Uncommon People

The Rise and Fall of the Rock Stars 1955-1994
Narrated by: David Hepworth
Length: 12 hrs and 55 mins
5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The age of the rock star, like the age of the cowboy, has passed. Like the cowboy, the idea of the rock star lives on in our imaginations.

What did we see in them? Swagger. Recklessness. Sexual charisma. Damn-the-torpedoes self-belief. A certain way of carrying themselves. Good hair. Interesting shoes. Talent we wished we had.

What did we want of them? To be larger than life but also like us. To live out their songs. To stay young forever. No wonder many didn't stay the course.

In Uncommon People, David Hepworth zeroes in on defining moments and turning points in the lives of 40 rock stars from 1955 to 1995, taking us on a journey to burst 100 myths and create 100 more. As this tribe of uniquely motivated nobodies went about turning themselves into the ultimate somebodies, they also shaped us, our real lives and our fantasies. Uncommon People isn't just their story. It's ours as well.

©2017 David Hepworth (P)2017 Random House Audiobooks

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one of the best written books I ever had

the author knows (a lot) about the subject and he knows (a lot) about how to put it into words.

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  • Professor Pat Tissington
  • 11-23-17

Bliss

One of those books that you are slightly bereft when it finishes. Hepworth has a point of view which he expresses beautifully through stories and his own recollection. It’s detailed but fantastically entertaining. A high point was his account of the death of Kurt Cobain. The description of what Elvis’ life was like before he died was so engaging I became almost depressed. I loved every minute.

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  • Baz
  • 05-14-18

An entertaining read from a genuine fan

Loved this. A series of insightful, reflective articles about a bygone era written and read by someone knows and cares about his subject. More than just a nostalgia fest.

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  • Andymac
  • 05-06-18

Excellent

Excellent book... would highly recommend for music fans. Very well told and really interesting stories.

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  • Steven
  • 04-26-18

Cracking book

I had this audiobook for a while because I liked the look of it but never quite made it round to listening to it. I finally started it the other day and couldn’t stop.

Every chapter concentrates on a specific year and a musician for that year. The stories the book tells are intriguing and entertaining. And the insights into the people and the lives of the “rock stars” in question are eye opening.

The book made me listen to the songs related to each artist and unearthed some hidden gems I’d never heard before.

A great book I never wanted to end focusing on a subject matter that is now dead in the social media era.

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  • Alison St Pierre
  • 07-13-18

Riveting book!! Highly recommended!!

Fabulously entertaining with a wealth of knowledge delivered in a concise way. So many interesting facts and insights make this book a fabulous addition to anyone’s library. I highly recommend this book!!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-15-18

A riveting and trenchant listen.

An excellent romp through four decades of pomposity and misdemeanor and an enjoyable litany of hoary rock anecdotes which are told with a freshness and a cynical overtone.

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  • M. Hynes
  • 04-09-18

Like a cultural trip through time.

Fantastic. I am not a big music fan at all but I really enjoyed this book. The structure of 40 key points over 40 years made it very bingeable. It was like 40 mini autobiographies with a lot of interesting facts about interesting people. Well researched and well read. Even better than I hoped it would be.

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  • craigyp
  • 03-26-18

Excellent work, essential for music fans.

Well presented, with many interesting viewpoints and anecdotes. Hepworth has an engaging style. Thoroughly recommended.

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  • Steve
  • 02-18-18

Absolutely fascinating.

My only complaint is it could of been twice as long & still as good.

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  • Neil
  • 02-15-18

Well researched and presented

If you could sum up Uncommon People in three words, what would they be?

For a Generation

What did you like best about this story?

The presentation of facts about the music industry spanning a very long time

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The Zeppelin/Sabbath stuff but all good really

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No I wanted it to last

Any additional comments?

I highly recommend this to anyone with an interest in rock/pop music especially those born in the 50s and 60s who lived the same period as the author. I listened to this whist driving and it helped pass the journey and thought it to be a brilliant and entertaining book. My only criticism is that the author has a tendency to drop his voice for the one word during the more sensational revelations as if he is almost embarrassed by what he is saying and consequently you can miss the punchline.

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  • David
  • 06-06-19

Elegy for an era

Excellent and insightful. Good narration by author. A reminder of how we grew up , or not, on music.

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  • Jim Parker
  • 01-12-18

Endearingly Cynical Boomer Take on Rock Era

Anyone who grew up with rock music (particularly those of born between about 1950 and 1965) will adore this funny, acerbic, yet affectionate telling of the era of the rock star, starting from Little Richard in the mid-50s to Kurt Cobain in the early ‘90s. The writer, veteran UK rock journalist David Hepworth, is perfectly placed to tell the story, having had a Zelig-like presence at so many of the key moments described within. Each chapter covers a year at a time from 1955-1995, each focusing on one star at a pivotal point in their careers - whether on the up or on the long slide down. In each vignette, Hepworth takes one point in time to extrapolate out to the bigger themes of the book - the obsessive, highly insecure, hugely ambitious nature of the ‘rock star’ and the unbearable expectations we placed on them. There are some monsters in this book (the Led Zeppelin machine), some pathetically sad and lonely people (Cobain) and some outright psychopaths (Keith Moon). But as Hepworth says, that was how it had to be. That was why they were there and we are here. If you were only to read one book about the now long gone ‘rock era’, make it this one.