Paul Rees – The Ox: Last Of  The Great Rock Stars 

Paul Rees – The Ox: Last Of  The Great Rock Stars 

8/10 Considering he was a founding member of one of the biggest rock bands on the planet, it’s surprising it has taken so long for John Entwistle to be the subject of a major biography. Even more surprising when you discover across the course of these pages what a fascinating, layered life The Who’s bassist led. Yet being heard was always one of Entwistle’s problems, … Continue reading Paul Rees – The Ox: Last Of  The Great Rock Stars 

Bob Geldof – Tales Of Boomtown Glory

With masters of the art Cohen, Reed and Dylan long since anthologised, now comes the turn of Bob Geldof to have his copious song-words gathered up and set into print. In total, that’s an exhaustive 189 songs – which amounts to seven albums with Irish pub-rock band The Boomtown Rats and a further seven less than essential solo albums compiled in book form. The fact … Continue reading Bob Geldof – Tales Of Boomtown Glory

Dan Franklin – Heavy

Released on Friday 13 February 1970, Black Sabbath’s deranged self-titled debut is widely credited with the birth of metal. That’s 50 full years of the genre’s substantial density bearing down on us all. Which is in anybody’s measure a shedload of heaviness. But what actually defines the ‘heavy’ in heavy metal? If you were foolhardy enough to attempt to distil its essence, what are you … Continue reading Dan Franklin – Heavy

Paul Zollo – Conversations With Tom Petty

The outpouring of grief within the musical community after Tom Petty’s untimely death from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs in 2017 said much about the total respect that The Heartbreakers man was held in by his peers. Music journalist Paul Zollo’s newly expanded version of Conversations With Tom Petty goes a long way to explaining why. Instead of conventional biography territory, Zollo’s authorised book … Continue reading Paul Zollo – Conversations With Tom Petty

Pete Paphides – Broken Greek

When Jenny, the protagonist of track three on The Velvet Underground’s Loaded album, was just five years old, she put the radio on and her life was saved by rock ’n’ roll. A similar thing happened to music journalist Pete Paphides. This time, however, the saviour was pop music. Having been displaced from Cyprus to Birmingham as a nipper, Pete was a shy, anxious kid … Continue reading Pete Paphides – Broken Greek

Kevin Ayers – Shooting At The Moon

Canterbury scenester and louche bohemian singer-songwriter Kevin Ayers was a founding member of the Soft Machine, and a major yet laid-back force in the English psychedelic movement. The late, great John Peel wrote in his autobiography that “Kevin Ayers’ talent is so acute you could perform major eye surgery with it.” He was also the ‘bugger’ infamously referenced in the John Cale lyric on the … Continue reading Kevin Ayers – Shooting At The Moon

Joe Muggs & Brian David Stevens – Bass, Mids, Tops

 Ever since the arrival from the Caribbean of the Windrush generation, soundsystems have been instrumental in shaping several generations of British youth culture. Reggae, ska, dub, rave, jungle, grime and dubstep have all had their basslines blared out through towering home-built speakers, often directly onto the swarming streets of events such as the Notting Hill Carnival. It’s an important story less told, which is why … Continue reading Joe Muggs & Brian David Stevens – Bass, Mids, Tops

Simon Wells – She’s A Rainbow

The German-Italian actress/model Anita Pallenberg was no mere girlfriend of the band, and her impact on The Rolling Stones was considerable, influencing the way they looked and the modish circles they moved in. Long-term partner Keith Richards openly admits her sartorial sway over him: “I started to become a fashion icon, for wearing my old lady’s clothes,”he once noted. A powerful and intimidating muse, it’s … Continue reading Simon Wells – She’s A Rainbow

Will Brooker – Why Bowie Matters

Die-hard Bowie fans are always likely to be able to recount their ‘lightning bolt’ moment, the time they were first struck by the great man’s music. For Why Bowie Matters author Will Brooker it was an unlikely one, as the initial track that resonated with him deeply was Ricochet from Let’s Dance. In his new book, Brooker explores Bowie’s legacy as a cultural icon from … Continue reading Will Brooker – Why Bowie Matters

Mike Barnes – A New Day Yesterday

Author Mike Barnes’ vivid chronicle of prog rock in the late 60s and 70s is suitably epic and grandiose in both its scope and ambition. If A New Day Yesterday was an album, it would surely be a triple gatefold. The publishers just may have missed a trick by not commissioning Hipgnosis to design the cover. The phrase ‘progressive rock’, Barnes notes, was coined in … Continue reading Mike Barnes – A New Day Yesterday