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Under A Rock

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781472157638

Price: £25

ON SALE: 6th June 2024

Genre: The Arts / Music

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‘Sometimes fate deals up a wild card. There’s a lot to be said for one of these wild cards and from what I’ve learned over the fifty or so years of our friendship, Chris is a card from the unexpected deck’ – from the foreword by Debbie Harry

Musician, photographer, storyteller, and longtime partner to Debbie Harry, Chris Stein defined the sound of an era, catapulting the icon band Blondie to #1 and selling over 20 million copies of Parallel Lines.

In this no-holds-barred autobiography, Stein reveals himself-this time not in songwriting or photography, which he’s previously been known for, but in words. From a Brooklyn boyhood, a move across the river to the gritty and fecund East Village in the late 1970s allowed Stein to tap the explosive creativity that defined the era in the city. It was a time when David Bowie and the Ramones were also making music, when Andy Warhol was still alive and promoting Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work, when cool was defined not by where you came from but by what you could contribute to culture.

UNDER A ROCK is a plunge into that vanished time period, and into the moments that turned the fresh sound and new look of punk and new wave into a giant artistic and commercial sensation. Stein takes us there in this revelatory, propulsive, distinctive memoir.


'so evocative that it almost vibrates with music from the era. It is also surprisingly funny and candid, and a tender love letter to [Stein's] lifelong partner and friend'
The i
'Stein emerges as genuinely likable [and] genuinely fascinating, above and beyond his rock star status... [Under A Rock is] that rare thing: a music autobiography that leaves you wanting more, not less'
Alexis Petridis, Guardian
'[E]ngaging...Written in an off-the-cuff style, this memoir offers a descriptive, highly impressionistic account of the author's role in Blondie and his life in New York City. Will engage general readers'
Library Journal
'In this richly packed memoir, Stein unsentimentally traces Blondie's journey from pre-punk NYC's scuzzy downtown streets to a pop stardom... as a keen photographer, Stein has an excellent eye for little textural insights - [Stein's] desire to document his world, frame by extraordinary frame, never dulls'
Alice Thomas, Mojo magazine
'[Stein's memoir] is snappy and high-octane, but also tender, fuelled by the love he still has for [Debbie] Harry... it's a document of a remarkable life'
Sunday Times
'[An] atmospheric narrative'
Publishers Weekly
'With a stream-of-consciousness writing style and a talent for storytelling, the author recounts with intriguing specificity the trajectory his life has taken, replete with wild, sometimes unbelievable stories... a fascinating yet cautionary account regarding the hazards of rock 'n' roll and celebrity'
Kirkus (starred review)