Supreme Court Overturns Ban on Memoir

INSTRUMENTAL: A Memoir of Madness, Medication and Music. James Rhodes.

Format: Hardback/E-book
Genre: Memoir
Price: £16.99 / £14.99
UK Pub Date: 28th May 2015

“The unforgettable story of an unforgettable and remarkable man” – STEPHEN FRY

James Rhodes’ passion for music has been his absolute lifeline. It has been the thread that has held him together through a life that has encompassed pain, conflict and turmoil. Listening to Rachmaninov on a loop as a traumatised teenager or discovering an Adagio by Bach while in a hospital ward – such exquisite miracles of musical genius have helped him survive his demons, and, along with a chance encounter with a stranger, inspired him to become the renowned concert pianist he is today.

  • This is a memoir like no other: unapologetically candid, boldly outspoken and surprisingly funny.
  • An impassioned tribute to the therapeutic powers of music, Instrumental also weaves in fascinating facts about how classical music actually works and explains why and how music has the potential to transform all of our lives.
  • Rhodes’ first album reached No.1 in the iTunes’ classical chart, and he was the first pianist to release a core classical album with Warner Bros Records, the world’s largest rock label. He launched a shoe range in March 2014, his fifth album in June and a DVD in October.
  • Rhodes has made music documentaries for the BBC, Sky Arts and Channel 4, including a three-part series for Channel 4 last September entitled Don’t Stop the Music.
  • He has an extensive fanbase: the ‘Rhodettes’ are his passionate devotees, while celebrities such as Stephen Fry, Derren Brown, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jimmy Page are ardent supporters.

On 20 May 2015, in what was hailed as a great victory for the principles of freedom of speech, the UK’s Supreme Court handed down an unequivocal and unanimous judgement in the case involving the James Rhodes and his memoir, Instrumental. The Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeal’s decision to grant a temporary injunction on the publication of the book, reaffirming the fundamental importance of an individual’s freedom to speak the truth, even if the truth is brutal or shocking.

Canongate, was a co-defendant in the case and vigorously supported their author and their joint right to publish Instrumental throughout the protracted legal battle that began in the Spring of 2014.

“Freedom to report the truth is a basic right … There can be no justification for keeping secret the information contained in this book…the only proper conclusion is that there is every justification for the publication.” – Lady Hale and Lord Toulson, from the Supreme Court’s Judgment, given on 20 May 2015

“James’ book is every bit as heartfelt as his playing. This is an inspiring insight into an extraordinary life and a plea to look afresh at classical music.” – DERREN BROWN

“James Rhodes has become my latest addiction. As a pianist, entertaining but always passionate and in the best sense serious about music, his wit on stage and concentration on the keyboard have earned him a new audience for whom classical music had always appeared stuffy and elitist. As for his life and personality – they transcend the imagination of the most vivid novelist. His story is one filled with unimaginable terrors and unconquerable triumphs. The unforgettable story of an unforgettable and remarkable man.” – STEPHEN FRY

About James Rhodes:

James Rhodes was born in London in 1975. A keen piano player, he was offered a scholarship when he was eighteen at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, but went to Edinburgh University instead. James stopped playing the piano entirely and dropped out after a year. After twelve months working at Burger King in Paris, he went to University College, London to read psychology. He then worked in the City for five years. After a period of personal crisis, he took up the piano again. He is now a professional and acclaimed concert pianist, writer and TV presenter.


Publication of the judgment and any of the content of the Supreme Court judgment is permitted.

Publication of the name of James Rhodes’ son or information likely to lead to his identification such as his address or the address of his school or the name of his mother, James Rhodes’ex-wife, or any member of the child’s immediate family (other than the appellant), is prohibited until further notice.

For more information and requests for interviews with James Rhodes, please contact:

Chris Baker: 020 3697 4252/07872 176270
Liz Sich: 07956 612380

“From the outset, it is evident that Rhodes is a thoughtful and attentive pianist.”

Richard Whitehouse, International Piano

James Rhodes, la ‘rockstar’ que sobrevivió a una infancia de abusos

Al pianista inglés el éxito de su libro ‘Instrumental’ le ha catapultado a la fama. Después de su participación en el Sónar, Rhodes trae a Bach al Auditorio de El Escorial Leer más:  Música: James Rhodes, la rockstar que sobrevivió a una infancia de abusos. Noticias de Cultura

Mon 4 Jul 2016