Digested Read – “How I Became Irrelevant” by Tim Burgess – April 2012

by everydayheartbreak

I dislike Tim Burgees quite a bit. You should too. The following is an abridged version of his recently published autobiography How I Became Irrelavent.


I was born in Salford in 1967 which makes me 44 years old. I’ve crammed a lot into those 44 years, much of it, in my mind, game changing. But as I get older I become mellower (I’m listening to Dubstep) and to paraphrase Dylan Thomas “I rage against the dying of the (lime) light” – this book is a way of showing people that I’m Tim Burgess, I may be 44, but I am anything but irrelevant (the title is obviously a joke). And yes my new hair cut is for real. What? You didnt realise i moved to a warehouse in Dalston after leaving my wife and kids in LA? Oh right.

Chapter One

I was born in Salford which makes me cool because Salford has an association with The Smiths. The Smiths are one of my very favourite ever bands In fact the reason I moved to LA was because Morrissey did the same. Also Johnny Marr smiled at me once in the Trafford Centre.

I grew up in Cheshire (but the less said about this the better).

Chapter Two

In 1989 I joined The Charlatans, we knew that the music coming out of Manchester was pretty cool and relevant so I decided at this point that it would be a good idea to pretend that I actually was from Manchester. Because let’s be honest has anyone who has gone on to be relevant ever come from Nantwich?

Chapter Three

The Only One I Know – you’ll know that one, it was hit! And it is one of a handful of singles by The Charlatans that is still bearable in 2012. The less said about Love Is The Key the better. Even i relaise that that is rubbish. Too much coke is the reason it exists. Have i written about when we blew coke up each others arses yet?

Chapter Four

We released some more albums…bit hazy really – i do howver remember blowing coke up Bernard Sumners arse back sdtage at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall. That stands out quite clear in teh memory.

Chapter Five

We released the album Tellin’ Stories in 1996 and from it we released four singles, all of them you’ll know because all of them are grade A brilliant.

“One to Another” (26 August 1996) – #3 UK, “North Country Boy” (24 March 1997) – #4 UK, “How High” (9 June 1997) – #6 UK, “Tellin’ Stories” (20 October 1997) – #16 UK

(Ed. 21st October 1997 was the last time the word relevant and The Charlatans were found in the same sentence together – in an un-ironic way)

Tim: Note – I think it’s easier to use my Wikipedia page to fill up the chapters from here on in. In short in went to live in LA (man) and took to wearing a stetson, i then went out to Joshua Tree and listened to Gram Parsons – i decided a country tinged solo album was a good idea. I can’t for teh life of me remember why now? Probably coke again.

Chapter Six

“2006 saw Burgess return with the Charlatans, releasing another album Simpatico. A change in style, it had a more reggae and ska-like sound to it.” At least that’s what it says on Wikipedia. Again why did i think that was a good idea? It all sounds a bit UBfucking40. I was drinking quite hevaily at the time.

Chapter Seven

“In October 2007 The Charlatans controversially announced they were to give away their 10th album You Cross My Path for free, sending the record industry into extreme confusion (Ed. confusion that The Charlatans were even still making music), most critics and fans believed it was also their best album to date.” Yeah that was a bit desparate wasn’t it in retrospect? It’s only becuase fucking Radiohead did it. I was all making teh bastards pay for it, but the PR people said it would make a good story – it obviously fell flat on it’s arse as no one even downloaded it for free. We couldn’t give teh fucking thing away. I decided at this point taht the best thing to do was visit all teh universities in the UK and smaller festivals and play or our earlier “classic” albums in full, Piece of genius too as everyone knew all teh words and i didnt have to sing Love Is The Key.

Chapter Eight

“Burgess is also a member of a group called The Chavs, along with ex-Libertine Carl Barât, Primal Scream keyboard player Martin Duffy, ex Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows and newest member Jamie Reynolds from The Klaxons. The band traditionally plays once every blue moon. The first gig was the Tap’n’Tin club in Chatham, Kent, the second at the strummerville stage at Glastonbury and the third on Alan Mcgee’s TV show, Death Disco TV. Though Burgess has stated that the band does have plans to record their debut album in August ’09 (Ed. Thank the fucking Lord that never happened)”

Yeah i havn’t really mentioned all my cool friends have i? Well they are my mates we meet up and jam and shit.

Chapter Nine

My marriage has sadly broken down over the last few years, we are now divorced. My ex-wife sited ridiculous haircuts, sub-nineties era Charlatans albums, the fact that even though I’m in my mid-forties I dress like a 22 year old and being made to live on a hill in LA because Morrisey lived down the road – as the reasons for the break up.

Anyway what does she know, I’m cool – I AM COOL. Look I now live in a warehouse in Dalston – what could be cooler than that? Exactly.

I am working on a new solo record, I wrote a nice line about that on my Wikipedia page:

“Burgess is also currently writing and recording an album with friends and relatives which he feels the natural successor to I Believe”

I have no idea why “friends and relatives” is in italics – I think perhaps that was before my divorce as most of my relatives hate me. My brother in law John saw me at Heathrow a few weeks ago, I was off on tour with Chocolate Stains On My Pants (they are a really cool band from Dalston who you probably won’t have heard of – I produced their EP last year) and he told me that I should “sort my fucking life out and grow the fuck up”. Which was nice of him. He was going skiing with his family. I was off to Rotterdam to do coke with people half my age. Whose having the better time? (That’s a rhetorical question – it’s me Tim). And anyway I do still have friends Didz Hammond still texts me (Ed. Didz Hammond played in bass in toilet bowl indie wasters The Cooper Temple Clause) he said we should go for a drink the other day at the Hawley in Camden, I told him I couldn’t leave Dalston and suggested we go to the Alibi. He text back to tell me I should “sort my fucking life out and grow the fuck up” – but I think he was joking.

This is the End