Moby - Then It Fell Apart, a review of the second volume of Moby's memoirs

In summer 1999, Moby released the album that defined the millennium. PLAY, which sold over 15 million copies worldwide.

What do you do when you realise you have everything you think you’ve ever wanted but still feel completely empty? What do you do when it all starts to fall apart? The second volume of Moby’s extraordinary life story is a journey into the dark heart of fame and the demons that lurk just beneath the bling and bluster of the celebrity lifestyle.

In summer 1999, Moby released the album that defined the millennium, PLAY. Like generation-defining albums before it, PLAY was ubiquitous, and catapulted Moby to superstardom. Suddenly he was hanging out with David Bowie and Lou Reed, Christina Ricci and Madonna, taking ecstasy for breakfast (most days), drinking litres of vodka (every day), and sleeping with supermodels (infrequently). It was a diet that couldn’t last. And then it fell apart.

Duffy’s Thoughts On Then It Fell Apart

I was and am a big fan of Moby’s music. Go, Porcelain, Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad, Natural Blues, Body Rock. All hits which instantly take me back to a time in the late ’90’s and 2000s where long hot summers of love, dance festivals, terrible fashion and drinking mistakes live on. When I listen to PLAY, I can smell Sunflowers perfume, and taste the sickly fake tropical flavours of a Bacardi Breezer, I have butterfly clips in my hair and a festival lanyard around my neck. Good times. Bloody good times.

But, what about poor old Moby? While we were all living and loving life, what was he up to? Was he living the celebrity life he dreamed of? Was he happy? Did he have love in his life? Was it all worth it?

Then It Fell Apart charts this decade of debauchery, crippling anxiety, ego and celebrity, interspersed with chapters about young Moby’s childhood. I was really looking forward to getting to know Moby a little better, after all, his music had a profound influence on a young impressionable Duff, but I came away bitterly disappointed.

Moby is not likeable. I think he wrote in an honest way, and honestly, the guy really digs himself. He really REALLY wanted to share how much he got laid, and some of the comments he made about the women he tried to pick up are just a bit ‘off’. There was, of course, the Natalie Portman Twitter storm earlier in the year and maybe this swayed my opinion, but seeing in his own words how he treated people in his life made me think he was, and is, a bit of a jerk.

“I was a bald binge drinker and Natalie Portman was a beautiful movie star. But here she was in my dressing room, flirting with me,” (2001)

Moby – Then It Fell Apart

Surprisingly Moby is happy for this side of his persona to be laid bare and is intentional. Did the fame, ego, drugs and litres and litres of Vodka make him this empty, unfeeling disconnected person? Did this decade of narcissistic behaviour and success blur his brain and give him the assumption that fact-checking and talking to the people he was putting in the book before it was published wasn’t a good idea?

“Do you think things will calm down now that your tour is over?” Christina (Ricci) asked me.

I smiled and took a slug of champagne from the bottle. “Oh, I hope not.”

Moby – Then It Fell Apart

I guess that’s you, the reader to decide.

For me, there was far too much self deprecation and I felt that Moby was putting that out there so strongly he’s hopeful people will pat him on the back and say “No way, man! You’re cool.”

Unfortunately I was not one of those people.

Book review of Moby Then It Fell Apart
Published by Allen & Unwin RRP 29.99