INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
The Guardian JULY 18, 2009 - by John Dugdale
ON SOME FARAWAY BEACH
On Some Faraway Beach: The Life And Times Of Brian Eno by David Sheppard
Aiming to reflect both "the iridescent public Eno and the vulnerable everyman Brian", Sheppard deftly shows how growing up near a US airbase, attending art school in the '60s and being exposed there to the work of avant-garde composers all helped to shape the androgynous randy dandy who played synthesizer for Roxy Music. He then traces Eno's myriad adventures after tension between him and Bryan Ferry forced him out of the band, including solo albums, celebrated collaborations with David Bowie, Talking Heads, U2 and others, inventing ambient music, producing art, theorising and publishing his diary. The anecdotes are entertaining throughout (as when John Cale claims he caught Eno about to attack him from behind with chopsticks in a studio power struggle), admiration and facetiousness are deliciously blended, and Sheppard's writing is splendidly vivid. He seems to tire towards the end, devoting relatively little space to the last twenty-five years, but that's the only flaw in a book that sets new standards for rock biography.