Black Postcards: A Rock & Roll Romance by Dean Wareham

Jul 17, 2013

Frontman for bands Galaxie 500 and Luna, Dean Wareham chronicles his life before, during and after the breakup of both of his bands, as well as his first marriage. Black Postcards is written simply, honestly, and Wareham is up front about drug use, tempers, and infidelity. He is neither cagey about these things, nor does he glorify them. Things just are. They happened and he relays it all in a very matter of fact voice.

The first portion of the book focuses on Dean’s early life: his childhood and family life. Also featured are copious lists of bands he saw in concert during his early years. I suppose we are to read between the lines here and see where his influences lie, but it comes across more of name dropping than discussion of musical taste and influences. The book becomes far more compelling when it shifts to discussing first Galaxie 500, then Luna; focusing on the formation, lifespan and disintegration of each band. Wareham lays it all out, and doesn’t make much of a case for being in a band. The majority of events sound pretty rough, not glamorous as one expects. Wareham also does a fine job of explaining how music contracts work, why bands must tour and keep producing more and more albums, and why the stress of it all often leads to the demise of our favorite bands.

Reviewed by Hilary S.
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