The Ballad of Speedball Baby: A Memoir

(Author) (Foreword by)
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Product Details
$16.99  $15.80
Blackstone Publishing
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.0 X 1.4 inches | 1.15 pounds

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About the Author

Ali Smith is the author of many works of fiction, which won many awards, including the Women's Prize for Fiction, the Goldsmiths Prize, and the Costa Novel of the Year Award. Her work has four times been short-listed for the Man Booker Prize.


"Ali Smith's The Ballad of Speedball Baby is a sometimes-harrowing ride poetically described in neon prose. Ali takes me to places I've been myself as a fellow 'woman of the road' and rocked and rolled. She brings it all back home so vividly with humor, originality, and love--and 'oh-yeah-that-happened-to-me-too' truthfulness. Like the touring band's rite of passage: crashing in a stranger's house in Where-am-I? USA and barely escaping with your life and bass guitar...or bartending in an East Village dive bar. It's a special experience being a Woman in Rock, and as Ali's story unfolds, she'll bring you along for the trip of your life."

-- "Kate Pierson, the B-52's"

"I loved reading this book about a punk world I didn't get to experience in New York City. I don't think I could have survived this dark, crazy, happy place. I'm not as tough as Ali Smith."

-- "Exene Cervenka, X"

"Beautifully written tales of grim outsider rock 'n' roll, the ups and downs, and the subterranean...Ali Smith writes of a completely different New York City, a dirtier time I just missed, and the fragile band bond very few have gotten right."

-- "Nick Zinner, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs"

"Ali Smith is one of my all-time favorite crackpots--like Zelda Fitzgerald!"

-- "Karen "Duff" Duffy, MTV VJ and author of Wise Up"

"By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, The Ballad of Speedball Baby isn't just a vivid account of mid-'90s Lower East Side bohemia and an unsparing portrait of what it's really like to be in a band. It's also a ripping read."

-- "Michael Azerrad, author of The Amplified Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana"

"A winning and moody memoir...Smith vividly captures the era's grit and glamour without glossing over its uglier attributes, including sexism, physical assault, and skinheads. Aspiring musicians and punk fans will eat this up."

-- "Publishers Weekly"

"To me personally, no band has personified the sound of New York better than Speedball Baby since Lou Reed or Suicide."

-- "Larry Hardy, founder of In the Red Records"

"Conversational and engaging...An appealing book for punk fans and those interested in 1990s women musicians."

-- "Kirkus Reviews"

"Ali Smith writes artfully, with harrowingly honest vision. An unflinching look at being a female punk rock musician searching for a place to belong in a scummy man's rock world. A wild ride. I could not stop reading it."

-- "Kid Congo Powers, guitarist for the Gun Club, the Cramps, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and author of Some New Kind of Kick"