New Book on Doomed British Star, Billy Mackenzie

If you were into alternative music pre-grunge, chances are you knew something of The Associates, a Scottish band led by singer Billy Mackenzie and multi-instrumentalist Alan Rankine.  

They had a couple of major UK hits in the early 80s before a falling out led to the band’s demise. (The tales of drug use are legendary.) Unable to restart his career, Mackenzie committed suicide in 1997.  

This track, “Party Fears Two,” was one of their biggest songs.

It was generally acknowledged that Mackenize was a major talent who just couldn’t stay on the right path.  He was, well, eccentric.  After a business meeting in London, he asked for a cab.  Instead of taking in to his local address, he asked that he be ferried to his house in Dundee, Scotland.

There’s now a new book on Billy entitled The Glamour Chase, featuring interviews with many of his contemporaries, including Mark Almond of Soft Cell and Siouxsie Sioux.  Find it here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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