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June 2, 2017

Book Notes - Cosey Fanni Tutti "Art Sex Music"

Art Sex Music

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Lauren Groff, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Cosey Fanni Tutti's bold and fascinating memoir Art Sex Music chronicles a life led through art, both performance art and music as a member of Throbbing Gristle, Chris and Cosey (AKA CarterTutti), COUM, and other projects.

Kirkus Reviews wrote of the book:

"Without a hint of regret, Tutti bares all in the name of art and personal integrity. A bravura rock memoir vibrating with fierce and fearless memories―a must-have item for Chris and Cosey and Throbbing Gristle fans."

In her own words, here is Cosey Fanni Tutti's Book Notes music playlist for her memoir Art Sex Music:

As music is my preferred form of self expression, and dominates my life in terms of live performances and studio recordings, I had so many tracks to select from that relate to my autobiography Art Sex Music.

‘Because the Night’ by Patti Smith
I used this track during my stripping days. It was totally different to the usual more popular songs I danced to on stage. When I was booked for a venue with a decent sized dance area I'd have the DJ play this for me to strip to... getting totally lost in the spirit of the song - “because the night belonged to lovers - because the night belonged to lust". Those words said it all for me at that time too, as me and Chris weren't yet free to be together. Our nights, given the opportunity, were all about love and lust - hence our 1984 Chris & Cosey album title, 'Love and Lust'. I got to see Patti and the band perform live at Wembley through my friend Sandy Robertson, who was a journalist for the UK music press and also crazy mad about her.

'Hey Joe' by Jimi Hendrix
1967 was a good year - it was the first time I saw Jimi Hendrix perform and I was blown away by him. It's difficult to explain just how outrageous he was at that time especially to the people in a fishing port in the North of England. But for me he was an inspiration, a vision of another way to be, an introduction to a revolutionary way to play guitar.

'Venus in Furs' by Velvet Underground & Nico
This album and particularly this song is the most evocative of my teenage self, my sexual awakening. No matter how many times I listen to it, it always takes me back to that time and place, to being with my friends, talking about changing the world, the smell of joss sticks and hashish hanging in the air, laying on huge velvet floor cushions, stoned and wrapped in the arms of my lover.

'Alone Again Or' by Love
Perfection in melody, harmony, rhythms, vocals that work so exquisitely and together to create emotional highs of joy and gently evoke the tenderest of feelings. And that trumpet! Sends ripples of pure ecstasy right through me. I never ever get sick of listening to the whole 'Forever changes' album. Maybe it's because it was played so much and provided me solace in my tormented youthful years, echoing my own moments of light and darkness.

'Take It Easy' by Prince Buster & the All Stars
The music for summer days but most memorably from when I was working in a chess factory in Hull. Listening to Prince Buster was so uplifting and really chilled us all out singing along together, taking the edge of being at work.

'Dancing Queen' by ABBA
I know this became a kitsch song but it has a different resonance with me. For one thing the title - I was doing topless dancing and striptease when this was released and played in all the venues I worked in. Chris bought me the 7” single - for (his) 'Dancing Queen' and I carried it with me as a love token although I never danced to it. The upbeat joyous feel of the music always makes me think of Chris and want to dance, yet a little melancholy because of the circumstances of my situation back then.

Cosey Fanni Tutti and Art Sex Music links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry
excerpt from the book

Guardian review
New Statesman review
Rolling Stone review

Dazed profile of the author
East Anglian Daily Times profile of the author
Guardian profile of the author
Hot Press profile of the author
Jezebel interview with the author
MTV News profile of the author

also at Largehearted Boy:

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Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
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