Tuesday 13 December 2011

Pete Frame Even More Rock Family Trees

Pete Frame: Even More Rock Family Trees
Omnibus Publishing
Surely there can’t be anyone who has not heard of Pete Frame and his extremely famous “Rock Family Trees”. If you have never seen any of his previous books featuring the Family Trees then perhaps you will remember the TV series which brought the Family Tree’s to life
Whatever if you have even a remote interest in music then this book of some of Pete’s more famous Family Trees will be high on the “must get list”
For those who don’t know, Pete Frame manages to mix his love of Rock Music and drawing and also manages to drop in a load of minutiae in terms of detail about the bands or artists. There are also plenty of Pete’s personal asides on the bands which are almost as important as the actual facts!
My personal favourite in this book is the Family Tree of The Allman Brothers band which is so big it covers four pages. Another lengthy and fully engrossing Family Tree is the one for Fleetwood Mac which has enough twists and turns to keep biographers busy for years. The great thing about these family Trees however is that they are so easy to follow and you can quite clearly see who went here and who came from there. It also drives you back to the music which can’t be a bad thing!
For your reading delight in this volume we have newly drawn Family Trees on the following artists
Elton John, the Allman Brothers Band 1, ELP, Fleetwood Mac, Steve Winwood, The Drifters, Roxy Music, Roger McGuinn, Beach Boys, Martin Carthy, Shirley Collilns, Yes, Asia, Eric Clapton, the Yardbirds, Miles Davis, the Creation label to name quite a few
The detail that goes into each “Family Tree is amazing and it is a book that you will be drawn to time and time again and certainly more fascinating than pouring over your standard biography!

Buy Pete Frame's Even More Rock family Trees Directly from Omnibus Press Here:


Baron Wolman The Rolling Stone Years. Book Review

Baron Wolman: The Rolling Stone Years
Omnibus Publishing
Baron Wolman is a world renowned photographer and was the “Staff Photographer” for Rolling Stone for three years from the magazine’s inception in 1967 until 1970. During that time of course Rock music came of age and baron was lucky enough to be there and capture many artists making musical history at that time.
This book however is not just a collection of photographs put together in a book Oh no. Far from that there has been a lot of thought gone into the design and the flow and feel of this book with baron contextualising the photographs and telling a little story to illustrate the background of the photograph and how it came to be taken. It must also be said that Baron Wolman has that rare thing and something that is a God given talent and that is an eye for a picture and a talent for knowing when to capture “That Moment”
For many it will be all about the pictures and there are many amazing pictures contained within this book, but for me and many others I want to read about the circumstances in which the pictures were taken. What were the band like, what were they saying, how did they feel? You get all this from the photos and of course Baron’s text just brings the photo to life.
I have so many favourites in this book but for those looking for “The Moment check out Pete Townshend in performance with that look in his eyes that says”I hope you got that”. Another favourite and almost iconic photo is the set of pictures taken of Pink Floyd during their first tour of America in 1967. We see Baron has captured an amazing photograph of Syd Barrett with sugar cubes in his mouth! Quite a photograph I am sure you will agree.
This book however is an absolute treasure trove of images which form a part of history and without people like baron Wolman being there to capture that piece of history the world would be a very dull and uninteresting place. These photos contained in the book tell a tale from the early days of rock music a tale which anyone remotely interested in music will want to see alongside Baron's first-hand account of the magazine's early years and his memorable encounters with the rock stars of the day many of whom are now music legends.

Baron Wolman Interview Here:


Buy this book directly from Omnibus Press Here


Jerry Shirley: Best Seat In The House. Book review

Jerry Shirley: Best Seat In the House
Rebeats/Hal Leonard Corporation
Jerry Shirley is famously the drummer for British band Humble Pie right the way through the life of the band. Not only does it document the life of Humble Pie in great detail from the bands formation in late 1968 through to its dissolution in early 1975 it also documents Jerry’s ;life covering the early days of his life  and includes stories about all the people he encountered during that time.
To be honest you may think that by the time of Humble Pie’s split in early 1975 that Jerry would have been a has been and possibly washed up amid a huge drink and drug problem. Thankfully that was not the case and Jerry would eventually go on to work with Steve Marriott again by way of bands like Natural Gas and Fastway, not to mention another stint with a re formed Humble Pie in the late seventies; all in all pretty impressive for a guy who was only in his early twenties when Humble Pie split the first time round.
Well in fairness to Jerry he had lived a life and a half by this point and possibly saw much and experienced even more but when Humble Pie split he was in fact only 23 years of age. Yeah, that young He actually joined Humble Pie when he was only 16 years old so you can imagine that not only was he in esteemed company  with Steve Marriott, Peter Frampton and Greg Ridley he was also thrown in at the deep end as Humble Pie very quickly gained a big foothold particularly in America
Everything is here in this book from the highs (Literally) through to the lows which unsurprisingly were also coming at him at various periods of his life remember it isn’t always bright and sunny being a rock star. Jerry goes into detail for example of having on the one hand success in America and then coming home to find his mother terminally ill and when she died he had to miss the funeral in order to embark on another American tour with Humble Pie. It is literally heartbreaking and something that stayed with Jerry for many years
Whilst the book is not all sex and drugs and rock n roll there is a fair bit of honesty here concerning what a musician’s life was like during the heady days of the late sixties and early seventies and particularly for a young successful musician as Jerry was.
The thing I like about this book is that it really is Jerry’s own words not some hack who just wrote down what he thought the story should be. I am sure that Jerry would want me to mention however that the book was very well edited by fellow musician John Cohan who has written for many music journals over the years. The writing style however is very natural and the words are all Jerry Shirley’s and I have to say the book is quite a page turner and whilst there are a few moments of sadness there are plenty of laugh out loud moments.
As I have said the book covers the period between Jerry being born and the first split of Humble Pie in 1975. There is an epilogue which brings you up to speed although what this book is really crying out for is volume two which I hope Jerry and the publishers get round to agreeing a deal soon. The book will definitely be high on the want list of Americans where Jerry Shirley and Humble Pie is particularly well known but anyone with a passing interest in rock music will enjoy this book. In fact many well known musicians have written very nice testimonials at the front of the book and the names in the list certainly show the esteem that Jerry Shirley is held in by his contemporaries.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough so what I suggest is that you dig out a copy of Humble Pie’s live album Performance Rockin’ The Fillmore and open the book; believe me you won’t regret it.
Best Seat In the House in one of the best rock biographies I have read and certainly evokes the period in which Jerry lived and earned his spurs.  You will be sad to reach the end of the book, it really is that good!

Snakecharmer Charm Fans and Media Alike At Their Debut Gig!

Snakecharmer charmed fans and media alike
At their first official performance at the Shepherds
Bush Empire on Thursday night…..
The band features Micky Moody and Neil Murray (ex-Whitesnake)
Laurie Wisefield (ex-Wishbone Ash), Harry James (Thunder
& Magnum) Adam Wakeman (Ozzy Osbourne) and Chris Ousey.

The band plan to release their debut album in 2012.

Ian Anderson Christmas Shows!

Photo: Martin Webb (2011)

Ian Anderson played a Christmas Charity Show at 
Cantefbury Cathedral on Saturday night with Special guests 
Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden)and Justin Hayward (The Moody Blues)…

The set was a mixture of hymns, readings, Tull and Moody Blues material.
Dickinson guested on 2 songs – Revelations and Jerusalem
And Haywood on  Moody Blues Tracks - Forever Autumn' and 
Nights in White Satin.   All three performed the encore Locomotive
Breath from Tull's Aqualung Album.

Anderson will play 2 other Charity Shows at Salisbury Cathedral on 
Friday 16th with special guest Greg Lake and 
Manchester Cathedral on Monday 19th December.   
Both shows are sold out.

Ian Anderson will hit the road for 19 dates in the UK in April/May 
2012 and will perform his Thick As A Brick Album in its entirety 
For the first time since 1972.  

Tickets available from http://www.gigantic.com

Wednesday 7 December 2011

The Reasoning Christmas Concert!

Cardiff bassed Prog band The Reasoning Play a special Christmas Concert at The Globe 125 Albany Road Cardiff on Friday 9th December. Special guests will be Mr So & So

Chek out the Reasoning's Facebook Page here:


Tickets are £10 in advance from the link at the bottom of this page or £12 on the Door.
Doors Open at 7:30PM

Order Tickets Directly from