Book Review: Jah Wobble – Dark Luminosity: Memoirs of a Geezer

At 448 pages in print, or over 500 on Kindle, I can’t seem to put it down.

Jah Wobble’s memoir receives an expanded edition, which I had to buy after the beautiful concert at the Respect festival. It was a catalyst, and I don’t regret a minute of those hours spent reading on my balcony, sipping coffee, hoping for rain to match the gloomy mood of 70s England.

„Dark Luminosity: Memoirs of a Geezer“ is an easy read with a rhythm that makes you want to read just one more page. Even when the topics are moldy houses, flats without bathrooms, money troubles, or selfish junkie bandmates, it captivates.

It covers Jah Wobble’s personal and musical life, from a less-than-ideal childhood to his current, much calmer persona. For someone who isn’t primarily a writer, he writes remarkably well (full disclosure: since my English isn’t perfect, I tend to abandon books that aren’t compelling, but here I actually wished it were longer). It’s less humorous than you might expect after hearing Wobble joke on stage. The 70s had their share of ugly moments, and Wobble isn’t friendly with everyone from that scene. He’s very observant and doesn’t hesitate to portray now-legendary figures in an unflattering light.

I loved the mentions of musical details that seem important to his sensibilities, like sometimes preferring musicians to play drums instead of „proper“ drummers, or the theory that when rock musicians focus too much on being dark and mysterious, they lose their humor and empathy.

I’m learning a lot about England, punk, music, and the music business. It’s a very enjoyable book, and I’m extremely glad this was documented, even when some parts are really dark. The title should have warned me, I guess. Ha.

Dark Luminosity: Memoirs of a Geezer

expanded edition. Paperback / Kindle edition

Out May 2024