Sour Mouth, Sweet Bottom: Lessons from a Dissolute Life

Unbound. Nov. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9781800181892. $29.95. MUSIC
What does one do when one’s only objectives in life are to listen to music, eat with friends, get drunk, have sex, and just think? Become a rock manager, of course. Born in England in 1939, Napier-Bell left school at 17 to become a musician but soon made his mark as a songwriter. He co-wrote the lyrics for Dusty Springfield’s hit song “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me,” which led to rock-band management (for the Yardbirds, Wham!, Sinead O’Connor, and others) and eventually music production. Though he shares anecdotes about the bands and people he has met (Tina Turner finding a caterpillar in her au gratin, getting stoned with Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk), this is more about the ups and downs of Napier-Bell’s own rather (in his words) “dissolute life” and his travels around the world, fine food, sex, bankruptcies, and being gay in the UK in the mid-20th century. Napier-Bell demonstrates British flair, often funny and sometimes snarky. Now in his eighties, he’s been around the music business block a few times and seen it all.
VERDICT A walk down the wild side of memory lane that music-loving baby boomers will especially enjoy.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing