A tale of drugs, in-fighting, insecurities, and in-depth stories on the songs and albums you love and more, Simon Young’s authorised biography of Therapy?, So Much For The 30 Year Plan, is an essential read for not only fans of the band but also for music aficionados who love a good yarn.
Meticulously crafted and compiled by Young, a music journalist who has twenty years experience writing for such publications as Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, and Classic Rock to name a few, the book is a year-by-year journey that coincides with the thirtieth anniversary of of the legendary Punk/Pop/Alternative and all around Rawkin’ Irish trio.
Working with the current members Andy Cairns (Vocals, Guitars), Michael McKeegan (Bass), and Neil Cooper (Drums), Young shares intimate tales on almost every track written with Cairns sharing inspiration for just about every lyric ever put to paper.
Elsewhere, there’s an abundance of footnotes that color the impressive legend of Therapy?:
What is the origin of the Gemil logo (The angry triangle-shaped fella)? Where does that opening line from “Meat Grinder” come from (Think Philip K. Dick and Harrsion Ford)? Who is screaming at the start of “Nausea” (Hint: He often hangs with some Bad Seeds)? What does “James Joyce Is Fucking My Sister” mean? Does Andy even have a sister? How was working with the late Andy Gill (On 2009’s Crooked Timber)? Why were Pleasure Death and Babyteeth conspicuously absent from 2013’s massive collection, The Gemil Box?
Elsewhere, fans get to see the seeds planted for the eventual departure of original drummer Fyfe Ewing and the seemingly revolving doors of fill-in’s before a chance meeting at a Rival Schools show led the band to enlist Neil Cooper who has been a permanent fixture since 2002. There’s early stories of Cairns being swayed by the rawk after buying his first record (Which he still owns but you have to pick up the book to find out what it is!), forsaking a career in journalism for music and his earliest lessons with a person named Matilda.
Later, there’s label woes that continued even after they landed on A&M early in their career (And the fallout they faced from fans calling them “sell outs” after leaving Touch & Go mirroring Soundgarden’s move from Sub Pop almost) and the collective decision to transition to a more DIY approach so that the band could flourish and survive through the ever changing music landscape. You’ll learn more of the quartet years and what became of cellist/guitarist Martin McCarrick as well as insight into Cairns’ mini solo career.
The book culminates as Therapy? reunited with producer Chris Sheldon in 2019 to record their most recent record, Greatest Hits (2020 Versions), which was done in a day and coincidentally fell 25 years to the day since Shortsharpshock (Their debut EP, also recorded by Sheldon) was recorded to bring it all full circle (McKeegan: “We’d spent twenty-eight years doing the pre-production, so we really couldn’t fuck up”).
As a tattoo-embalzoned fan myself (The Infernal Love logo if you’re curious), I devour whatever I can get my grubby little paws on when it comes to Therapy? and this collection by Young is akin to the Therapy? bible. As a fan of the band it’s a must have and for the casual fan of the band or for general rawk/music bio connoisseurs it’s a must read.
So Much For The 30 Year Plan arrives on September 22nd through Jawbone Press. Pre-orders are available now by clicking here. For the latest on Therapy?, follow the band across their socials by clicking here, here, or here. For more releases from Jawbone Press, follow them here and here.
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