Will BirchAug 31, 2022
Cruel to Be Kind
The Life and Music of Nick Lowe
Da Capo Press 2019
This is the definitive biography of singer-songwriter Nick Lowe, best known for "Cruel To Be Kind,” “I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass,” and "(What's So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding."
Biographer Will Birch, who in addition to being a music writer was a drummer and songwriter with The Records, has known Lowe for over forty years and melds Lowe's gift as a witty raconteur with his own authoritative analysis of Lowe's background and the cultural scenes he exemplifies. Lowe's parallel fame as one of the best interviews in the business will contribute to this first look into his life and work--and likely the closest thing fans will get to an autobiography by this notoriously charming cult figure.
This is not an authorized biography, but Lowe has given it his spiritual blessing and his management and label are fully on board. Cruel to Be Kind: The Life and Music of Nick Lowe (Da Capo Press, 2019) is the colorful yet serious account of one of the world's most talented and admired musicians. Based on a tremendous amount of legwork, exclusive interviews with Lowe, and contributions from Elvis Costello, Chrissie Hynde, Ry Cooder, Johnny Marr, Curtis Stigers, Huey Lewis, Daryl Hall, and many others, Cruel to Be Kind is a fascinating and fun portrait of one of the coolest figures in popular music.
Will Birch is a former drummer, songwriter and record producer for acts such as Dr Feelgood, the Long Ryders, Any Trouble and Billy Bremner of Rockpile. He enjoyed hits with the Kursaal Flyers (“Little Does She Know”) and The Records (“Starry Eyes”). Throughout the 1990s, Will wrote many articles for Mojo and other music magazines and in 2000 published his first book, No Sleep Till Canvey Island: The Great Pub Rock Revolution. In 2010 he published Ian Dury: The Definitive Biography.
Daniel Moran earned his B.A. and M.A. in English from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. in History from Drew University. The author of Creating Flannery O’Connor: Her Critics, Her Publishers, Her Readers, he teaches research and writing at Rutgers and co-hosts the podcast Fifteen-Minute Film Fanatics (Twitter @15MinFilm).