. He has a superb deadpan style. You will call people and read bits over the phone - Evening Standard
As acerbic and hilarious as you'd expect from a man who thought it completely reasonable to call a pop single 'Unsolved Child Murder.' Haines clearly relishes - and shines in - his role as the Ancient Mariner at the Britpop party -
By this author
About the Author
Luke Haines learned guitar in the red light district of Portsmouth and subsequently formally studied music at the London College of Music. His band The Auteurs missed out on the 1992 Mercury Music Prize by one vote - since then he has fronted other acts including Baader Meinhof and Black Box Recorder.