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Read an Excerpt from Moby's Page-Turning Rave Memoir 'Porcelain'

Read a chronicle about Moby miming his British television debut.

by Michael Scott Barron
23 May 2016, 6:54am

Image courtesy of Penguin Press

Moby's much-anticipated memoir Porcelain, which covers his early career from the late 1980s until the recording of Go, went on sale this week, and while the musician is making the press rounds, now may be a good time to have a chance to actually read what the book contains. Now, thanks to the Guardian, you can have a sneak peak at some of Moby's wilder moments.

The excerpt recounts Moby (real name Richard Melville Hall) miming his UK debut performance for the Top of the Pops TV show: "I ran on stage. The crowd roared, but I panicked because my keyboard wasn't plugged in and I didn't even have a microphone. They didn't care: 3,000 people were dancing and yelling 'Go!' at the top of their lungs. I banged on my unplugged keyboard and yelled 'Go!'."

Afterward Hall wanders around the streets of London. Finding England not to be the "bucolic" country full of "witty university students," he'd imagined encountering, he is instead greeted by a rainy, forlorn place: "Then there was this England, the rainy, cold England that was the background for every movie about defeated people waiting to die in public housing estates. This was the country that gave birth to Joy Division. If Ian Curtis had been born in Palo Alto he'd probably be managing a chain of organic coffee shops and married to a yoga teacher."

Hall being a descendent from literary giant Herman Melville (hence his middle and stage name), has unsurprisingly won him his some fans in the literary world, including The Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie who wrote the following blurb: "[Porcelain chronicles] ten years of Moby's life, mostly in the decrepit, dangerous, much-loved New York City of the 1990s, a life comically overcrowded, filthy, alcohol-fuelled, vegan, unbelievably noisy, full of spit and semen and some sort of Christianity; and often, suddenly, moving. The writing is terrific, enlivened by a bewildered deadpan humor that makes crazy sense of it all. His ancestor Herman Melville would, I think, be simultaneously revolted and proud."

Porcelain is out with Penguin Press. Read the excerpt here.