New Books Network

James Cook

Memory Songs

A Personal Journey into the Music that Shaped the 90s

Unbound 2018

New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in British StudiesNew Books in LiteratureNew Books in MusicNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Popular CultureNew Books Network June 7, 2018 Stephen Lee Naish

Today on the New Books in Music podcast James Cook discuses his book, Memory Songs: A Personal Journey into the Music that Shaped the...

Today on the New Books in Music podcast James Cook discuses his book, Memory Songs: A Personal Journey into the Music that Shaped the 90s (Unbound, 2018). The book details the author’s own adolescent musical obsessions from The Beatles to John Barry from Led Zeppelin to The Waterboys that led him to form his own band Flamingoes with his twin brother, Jude, and move to London in the early 1990s and begin the long the often perilous road to becoming a full-time working musician. The book is part memoir, part music criticism, part social history, and a vivid tale of life lived on the periphery of a vibrant era in British cultural history.

Originally a musician and songwriter, James Cook released two albums with his band Flamingoes: the acclaimed “Plastic Jewels” in 1995 and “Street Noise Invades the House” in 2007. Present from the start of the Britpop boom, The Flamingoes toured the UK and Europe extensively, selling 20,000 records worldwide. In 2009, one of James’ short stories was featured in the collection Vagabond Holes alongside work by Nick Cave and ManBooker winner D. B. C . Pierre. James has written about music for The Guardian and Litromagazine among others, and is currently working on a new book. He lives in London.


Stephen Lee Naish is a writer, independent researcher, and cultural critic. Originally from Leicester, UK, he now resides in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.