Losing your mother when you’re barely a week old, being dismissed from arguably the greatest Manchester band of all time before they became famous, going through a string of failed marriages, having numerous estranged children and suffering from Aspergers would probably be enough to break most people. Not Dale Hibbert. He’s happy enough serving coffee in his upmarket shop in Todmorden.

'Boy, Interrupted' charts Hibbert’s life in all its ordinary and extraordinary glory from his first breaths in a North Manchester suburb to his current happy existence in the aforementioned Yorkshire town.

Whilst a sizeable chunk of this book does cover his time as the original bassist in the Smiths, and it does provide a revealing insight into the band’s earliest incarnation, it is just as much, indeed more so, about Hibbert’s life. The struggle of childhood years without a mother, through teenage years in a bleak Manchester of the 1970s, made only bearable by music and women (and not always in that order) and finally the challenges of adulthood and coping with Aspergers. There are also spells living in Australia and the Czech Republic as well as making and losing pots of money that make his story even more interesting.

Inevitably, however, it will be the connection to the Smiths that attracts people to this book - I doubt I would have read it if Dale Hibbert had just been an unknown northern bloke, but his life away from his brief involvement with the band is just as fascinating and worth reading for that alone.

Written in a very matter of fact way, but not without positivity, despite enduring some pretty tough times, Hibbert recounts his tale as someone who has contributed so much more than just having been the original bass player in a soon to be famous band. Whilst he may not be bitter about his time in The Smiths, at least Hibbert has beaten Morrissey to the title 'Boy, Interrupted!'

A must read.

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