Ted Kessler To Ease My Troubled Mind: The Authorised, Unauthorised History of Billy Childish

Label
White Rabbit
Released
15th August 2024

Format Info

Book: Special Edition
Hardback book bound in lime green linen boards with foiled tiles designed by Billy and housed in a custom Kraft paper solander box w/ four colour inside printing. Plus exclusive 4 track 7" and signed woodcut print by Billy. Strictly limited to just 333 copies.

In 1977, 17-year-old Steven Hamper was a stonemason in the dockyards of Chatham, Kent. His heart, however, beat in sync with the punk rock tremors of the era, seduced by its celebration of amateurism. So, in a gesture of revolutionary defiance, he took a 3lb club hammer and smashed his hand, vowing to never work again. In doing so, Steven Hamper metamorphosed into Billy Childish, a true renaissance man. Childish has since remained steadfastly true to punk’s DIY cred, becoming one of the
most recognisable and authentic voices in whichever artistic endeavour he undertakes.

He has released over one hundred and fifty albums of raw rock and roll, punk, blues and folk, written many volumes of searing poetry as well as several autobiographical novels. But what he is perhaps best known for in recent years is his painting, for which he is now critically, commercially and internationally feted. He hasn’t changed course in any of his disciplines, though. The world just caught up with the sheer volume of his brutally honest
work.

To Ease My Troubled Mind is a mosaic portrait collated over a year of interviews with Childish, as well as with close family, ex girlfriends, bandmembers past and present, friends, foes, collaborators, even his therapist. It is an unflinching, yet frequently spiritual and funny portrait of an artist whose obstacle-strewn upbringing formed the backbone of his work: raised in a broken home and abused as a child, Childish was an undiagnosed dyslexic in remedial class at school who is nevertheless now Britain’s most prolific and uncompromising creative force.