First published back in December of 2005 and subsequently updated and rereleased in October of 2013, ‘Falling Upwards’ formed the autobiography for artist, musician, actor and writer - Tim Dry.

DLS Synopsis:
Born in Redhill, Surrey back in 1952, Tim Dry’s early years were spent much like many other young boys of that era.  However from an early age, perhaps sparked-off by the brief glimpse of a possible UFO at the age of nine, Dry’s imagination and creative flare for the strange and uniquely diverse began to emerge.

School life wasn’t perhaps the most enjoyable of periods for this young and developing boy.  There were repeated and recurring episodes of bullying which would leave a bitter stain at the back of his mind.  But as he grew up and entered his teens, Tim Dry began to adapt and his life started to follow a seemingly naturally-guided course.  Music began to weave its way into his very fabric, with The Beatles creating a particularly deep impression on the person that Tim Dry was gradually becoming.

He duly enrolled on a Graphic Design course and gradually adopted a hippie lifestyle; moving to Brighton in Sussex where he would begin to explore his awakening desire for creative expression.  A short stint at candle-making and the publication of a trippy-colouring-book were the first visible sparks at Dry reaching outwards for something that would prove to be both creative and financially rewarding.

And then he made possibly the most important decision of his life.  He moved to London where he undertook a course in Mime.  Teaming up with a handful of musicians and creative artists alike, Dry together with his mime partner Sean Crawford and soon-to-become-lifelong-friend Barbie Wilde, formed the early 80’s electro musical outfit Shock!  However, with just a fleeting spark of fame bestowed upon them, Shock! eventually came to an end.

Meanwhile, an off-shooting career in acting had been emerging in Dry’s life, with him playing the heavily-costumed part of the upside-down-walking alien in Harry Bromley Davenport’s sci-fi/horror film ‘Xtro’ (1982) and then as J’Quille The Whiphid from Jabba The Hutt’s palace and a Mon Calamari Officer in Richard Marquand’s ‘Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi’ (1983).

However, Tim and Sean had continued with their mime performances together, and it wasn’t long before their famous robotic duo ‘Tik and Tok’ were born.  Suddenly fame was hammering at the pair’s door.  And with fame came all the excesses and indulgences that the limelight can bring.

Although, after taking what they could from it, the time for Tik and Tok to hang-up their mirrored sunglasses and white gloves eventually came.  But when it did, Tim Dry’s creative energy was still burning bright and pushing him ever onwards.  And so from here Dry embarked upon more musical work including his techno duo with ex-Sailor singer-songwriter Georg Kajanus, where they formed the outfit ‘Noir’.  And then Dry’s second most important decision arrived, when he decided to purchase a decent photographic camera and began upon a new artistic avenue in the form of photography.

All through the limelight and the creative exploration and the madness of an energy-fuelled passion for expression was the whirlwind of life.  Dry was always a man who would enjoy the full flavour and richness of whatever the events in his life brought to him.  There were women, drugs, drink and the countless outrageous stories that partaking in all of these things brought.  There were also the heart-wrenching tragedies that life will always throw at you.  But through it all, Dry remained honest and true to himself, and never skipped a beat with his near-limitless ambition to entertain.  It’s a lifetime of highs and lows and unrelenting ambition.  It’s an almost out-of-control whirlwind of creative chaos.  And it’s a life that will captivate all those that wish to embark upon the story of this quite remarkable man’s personal adventure through the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and beyond…

DLS Review:
I have to admit that prior to reading ‘Falling Upwards’ I really didn’t know all that much about Tim Dry, his life, or the work he’d done.  Indeed, I can’t say that I’m of the age to have any real memories of the electro music scene of the 80’s – let alone of those who instigated the rise of the New Romantic scene.  I’m aware of its existence, but that’s it.  However, this has absolutely no bearing on whether or not you will enjoy reading Dry’s autobiography, which is predominately set around that time.  For some the book will no doubt form a whimsical reminiscing experience.  For others it will be a mild education in the most entertaining of ways.

The book starts out, as most autobiographies do, with the early years of Dry’s life.  Initially Dry looks back somewhat fondly on his early childhood; with memories of the UFO sighting, learning guitar etc, all making for a somewhat quaint beginning.  From here it’s a couple of short steps into his teenage years and the beginnings of who Tim Dry will become.

Laced with a natural flare for wit and linguistic charm, Dry’s reliving of his life from the early days onwards is simply a pleasure to read in itself.  Dry utilises a mildly self-deprecating manner that rises to the surface from time to time, usually accompanied by a buzzing mass of jokes and good humour.  Indeed, throughout the entirety of the book, Dry utilises a veritable scattergun approach to injecting his observational humour into almost every sentence.  The end result is a book that manages to keep a constantly-exercising smirk plastered across the reader’s face.

Moving on to Dry’s hippie years, and the book adopts somewhat of a ‘The Young Ones’ (1982-84) vibe; with copious amounts of drugs and cheap booze consumed within his and his housemates’ ‘cosmic and free’ existence.  The chapters covering these LSD-blurred years are entertaining and comical if nothing else.  But it’s when Dry moves to London to begin a course on mime that the real momentum and energy of the book begins to manifest itself.

Suddenly things are coming together for Dry.  The intake of booze and drugs has multiplied exponentially.  And the tales of sex and drunken drug-induced sexual debauchery begin to really unfold.  From Shock! to Tik and Tok, the fame-loving frolics of the duo causes a precariously balanced situation between amusing anecdotes and utterly outrageous behaviour.  And to be fair – it makes for a hell of a read.

The autobiography doesn’t so much namedrop as it simply shows how, once you’ve got one sweat-polished shoe through the doorway and into the lime lit world of fame, the opportunities to rub shoulders with the big names just start to become the norm.  The book is awash with stories of knocking back a beer and a peach schnapps with this-that-and-the-other, of brief conversations with someone else off the scene, or another chance collaboration with some other star.

His escapades under the brow of Tik and Tok, Noir, photography exhibitions, Star Wars signing conventions, or searching for his inner-bond with Charles Baudelaire in a drug-hazed hotel room in Paris, see the creative maelstrom of Dry’s life stretching across the length and breadth of the globe.

However it’s not all light-hearted drunken antics, comical anecdotes and living the life of creative success.  Dry, like everyone else, has experienced hardship and loss.  Dry is a man who appears incredibly easy to like, perhaps someone you could possibly form a strong emotional bond with, but one who has never quite managed to hold on to a partner who he could eventually settle down with.  There have been marriages and divorces.  Sadness and longing – but (as a further testament to the character that Dry is) hardly a whisper of regret.

But through it all, what becomes unmistakably clear is that Tim Dry is a natural entertainer.  It can be witnessed in his acting, his mime, his music, his poetry, and here in his writing.  Almost each and every sentence has a tendency to amuse.  His life is a testament to his near-addition to captivate his audience.  And in his gentlemanly-suave manner – he is a master of his game.

I raise a beer and whisky chaser to you good sir.

The book runs for a total of 385 pages.

© DLS Reviews

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