Book Review: A Dream About Lightning Bugs, by Ben Folds • Glam Adelaide

Book Review: A Dream About Lightning Bugs, by Ben Folds

From genre-defying icon Ben Folds comes a memoir reflecting on art, life and music that is as nuanced, witty and relatable as his cult classic songs.

By
One for true fans who have a burning curiosity to know more about the singer/songwriter/pianist’s journey.
Overall
3

Ben Folds, the musician, collaborator and social media leader with over one million followers across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, has penned his autobiography, A Dream About Lightning Bugs.

The title of this tome comes from a childhood dream in which no one can see them (the lightning bugs) until they have been captured in a jar. Once there, they are visible for all to see. This becomes the analogy for Fold’s music – his vision made lyrical isn’t truly available to all until it’s captured in song.

The book charts his musical development from his fascination with music at an early age, supported and encouraged by his mother, to his school years and the teachers who inspired him and provided further encouragement. From there he travels through his professional developmental years – the early bands and onto the formation of Ben Folds Five (a name that sounded better, in his opinion, than Ben Folds Three).

Folds is open and honest about his personal and professional journey – the influences on his songs, which in the case of songs like Brick, was incredibly personal. He has travelled across the world, both in bands and as a solo artist, meeting Australian Frally Hynes, with whom he had twins and relocated, for a number years to Australia.

For this reader, the most engaging aspect of the book is Fold’s Australian connection, from his appearance on the Midday Show with Kerri-Anne Kennerley and the recently departed Geoff Harvey, to his locally inspired song, Adelaide.

There is very little, creatively, that Folds has not done: working with various creative influencers, including unlikely collaborations with William Shatner and Neil Gaimen, to writing for animated features. Even now, having reached his 50s, he is still keen to seek new musical challenges.

This book is most definitely one for the true fans of Ben Folds who have a burning curiosity to know more about the singer/songwriter/pianist’s journey.

Reviewed by Glen Christie

Distributed by: Simon & Schuster Australia
Released: August 2019
RRP: $35.00

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