You have stocked up, having flung a greedy arm against the nose of a grasping pensioner at the supermarket to get that final roll of toilet paper.
You have enough tinned carrots and potatoes to last several months despite never having actually eaten tinned vegetables since you were at school, and you are now frantically scouring the internet for recipes that will allow you to use up your own body weight of dried pasta and spam from the mountain you have hoarded.
The seven hundred bars of chocolate you bought for the next six months have already halved in number in just three days, but hey, there’s always Amazon.
Congratulations. You can now safely self-isolate.
The next question is what to do with your time, assuming you haven’t already caught the virus (in which case your time may be taken up with being unwell).
The answer is here: five music-themed books to provide comfort and inspiration while you fend off people trying to break in to your house to steal your stockpile of snickers bars.
1. Broken Greek by Pete Paphides
Released earlier this month, Broken Greek tells the story of the author, whose parents emigrated from Cyprus in the early seventies and ran a fish and chip shop. It describes in Proustian detail how he came to terms with life in the U.K. through the music he heard on the radio. It is funny, moving and hugely enjoyable: perhaps the first such book to treat music by The Jam and Dexy’s as equally seriously / critically as The Wombles and The Barron Knights. Paphides eventually became a writer for Melody Maker and The Times, where he probably didn’t write very often about the Wombles. Melody Maker’s loss is your gain.
2. Dreaming The Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and The Whole World by Rob Sheffield
Originally published in 2017, this is a terrific series of often funny, controversial but always engaging chapters and thoughts about The Beatles. It looks at The Beatles as they are now, still in people’s thoughts, still influencing bands and artists, and as something that kept happening, despite the fact they split up fifty years ago.
3. Everybody Dance: Chic and the Politics of Disco by Daryl Easlea
Revised and updated from the original 2004 edition, this is a comprehensive and entertaining look at a now much-loved band that has benefited from a long overdue reassessment, partly thanks to the initial release of this book. The book seeks to contextualise Chic in their time, while assessing the history of the Disco movement, and succeeds in bringing a fascinating history to life.
4. Vinyl Countdown by Graham Sharpe
“Vinyl’s making a comeback, isn’t it?” says a man to the author of this book, Graham Sharpe, who has probably visited more record shops in the U.K. than any other person.
“It never went away” replies Graham.
This book is a love letter to record collecting and the record shops that feed the addictions of those who have fallen under the spell of vinyl.
5. Beastie Boys Book by Michael Diamond and Adam Horowitz
A beautifully presented history of The Beastie boys as stuffed to the gills with photos as it is with brilliant anecdotes. By taking an unflinching, critical look at themselves in their own words and through the mouths of the people around them, Mike D and Ad-Rock (AKA the authors of this book) have told their story – and that of their late band-mate Adam “MCA” Yauch, in a touching and personal way that you feel couldn’t ever be improved upon.
Can you recommend a great music book to self-isolate with? If so, tell me what you are reading in the comments section below…