Hello there! There seems to be a slight theme appearing on my blog, as today we have another McFly related guest post. Today’s post comes from my dear friend Caitlyn, who has recently become more aware and involved in the McFly fandom and read the band’s autobiography with what I felt was a unique perspective, hence the guest post. A massive thank you to Caitlyn for writing such a fantastic book review. Read on!
You could say I got McFly’d.
I’ve read so many biographies that touch on the lives of sportsmen, actors, musicians and comedians. They continually have one thing in common: an insight into the untold stories that everyone who identifies with the particular personality or celebrity wants to know. I’ve always been fascinated by the forbidden nature of lives, even if it is just a novel based on actual life events. Anyone who knows me appreciates my obsession with knowing everything about anyone of interest, but sometimes that gets the better of me. After listening to McFly’s Memory Lane (the best of McFly) Deluxe album and remembering that I was quite fond of ‘Star Girl’ and ‘Five Colours in her hair’ back in the day, I began watching a few tour videos, looking at a couple of photos and as soon as my precious pal Kara mentioned that I could borrow her copy of ‘Unsaid Things’, I knew I had to read it.
Being a largely rock/punk music lover, I occasionally listened to Mcfly. They weren’t high on my radar because of their vague existence in my world. I never heard of them touring in Australia or doing a whole lot over here and because of my lack of knowledge, I was going into this book knowing hardly anything. You could say I was merely an acquaintance to their music, a friend of a friend. I didn’t even know their drummers name until a couple of days prior to reading the book. I had heard Tom and Dougie’s name thrown around by friends and I knew Danny because even though I never listened to their music, I’d always fancied him. So Kara proposed that I do a review because of my “unique perspective” – Excuse me while I feel like a special snowflake and relish in being unique. Without further ado, here’s my vague and somewhat mediocre review of ‘Unsaid Things’.
After reading through the childhoods of each member, I couldn’t personally connect to any of the boys – until I got to Dougie. All of their childhood memories seemed quite standard for potential pop stars and that made me feel like anyone could do what they do. They went through the usual heartbreak, family destruction and mutual bullying stories that everyone these days seem to have. I think through the delivery of these stories to the reading audience, especially Tom with Giovanna, people can really get a sense of how significant her existence was to the band.
When I reached Dougie’s reflections on his childhood, every line became more and more familiar to me.
The first reference that caught my attention was Dougie’s frank realization that “For me, school meant constantly trying to avoid awkward, embarrassing situations,” That pretty much summed up my time at high school, and I imagine a lot of people could relate to that same experience. Dougie went on to say how “None of them liked me, simply because I didn’t dress like them or listen to the same music,” and it was that statement that really hit home for me. The constant need to fit in, like Dougie, was so easy to relate to. When you hear that people go through the same things, you feel mildly okay with the amount of torture that occurred during those 4 years of what was apparently a high school education. To top it off, Dougie’s introduction to punk music happened the exact same way as mine did!
“I have a really cool aunt – my mum’s sister – and she’d lent me some Nirvana and Pearl Jam, and she bought me my first ever Blink 182 CD”.
I think that without my aunty, I would never have discovered bands like Blink 182, Nirvana, Green Day and The Clash. She bought me a Nirvana CD and I was hooked from that day forth. I’m hearing you, Dougie.
The moment Dougie and Harry met was one part of the book that still remains within my memory. I met one of my best friends the same way they did and I feel that it validates how significant music can be for a friendship. Dougie explains, “I saw that [Harry] was wearing a Starting Line T-Shirt… I plucked up a bit of courage. ‘Mate, were you at the Starting Line gig the other night?’” – I thought that was the sweetest thing even if Harry came off as a douche. Don’t judge!
I had a good laugh about the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Poor Vlad – he’s pretty much shamed for life but I suppose that’s what he gets for “pleasuring himself”. It was seriously the best thing I have ever heard in my entire life. Oh and Boner Boy! Could these guys be any funnier? I don’t think they could be even if they tried.
The banter that occurred during the book through their discussion about each monumental or pivotal event within the band made for some great revelations. Going into the book, knowing next to nothing about the process of each album, how they even felt about the music and the way they formed, I really got into it. It was in-depth, surprisingly honest and unbelievably raw, which I found to be important in the way they told the story. Harry’s honesty about the time in LA with Lindsay Lohan, Danny’s descriptions of his scandalous past, which has now led him to discovering current love, was a highlight. I think it is still safe to say that Danny’s personality and hilarity captured my attention and I hate to pick favourites but I’m calling it. Danny Jones, will you marry me?
Tom really did remind me of my dear friend, Kara. The parts that shone through and made me laugh out loud at the astounding similarities were in the band house. The paragraph in Tom’s perspective, “Our band had barely begun, and already our bass player and drummer were a couple of drug fiends!” – Oh, so dramatic. I can imagine that would be a shock for someone clean-cut or at least sensible enough to consider the potential gold mine the band was sitting on. Then the bolded rules; this made me laugh like a total maniac at 4am.
1) You’re only allowed to smoke on Saturdays
2) You’re only allowed to smoke after 11pm
3) You’re only allowed to smoke outside.
Brilliant work, Fletcher! I can now see why you’ve banged on about how fantastic Tom Fletcher is for the 3 years I’ve known you, Kara.
I enjoyed reading about the time in the band house the most out of the entire book. I sensed that was the time everything started to change for each individual member. I suppose I laughed the most during that chapter because they were all developing into the men they later adapt to the superstar life.
Note: Why can’t I smell the scented candles that Elton John has in every room of his house? Let me see his nude male sculptures, wear the copious amounts of sunglasses he owns and eat his tacos, please!
All of the dark topics that came to light in the book are things I won’t go into because they speak for themselves. What I will say is, majority of the struggles they suffered throughout their time in the band are problems every day people fight. They aren’t invincible and I admire them, especially Dougie for pulling through any depression, addiction or identity crisis they tolerated. It got dark, I shed a tear or 100 because it hit home. There were times I wanted to jump into the story and hug them because it appeared to be so tragic. I know so many people who have tolerated similar anxieties but the light that shone through after they received help is an excellent prototype for people to learn from.
They are incredible men; there is no doubt about that.
I imagine that McFly still have so many things that they have kept from the book but it really does feel like they poured out the entirety of stories that have been accumulated during the 10 odd years they have survived as a band. As someone who was none the wiser, I found it so intriguing. I started the book at around 2am one morning and read it non-stop until 7am the same day. You hear the saying; “I like literally couldn’t put it down, guys. It was so good,” (yes, I am saying this a Californian accent, I apologize) but I’m not lying when I say this in my pretty standard Australian accent, I couldn’t stop reading. It had me gripped, upright against my laptop, hanging onto every word they said because they were just ordinarily talented kids who wanted to start a band. Pretty orthodox dream, if you ask me. I don’t think any of them believed it would go as far as it has and now I’m happily enjoying their records, which have prime position on my iTunes playlist.
I always like to end a blog post with a quote. Luckily for me, I’m reviewing a book so it’s slightly easier than when I was talking about photography or whatever bullocks I go on about. And with that, I will leave you with my favourite line.
Tom: “He’d decided to share some wisdom about his sexual techniques,”
“It’s not about the size of the boat. It’s the motion in the ocean”