Iain Shirley - Never Known Questions : Five Decades of The Reside [Cherry Red Books - 2016]Following on from Theory Of Obscurity-the recent & excellent documentary on The Residents. Here we have a new book covering the projects whole career from the late 1960’s, right up until 2014.
The book comes in the form of a 200 plus page paperback- this features twenty pages of colour pictures, a good grade paper stock, and a nice colourful cover taking in the project in their iconic Eyeball & top-hat look, along with pictures from their recent 40th anniversary tour. The books written by respected music writer, and long term Resident’s fan Ian Shirley.
The book is broken up into twenty chapters, and follows the project from its humble beginnings as a group of Louisiana friends arriving in San Francisco. Onto their time as UK music press darlings in the late 70’s- early 80’s, & the making of classic albums such as Duck Stab, Eskimo, & The Commercial Album. Through to the popular though financially disastrous Mole Show tour. Onto their ground breaking multi-media projects of the early 1990’s. Through to their live more theatrical reassurance with the likes of the Wormwood tour. Onto the Mute reissue & albums from the early 2000’s. Bringing up-to-date with the recent tour, and the making of Theory of Obscurity doc.
The book is part up-date/ re-write of Shirley’s 1993 book Meet the "Residents", and part new material taking in the developments since that first book. So for those who have already read Meet the "Residents"- you get the addition of 50 plus pages of new text, plus the original text has been added to. So this is still well worth picking-up, even if you’ve read his original Resident book( which is now long out-of- Print, and pricey to get hold of). It’s great to have a book back in print about the band, and Shirley does a great job in charting the projects career.
All in all Never Known Questions : Five Decades of The Residents, is a must have for old & new fans of this most distinctive, original, and unique projects. Roger Batty